OrthoPets Blog

Annie and Her OrthoPets Below Carpus Prosthetic Device (Below Wrist Prosthetic Device)

Annie is a one and a half year old Golden Retriever who was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her left carpus (wrist) resulting in a left forelimb amputation.

Annie’s owners scheduled a consult with an OrthoPets partner when Annie was still a puppy, around seven months of age. OrthoPets recommends waiting on fabrication of a prosthetic device until patients have reached skeletal maturity since it can be cost prohibitive to have to remake the device as a patient grows. However, Annie’s DVM was worried that her muscles and bones were not going to develop properly on the affected side if she could not place weight on and use the leg in some way while developing.

OrthoPets fabricated a standard below carpus (below wrist) prosthetic with a humeral cuff to help keep the device from twisting on Annie’s limb. Annie took to her new device really well and was able to stay in rehab to learn how to function with her prosthetic.

It has been about one year since Annie got her first device, she is now fully grown, and it is time to fabricate a new prosthetic using a new impression that represents her current anatomy. Annie’s DVM provided OrthoPets with new media and radiographs so we could fabricate a new below carpus prosthetic device with a humeral cuff. The new prosthetic device will be appropriate for Annie’s skeletally mature residual limb and OrthoPets hopes that the prosthesis will continue to provide functional support to Annie so she can resume her normal happy life!

Top Left – Annie’s first device. Bottom Right – Annie’s second device.

Sage and Her OrthoPets Carpus Device (Dog Wrist Brace)

Sage is a 7 year old, small mixed breed rescue dog who has congenital angular limb deformities of both front legs. Corrective surgery was performed several years ago, but the right front leg in particular continued to show changes and increased instability and discomfort as Sage got older. As a result, her veterinary team and owner chose to pursue a custom supportive orthosis for her with the goal of increasing her comfort and preventing further angular limb changes. Her device is a full non-articulating cranial shell style carpal orthosis (dog wrist brace) to best support her unusual bony limb anatomy as she goes about her normal daily doggie activities with more comfort and mobility!

Looking great, Sage! 

Buckwheat and His OrthoPets Stifle Brace (Dog Knee Brace)

Buckwheat is a 65lb, 11-year-old, Border Collie mix from Oregon. Buckwheat has a chronic CCL (ACL) injury to his right stifle (knee). He has had a TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement) performed in April 2019 where he had a very slow and challenging recovery with rapid progression of osteoarthritis noted on post operational radiographs. He has been consistently clinical for his right CCL injury over the last 1-2 months. He currently does not have any meniscal damage.

Due to Buckwheat’s age and experience with prior surgery, his owner decided to pursue medical management with an orthosis.

Buckwheat received an OrthoPets standard stifle device with a tarsal cuff (knee brace with ankle cuff) to aid in suspension. His Veterinarian’s goal for this device is to provide stability and support to his right stifle during rehabilitation and light to moderate activities at home.

Buckwheat was fitted for his OrthoPets stifle device on April 8, 2020 and has been going great and is very stylish in his leopard print stifle device!

Luigi and His Left Carpus (Dog Wrist) and Right Elbow OrthoPets Devices

At 10 years old, Luigi is a handsome senior dachshund! He suffers from immune-mediated polyarthritis (a condition that causes the immune system to mount an inflammatory response within the joints) and all of the associated joint problems that come with that condition. His veterinarian initially prescribed a carpus/paw orthosis (wrist/paw device) to support his left carpal hyperextension way back in 2018. The hyperextension was severe enough that he would sometimes even fall over to the left when his leg couldn’t support him anymore. His carpal orthosis needed some adjustments and quality rehabilitation with a specialist for Luigi to regain maximum function, but he was soon able to get back to his normal life and mobility.

He stayed stable and enjoyed being able to go for walks with his family again, until in late 2019, he luxated his left elbow joint, again due to his IMPA (immune-mediated polyarthritis). Dachshunds are normally very challenging elbow orthosis patients due to their characteristic deep chests and short humeri, which means we typically do not have enough axillary (armpit) access for a functional elbow orthosis. Luigi happens to have just enough space for us to squeeze in a shell that would control his elbow luxation. We also added a metacarpal shell to help keep the device in place on his leg. He’s a little lopsided with his asymmetrical devices, but he still loves to cruise around on walks with his family! 

Lucy and Her OrthoPets Tarsus Device (Dog Ankle Brace)

Lucy is a 2 year old Korean Jindo mix rescue dog who works with our fabulous Bay Area Partner Clinic, Dr. Strubel at A Well Adjusted Pet. Lucy injured her right tarsus (ankle) initially while playing hard in March 2019 and following that she went through a chronic cycle of tarsal instability, pain, and swelling that resurfaced acutely whenever Lucy played too hard, which she loves to do! To support Lucy and the goal of letting her play safely off-leash again, OrthoPets created an articulated cranial style tarsal device with paw segment (dog ankle brace). The device features high resistance hinges at the tarsus that can be swapped out for lower resistance hinges, as well as motion limiting straps to offer different degrees of stability for Lucy at the tarsus. This will allow Dr. Strubel to use different configurations to find what is most functional in supporting Lucy in her daily activities as well as high impact play.

We know she will love getting back to playing again!

Isn’t Lucy’s PINK OrthoPets Tarsus Device (Dog Ankle Brace) Adorable?!

Roo and Her OrthoPets Front Limb Prosthetic

Roo is a 3 year old FS Husky/Canaan dog mix who was rescued from Iran in November 2018. She was born with bilateral forelimb Amelia (birth defect), with her left forelimb being more deformed and restricted elbow extension. Her right forelimb had normal elbow range of motion, as well as a more distal level of amputation.

