OrthoPets Blog

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!

Lucy and her OrthoPets Elbow Devices

Lucy is a 1-year-old hound mix from Massachusetts. Lucy’s mom is a veterinary technician and she was worried about Lucy’s elbows. Lucy had been diagnosed with bilateral elbow dysplasia and arthrosis. Lucy’s mom decided to contact OrthoPets to see if elbow devices would be beneficial to Lucy and her mobility.

OrthoPets determined they could be of help, and fabricated custom made bilateral elbow devices to give Lucy the additional support and stability to the front legs, and the elbow joints that she needed.

The goals for the devices are to improve Lucy’s comfort and support elbow during high impact activities such as play.

We wish Lucy the best of luck in her new cute PURPLE OrthoPets Elbow Devices!

Jonah and his OrthoPets Carpus Device (Dog wrist brace)

Jonah is a 2-year-old male neutered Bernese Mountain Dog. He had his left front 2nd digit amputated over a year ago due to recurring antibiotic-resistant infection. Unfortunately, following the amputation, he developed a non-healing pressure sore on his remaining 3rd digit along with chronic swelling, as he tried to compensate for the missing digit. Jonah’s owners and the veterinary team reached out to OrthoPets to provide a solution for him that would allow better anatomical placement of his paw pads, reduce pressure on the 3rd digit, and still allow some airflow to help with healing of the wound.

Jonah does not have any carpal pathology or instability, but his OrthoPets Carpus Device (dog front wrist brace) features a sporty, streamlined cranial-style articulated carpus device, with an articulating paw segment. The metacarpal and antebrachial shells mainly serve to help suspend the device, though they do provide some passive frontal plane stability for him as well. The paw segment features a special custom anatomical shape to the shell along with a soft foam insole and “bumper,” all molded to his paw shape based on a Biofoam imprint of the paw. These allow pressure to be better distributed across all his remaining digits rather than just concentrated on the 3rd digit where his wound is.

Jonah and his OrthoPest Carpus Device (dog front wrist brace)

Jonah’s previously non-healing wound has finally closed after 2 months in his device (along with a dedicated dermatological and medical management, of course) and we can’t wait to track his progress as he improves further and the inflammation continues to resolve! Good luck Jonah with your new OrthoPets Carpus Device!

Grizzly and his OrthoPets Stifle Device (Dog Knee Brace)

Grizzly is a 14-year-old, Labrador Retriever.  He presented to his veterinarian in November 2019 favoring his left hindlimb and skipping while running. Upon examination, an audible click was heard in the knee, radiographs were taken that showed moderate arthritic changes as well as significant joint effusion. Grizzly had decreased range of motion during both extension and flexion, crepitus of the stifle and positive tibial thrust and cranial drawer.

OrthoPets fabricated a standard stifle orthotic with a tarsal cuff to aid in suspension and keep the stifle orthotic from migrating distally. Grizzly is currently going through rehabilitation with his veterinarian and is doing very well thus far.

Our goal for this type of stifle device for Grizzly is stabilization of the stifle joint (knee joint) and preventing tibial thrust. Despite the audible click heard on examination, Grizzly seems to be doing great and the owners are happy to have a non-surgical option. Great job Grizzly and keep up the great work in your new OrthoPets Stifle Device (dog knee brace)!

Nugget and Her OrthoPets Prosthetic Device

Nugget and Her OrthoPets Prosthetic Device

Nugget is a 2-year-old Chilean Flamingo born with a congenital deformity of her left limb. The deformity resulted in a partial amputation performed at Santa Barbra Zoo, where she resides.

Before perusing an OrthoPets Prosthetic, Nugget was getting used to wearing a makeshift cover to help protect her residuum, but it was time to find a better long-term solution.

Santa Barbra Zoo contacted OrthoPets to see if we could help. The dedicated staff wanted to give Nugget the best chance at a normal life and had seen that OrthoPets has helped many animals achieve this. Having helped over 30 different species with a variety of different pathologies, OrthoPets was up for the challenge!

The team created a successful pet prosthetic solution with creative materials to give Nugget the most normal representation of the limb she was missing.

Nugget is adjusting to her new OrthoPets Prosthetic very well and everyone is very pleased with the results of the device and how Nugget has taken to it so far. She now can spend her days with the rest of her flamingo friends living a normal life with her new limb.

Her new OrthoPets Prosthetic is even pink to match her beautiful pink feathers. We look forward to watching her progress at the Santa Barbara Zoo. OrthoPets was very excited to work with Nugget and the Santa Barbara Zoo on this interesting OrthoPets Prosthetic Device!

Zeke and his OrthoPets Tarsus Brace (Dog Back Leg- Ankle Brace)

Zeke is a 3-year-old, MN, Australian Cattle Dog that presented to his veterinarian in July of this year with a chronic calcaneal tendon rupture of the left pelvic limb. Zeke had been limping for about 10 months before being diagnosed. He had a dropped tarsus and his SDF and DDF tendons were still intact creating pretty severe digital contraction. Zeke underwent surgery to repair the tendon and his veterinarian prescribed an OrthoPets custom tarsal device (Dog ankle brace) to support his repaired tendon during recovery and help Zeke return to normal function.

