For Dogs With Knee Injuries – Dog Knee Braces The Ideal Solution
No dog owner wants to see their best friend in pain or unable to run through the yard, chase a ball or even be unable to walk up the stairs into the house. So what happens when a dog begins to limp or seems unable or willing to put any weight on a hind leg?
Just as human suffering injury to their knees often find help from knee braces, the same holds true for countless dogs. In fact, knee braces for dogs play an essential role when it comes to treating cruciate ligament ruptures. The most common in orthopedic injury for dogs occurs in their knee(s).
In humans, Anterior Cruciate ligament injuries always occur due to trauma or injury, and although this type of injury can be the result of injury or trauma in dogs, it also often occurs because of wear and tear over time. Since a canine’s back leg is constantly bent at the knee it creates a constant stress applied to the dog’s Anterior/Cranial Cruciate ligaments. Larger breed dogs such as Rottweilers, Mastiffs and Labrador Retrievers statistically have experience a great instance with kind of injury.
However, it can and does occur in dogs of all sizes, and although size can be a factor, it’s likely to be related to some kind of hereditary biomechanical deficiencies or genetics. Visible results of this kind of injury typically present themselves as lameness. The dog won’t bear weight on one of his or her back legs or only put partial weight on it. It can either occur constantly or be intermittent or there can even be days in between when limping occurs.
It helps to understand the ligaments to get an idea of how these types of injuries can occur and why a brace can help. The knee or (stifle to be technical), connects to the thigh bone (femur) and the leg bone (tibia) with the kneecap (Patella) in front and a small bean shaped bone (fabella) in the back. The cartilage cushions the bones while the tendons hold it all in position.
The two significant ligaments, the front (anterior) and the back (posterior) cruciate ligaments cross inside the knee joint itself. These ligaments in animals are called caudal and cranial. This cranial cruciate tendon prevents the leg bone from slipping out of position.
Dogs can begin limping or go lame for various reasons. Muscle sprains, arthritis, bee stings, Lyme disease or dislocated kneecaps, and although these things can cause limping, if an active dog abruptly cannot put weight on their back leg the common place diagnosis is the torn cruciate tendon.
When these injuries occur if they’re not treated right away, they can appear to have improved however the knee can remain swollen causing the abnormal wearing between the bones and the meniscal tendon creates a degenerative change which can result in bone spurs, loss of motion, chronic pain and arthritis.
X-rays are used to diagnose ligament injuries bone cancer as being the cause of the leg pain, also a procedure called the drawer-test can be used. The Vet holds the dog’s thigh bone (femur) with one hand and works the leg bone (tibia) with his other hand. If the leg bone is able to be moved forward, the cruciate ligament has been ruptured or torn. The movement resembles a drawer being opened, hence the name drawer-test.
There are times when surgery is used and recommended, however there are many times surgery is not an option. Typically, a dog knee brace is used in instances when surgery is not an option. Some of the reasons a dog knee brace may be the best option other than surgery include:
* When a dog is old, surgery on a senior aged dog cannot only be traumatic but depending in the age dangerous. Surgery is expensive so sometimes weighing the cost of surgery against the expected amount of time and older dog will live should be considered.
* Some canines can’t tolerate the anesthesia needed during surgery, either because of an allergy or other medical conditions.
* Surgery is can be very expensive especially in comparison to the cost of the average dog’s knee brace(s). Not everyone can afford such costly procedures, but many can afford a dog knee brace.
Dog knee braces are also used in instances in which the dog is waiting for a surgical repair procedure, or have a bilateral injury where surgeries are staged, surgery has already been performed and additional support and/or protection is needed, or as a dog is progressing through rehabilitation. When a dog does to through surgery the knee brace supports the knee, minimizes strain as well as wear on the joint while recovery is in process, which can vastly improve the outcome of the surgery.
For the dogs who can’t have surgery, a brace lets the dog return to its normal daily activities, in some cases immediately. A dog’s knee brace uses the corrective energies that are needed to support correct joint function which allows the dog’s natural healing process to take control.
The supportive knee brace stabilizes the dog’s injured knee, helps to reduce pain that is associated with an injured knee joint or ligament and allows the dog to begin walking on all four legs once again. It is important to get the injured knee support because quite often after a dog will injure one knee, if the injured one isn’t treated the dog ends up putting an unequal amount of weight on the healthy one which causes injury to the healthy knee.
Other benefits of using a dog knee brace are as follows:
Decreased pain and swelling; it lessens fatigue in the injured leg; allows the injured leg to relax; gives the dog a boost in confidence in using the recovering leg and reduces incidences of the knee giving way.
There are dog knee braces available for every dog, big and small. The majority of dogs adapt very well to the brace within days to a week or so. There is no reason for any canine to have to live with being unable to enjoy that daily walk, a romp in the backyard or a good game of catch because of a knee injury or ailment.