FIRST AIRED: April 21, 2018

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>> He might not look comfortable right now, but Igor the Siberian tiger should soon be moving a lot more freely. The 13-year old has suffered hip joint pain for years. Now he's the first of his breed to receive stem-cell treatment developed by Italian firm Lipogems. Extracts from his own fatty tissue, which contains regenerative stem cells is injected back into his ailing joints.
His surgeon is hopeful of what it will achieve.>> The essence of stem-cell treatment is that we can achieve an improvement in the quality of life of patients who cannot be helped by operations or medical treatment. This was not possible before.>> Similar treatment has been used more widely on humans rather than animals, but cats, dogs, and horses have already all benefited from it.
>> Perhaps the biggest novelty is that from the fat cell, we gain cells in one step, which by injecting back into the cells, we can achieve regeneration. If the treatment works, Igor will no longer need the painkillers he's come to rely on. It will take up to three weeks before vets can judge the tigers' recovery.