Lucy is an approximately 10-year-old, spayed female Beagle, who presented to Dr. Michelotti at Centre Animal Hospital with a gastrocnemius rupture at the musculotendinous junction. Dr Michelotti prescribed a custom OrthoPets tarsal orthotic (dog ankle brace) for long term palliative support to Lucy’s injury, and OrthoPets fabricated a caudal-shell style, non-articulating tarsus, articulating paw device for Lucy.
Lucy’s size presented some unique challenges to the fit and function of her device; her skinny leg made it difficult to keep the device suspended properly, and her gait pattern presented some challenges with preventing any caudal collapse. Lucy’s owners were very receptive to our suggestions and worked very hard to perfect their donning (putting device on the leg) technique. They also sent Lucy’s device to OrthoPets in order for us to make adjustments to try and resolve the issues.
It took about 5 months of regular communication and assessment of media, and a couple adjustments, but we were finally able to build an external wedge with a caudal kickback that accommodated Lucy’s unique way of walking while keeping her in proper alignment so that she no longer collapsed caudally (toward the rear) when walking in her device. We also ground down the profile of the paw segment, installed a custom metatarsal push-pad, and added a custom Achilles hammock to help with suspension of Lucy’s leg in the device.
OrthoPets is so happy that we were able to work so closely with the owners to get Lucy comfortable and properly supported in her device, and we hope that she continues to do well in the support of her orthosis!