Update: Stem cell treatment... on a dog! | News
ROSWELL, Ga. -- In two days, the life of a service dog in Roswell could be dramatically changed for the better.
Chancer is a service dog for 13-year-old Iyal Winokur. Iyal was adopted from Russia when he was very young. Shortly after, his family saw he was showing the symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome.
"He was having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep," recalled Iyal's mother, Donnie Winokur. "And he became irritable very easily."
He is especially designed for fetal alcohol syndrome and, eventually, was specifically trained for Iyal.
"Chancer's unconditional love for Iyal is amazing," Donnie said. "Chancer can detect two floors away in the house if Iyal is downstairs and muttering."
"He'll kiss me to make me stop crying," Iyal said. "He loves everyone."
But the special bond was threatened to be cut short.
Chancer, it turns out, has arthritis. Watch him walk, and you can see the struggle in his hips and legs. Medicine was only working so well.
But suddenly, six months ago, a solution arrived.
Dr. JoAnne Roesner of Loving Hands in Alpharetta is one of a handful of specialists that performs stem cell treatments on dogs, usually for arthritis.
"I am absolutely amazed every time," Dr. Roesner said. "Generally what we get is a pet that is pain-free and more mobile."
On Monday, Dr. Roesner took out chunks of belly fat from Chancer that contain stem cells. Monday night, those chunks got shipped to a company in San Diego that extracted the stem cells in one day, then turned around and sent them back to Atlanta for injection on Wednesday.
On this day, the cells were injected into Chancer's hips and thighs, and the golden retriever returned home.
"Chancer is like a brother to Iyal," Donnie said. "We want this animal to be around as long as possible."