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Creating a Device
The Greens are animal-lovers. Their family includes a German Shepherd named Emerald, an assortment of cats named Pickle, Olive and Celery and, the free spirit of the family, a retriever called Red. The Greens found Red in an animal shelter about twelve years ago and have taken good care of him including regular visits to the vet for check-ups and shots.
About two weeks ago Red started limping. He was able to put less and less weight on his right rear leg as time passed and finally would not walk on it at all. Mrs. Green took Red to see Dr. Adam who had been the family's "wellness" veterinarian for many years. After a careful examination, Dr. Adam suggested that Red should be seen by an orthopedic specialist and referred Mrs. Green to Dr. Barbara, a partner in a nearby group of veterinary specialists.
Dr. Barbara took detailed notes of Red's medical history and thoroughly examined him. During the subsequent consultation with Mrs. Green, she explained the benefits and risks and relative costs of all the alternatives that would help Red. Mrs. Green took the information home to share with her family and after exhaustive discussion they decided that because of Red's age they would not risk a surgical procedure but would have him fit with a leg brace.
Dr. Barbara contacted My Pet's Brace and completed a detailed description of Red's condition. A practitioner from My Pet's Brace quickly contacted Mrs. Green and an appointment was made for her to bring Red to our facility the next week. (The Greens live within easy driving distance of our facility, but the casting and fitting events also frequently take place in a veterinarian's or animal rehab specialist's office.)
At their appointment, Jim, the My Pet's Brace senior practitioner, explained the casting, fitting, modification and delivery process in detail so that Mrs. Green would know what to expect. While he was doing this Jim was playing with Red so Red would be comfortable with him. After making sure Mrs. Green had no more questions, Jim took them into an exam room and had Red lie down on his left side on a low exam table. He meticulously examined Red's leg, checked Dr. Barbara's notes and then began the casting procedure.
Casting started with wrapping Red's leg with a clear film (like Saran Wrap) that kept the casting material from sticking to Red's hair. Jim then pulled a thin sock over Red's leg and wrapped the entire leg with damp fiberglass casting fabric, making sure that all the details of Red's leg structure were recorded in the casting fabric. Before the fabric completely dried, Jim carefully cut the cast and slipped it off Red's leg. The entire process took about ten minutes.
Mrs. Green made an appointment to bring Red back to My Pet's Brace a week later for the fitting. During the week between visits, Red's leg brace was painstakingly fabricated at the My Pet's Brace facility in Morgantown and because it was made from a cast of Red's leg, the brace will provide a custom, exact and comfortable fit.
When Mrs. Green brought Red back a week later for the final fitting, Red remembered Jim and tail-wagging and greetings were exchanged. Jim took the two of them into the exam room, let Red sniff his new leg brace and then gently slipped it onto his right rear leg. After tightening the straps, Jim thought they had a good fit but wanted to make a few minor adjustments to get an excellent fit. After making the modifications Jim was completely satisfied and he and Mrs. Green began working with Red to encourage him to walk using the leg with the brace. Red started to regularly put weight on the braced leg after ten minutes even though it takes some dogs several days to get used to a new brace. Jim observed Red's gait and checked the fit one final time. The entire process took less than 45 minutes.
Jim then explained to Mrs. Green the importance of scrupulously following the break-in regimen that is designed to allow Red and his leg muscles to get used to the brace. He also reviewed the warranty and instructions for care of the brace. Jim gave Mrs. Green a copy of the break-in regimen, warranty and care instructions to take with her and pointed out they could also be found on our website.
As they were leaving, Jim showed Mrs. Green where Red could relieve himself. As Red was sniffing around looking for the perfect spot, Jim reminded Mrs. Green that she and Red would continue to have our full support and that she should feel free to call us at any time with questions.
A few months later Jim bumped into Mrs. Green at Dr. Adam's office where Red was having a routine exam. Red was wearing his brace and walking comfortably and Mrs. Green said he was doing very well. She told Jim the whole family enjoys taking Red to the dog park because of the attention his fancy new leg brace attracts. Jim laughed and said that it happens all the time.