OrthoPets Blog

OrthoPets and Dassiet Collaboration

Dassiet and OrthoPets collaborate to provide safer and easier orthopedic care for pets.

The teams combine Dassiet’s clinically proven medical and material innovations with OrthoPets strong experience in custom pet orthoses to provide human level care for animals.

The material innovation company Dassiet, and the leading, US based pet orthosis manufacturer OrthoPets have started collaboration to create sustainable, safe and user-friendly pet healthcare products. Both companies want to first tackle the issues surrounding veterinary casting, splints, and bandages, and to provide vets, pets and pet owners safe, carefree and sustainable orthopedic treatment options.

“Treating injuries in pets is hard. Pets cannot tell if their bandages are too tight, or if their skin starts to macerate. Currently, the casting process takes long and has multiple steps, and the available materials expose pets to allergic reactions and other complications. With our materials proven with human patients, and the incredible expertise the OrthoPets team has in animal orthoses we can bring pet trauma care to the modern day”

CEO – Jimmy Takki

“I’ve dedicated my career to making animals’ lives better, and since 2003 OrthoPets team has helped over 30,000 animals with custom made orthoses. Collaborating with Dassiet was an obvious next step for us. With their material innovations we can provide pets with even higher quality treatment they deserve and innovate on a sector of veterinary sciences that lags decades behind the corresponding human medicine.”

OrthoPets Founder – Martin Kaufmann

The new collaborative line of fracture and wound care products, called UPETS, utilizes Dassiet’s remoldable, non-toxic and light weight Woodcast material and a newly patented breathable, self- cohesive fabric that makes old-fashioned bandages obsolete. Combining the two companies’ expertise, UPETS products will not only be a biomechanically superior treatment option, but also fast to apply, made from eco-friendly materials and have extreme focus on patient comfort and safety.

UPETS products are already going through clinical tests and will be launched by the end of 2021.

The two companies are looking to answer the growing demand of quality care for animals, as the number of pets soar with 12.5M new pets adopted last year in US alone. The teams are already conducting first clinical trials on their new products that will change the way orthotics and support is done in veterinary medicine. Early results as well as leading veterinarian and researcher feedback has been extremely positive, and the companies hope to announce some of the new products by the end of this year.

Dassiet is a material innovation company founded in 2008 with the focus on developing functional and sustainable supermaterials across industries, from medical to sports and beyond. Dassiet is best known for their mold-breaking and ecological heat-moldable material Woodcast, that has been in clinical use around the world for a decade. Adding to the success of Woodcast, the Dassiet team is ready to launch the next generation of casting and splinting solutions that will help treat human and animal patients around the world with the greenest, most convenient, and highest-quality materials ever invented.

Read more about Dassiet’s mission, products and team at https://www.dassiet.com/

Veterinarian Jouni Niemi joins Dassiet. More info: https://www.dassiet.com/post/dassiet-appoints-jouni-niemi-as-chief-veterinarian

OrthoPets is the industry leader in Veterinary Orthotics and Prosthetics (VOP). The company was founded in 2003 by Martin Kaufmann, trained in the field of orthotics, prosthetics, and wheelchair seating, who has worked on designing, fabricating and fitting custom orthotic and prosthetic devices for pets for over 20 years. Additionally, Martin lectures at major universities, consults and teaches veterinarians and continues to advance the VOP industry with research and publications. The Colorado based OrthoPets team has treated over 30,000 pets from 35 different countries since its founding.

Read Martin Kaufmann’s interview: https://www.dassiet.com/post/introducing-orthopets-founder-martin-kaufmann

Snowman and His OrthoPets Bilateral Carpus/Hoof (Llama Wrist/Hoof) Prosthetic Devices

Snowman – Before OrthoPets Devices

Snowman is a 10 year old, male castrated llama who is under the care of our partner, Dr. Susan Calverley from OrthoPets Vancouver. He presented to OrthoPets for support of bilateral suspensory desmititis with fetlock hyperextension and left carpal (wrist) valgus and osteoarthritis in October of 2020.

Both carpi (wrists) had a maximum extension range of 1560 degrees The fetlock of the right forelimb had a maximum extension of 130 degrees and the valgus of the left carpus was partially reduced in the fiberglass impression.

OrthoPets created bilateral forelimb carpus/hoof (wrist/hoof) prosthetics with articulation at the carpi. The devices were fabricated in the maximum sagittal plane alignment of the carpi to accommodate the patient and a special spoon splint rocker style modification was used for the hoof segments to allow for easier and smoother gait pattern and comfort.

After some minor adjustments, Snowman took very well to his new devices and we saw significant improvement to the right forelimb use and moderate to the more severe, left forelimb. The almost plantigrade fetlock collapse was resolved and his ability to be the pasture boss resumed!

