Posh Dog Knee Brace
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How to train our dog to like the brace

Today let’s talk about how to get your dog to use or walk with the brace.  First, I want you to use just the hock wrap, to let your pup get used to having something on his ankle.  Do this for 30 minutes on and off the first couple of days.

Next, I like to freeze peanut butter in a dish, and distract my dog while fitting the brace on. 

**Important** Once you have a brace on, go directly outside and walk.  Then, remove the brace when you come in.  Distraction and treats work great while getting your dog used to wearing the brace.

Soon, your dog will link the brace to getting to go out for a W-A-L-K, something really fun.

Then, you can increase the wearing times as stated on our physical therapy handouts.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Nikki, Posh Lead Veterinary Technician


Activity Level With a CCL Tear

Today I would like to talk about recommended activity levels with a brace or CCL tear.  It is still important to remember that this is not a race.  Recovery from a CCL takes time, which is why we use a gradual increase in activities.

Initially, we start with walks and light physical therapy and massage.  Gradually, we can increase activities, such as adding hills or inclines to the walk, sit stands, more muscle building activities.

It is not recommended to let your dog run off leash while in recovery.  This can lead to injury of the other leg potentially.  Braced walks are meant to be nice and slow, not a jog.  The goal is to have your dog placing full weight down on his leg.  If you walk or run too fast, they will skip and not place full weight on the leg.

We will get to a point where your pup can play off leash, but ask first, and take things slow.  Feel free to email or send in a contact request with any questions, we are happy to help!

Give Your Dog a Big Hug From Us!

Nikki, Posh Lead Veterinary Technician


Bilaterals

Today I would like to discuss bilateral injuries with you.  First off, once a patient has a CCL injury, there is a 50% chance or greater of the second knee having a tear. 

This goes up with surgery, due to the overcompensating and atrophy that develops with post-op patients, and can decrease with bracing.

Lots of things can factor in as to why a patient is now bilateral.  Genetics may predispose our pups, such as bully breeds, as well as early spay/neuter, diet, etc.

Just because a patient is bilateral, does not mean you must do surgery, or euthanize!  We can help bilateral patients recover using a posh dog knee brace, and they do just as well as having a single brace.

So, weather your dog had surgery, and now the second knee has gone out, or both were close together, a knee brace would still be the best and most conservative option.  Please let me know if you have any questions, and give your dog a Big Hug for us!

Nikki, Posh Lead Veterinary Technician


What to bring with you to your vet appointment— How to avoid a misdiagnosis

Hey guys, today let’s talk about what to bring to your vet visit, whether it is the first time bringing your dog in for an injury, or for a second opinion.  I suggest that you first think back to when the injury happened.  Write down notes about the injury, things that can help your veterinarian correctly diagnose the injury.  I don’t know how many times, myself or one of my technicians, has had a patient come to us that purchased a knee brace, and after a few questions we find it is not the dog’s knee that was the issue.

So, it is very important to tell your vet the details.  Did your dog slip on the floor?  Did they do the splits when they fell?  If they slipped on ice, again, did they possibly fall with both back legs or one bent behind them?  These are very important to tell your vet, so that he or she can correctly assess the injury.  Here is a scenario that we just had occur.  The patient had actually slipped, and done the splits.  The dog began holding up a hind leg, and would not weight bear.  Owner took the dog to the vet, did x-rays, and could not see anything wrong on x-rays.  They thought there may have been a positive drawer test (see that blog if you are unsure what a drawer test is), and diagnosed the dog with a CCL/ACL tear.  The owner did not know to tell their vet that the dog had in fact done the splits, which actually had caused a groin sprain and made the hip sore.  Note:  This can happen, and will show the same signs as a dog that has a CCL tear. 

We recommended they go back to the vet immediately, once we realized what happened, and they were correctly diagnosed with a groin sprain, and the patient recovered after several week of rest.  Had we braced this patient, the brace would have put pressure on the groin area, causing further distress.

