By Britt Moreno

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4)– Some dog owners say their dogs are getting a new lease on life thanks to a medical breakthrough that is happening in Westminster.

CBS4’s Britt Moreno went looking for results after hearing about this miracle drug.

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Veterinarians are injecting a new gene therapy into dogs with severe cases of osteoarthritis. Scientists developed the gene therapy in Boulder.

Six-year-old Knob is a Tibetan Mastiff who has had arthritis pain since he was a puppy. He has had multiple surgeries and has been on medication his entire life but his pain forced him into a sedentary lifestyle. He mostly lied around and could not be a regular, happy dog.

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Knob was never able to walk comfortably, he could not climb stairs and he never wanted to play until he got one shot of this new gene therapy. Now he can trot, he can play and keep up with his brother Toad in walks.

His owner Craig says, “It is the best he’s ever felt.”

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University of Colorado Boulder Neuroscience professor Dr. Linda Watkins says the results are 25 years in the making. She says scientists have learned how to replicate the Interleukin X gene, which can be found in all living species. She says that gene wards of inflammation and in turn alleviates arthritis pain.

CBS4’s Britt Moreno interviews Dr. Linda Watkins (credit: CBS)

Sometimes animals do not produce enough of that gene. Watkins’ gene therapy, which is given to dogs in an injection, apparently helps the body naturally create Interleukin X which eliminates pain for dogs.

The therapy is so successful the FDA just approved the treatment to be used by humans. People are getting the shots in Northern California and Australia. If it works, Watkins says that could mean the end of knee and hip replacements in the future.

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One injection of this shot lasts 1½ years or more in dogs. This treatment on the dogs is part of a study happening at Colorado Animal Pain Center in Westminster. Veterinarians are now accepting more dogs into this therapy program and if your dog is accepted, the treatment is completely free!

For more information email: or call the Colorado Center for Animal Pain Management & Rehabilitation office number:  720-502-5823.

Britt Moreno anchors the CBS4 morning and noon newscasts and is the Wednesday’s Child reporter. She loves hearing from viewers. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @brittmorenotv.


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