The aim of this article is to help vets in first opinion practice keep abreast of this new development, which is now being promoted for the treatment of musculoskeletal problems in cats and dogs. The challenge was to explain a complex subject in a succinct way. As well as discussing the evidence on efficacy and safety in cats and dogs, it was also important to explain the legal status of the treatments and the likely cost, which are other key factors in making decisions about the use of the therapy.
The first draft of an article was written by a topic specialist (Dr Debbie Guest). The draft was then edited by a Veterinary Prescriber editor and circulated to a wide range of reviewers. These included other topic specialists (Dr Jay Dudhia, Professor Roger Smith, Dr Jan Spaas), general practice vets (Roland Sabin, Hazel Bentall), the companies of products named in the article, and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.
Reviewers were able to comment on the evidence, raise points about interpretation, and highlight any missing evidence. They helped ensure that questions that are important to practitioners were answered and were able to contribute opinion based on their experience. The editor considered all the comments and integrated relevant points and data into a revised draft. This was circulated again to key reviewers, before final amendments and checking.
The final article, no longer attributable to any one person, is published unsigned and represents the view of Veterinary Prescriber. The article will form the basis of future updates as more evidence about stem cell therapy becomes available.