It is also important to note if your dog is using the ankle properly.  Ankle injuries and knee injuries can also look the same to an owner.  Does your dog normally walk low on the hocks?  Does he occasionally knuckle, or drag their toes on the floor?  These can indicate neurological issues, and should be told to your Veterinarian, as you may need a hock brace, as well as a knee brace, or just an ankle brace depending on the injury. 

With Covid changing how many clinics do exams, resulting in patients being taken into the clinic without their owners, it is even more important to take notes, and give those to your veterinarian.  Most dogs, when in clinic, mask pain and do not show the vet the same signs as at home with owners.  Just like my car is perfect for the mechanic, but with me acts up😊

So, note taking is important, and it is all in the small details.  Please help your veterinarian out, as it has been a difficult time for all of us, and having all of the information will make things much smoother for you and your fur baby.  And as always, feel free to check out our site, poshdogkneebrace.com, or send me an email at poshintake1@gmail.com


Signs that your dog has a CCL tear

Today I want to discuss signs that your dog has a CCL tear, and if he or she needs a brace.  First, obviously your poor dog is exhibiting signs of hind limb lameness.  Now this can happen two ways.  First, you hear a yelp, or see the injury, and have sudden onset lameness.  This is about 50% of dogs, and is called an acute injury.  Your pup will not use his or her leg, and is toe touching.

Second, you notice your dog limping on the hind leg after exercise, and after rest seems better.  This goes on for a few weeks until you have a veterinarian diagnose the injury as a CCL full or partial tear.  Some of these patients go a year or longer before getting to full limping.  This is a chronic case, and usually degenerative.

We can help with either situation, as even a partial tear will keep re-injuring over and over until externally supported with a brace.

After a while you may notice a medial buttress, or a hard bump on the inside of the knee.  This is a sign of cruciate injury as well.

No matter how long you wait, it is never going to be too late to brace your dog, as bracing will help stop the offloading that is happening, and we can start working on that thigh muscle to reverse the atrophy.  Let us know if you have any further questions about this topic, and always feel free to send me a contact request, I am happy to chat with you and answer some of your questions!

Nikki, Posh Lead Veterinary Technician


Posh Dog Knee Brace Provides Non-Surgical Recovery From Dog Knee Ligament Injuries

Did you know a Posh Dog Knee Brace can help your Dog recover from a torn knee ligament, CCL injury, or ACL injury – without surgery? Many Dogs are not good candidates for knee ligament surgery due to age, medical issues, and high surgical costs.

To read full article click here: https://www.fidofriendly.com/blog/posh-dog-knee-brace-provides-non-surgical-recovery-from-dog-knee-ligament-i


Canine Knee Injury? Brace Yourself

Custom-made braces can help your dog after knee surgery – and can sometimes be used in place of surgery.

Ten years have passed since WDJ explored “conservative management” – the nonsurgical treatment – of knee ligament injuries (see “Saying ‘No’ to Surgery,” February 2010). Since then, although surgery remains by far the most widely used knee injury treatment, consumer demand for complementary therapies, including the use of custom-designed knee braces, has grown. 

Read full article visit: https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/health/canine-knee-injury-brace-yourself/


Posh Dog Knee Brace Winter Performance Review

In February, we got a lot of snow and cold weather. Which is a perfect scenario to see how well the brace performs under such conditions. The Posh Dog Knee Brace is not a cast. So there are many open spaces. And that made me wonder how well the brace would perform in a Canadian winter with deep snow and cold temperatures. To read more: Please visit: https://www.myboxergirl.com/health/posh-dog-knee-brace-winter-performance-review/


What is a drawer test or Tibial Thrust?

