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.
The majority of custom canine braces are made using materials supplied by the brace maker and are based on leg models that were cast in a veterinary office or at the client’s house. The resulting cast and supporting measures are provided so that the brace can be custom-made to suit. Sometimes casting needs to be redone because the cast was improperly created or was damaged during shipping. The appointment raises the price of the brace if done in a veterinary hospital.
The 11-year-old, 77-pound Golden Retriever named Pasha, who inspired the creation of the Posh Dog Knee Brace, had a left hind limb injury. When Pasha’s veterinarian discovered a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament and torn meniscus, he advised emergency surgery, stating that delaying treatment would result in a similar injury to Pasha’s right leg, severe arthritis, and a lifetime of inactivity for the dog.
Although Florida residents Jim Morison and Beth Scanlon, Pasha’s owners, could afford the $5,000 procedure, they were concerned due to Pasha’s age and past health issues, which included a history of anesthesia-related complications. Pasha’s rehabilitation started when they decided against scheduling surgery and purchased a personalized canine knee brace.
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