Igor, a Siberian tiger from a zoo in Hungary was suffering from a pain in his hip joints from many years. The 13-year old tiger will finally receive some relief as a first of its kind stem-cell treatment has been performed on this wild animal. Igor was suffering from hip joint pain for years which made him difficult to even walk properly. He was already on his medicines but the treatment should help him and live his life on less medicines than before.
A stem cell treatment is used more widely on humans for curing joint injuries. It involves taking tissues from the patient's own fatty tissue, which has regenerative stem cells which will help in the joining of the part. It is injected into the ailing joints to cure them. This technique was used on Igor's hip which had been causing him trouble for long. The veterinarian Robert Gippert, who operated on Igor’s hip said, "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. Just like in humans, the worn out joint of Igor the tiger will heal due to the regenerative and self-healing effects of stem cells, without the use of external materials."
Take a look at the video which shows Igor, the tiger at the time of surgery:
During the operation, the tiger was sedated and it laid peacefully on the operating table. The complete recovery will take about two to three weeks. Once Igor wakes up and walks, only then the vets will be able to judge his improvement and the success of the surgery. But the surgeons believe that the treatment will definitely improve the quality of life for the tiger, which had been in pain for a long time.