Dr. DiMauro from Horsham Veterinary Hospital gives us the scoop:

The art and practice of veterinary medicine has certainly evolved and been refined over the years. But the newest thing to come along in some time is the use of Stem Cell Therapy to treat dogs with severe arthritis. Stem Cell therapy involves putting the dog under anesthesia and surgically removing some fat from behind the shoulder blade. The fat cells are then put through a harvesting process which results in a vial of stem cells which is then re-injected back into the same dog’s affected joints. The beauty of this procedure is twofold. First, since the dog’s own cells are injected into the joints, the chance of having an adverse reaction is quite small. Second, since the stem cells are harvested from fat cells, the ethical issues involving fetal stem cells in human medicine are non-existent. We at Horsham Veterinary Hospital have performed this procedure in one dog so far with promising results. We have seen dramatically positive results reported in the literature in some dogs. Traditionally, veterinarians have treated arthritis in dogs with various medications, joint replacement surgery, acupuncture, therapeutic lasers, etc. Stem Cell Therapy provides yet another choice for dog owners wanting to treat painful arthritis in their furry family members.
“Kennel Cough” more correctly known as Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (CIRD) is caused by a number of different organisms. The most common cause is Bordetella bronchiseptica. This disease is extremely contagious and is transmitted by dogs breathing in organisims from an infected dog’s cough. The Bordetella vaccine is strongly recommended in all situations where there is close contact of dogs including a dog park setting. The vaccine should be given at least once per year and many veterinarians recommend the vaccine as frequently as every six months. If your dog is coughing, you should not expose him to other dogs.
There has been significant discussion in recent years about how we vaccinate dogs. Which vaccines to administer to our pets and how frequently remain the key questions. Evidence suggests that over-vaccinating provides no benefit and may even be detrimental in some cases. But any potential threat must be weighed in light of benefits provided. Most experts agree that a series of vaccines as puppies along with boosters at age one are essential to good health and prevention of disease. The controversy begins after year one. The “core” vaccines are Distemper/Parvo combination vaccines along with Rabies. In Pennsylvania, Rabies vaccines are required by law every three years after the second vaccine is given at one year of age. Although veterinarian recommendations vary currently, many doctors are only recommending Distemper/Parvo combos every three years. However, as part of the “combo” there may be vaccines that should be given more frequently. Factors such as age, lifestyle, exposure risk, whether tick prevention is used regularly, whether the animal is boarded, groomed or frequents dog parks, etc. should all be considered in developing an individualized vaccine protocol for your pet. Other so-called “non-core” vaccines include Bordetella (or kennel cough), Lyme, and Canine influenza. Discussion with your veterinarian is encouraged to develop the optimal vaccine protocol for your dog.

Thank you, Dr. DiMauro, for sharing this valuable information, and for your continued support of the park your dog loves best!