Shou is a 6.5-year-old MN American Shorthair, who suffered a traumatic fracture and displacement of his right tarsal bones (among other injuries to his pelvic limbs and hips) in 2017. He was initially treated with arthrodesis, but in early 2019 the implant broke. After explant, the option to try a custom orthosis was pursued, through Animal Clinic Kobayashi (aka OrthoPets Japan). A non-articulating cranial style tarsal orthosis with no paw segment was chosen, with an accommodative alignment at the tarsal joint, rather than attempting to correct his alignment.
Cats are typically challenging VOP patients for a number of reasons. Their loose skin and slick fur can make device suspension challenging, and navigating normal cat behavior, especially around regular limb handling, can take time and patience even for the most easygoing of felines and owners. Shou used a temporary splint as a trial very successfully, which indicated he would likely tolerate a custom device well too, which can be an important consideration for our feline VOP patients. On the device delivery day, Shou even felt comfortable enough in his new orthosis to take on a stack of dog beds!