Other Animal Friends
We want Baby on the dance floor! Unfortunately, right now she isn't able to bear weight on her front legs because of fractures in her wrists. She was fitted with carpal braces to provide support and greater mobility while she heals and muscle builds. She is also getting a cart to help her get around. Get better soon Baby.
English Bulldogs, like Sophia, have shorter stubbier legs than most breeds of dogs. This can make it more difficult to fabricate knee braces that stay securely on the dog's leg without the brace sliding down. To address this issue, we have created a suspension sleeve that keeps the brace easily in place. The suspension sleeve is a piece of neoprene that wraps around the bottom of the dog's leg and attaches to the bottom of the brace, keeping the brace in the correct position.
Rocky and Sidney
In one week we saw two cute Chihuahuas. They both tore their ACLs and opted for a custom knee brace instead of undergoing surgery. Rocky is in the neon pink brace and Sidney is in the neon green brace.
We can guess how Sleet got her name. She is a beautiful Samoyed that tore her right in 2013. She made a full recovery after wearing a My Pet's knee Brace for several months. Unfortunately, she recently tore her left ACL and she visited us for a new brace.
Blaze, a seven year old Boxer, visited My Pet's Brace for a knee brace for his ACL injury. Blaze's family is utilizing a brace along with laser treatments to reduce his pain and help him walk comfortably again.
Giselle, a three year old French Mastiff, visited My Pet's Brace for a custom knee brace for her ACL injury.
Maggie has a rotated right front wrist and to prevent the carpal from breaking down, a custom carpal brace was fabricated. The brace provides support and enables her to walk in a more functional position.
As a bigger boy, Glokta needed heavy duty joints in his knee brace for his torn ACL. He isn't putting much weight on his injured leg now, but his weight-bearing will improve as scar tissue builds up with the support from the brace.
Sammy's tongue is almost as blue as his knee brace. Sammy is an eight year old Chow/Labrador mix who tore his left ACL. He visited our clinic for a custom knee brace that he will wear for the next six to nine months while the scar tissue builds up in his knee.
Greta is an adorable Pit Bull from Virginia. She received a knee brace for an ACL tear in her left leg in September of 2015 and unfortunately she needed to returned in September of this year for a knee brace for her right leg. With the support and protection from both braces, she'll be her normal active self soon.
Leo is such a sweetie and everyone at the clinic loves to say hi when he comes in for a visit. Leo just may like us because he knows he'll get treats. Whatever the reason, Leo was happy to get his back-up brace for the original carpal brace he received last year.
Brandy has had her knee brace for her ACL injury for a little over a week. Her family called to say how happy Brandy's vet and laser therapist are with the improvement they've already seen in her weight bearing and movement since the fitting of the brace. Keep up the progress Brandy!
Severe arthritis in both elbows is making it painful for Jessie to get around. So her and her family visited us for a custom elbow brace to limit motion in the joint which makes walking more comfortable. We'll give her time to adjust to her first brace before fabricating a brace for the other leg. See you soon Jessie!
Molly, a nine year old Schnauzer mix, is a cutie in her purple knee brace for her ACL injury.
Nolan is a 173 pound St. Bernard who sustained an ACL injury in his right knee. Due to his size, My Pet's Brace fabricated a custom knee brace with heavy duty joints to ensure the device provides the needed support.
Here's Katie, a five year old Doberman. Her parents wanted a conservative management alternative to knee surgery for her ACL injury and drove to our facility in Pennsylvania from Michigan. It was a pleasure to meet everyone and help Katie with a custom knee brace.
Flare the Mastiff needed heavy duty joints for the knee brace for her ACL tear. She's a big girl and is expecting to get even bigger before the arrival of her new puppies in September.
Louie was very excited to receive his knee brace!
Bella was so happy with her knee brace, she had to give Clayton (one of our practitioners) a kiss.
Say Hi to Zoey in her pink knee brace for her ACL tear.
Bullit's smile is contagious. He was happy to visit us to be fitted for his custom carpal brace to support the hyperextension in his wrist.
Scarlet had a hard time picking which brace color would best complement her hair. She ultimately chose the hot pink, but it was a close decision.
Toni the Cockapoo looks cute in her purple knee brace for her ACL tear.
Callie is an inspiration to us all. Her spine was severed after being hit by a car, but her and her family never gave up hope. After surgery, she was still unable to use her back legs. She visited us for a cart from Eddie's Wheels and she is running around like she was before the accident.
Lily was ready for her treat after she did so well during her appointment for the fitting and delivery of her knee brace.
Real men wear pink, including Comet the Beagle.
The knee brace is as dark as Knight!
Oaklie sure looks happy in his knee brace! Unfortunately, that wasn't the case when he came to our clinic for the casting. He doesn't like people touching his hind end and legs, especially since he hurt his knee. He had to return the next day to try the casting again after he received some medicine to calm him down. That did the trick and we were able to take the cast to make his brace. Every dog is different but there is always a way to make it work.
We don't make too many braces for American Staffordshires, but Hershey needed a knee brace for her ACL tear. She sure is a beauty.
