Canine Stem Cell Treatment Gives Heroic Military Dog a Fighting Chance
Lex, a German Shepherd, nearly lost his life while trying to save his best friend, Cpl. Dustin Lee, 20, from a rocket attack in 2007 in Iraq. Tragically, Lee didn't make it. Lex received serious shrapnel wounds, but survived the attack.
Lee's parents, in an effort to be there for Lex as he was for their son, launched a campaign to adopt Lex. The Marines retired Lex, and Lee's parents brought him into their empty Mississippi home. But soon after, the shrapnel that was still lodged in Lex's spine started causing Lex pain, and he became unable to walk on his own, according to Fox News. Unwilling to lose Lex, now 9, the Lees sought out treatment, and ended up at the doorstep of Georgetown veterinarian Lee Morgan.
Dr. Morgan offered the Lees cutting-edge therapy: He would inject stem cells from the fat in Lex's abdomen into the affected area of his spine. In 80 percent of the cases, the stem-cell treatment allows new cartilage to grow, according to reports. Lex just had the treatment, and is already doing better. See the video above for more on this very hopeful story. It's hopeful not just for Lex, but for all the dogs with debilitating joint problems -- and maybe one day, for humans.
We hope Lex has many good, pain-free years ahead of him. It's exactly what his best friend would have wanted.