19-year-old Minnesota lynx gets stem cell treatment for chronic arthritis

SANDSTONE, Minn. – A 19-year-old lynx was treated with stem cells for chronic arthritis at Wild cat sanctuary in Sandstone, Minnesota.

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

“This is thanks to Dr. Valerie Johnson, a veterinarian at Michigan State University,” the reserve said in a statement. “Johnson cultured stem cells in a lab at MSU.”

Stem cells were grown using adipose tissue from a healthy lynx at the sanctuary.

“When the cells are ready for transplantation, they are delivered to the sanctuary’s veterinarian, Dr. Joanne Kamper. They are then injected into Baby Jenga’s wrist joint and given intravenously, will help all joints through his bloodstream,” the statement said.

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

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