There are many advantages afforded by orthoses and prostheses. Many injuries are amenable to these devices, and subtotal amputation provides a substitute for quality of life, altering total amputation. Simply put, V-OP devices offer treatment options where none existed before. For chronic or catastrophic injuries, they play an important role in pain management, and can significantly improve, comfort, quality of life, and functional independence as well as limit premature decisions to euthanize. In the severe case, these devices serve as safe alternatives to traditional casting and splinting while providing the opportunity to initiate rehabilitation earlier. Many patients can return to an active lifestyle, which can reduce the risk of obesity and its associated comorbidities. Secondary or compensatory pain can be minimized by correcting or improving gait mechanics and re- establishing quadruped locomotion.
With increasing numbers of fabricators and internet suppliers, veterinarians must educate themselves to advocate for their patients and clients. V-OP devices are valuable therapeutic tools. However, paraprofessionals cannot and should not prescribe and treat. In the absence of knowledgeable and supportive veterinarians, this is the risk and reality. Providing these solutions within the primary care practice is possible and appropriate.