19-year-old Minnesota bobcat receives stem cell therapy for chronic arthritis

SANDSTONE, Minn. — A 19-year-old bobcat has received stem cell therapy for chronic arthritis at The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minnesota.

On Thursday, the sanctuary announced that the bobcat, named Baby Jenga Blue, is believed to be the first bobcat in the world to receive this type of treatment. The procedure took place at the sanctuary’s veterinary hospital.

“This was thanks to Dr. Valerie Johnson, a veterinarian at Michigan State University,” the sanctuary said in a release. “Johnson grew the stem cells in a lab at MSU.”

The stem cells were grown using fatty tissue from a healthy bobcat at the sanctuary.

“Once the cells were ready for transplant, they were shipped to the sanctuary’s veterinarian, Dr. Joanne Kamper. Then they were injected into Baby Jenga’s wrist joint and through IV infusion, which will help all joints through his blood stream,” the release said.

It will take six weeks or longer to know the full effects of the treatment, but the sanctuary is optimistic the treatment will provide “crucial relief” for the big cat. 

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