First off, I want to do a bit of anatomy explaining.  Dog’s, unlike people, walk on their toes.  Cool, right?  So coming up from the ground, you can follow their toes to their ankle, which includes the hock bone in the back of the bend.  This is their “heel” bone.  The next bone, in front of the ankle, and up to the knee, is the Tibia and fibula.  The tibia, just like in people, is what makes up the front of our knee.  There is a prominent bump in dogs, directly underneath the kneecap, that is called the Tibial Tuberosity. 

In the videos attached, you will see the kneecap is a small round bone, making up the top of the dog’s knee, then the bottom bone is the tibia.  The cruciate ligaments, or CCL in dogs/ACL in humans, are located between the tibia and femur bones, directly in the back of the knee.  When a CCL is in tact, there should be no movement, or positive drawer sign, in the dog’s knee.  See video one, where there is no movement when palpated/moved.

In the next video, you can see what happens when there is no longer a ligament holding the bones together in the back of the knee.  Now, the tibia bone is able to shift forward, or tibial thrust.  This is a positive drawer sign, as there is a forward movement now where the tibia is shifting forward.  This is obviously bad.

With the Posh Dog Knee Brace, we can correct a dog knee injury (or tibial thrust) by exerting pressure on the tibial tuberosity (top of the tibia bone) to prevent this tibial thrust.  If you choose to do nothing, over time this movement of the bones will potentially cause the meniscus to tear/rupture, and start to form arthritis.  It is important to immobilize this joint, to prevent these issues from occurring.  Not to mention, that movement is very painful.

After 9-12 months of using a Posh Brace, this movement should be back to the first image, as fibrous tissue has formed and will re-stabilize the joint.  Again, check out our website, poshdogkneebrace.com, or feel free to email me any questions to:  poshintake1@gmail.com.


Dog Meniscus Injuries, and how they can heal with a Posh Dog Knee Brace

Today we want to talk and educate you on Meniscus tears, and what they mean for your dog.  Say you just got back from a visit to your vet, to find out your dog has a CCL tear with a Meniscus tear as well.  Now what?  Your vet I am sure has gone over all of the surgical implications for this problem I am sure, but have they explained what the meniscus is?  How important it is to have in our knee, or what the function is?  No, most likely they have quoted you for removing the meniscus, and the CCL repair only.   Now I do know many Veterinarians that will try conservative management first, and a very huge thank you to those vets!

Well, you are in the right place.  Our goal at Posh is to give you, as the dog mom and dad, options.  Yes, you heard me, there are options with a Meniscus tear, not just surgery.  Think of yourself for a minute.  If you go into any orthopedic Doctors office, would they simply take an xray and schedule you for immediate removal of your meniscus?  Absolutely not.  There would be follow up appointments, probably an MRI to confirm, and then they would go over the options.  Yes, there is that word again.  Options.

What is the meniscus?  Well, There are actually 2 menisci in each knee.  The Menisci is a C shaped component made up of cartilage, and composed of collagen and joint fluid.  70% of the menisci is made of fluid that will compress with normal movement and release synovial fluid into the joint so that the knee can easily move.  They act as our shock-absorbers and buffers, like in a car or truck.

With a CCL tear, it is very common to have a meniscal tear.  There are several grades of tears, from a small tear, toa complete folding over of the meniscus.  In most cases, the patient will have a minor tear. With this you may hear a pop or clicking sound.  These tears are minor, and do well with bracing and Physical Therapy and Adequan Injections.

You can see now how it is very important not to completely remove the meniscus, as some vets may suggest prematurely.  Now if the meniscus is folded over, usually you will see the knee sticking and unable to bend correctly.  This is  a surgical issue, and will need corrected.

Removing the meniscus almost always leads to arthritis and chronic lameness, as you just took out the joint’s buffer.  Only if the meniscus has folded over, and I have seen this only twice in over 4,000 patients, will you need to consider removal. 

It will take several months to heal, but healing is possible!  Usually bracing for 12 months during activities, along with supplements and a good diet are enough to let the meniscus recover.  Let us know if you have any questions, and we are happy to help your dog!

Nikki, Posh Lead Veterinary Technician


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