Amy Rosenthal

Amy Rosenthal

My Pet's Brace Practitioner

Patient: Bailey, an 11.5-year-old, 8-pound Yorkshire Terrier with a left CCL injury

Case of Interest: Bailey is one of the smallest dogs for which we’ve fabricated a knee brace. Tiny dogs are exceptionally challenging as joints and other components can not be made small enough for the size of their leg. In Bailey’s case, we used one urethane joint on the lateral side and a single axis pin joint on the medial side of the brace to account for his size.

Diagnostic History: Bailey is a senior Yorkshire Terrier. His health issues include hydrocephalus, heart disease, bilateral medial luxating patella and a left cranial cruciate ligament tear. His veterinarian confirmed he was not a good surgical candidate.

We informed the owner that due to his breed and size, he may not be a candidate for a brace. The stifle brace consists of three main parts: the thigh cuff, the tibial cuff, and a suspension sleeve. All three of these pieces are needed for proper stabilization of the tibial thrust and suspension of the brace on the leg. If there is physically no room for all three of these components, then the dog is not a candidate for a brace.

Bailey’s injured leg was casted and his brace was fabricated at our facility in Morgantown, PA. It was determined that his thigh was tall enough for a brace if we made a change to the joints. Bailey’s brace was fabricated with a standard urethane joint on the lateral side, but we used a single axis pin joint on the medial side of the brace.

Follow-Ups:  Five months since receiving the brace, Bailey wears the brace for up to 12 hours per day. He’s a happy, energetic Yorkie who likes to be on the move. Our clinician has seen significant improvement in his weight-bearing on the braced leg and we look forward to seeing his progress in the months to come. Most senior dogs, like Bailey, wear the brace for the rest of their lives.