Ailing Southeast Texas pets can breathe a sigh of relief now that a local veterinarian can perform stem cell surgeries to heal wounded pets.For the first time in our area, veterinarian Kelley Kays performed the stem cell surgery –typically used to heal arthritis in animals – to repair a local dog's back.

It was only several years ago that the greyhound – Trevor – was sprinting around the track going nearly 40 miles per hour. Today, he has trouble getting around on all four paws.

"Other dogs jump and play, he cannot do that," Margaret Golias, Trevor's owner said.

Golias said he injured his back while playing three years ago – an injury that left one of his legs and tail lame. Golias is hoping a stem cell procedure will heal Trevor's injury.

"His particular injury is nothing we can repair by surgery, it is actually nerve damage to the cell and we are trying to repair the cells," Kelly Kays, veterinarian said.

Kelly Kays -- the veterinarian at Dowlen Road Veterinarian Clinic -- said this type of surgery is good because it uses the animals own cells.

"There is a minor anesthetic for the dog," Kays said. "Give him an anesthetic, make a small incision. Retrieve the fat. Process the cells in the fat. Then put it back in the dog. It is also not harmful to the dog because they use their own cells. It is like reinvigoration from within"

Trevor is one of five dogs owned by Golias. She is hopeful that the biggest member of their family can soon rejoin the rest of the pack.

"Hopefully we can get him to re live that type of activities," Golias said. " Get him to where he is confident and can take a walk with the other dogs and not be so cautious, how he steps or how many dogs are around him."

Doctor Kays said the significant reduction or possible elimination of medications is a positive but the high price tag could turn some patients away. She says prices can range from $1500 to $3000 for the procedure and additional charges for cell storage and potential surgeries down the line.

A MediVet Biologics spokesperson said the treatment that was developed for arthritis on larger animals but will work for pet or work animal.