Casting For a Device
Why do I need an impression kit?
Your dog’s leg brace or prosthetic device is made from a fiberglass impression. Once we receive a fiberglass impression, we are able to make an exact replica (model) of your pet’s leg. Your pet’s custom leg brace is created over this replica and the measurements you provide ensure precision and accuracy to the model size and shape.
How much is a fiberglass impression kit (casting kit)?
The impression (casting) kit is $60-65, plus shipping. Please note that the fiberglass kit is non-refundable after shipment.
What comes inside the OrthoPets impression kit?
OrthoPets impression kit contains:
- 2 rolls of fiberglass (non-flexible) tape, bandage scissors, hook cutting blade, yellow cut strip, tape measure, sharpie marker and medical gloves
- All documents required to submit your case
- 1 small bowl filled with cool water to submerse the fiberglass casting tape
- 1 roll of tape (bandage or electrical)
- 1 roll of “GLAD Press N Seal” plastic wrap (saran wrap with a tacky backing)
Not included but is required:
The fiberglass impression was not a good representation of my pet’s leg; what happens now?
Your Case Manager may request that a new fiberglass impression be made in order to fabricate the most appropriately fitting brace with the least amount of required adjustments. The fiberglass impression is the key component in fabricated an appropriate dog brace or prosthetic.
Your Case Manager is available to speak with your local veterinarian about the specific techniques over the phone or via a scheduled video chat appointment. Written instructions as well as instructional videos are available on our website under “More Information” -> “Forms.”
Can I create the fiberglass impression myself?
It is required that your veterinarian or CCRT/CCRP perform the fiberglass impression and measurements to ensure that all required anatomical landmarks are included and accuracy of your pet’s leg and measurements.
OrthoPets Devices Info
Do you offer a payment plan?
Unfortunately, since all braces and prosthetics are custom fabricated, we are unable to start the fabrication process of a device until full payment is received.
How are OrthoPets devices manufactured?
- Upon receiving a fiberglass impression (cast) of your pet’s limb, your Case Manager will review the impression, measurements and medical information to assess how we can best assist your pet. The impression and measurements are then transferred to the fabrication team to start the process.
- First, the fiberglass impression is scanned to create a 3-D model replica of your dog’s leg. Our technicians digitally sculpt the 3-D model with unmatched accuracy to create the shape and contour of the device. The fit of the devices is based upon the quality of the provided fiberglass impression as it is the representation of the limb.
- The 3-D model is moved to the vacuum station to be drape formed with (polypropylene) plastic which is heated in an industrial convention oven.
- Prosthetic devices include a pre-liner manufacturing process, extension placement and aligning process and socket padding before the socket can be vacuum formed.
- The vacuum formed model is then carefully cut out, rough ground, beveled and finish polished. After the finished grind and polish, the shell is assembled by adding straps, buckles hinges, padding and case specific components.
What kind of materials do you use?
- OrthoPets utilizes the same variety of materials that are used in the human field of orthotics and prosthetics.
- Our devices are made from vacuum formed polypropylene plastic with color transfer options available upon request.
- Several different foam types and thicknesses are used for padding. Our foam is selected for its durability and closed-cell waterproof properties, in addition to offering softer foam for pets with sensitive skin. Our foam also includes color-changing properties that allows us to assess the fit of the device for increased pressure and/or friction. A variety of mechanical hinges are used for normal joint range of motion while controlling/preventing abnormal joint motion from occurring. For large breeds or pets that weigh over 100 pounds or are capable of extreme forces, specialized metal and composite mechanical hinges are available and sometimes required.
- Hardware includes chafes (buckles) and straps made of reinforced industrial Velcro that is attached to the device via stainless steel screws and lock washers (for ease of owner replacement).
- If your pet’s dog brace includes a paw segment or walking surface, BMX bicycle tire tread is secured.
- “Hoppy Vests” are manufactured with a flexible shock absorbing runners and/or wheels which improve mobility and restore proper alignment to the spine, hips and neck.