Fredo and His OrthoPets Carpus Device (Dog Wrist Brace)

Fredo is a 7 year old neutered male cockapoo who presented with a brachial plexus complex injury following a jump out of the car that landed badly. OrthoPets has several different options for patients with this diagnosis and presentation depending on the level of function and therapeutic goals of the veterinary team. 

The best guide for if a brachial plexus or radial nerve patient will be able return to “normal” function function with an orthosis is the presence of triceps function, but even without triceps function, an orthosis can still benefit a patient by protecting the paw and distal limb from repeated trauma from dragging, as well as prevent further contracture of the limb, or, as was the goal in Fredo’s case, to actually decrease the contracture by dynamically forcing extension at the carpus and paw to return to a more normal alignment. 

To accomplish this goal, OrthoPets built an all-caudal shell articulated carpus, articulated paw orthosis for Fredo, which featured extension assist hinges at the carpus and paw, and extension limiting straps to allow his veterinarian to modulate how much extension the hinges force at the carpus and paw as needed. At initial fitting, Fredo did well, but after the initial break-in period, he showed that he struggled to bear weight and needed more static support, so the device was sent back to be locked out with a lightweight aluminum bar at the carpus. 

In the new configuration, Fredo has done well and continues to thrive in his rehabilitation program to keep him active! 

Sadie and Her OrthoPets Stifle Device (Dog Knee Brace)

Sadie is a 10-year-old, 67lb, spayed female mixed breed canine. She was diagnosed with external rotation of the stifle (dog knee) post a TPLO surgery with complications.

Sadie underwent a TPLO on her right hind limb on 10/21/2020. Following this surgery, she developed a surgical site infection and eventually a lateral patella luxation secondary to that. The lateral patella luxation was corrected once the TPLO site was healed. The TPLO implant was removed to further clean the infection. Since her recovery from these three procedures, she developed external rotation of the stifle when walking. She did not have any pain or instabilities and her veterinarian noted that her range of motion was appropriate.

Sadie’s veterinarian’s goal for her stifle device (dog knee brace) was to support her right stifle and attempt to prevent external rotation when walking.

OrthoPets fabricated a standard stifle device with a tarsal cuff to aid in suspension. This device was also modified with an overcorrection at the tibia to help stabilize the external rotation.

Sadie had her fitting appointment with her veterinarian on 6/8/2021 and is doing very well so far. She will have a 2 week recheck to check on her progress, but so far, she seems to be doing awesome and looks super stylish in her leopard print stifle device.

Sydney and Her Bilateral OrthoPets Tarsus Device (Dog Ankle Braces)

Sydney is an 8 ½ year old, Australian Cattle Dog, who presented to Dr. DeTora at Colorado Canine Orthopedics & Rehab in November of 2019 with bilateral (both sides) Achilles tendon ruptures. Sydney loves to go on frequent walks and always has a lot to say when she is at the vet. Dr. DeTora prescribed custom tarsal orthoses (dog ankle braces) for Sydney for non-surgical, curative outcome intent, and OrthoPets fabricated bilateral articulating tarsal devices for Sydney.

Unfortunately, Sydney did not progress in healing the way we would have hoped with the conservative management, but luckily, OrthoPets was able to make some adjustments to Sydney’s devices so she could continue getting awesome support for the long term and go on the walks she loves so much!

Around June of 2020, Sydney had surgery to repair both her tendons, and she was able to use her devices for post-op support and gradual reloading of the healing Achilles complexes. Sydney’s right tendon healed fully, and she was able to transition out of her device, however the left tendon repair failed. Thankfully, OrthoPets was able to make some adjustments to Sydney’s left device again, so that she can continue using the left device for long term support. Sydney has been doing great in her left device, and OrthoPets is so happy that we were able to help Sydney and her owners on their journey.

Audrey and Her Bilateral OrthoPets Above Tarsus Prosthetic Devices (Dog Above Ankle Prosthetic Devices)

Audrey before she received her devices

Audrey is approximately 1.5 year old spayed female American Staffordshire Terrier who was found in an abandoned house with both of her hindlimbs severed at the tarsi (ankles). To make matters slightly more complicated, her left limb is longer than her right. Audrey also has fecal and urinary incontinence, along with a decreased right patellar reflex, indicating some sort of neurologic abnormality and walks in stifle (knee) extension.

No one knows what actually happened to her. She presented to an OrthoPets partner clinic, Animal Medical Center in New York, in October 2020, for prosthetic solutions (dog fake legs) after struggling with chronic distal residual skin sores and failed devices from another orthotic and prosthetic company.

OrthoPets fabricated bilateral (both limbs) hindlimb prosthetics (dog fake legs) for Audrey being very carefully to get the limb length discrepancy correct since there was no “normal” limb in which to compare. Extra care in the design was taken to provide more comfort to her compromised skin.

