Stem Cell Treatment in Animals Shows Promise for Humans

Giraffes are big! Although that seems obvious, what many people don’t realize is that being so big places a heavy burden on joints. This is true for humans as well as animals.

At Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a 14-year-old giraffe named Mahali suffered from arthritis in his front left hoof that was causing him a lot of pain. Giraffes can live up to 30 years, and living in pain for that long wasn’t something the zoo keepers and veterinarians wanted for Mahali.

Typical arthritis treatments for giraffes such as hoof trims, anti-inflammatories, cold laser therapy and pain medications just weren’t working anymore, so the team set out to find a new way to help the giraffe. Using a crowdfunding campaign, the zoo raised money to pay for stem cell therapy to help treat Mahali.

A lab grew stem cells from the giraffe’s blood, and these stem cells were injected into a vein near the inflamed hoof and kept at the injection site for 20 minutes in order to achieve optimal absorption. Six weeks after the procedure, it was time to see if it worked. Thermal imaging scans showed a remarkable improvement in inflammation in the arthritic hoof, and Mahali’s keepers reported an obvious improvement in comfort when it came to mobility.

Just like Mahali the giraffe, humans are finding relief with stem cell therapy for arthritic joints. In fact, Dr. Herskowitz offers stem cell therapy for a number of orthopedic conditions right here at the San Francisco Stem Cell Treatment Center. For more information, call us today at 1-800-318-6006 or email us at