OrthoPets fabricated a caudal-style tarsal shell with articulation at the tarsus and paw so his veterinarian could slowly reload the Achilles complex as Zeke’s tendon healed. Due to the extreme angle of digital flexion, Zeke’s paw-segment had a significant external wedge which affected his gait pattern when he was first learning to walk in his device. Zeke’s owner and veterinarian were diligent with his rehabilitation exercises and toe stretches and Zeke soon acclimated to his device and the external wedge was removed facilitating his ability to ambulate while wearing the orthosis. The OrthoPets Tarsus Device (Dog ankle brace) will give Zeke the needed support and stability to the tarsal joint.

Zeke is now 14 weeks post-op and doing very well in his custom device. His tendon has healed and the owner and veterinarian are considering the conversion of his device to a sports brace for Zeke to wear during explosive activity. This modification to his device will provide support to his healed tendon and help prevent the reoccurrence of rupture. OrthoPets looks forward to helping Zeke make this transition and continue to be a part of supporting his quality of life! We are so happy that Zeke is enjoying his OrthoPets Tarsus Device (Dog Ankle Brace)

Hope and her OrthoPets Hind Leg Prosthetic Device “Chevy Prosthetic”

Hope and her OrthoPets Hind Leg Prosthetic Device “Chevy Prosthetic”

Hope is one of the happiest dogs you’ll ever meet despite her difficult past!

Hope is a beautiful 7-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier who was adopted into a loving home from a rescue, who rescued her from a pit bull fighting ring! Her new family adopted Hope with the knowledge of a suspected traumatic amputation at the distal right tibia.

After previous attempts to help Hope with a prosthetic device through another company failed with suspension, OrthoPets had the opportunity to make a Hind Leg Prosthetic Device for her.

She started the prosthetic process with OrthoPets a few months later so that an Above Tarsus OrthoPets Prosthetic could be fabricated which was fitted at Texas A&M.

Unexpectedly, Hope then developed a large seroma on the distal residuum and her owners and veterinary team decided it was best to visit OrthoPets in person for needed adjustments to the prosthetic device due to her changing anatomy.

OrthoPets successfully modified the prosthetic to accommodate Hope’s seroma as it heals so she can still use her device. She does a fantastic job in her device, navigating different terrains, despite only having it for a few months!

Hope is a registered therapy dog through Intermountain Therapy Animals.  She is also a registered Reading Education Assistance Dog (R.E.A.D.) who visits an elementary school where children who are having difficulty reading have the opportunity to read to her!

This is one special dog who has nothing but love to give to all! We are so excited for Hope and her new OrthoPets Hind Leg Prosthetic Device!

Clawdia and her OrthoPets Forelimb Prosthetic

Clawdia is an 8-year-old service dog who works with veterans with PTSD who suffers from right forelimb meromelia, a birth defect where part of the leg is missing. She is no longer comfortable walking on hard surfaces. When a good Samaritan saw Clawdia’s owner pulling the lab mix in a wagon, the stranger offered to pay for a prosthetic for her. The family contacted Dr. Danyel Wynn at Walking Paws Rehab in Boulder, Colorado who worked closely with OrthoPets to design a custom prosthetic based on her fiberglass impression, measurements, radiographs, media and exam.

On device fitting day, Clawdia beamed, showing off her new gait. A few adjustments were performed to perfect the fit and OrthoPets also designed a house slipper, a lighter device made primarily of foam, for Clawdia to be worn at home. For the last few months, Clawdia and her family have been working hard with Dr. Wynn to improve her gait and strengthening. Most recently, she has been practicing downhill walking from within a dry treadmill.

Clawdia and her OrthoPets House Slipper

Shou Azami and his OrthoPets Tarsus Brace- OrthoPets Japan

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!

Seela Gets Her Legs! Bilateral OrthoPets Hindlimb Prosthetic Devices

Seela is a 2.5 year old FS Golden Retriever who was rescued in Egypt by a Golden Retriever rescue organization in Maine. She was found with extensive injuries to her pelvic limbs with severe bilateral tarsal hyperextension and digital hyperflexion and severe muscle atrophy in her hindquarters. She underwent bilateral intertarsal amputations and her prosthetic journey began.

There were many challenges confronted with this case, the most challenging being her ability to ambulate in bilateral prosthetics. Because her tarsi are so extended, we chose to add a femoral cuff to each device to help prevent rotation. Helping her find the ground and engaging her weak hamstrings and quads and encourage stifle extension would prove to be a steep learning curve for Seela.

Seela’s bilateral device arrived at OrthoPets New England under the talented hands of Dr. Heather York. The devices fit without concern and Seela took her first normal steps in a long time. As expected, she walks with more stifle flexion than normal and, with time and strengthening of her muscles, will hopefully walk with a more level topline.

This case shows how important rehabilitation can be for animals who have lost normal function. This outcome was more successful than any of us anticipated and hoped for, thanks to her dedicated rescue, owner, and the doctor and not to mention the determination of Seela! We are thrilled to watch Seela progress on her new legs! Seels looks great in her new OrthoPets Hindlimb Prosthetic Devices (dog prosthetic legs).