The Moms of Pippin the Border Terrier and Carter the Yorkie, are best friends and next door neighbors. Both of their pups needed a custom brace and they made the drive together to have Pippin fitted for a carpal brace for a small fracture in his toe and for Carter to be fitted for a knee brace for his ACL tear. See everyone again soon!
Phoebe, a 14 year old Toy Poodle, never has to worry about a bad hair day with those curls. She is ready to be on the go again with her knee brace for her ACL tear.
Kodi is so excited to have his light blue knee brace for his ACL tear.
Sally, a Pit Bull mix, wants you to see her pretty new knee brace.
We don't see too many Labradoodles at our clinic and we can hardly see Chrissy's black knee brace for her ACL tear with her beautiful dark hair.
Roman the Pit Bull is looking cool in his custom knee brace for an ACL tear.
Roxie is a very stylish Havanese in her matching knee brace for her ACL tear and her light blue collar.
Apollo Creed is one of our largest patients weighing in at 242 lbs. He still has a lot of fight left in him and is on the way to recovery from two ACL tears.
Snuggles, a nine year old Schnoodle, is so cute- you just want to pick him up and hold him.
How could anyone deny the wisdom of Athena with that face? Athena is a 2 year old Pit Bull/Bulldog mix who needed a knee brace for the ACL tear in her knee.
Remington loves the camera. Look at that smile.
William is one special guy and everyone at My Pet's Brace was so happy to be a small part of his journey when he came to us for a cart from Eddie's Wheels for Pets. William is originally from Egypt and his amazing Foster Mom is helping William find his forever home in the US. We wish you all our best William the Brave.
Stanley is ready for the 4th of July weekend with his new brace.
Maddie the Pit Bull is all smiles in her custom knee brace for an ACL tear.
Blue has been a popular color this week. Here's Asti the Akita looking awesome in his knee brace.
Cayenne is looking relaxed in her new blue knee brace for her ACL tear.
Angus looks smokin' in his blue knee brace. Everyone stay cool out there this summer.
Sam is looking comfortable at home in his neon green elbow brace. After several unsuccessful surgeries to repair fractures in the growth plate of his elbow, Sam visited us for a brace for support and protection.
Lily wants to say Hi to everyone in her custom carpal braces for the hyperextension in her wrists.
Jackson is a thirteen year old cutie with his new blue knee brace.
Roxy and her family win the "Longest Distance Traveled to My Pet's Brace" prize. They drove from Texas! It just so happened that Roxy needed a knee brace for her ACL tear and they have relatives in PA. We were so happy to meet everyone and that they could make the trip up to our clinic to see us in person for a brace for Roxy.
Here's Mya, a Goldendoodle, in her new knee brace for the ACl tear in her leg.
The red brace looks good on Nino, a seven year old Bernese Mountain Dog who received the brace for his ACL tear.
Zeke picked out the color of his own brace. He's not a flashy guy, so he went with the tan. Good choice Zeke.
Bella is a six year old Bernese Mountain Dog, but she still looks like a puppy to us. She visited our clinic for a custom knee brace for her ACL tear.
Koshi is stylin' and ready for the weekend in her matching sunglasses and matching legwear. Koshi is a long haired Akita who needed a custom knee brace for her ACL tear.
Timmy is so handsome in his blue knee brace. He is a very active one year old Labrador mix who tore his ACL when he fell down some steps. With the support from the brace, Timmy can start going on walks again, he no longer needs to be confined to the house. In a few weeks, he'll even be able to play with siblings.
Koa, an adorable Labrador who hasn't even turned one yet, tore her ACL. She came to us for a knee brace and was doing great at her three week check-up. Keep up the good work Koa!
Watch out- Bear is on the loose in his cart from Eddie's Wheels For Pets! He suffers from rheumatoid arthritis in both rear legs and will use the support from the cart to get on the move once again.
Say hi to Otto, a six year old Bichon, with a knee brace for his ACL tear.
Jackson loves to visit us and always finds our basket of toys! Jackson is doing very well with the knee brace he received in May of 2015 for his left ACL tear, but he recently tore the ACL in his right knee. As long as he can play, he's happy to wear his matching braces.
Koa sure looks like she's having fun! She's a 10 month old Labrador who needed a knee brace for her ACL tear.
Check out Bully the Bull Terrier! We've made braces for less than a handful of Bull Terriers over the past 6 years. It sure was a pleasure to meet and work with Bully at our clinic.
We had the pleasure of seeing Buddy in his knee brace while we were at the Bark for Life of Western Berks American Cancer Society walk. Buddy has had his knee brace for a little less than two months and he was walking comfortable around to all the vendors and enjoying the wonderful event.
Kenzie, a 13 year old Shetland Sheepdog, is a cutie in her pink knee brace for her ACL tear.
We can guess how Cuddles got his name. He's a friendly and soft Bichon that needed a knee brace for his ACL tear.
Welcome Jimmi to the My Pet's Brace Stifle or knee brace club. Jimmi is an 11 year old Jack Russell/Pug mix who needed a knee brace for his ACL tear.