- “Hobble Vests” consist of a combination of neoprene fabric and Velcro sewn into a vest system that creates stability and comfort for complex shoulder injuries.
Are your devices refundable?
OrthoPets devices are non-refundable as they are prescription based and custom fabricated.
What colors are your devices available in?
Our plastic is available in black, natural (cloudy white). We also offer transfer colors and patterns for an additional fee which are added to the surface of the natural plastic. Please ask your OrthoPets Case Manager for available options.
I do not see the solution I am looking for on your website. Can you still create something for me?
The devices on our website are to provide you examples of common dog braces fabricated by OrthoPets. We consider every case to be unique and will fabricate a device that will be functional and comfortable for your pet. Please contact OrthoPets to discuss unique options available.
What is the difference between an “off the shelf” splint and a custom dog brace?
An “off the shelf” device is not made to fit an individual patient and their individual needs. They are made in bulk to “fit” patients grouped together into categories by size, not individual shape and contour. OrthoPets believes each individual patient requires a custom made brace to appropriately address their instability and/or injury. Even though the basic anatomy and injury may be the same, a device will fit very differently on a 50-pound Bulldog versus a 50-pound Golden Retriever. As such, custom fabrication allows us to create an ideal fit for each patient and can therefore address their injury more appropriately.
Will my pet chew the device off?
Very rarely do we see our patients chew their device. When a patient chews their device, it is usually an indication that a modification or adjustment to improve the fit and/or function is required. Please contact your OrthoPets Case Manager immediately if your pet is chewing on the device.
What is an orthotic (leg brace)?
An orthosis is a device used to support or “brace” an existing limb. An orthotic device can be easily put on (donned) or taken off (doffed) with a Velcro system.
An orthosis can replicate the immobilization of a traditional cast or create dynamic range of motion featuring control, resistance, enhancement, protection and guidance over and affected joint.
What is a prosthetic (replacing of the limb)?
A prosthesis is a device used to “replace” a missing limb segment due to elective subtotal amputation, trauma or congenital deformity.
What if my pet is missing an entire limb?
In order to attach a functional forelimb prosthesis, 40% of the radius and ulna (forearm) needs to be intact. In order to attach a functional hind limb prosthesis, ideally the entire tibia and fibula (shin bones) would be intact. However, advanced prosthetic solutions are available for partial tibia/fibula amputations. OrthoPets is available to examine each case to establish if a dog prosthetic is a viable option. OrthoPets strives to advance prosthetic technology in order to help as many pets as possible. If your pet does not have a remaining limb segment, we can discuss with you and your veterinarian the option of bracing the contralateral (opposite) limb to provide aid in mobility and reduce the adverse compensatory effects.
What shipping courier do you use?
All OrthoPets products are shipped via FedEx. We offer ground, second day and overnight options. Saturday delivery options are also available. Please contact your OrthoPets Case Manager regarding pricing. You are able to ship to OrthoPets via your choice of courier. However, we do recommend obtaining tracking information and insuring your package.
As OrthoPets receives many packages daily, we ask that you include the following information in your package:
Your first & last name
Your pet’s name
How should I package my impression or device to ensure that it will not get damaged?
We suggest that you wrap the fiberglass impression or device in bubble wrap, paper packaging or similar packing materials.
We ask that peanuts not be used as they are not recyclable.
Fitting of the Device
How will I know how to put my dog’s brace on?
Your Case Manager will provide you and your veterinarian with detailed written instructions as well as pictures and videos to guide you as to how to properly fit your pet’s device(s). Your Case Manager is available to speak with you on the phone or a scheduled video chat to better assist you through the fitting process. Each Case Manager has extensive training in the fit and function of dog braces and prosthetics.
Your pet’s device will also be shipped with additional information such as wearing schedules, care of device, etc. Your veterinarian may modify or change your wearing schedule to best fit their treatment plan.
How do I know if my dog’s brace is fitting correctly?