Dr. Calverley of OrthoPets Vancouver saw Roo in March of 2019 for a consultation for prosthetic candidacy. After consulting with OrthoPets, it was determined that the best plan of action would be test casts on the right forelimb. This would help the team determine what length Roo ambulates best in and the appropriate alignment needed for functionality. After reviewing the media of the Roo in the test casts, the team determined the best plan would be to start with the more normal and functional right forelimb and would build the prosthetic shorter to accommodate her unique posture. The length could be changed in the future if needed.

Roo got her name because she got around much like a kangaroo! After she adjusted to her new device, she could walk and run much like a normal dog her normalized posture will be very beneficial over time. Everyone was impressed and surprised how quickly she took to her prosthetic. She has quite the social media following and it’s amazing to see her on all of her adventures with her other canine friends. Her dedicated owner is also an amputee herself and they are quite the team.

Benny and His OrthoPets Carpus Device (Dog Wrist Brace)

Benny’s first device

Benny is a two year old Great Dane with a congenital angular limb deformity of his right front leg due to early growth plate closure. He works with our wonderful Southern California Partner Clinic, Dr. Goulard at Paws on the Go. Benny’s deformity resulted in many complications for him including muscle atrophy, tendon and ligament contracture, and resulting limb length discrepancy, that were already affecting him even as a young dog.

He was initially considered as a possible partial amputation and a custom prosthetic, but due to his unusual bony anatomy his team, in consultation with OrthoPets, instead opted to begin in June 2019 with an unusual “hybrid” carpus and paw orthosis that featured a prosthetic style extension to add length to make up for the missing height from his contracture.

Benny loved his first device so much that he very quickly refused to walk without it on! The first device was so successful in helping Benny to weightbear and develop more muscle and function in the affected limb that he progressed by January 2020 to a more typical carpal device with no need for the height extension. We can’t wait to see what Benny’s next steps will be! 

Benny’s second device

Wesley and his OrthoPets Bilateral Stifle Braces (Dog knee braces)

Wesley is a 9-year-old, neutered male, Old English Bulldog. He was diagnosed with a
cranial cruciate ligament tear (ACL/CCL) in his right stifle (knee) in April of 2019 and a cranial cruciate ligament
tear in his left stifle in September of 2019.

OrthoPets fabricated bilateral stifle devices (dog knee braces) with tarsal cuffs (ankle cuffs) which aid in suspension and keep the stifle device in place. The goal of the stifle device is to stabilize the stifle joint and prevent
tibial thrust.

Wesley’s Veterinarian’s goal for this device is to stabilize the stifles and to slow DJD (degenerative joint disease).
Wesley received his right stifle device in June 2019 and his left device in November 2019.
Wesley has done amazing with both devices and continues to improve.

Don’t those OrthoPets bilateral stifle braces (dog knee braces) look awesome!?

Oakley and her OrthoPets Tarsus Devices (Dog ankle braces)

Oakley is a 5 ½  year-old, spayed female, Labrador Retriever that was diagnosed with bilateral gastrocnemius tears (Type 2c). She loves to go on walks and play ball and she is also a hunting dog. Her owners reported that she came up acutely lame in the left pelvic limb in December of 2018 after a day of hunting. Oakley improved with exercise restrictions and NSAIDs but injured her right Achilles three or four months later.

Oakley was nearly plantigrade in both hind legs and her SDF and DDF tendons were still intact so she had severe digital contraction as well. Oakley’s veterinarian prescribed bilateral OrthoPets custom tarsal orthotic devices (dog ankle braces) in August 2019 to support Oakley’s tendons and help her to return to normal function.

OrthoPets fabricated caudal-style tarsal devices (dog ankle braces) with articulation at the tarsus (ankle) and paw for each of Oakley’s pelvic limbs so her veterinarian could slowly reload her Achilles complex. Oakley recently completed the two-week paw segment removal trial for possible transition to a sports brace and she was able to achieve healing of her right Achilles! Her left tendon showed a drop after the trial, so her veterinarian reattached the paw segment to provide more stability to the tarsus (ankle).

The Sports Brace modification to Oakley’s right device will provide support to her healed tendon and help prevent the reoccurrence of rupture. If Oakley is not able to achieve full range of motion at her left tarsus (ankle), OrthoPets can convert her device into something more appropriate for long-term support. It has been a privilege for OrthoPets to help Oakley make this transition and another privilege to continue to be a part of supporting her quality of life!

Oakley is moving so well now with her bilateral OrthoPets Tarsus devices (Dog ankle braces)

Ace and his OrthoPets Stifle Brace (Dog Knee Brace)

Ace is a 7-year-old, male, German Shepherd. He initially presented to his Veterinarian in 2018 with waxing and waning signs of lameness. The issue progressed between August and October 2019 to toe-touching lameness. rDVM was able to initiate a minor cranial drawer when Ace was sedated for radiographs. Ace was then diagnosed with a ruptured left cranial cruciate ligament (ACL/CCL.)

OrthoPets fabricated a standard stifle device (dog knee brace) which is designed to stabilize the stifle joint and prevent tibial thrust.

Ace’s veterinarian’s goal is for him to be able to bear weight on affected limb and restore lost muscle mass.

Ace’s device has been adjusted for a sore that formed around the tarsal (ankle) area. We created a channel in the foam of the device to allow for the sores to heal and the device to not rub on those areas. Ace has been doing great since the adjustment and is enjoying life in New York!

Ace getting back to regular activities.