Audrey’s dedicated adopters were surprised and thrilled to see how comfortably Audrey used her devices for the first fitting, as if the devices are a normal extension of her limbs. Her skin still has some healing to do, but she has been given back her mobility to live a happy life with her family after having a rough start.

Brycen and His OrthoPets Stifle Device (Dog Knee Brace)

Brycen is a 4-year-old, 160lb, neutered male Great Dane from Washington state. He was diagnosed with a partial cranial cruciate ligament (CCL/ACL) tear in his right pelvic limb in late September 2020. History for Brycen includes acute onset right hind limb lameness in early August 2020. X-rays on 8/19/2020 indicated right stifle (dog knee) effusion, he was prescribes one month strict rest. His right hind limb improved 50% and started rehabilitation on 9/9/2020. He had a surgical consult in late September 2020 that indicated a partial cranial cruciate ligament tear. Surgical repair was recommended. Brycen’s owner elected to continue rehabilitation, home exercises and an OrthoPets Stifle Orthotic (Dog Knee Brace).

Brycen’s veterinarian’s goal for his stifle device was to help stabilize the stifle and decrease pain so that Brycen may continue his job as a service dog without surgery and without pain.

OrthoPets fabricated a standard stifle device for Brycen which will provide global support for the stifle and Brycen’s cranial cruciate ligament inury.

Brycen was fitted for his leopard print OrthoPets Stifle Device on 12/4/2020 and is doing very well, continuing his rehabilitation with Dr. Stephanie Garlichs at Whidbey Canine Conditioning & Rehabilitaion.

Cowboy and His OrthoPets Tarsus Device (Dog Ankle Brace)

Cowboy is an Australian Cattle Dog, who presented to Dr. Gilmore at Karnes City Veterinary Hospital in Texas early last year with a left tarsal (ankle) luxation. Cowboy suffered from acute worsening of an intermittent lameness in his left pelvic limb, and radiographs revealed a tarsal luxation with osteoarthritis (OA).

Cowboy’s owner did not wish to pursue the arthrodesis surgery and wanted a better alternative for long term support than a cast or splint. Dr. Gilmore prescribed a custom tarsal orthosis (dog ankle brace) for Cowboy and OrthoPets fabricated a caudal-shell style, non-articulating tarsus, articulating paw device for him.

Cowboy did great in his device during his fitting appointment. He took to the orthosis almost immediately and his veterinarian was very pleased with how he was moving in it. Cowboy’s owner reported that he became very depressed when they took his device off to give his leg a break, and that he was not himself again until they put the orthosis back on!

OrthoPets is so happy for Cowboy and we hope he continues to get the support that he needs with his custom device.

Dondi and His OrthoPets Stifle Device (Dog Knee Brace)

Dondi is a 9-year-old, 129lb, neutered male Cane Corso from California. He was diagnosed with CCL (ACL) disease with a history of suspected bilateral (two limbs) CCL tears. He has done very well with rehabilitation and weight management. As Dondi has gotten older and subtly weaker, he has started medial rotation of the stifle (dog knee), especially during sitting. Dondi’s owners became worried about him having secondary tears of the medial/lateral collateral ligaments or other tissues.

OrthoPets fabricated a standard stifle device (dog knee brace) for Dondi to help support his Veterinarian’s goal which is to minimize medial and lateral destabilization of the right stifle.

Dondi may be developing some neurological deficits which are causing him to knuckle at the paw and scrape his rear nails down to the quick. His device also started slipping distally. His owners stepped up their band resisted gait exercises and Cavaletti exercises to try to help raise his limb higher.

OrthoPets did some adjustments to his device that included bringing the distal end of the device tighter around the tarsus and installed a shock cord to attached to a boot which will help the knuckling that he has developed.

Approximately a month after the adjustments were made, Dondi’s gait has greatly improves and he’s happily trotting away in his solar patterned stifle device with the toe-up attachment.

Athena and Her OrthoPets Below Tarsus Prosthetic Device (Dog Below Ankle Prosthetic Device)

When Athena was adopted, her new owner brought her to see our Partner in Florida, Dr. Block. Athena had an apparent congenital partial amputation of the left hindlimb below the tarsus (ankle), and Dr Block prescribed a custom prosthetic device (dog fake leg) for her.

OrthoPets fabricated a below-tarsus prosthetic for Athena. Since she was still fairly young when the device was prescribed, Athena may have need for another prosthetic to be fabricated once she reaches skeletal maturity, to ensure that her prosthetic fits and supports her adult conformation properly.

Dr. Block’s goals with the use of the prosthetic device were to improve Athena’s posture at a stance and her biomechanics during gait, and to prevent long term compensatory mechanisms developing. Athena seemed to take to her device right away, and the purple color looks really good on her! OrthoPets looks forward to seeing how Athena progresses in her device.