Stem cells could help saved burned Pennsylvania dog

Stem cells could help saved burned Pennsylvania dog (Photo courtesy of A. Blight's Flikr account)

Here is a pretty amazing story out of Pennsylvania in which vets are using an apparently landmark treatment to help saved a burned dog.

In Berks County, Pa., a brown and white pit bull named Bernie suffered severe burns after being left on a rooftop on a broiling hot day for as many as 10 hours. The dog's paw pads were completely burned, and he also sustained serious burns on his spine and nipples from when he tried to lay down and move to relieve the pain on his paws.

The Reading Eagle reports that after Bernie was brought to the Animal Rescue League of Berks County, a local vet volunteered to treat him. The vet came up with the idea of using stem cells to help Bernie regrow his devastated paw pads.

"I don't think I've seen anything that bad in 25 years," the vet, Dr. Boyd Wagner, told the paper. "They were severe, third-degree burns."

Wagner told the Reading Eagle that Bernie's case was the first to use another animal's stem cells to grow specialized cells. The procedure needed special permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Bernie is recovering from the procedure. Law enforcement, meanwhile, is looking for his owner who faces possible animal cruelty charges.

Read more here.