Dave van Reeen has always loved animals. He’s an avid supporter of wildlife causes, the SPCA and other animal shelters in his neighbourhood.
“I hate to see animals in distress and I really try to help where I can. My own dogs – two Boerboels named Snoeba and Nebu – are like family to me and I will do anything to keep them happy and give them good lives,” Dave says.
Four years ago Snoeba – a 7-year-old male – fell while running and broke his hind left leg.
“He was fine for about a week but after that I could see he was really in pain. I took him to my vet who told me Snoeba had torn his cross ligament in his leg. The vet operated on him but I was told my pet would never be the same again,” Dave explains.
Dave says in September last year things became worse very quickly for Snoeba.
“There were builders and other workers in the area and Snoeba was barking at them all day, obviously protecting his territory. He would jump up and down for hours and this put a lot of pressure on his bad leg. I took him back to the vet who told me they could either operate on Snoeba on put him on painkillers for the rest of his life.
“At that time I had to weigh up whether I was going to take another course of action or see my dog suffer and naturally I decided I wanted to help my dog because I love him,” Dave says.
In October last year Dave brought Snoeba to Dr Tim Krafft at Valley Farm Animal Hospital in Pretoria for an assessment for a possible stem cell therapy procedure.
“Dr Tim took x-rays and said he could either put Snoeba on painkillers or perform the stem cell treatment. I opted for the stem cell treatment because I believe it was the right thing to do and because I think the effects will be longer lasting,” Dave says.
The procedure was performed in October and since then Dave says he can see a marked difference in his animal.
“He’s a totally different dog now,” says Dave.
“Some of his mannerisms haven’t change; he still barks and he still plays the same way but otherwise he’s a totally different dog. He’s become a lot friendlier and he’s definitely more mobile. About a week after the procedure I could already see a change and an improvement and honestly, looking at him now, I can say he has a new lease on life,” Dave adds.
Nebu – a 5-year-old female Boerboel – is Dave van Reenen’s other dog.
According to Dave she was born with a problem left leg, something he believes she inherited from her mother.
“She always limps on this leg and it’s gotten progressively worse as she got older,” Dave says.
Shortly after Snoeba’s success with Dr Tim, Dave decided to take Nebu for the procedure.
“The improvement since her stem cell treatment is amazing. She’s not hampered by the limp as she was in the past and I can also see she is a much happier dog. Both her and Snoeba definitely have better strides now than they did before the procedures,” Dave says.
Dave believes the treatment was a resounding success and says he would do it all again if he had to.
“I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who believes their animals could benefit from it. My dogs are happier and healthier and I can see a marked difference in their attitudes. The pressure and pain on their joints has eased; this procedure really helped them,” he says.
Dave says Snoeba and Nebu are both doing very well months after the procedures and that they are not on any medication for pain.