Once you have received your new device, we request that you or your veterinarian send us pictures and videos of your pet in the device. Your Case Manager will assess the fit and function of the device. Your Case Manager will be in contact with you and your veterinarian regarding the fit of your pet’s device. Media can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your pet’s name and your last name in the subject line.
Contact your veterinarian you notice any of the following:
- Fur loss
- Redness of skin
- Increased lameness
Follow-up on your pet’s device
How long can my pet wear a V-OP (Veterinary Orthotic & Prosthetic) device?
OrthoPets provides two generic wearing schedule options. However, we recommend that wearing schedules be modified by your veterinarian or rehabilitation therapist to meet your pet’s therapeutic goals.
- Most cases start out with a two-week introductory period. This two-week period will include short wearing sessions daily. These sessions allow you to assess your pet’s skin for any signs of irritation and closely monitor the device’s fit and function. Depending on your veterinarian’s goals for your pet, you may gradually work up to a “full-time” schedule which we consider on in the morning and off at night.
- For many post-operative support cases or a “curative treatment plan,” your veterinarian may recommend a 24-hour wear schedule. This wearing schedule must include 3-5 non-weight bearing air break sessions throughout the day.
Are OrthoPets V-OP devices water-proof?
A large majority of our patients live by oceans, rivers, lakes, ponds, etc. and participate in daily water therapy. Your dog’s device was designed for use in water. Your device is lined with a “closed cell” foam that does not absorb water. The only components that will absorb water are the straps and pads which can be air dried. We do recommend that when your pet is done with their water activities, you remove excess water from their leg with a towel and wring out excess water from straps and pads. The straps and pads will dry overnight while your pet’s brace is off.
Can I order replacement parts for my pet’s brace?
Most removable components such as straps, pads, hardware, tread, etc. can be replaced at home. Please contact your Case Manager and they can go over your pet’s specific device
When should my pet’s device be refurbished?
We recommend that your pet’s brace be refurbished every 12-24 months depending on your pet’s activity and environment. Refurbishments typically cost anywhere between $250-350. This includes the device being stripped down to the shell, cleaned and all soft goods such as foam liners, tread, straps, pads, etc. being replaced. Essentially, your device will come back looking brand new! We don’t take this lightly as the foam does conform to your pet’s anatomy and therefore, we do not recommend changing it unless needed. Sometimes, only some parts need to replaced. Please call your Case Manager to discuss what your pet’s device needs.
What if my pet’s brace needs to be adjusted?
Your Case Manager will be in communication with you and your veterinarian to discuss adjustments. Media such as pictures and videos will be required to assess the fit and function of the device. Once your Case Manager and veterinarian have decided on a plan, they will let you know it is ok to send the device in. Adjustments typically take 1-3 business day. Please do not send your pet’s device in without speaking to your Case Manager first.
V-OP Rehabilitation and Veterinarian Info
Does my pet need rehab with a V-OP solution?
For maximum results with our custom orthotic/prosthetic solutions, we recommend a rehabilitation program appropriate for your pet and their specific injury or instability. A detailed rehabilitation treatment plan can be advised by a professional of your choice. We suggest finding a CCRT (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist) in your area.
I am a veterinarian and want to learn more about V-OP solutions and how to offer them to my patients.
If you are a CCRT, CCRP or CCRA you can sign up for a V-OP course through CRI (Canine Rehabilitation Institute). Here is their direct link:
We also have many veterinarians worldwide that spend time with us on-site to learn about what we do and what we can offer. Please feel free to contact OrthoPets for more information. If you are ever in the Denver area, we would be happy to facilitate a tour!
Does OrthoPets attend veterinary conferences throughout the year?
OrthoPets does attend many veterinary conferences in the United States. Please look for us at the following:
NAVC in Florida in January
Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas in February
VOS Conference in March (location changes yearly)
ACVS Conference in November (location changes yearly)
International Rehabilitation Symposium (every other year; location changes)
OrthoPets Distributors in Europe, Australia, South America and New Zealand attend conferences in their own territories as well. Please look at their specific websites for more details.