OrthoPets Blog

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.

Finn and his OrthoPets Prosthetic Device

“Finn” is a 4 year old male (neutered) border collie who was presented to Avondale Veterinary Healthcare in Iowa in September 2019 for radial nerve paralysis of his left thoracic limb after jumping out of a car window 6 months prior.  On the physical exam, his carpal extension was 150 degrees and flexion was 33 degrees. He had muscle atrophy of this triceps, biceps, and trapezoids, and good control of his elbow. He also had a wound on the dorsum of his paw due to dragging the limb.

The original plan for Finn was to try to utilize a carpal orthotic (dog wrist brace) to slowly gain extension of the carpus.  When OrthoPets received the case and media, they had concerns about triceps function and the possibility of gaining extension due to the length of the injury.  The owners elected to visit the OrthoPets team at Colorado State University to verify. 

The evaluation by Martin and the team at CSU determined that Finn had impressive triceps control and would benefit from an accommodative style hybrid orthotic/prosthetic to return his extension to the ground in a normal alignment. 

Finn returned to Dr. Carlo’s care in Iowa and was fitted with the hybrid device. He took to it right away and is regularly attending rehabilitation to gain better elbow extension.  His paw wound has healed as well. Finn’s quality of life is now back to normal. He is very active and enjoys chasing the ball in the device.

Finn and his OrthoPets prosthetic device.

Ginger and her OrthoPets Carpus Devices (Dog wrist braces)

Here are a few photos of cute Ginger, a border terrier, with IMPA. IMPA (immune-mediated polyarthritis) is a disease in which the immune system mounts an inflammatory response within the joints, causing pain, swelling, and difficulty walking.

Ginger is using OrthoPets bilateral carpus paw devices (dog wrist braces) to aid in her IMPA and her mobility. With her OrthoPets carpus devices, she is able to get around with ease and enjoy activities again.

Ginger and her OrthoPets Bilateral Carpus Paw Devices (Dog wrist braces)

Daisy and her OrthoPets Stifle Device (Dog knee brace)

Daisy Ferguson is a 2-year-old, spayed female, Labrador Retriever Mix. She was diagnosed by her veterinarian in September 2019 with a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament in her right hind limb. Daisy is a young, vibrant girl who is otherwise healthy and is just looking to get her stifle (dog knee joint) healthy again so she can return to play!

OrthoPets fabricated Daisy a standard stifle device with a tarsal cuff to aid in suspension and keep the stifle device from slipping down. The goal for this type of device is to stabilize the stifle joint and prevent tibial thrust. By using a dog knee brace, Dasiy can get back to an active lifestyle while her knee is being supported.

Daisy has needed one minor adjustment on her stifle device due to a sore forming on her lateral malleoli (side of her ankle). We heat flared out the shell in the area of the tibia/fibula and Daisy has been doing well since the adjustment.

Check out Daisy’s cute pink stifle (dog knee) device!

We wish Daisy the best of luck with her stifle, dog knee, recovery!