When your dog starts limping, showing signs of lameness, or having difficulty rising or walking, it can be frightening and overwhelming. Does your pup need costly surgery? Will conservative management, such as an orthopedic brace for dogs help instead? The questions keep coming, but there is no need to panic!
After bringing your furry friend to the veterinarian for a diagnosis, the most important next step is educate yourself on your dog’s ailment and what surgical and non-invasive treatment options are available. In this post, we explore some solutions for helping common canine hip, hock, wrist, and hind leg injuries, and offer a guide to Ortho Dog’s line of orthopedic braces.
Dog Hip & Leg Surgery
In severe cases of conditions like canine hip dysplasia (CHD), CCL tears, or canine arthritis, your vet might recommend surgery for the best chance at long-term wellness and comfort. Surgery costs will vary depending on the condition being treated, but dog ACL surgery can cost anywhere from $1,100 to $4,500 per leg. The average cost for canine hip dysplasia surgery begins at $1,700. Depending on your dog’s age and state of health, invasive surgery may be a risky procedure. Recovery time can be long and difficult. Your vet can tell you whether or not surgery is the best option, depending on the nature of your dog’s pain and the severity of the injury.
Alternatives to Surgery for Dog Hip & Ligament Injuries
Fortunately, when surgery is not required or not even an option, there are some simple, affordable alternatives for many of the most common injuries and ailments that affect our dogs, such as CCL tears, hock or wrist sprains, and hip dysplasia. In many cases, physical therapy, red light and/or cold laser treatments, hydrotherapy, medication, acupuncture, massage therapy, and manageable lifestyle changes can help your dog heal and lead a normal life.
Which Brace is Right?
In combination with these measures, you might want to consider an orthopedic brace, which is a non-invasive, long-term support tool that can greatly improve the quality of your pet’s life. After a brief adjustment period, they’ll forget it’s even on. Here is look at some of the Ortho Dog braces that might be a good option for your dog.
Dog Knee Brace
If your dog is recovering from surgery or suffering from ACL or CCL tears, limping, swelling, fatigue, arthritis, or knee pain, the Cruciate Care Dog Knee Brace can be very helpful. This brace is has two purposes: first, it is designed to provide support and stabilization that facilitates scar tissue forming a callus over the tear (healing the tear). Second, it reduces the likelihood of future injuries, which are a common result of ACL tears in particular.
Immobilizing the affected joint reduces inflammation and pain and, additionally, this dog knee brace balances your pet’s back and hips to prevent undue strain on these areas and lowers the chances that further injury will occur. This brace comes in large, medium, and extra large sizes. We are unable to make a brace for a small dog, unfortunately, because there isn’t enough room on the leg between the bend of the knee and the groin to accommodate the brace. The brace can be worn during the day and removed at night so the skin can breathe.
Dog Hip Brace
The Ortho Dog Hip Hound Brace is another effective choice for dogs of every age and size who suffer from a range of symptoms. Hip dysplasia, mobility issues in older dogs, lower back pain, limping, hip pain, arthritis, lameness, and reduced endurance are some of the issues that this dog hip brace can help reduce or stabilize. The brace’s design provides support to the hip and lower back areas to allow your dog to be active and pain-free, as well as to assist with the healing process after surgery. The brace allows for increased mobility, which helps the muscles get stronger. The variety of sizes (from small to extra large) allows you to pick the brace that will best support your pup’s specific body type. This brace is safe to wear during the day. At night, remove the brace so the skin can breathe.
Dog Wrist Brace
Much like a human’s wrists, a dog’s wrist joints are located on the front legs just above the paws. When your dog experiences pain in this area, they might show it by limping during or after exercise, or exhibiting discomfort or reluctance to perform normal daily activities. The Ortho Dog Wrist Wrap is designed to support the muscles and tendons in that area, as well as to stabilize the leg bones, to allow your dog to walk, hike, climb stairs, and live life normally without pain. This brace should be worn about an inch above the wrist joint to avoid inhibiting flexibility in your pup’s paw. It is safe and non-invasive enough for all-day use, and easy to remove at night.
Dog Hock Brace
While the wrist wrap is designed to support your dog’s front leg joints, the Hock Holder fits the corresponding joints on the back leg, known as the hocks. Hocks are similar to human ankles and, just like in humans, that joint is prone to straining, spraining, hyperextension, and other injuries. The Hock Holder is designed to provide both medial and lateral support to the joint as well as the surrounding muscle and bone, allowing for pain-free movement for your pup. As with the Wrist Wrap, it can be used throughout the day and removed at night, and it should not interfere with flexibility in your pup’s hind legs.
Find What Works for Your Unique Dog
Injury or illness when it comes to our beloved fur babies is never easy to deal with, but there are many options that can help reduce pain, provide long-term comfort, and promote optimal wellness for your dog. Whether you decide on a brace, medication, physical therapy, surgery, or any combination thereof, the more informed and proactive you are in assessing what is best for your pet, the better your chances of keeping them safe, healthy, and happy for the long term!