A limping dog is a sight no pet parent wants to see. Besides the anguish of witnessing your dog in pain, a trip to the vet will make your wallet tremble. On top of that, it seems like some vets recommend the most stressful and expensive option: surgery. Fortunately, noninvasive treatments are available to treat your dog's injuries, allowing them to heal naturally and, most importantly, comfortably.
Some dogs need orthopedic support, and you may have seen one or two that were fitted with a brace. It's undeniable that dogs wearing orthopedic braces look cute, but do they actually work? Are dog knee braces effective? Well, let’s start from the top.
What Are Dog Knee Braces?
Your dog's ability to walk, run, jump, and play all depend on the health of its knees, one of the body's most complex joints. One of the most common causes of vet visits for our canine companions is a minor injury such as a sprain or tear.
Dog braces, like human orthopedic braces, are used to align the body, correct the position of injured or weakened limbs, provide support, stabilize the limbs, and prevent further injury while the dog heals. The patient is usually advised to use these devices throughout the healing and rehabilitation process.
Are Dog Knee Braces Effective?
Let's say your dog has a hind leg problem, which manifests as a limp, an awkward gait, or the holding up of that leg while running or walking. You may have taken your dog to the vet and discovered that its cranial cruciate ligament, or CCL, had been injured. This is the most common injury for dogs.
In the past, the pet owner was required to have surgery on the dog's CCL to fix the problem. Without the operation, the leg would be unstable, leading to pain, osteoarthritis, dysfunction, and muscular atrophy. Furthermore, as the dog compensates by putting more weight on one leg, the other leg is at a higher risk of injury to the CCL.
But nowadays, you can get orthopedic braces for your dog. Many orthopedic issues in dogs can be effectively treated with these devices and physical therapy without resorting to surgery.
How Do Dog Knee Braces Work?
How do leg braces for dogs work? A dog orthopedic brace works like a human brace:
- Having a brace can help with gait and joint position awareness.
- It promotes healing by allowing the injured leg to relax.
- An injured leg will feel less tired and more comfortable after being fitted with a brace.
- It provides mechanical cushioning against falls.
- The reduced speed with which the leg moves allow the muscles to rest and recover.
Reasons Your Dog Might Need a Knee Brace
Similar to humans, many signs and symptoms may indicate more than one injury. Schedule a visit to the vet if your dog exhibits symptoms like lameness, limping, swelling, or any abnormal behavior. Be sure to ask your veterinarian if a brace would be beneficial.
When a dog suffers an ACL injury, they are at a higher risk of injuring its other ACL, and it may develop arthritis in its injured knee very quickly. Stabilizing the stifle joint and providing the dog with adequate leg support allows it to begin weight bearing sooner after a knee injury.
Get a Tailored Knee Brace for Your Dog
At Bionic Pets, we stock a selection of veterinary-approved, handmade dog braces. We designed our braces to provide compression and support for the dog's muscles and joints. Our company's mission is to improve the lives of animals through the research, development, and distribution of innovative medical products.
Derrick Campana, the company's leader, got his start in the industry by designing prosthetics for people, and now he's doing the same for pets at Bionic Pets LLC. Derrick has been at the forefront of veterinary orthotics and prosthetics for the past two decades. By developing human-based solutions to mobility issues in animals, he paved the way for them to receive the same standard of care as human patients.