Cassie received two matching knee braces during her recent visit. She had knee surgery on her left leg in 2015, but recently tore the ACL in her right knee. They decided to have knee braces made for both legs as Cassie is very active and will benefit from the extra support.
Penny, an English Bulldog from Maryland, needed a knee brace for her ACL tear. She isn't a quiet bulldog and made her presence known with her happy grunting and breathing noises to all of us at the clinic.
Look at Tucker Joe's face! He visited us for a carpal brace the support the hyperextension in his wrist. Hopefully he'll be able to start enjoying walks once again with the help from his new brace.
Rue didn't want to look at the camera after she was fitted for her knee brace for her ACL tear. Maybe she's thinking...the brace will hide me.
That One, in his goggles and stroller, visited us for hock braces for both back legs to help support his weakened ankles.
After his evaluation with our clinician and co-founder, Jim Alaimo, it was determined with his pet family that while braces would support his legs, they would not improve his quality of life. It would be too difficult for That One to lift his back legs high enough to clear the floor while wearing the braces. It is our mission to help pets live happier lives, with or without the use of our custom leg braces.
We greatly enjoyed meeting That One and we wish him and his family all our best!
We've made braces for almost every dog breed, but last week we saw our first Swedish Vallhund- Sadie. Swedish Vallhunds, similar in size and appearance to Welsh Corgis, are energetic friendly dogs also known for their herding ability. It was our pleasure to meet Sadie and we look forward to seeing her progress with the knee brace for her ACL tear in the months to come.
Teddy is a handsome Shih-poo that needed a custom carpal brace to help support his leg from the hyperextension and external rotation in his wrist.
Bella, a 13 year old Chow, made herself right at home at our clinic after she was fitted for her knee brace.
Suka is a beautiful Great Dane/Mastiff mix that needed a knee brace with heavy duty joints to accommodate her size and activity level. She recently visited us again for a recheck appointment and is doing well with her brace.
Peanut has a peanut sized knee brace for his ACL tear.
Rooney was so sad to say goodbye to us last week after he was fitted for his knee brace. Luckily, he'll see us again in three weeks for his first recheck appointment.
Nessa, a Spar Pei from New York, didn't want to be outdone by her sister Mei-Ling who got a knee brace last year. Nessa is now even more stylish with her pink brace to help her with the degenerative joint disease in her elbow.
Maya is a cute little Chihuahua that visited us for a knee brace for her ACL tear. If it wasn't for the black straps, you wouldn't even be able to tell she was wearing a brace.
Henna's family touched base with us to let us know how she is doing.
"Woof to everyone at My Pet's Brace.
It's Henna...you haven't seen me in awhile so I thought I would send you some greets from the Jersey Shore. Take a look at how happy I am with my fancy braces- I can run and jump and enjoy life and you made this possible- thanks so much! By the way: these pics were taken at the end of 2015 and since a few months the pink brace is off and my knee is healed (even my vet said I'm fine). Just the green brace I'll need a little longer...
Looking forward to seeing you again!"
Peanut is looking handsome in his neon green knee brace. His pet family elected for Peanut to have knee surgery for his torn ACL, but first came to us to be fitted for his custom knee brace to help provide support post surgery.
Diego is a 13 year old Sheltie, wearing his custom knee brace for the first time.
No those aren't bunny ears, but it sure looks like it. Violet is ready to enjoy spring with her new knee brace for her ACL tear.
Dude liked his elbow brace so much, he came back to us just a few weeks later for a knee brace.
Lilly is a one year old Pit Bull who was rescued by her forever family when she was just a few weeks old. She has spina bifida and has had to go through multiple surgeries. Lilly continues to be a sweet happy puppy, getting around with her front legs or with the help of her cart. Her forever family and veterinarian contacted us about making custom hock braces that also prevent her from crossing her back legs. We fitted her for her braces and we can't wait to see her progress in the next few weeks and years to come.
Scooter was fitted for his custom hock brace. The brace will provide support and lift to help the instability in his tarsal and the collapsing of his hock.
Logan was ready to play when he was at our clinic to get his knee brace for his ACL tear. The brace will get him back to playing soon, but he'll have to try to slow it down for a few weeks.
Charley is a Bichon mix who visited us from New York to receive a custom knee brace for his ACL tear.
Petey's left hind leg is 1 1/2 inches shorter than his right, so we fabricated a tarsal brace to help even him out and get him running on all fours!
This is brace number 2 for Mazie. She received a right knee brace in the summer of 2014 that she no longer needs to wear. Unfortunately, she tore her left ACL recently. We wish it was under better circumstances, but it's always nice to see old friends.
Emma needed a knee brace for her ACL tear. Maybe she'll look happier about it later.
Mackie, a sweet senior Golden Retriever, has some arthritis in her left elbow in her old age, We fabricated a custom elbow brace to support and protect her joint.
Romo, a German Shepherd mix from New York, looks happy in his custom knee brace.
Kemet is playing ball thanks to the support from the knee braces for her two ACL tears.
Rocco, A three year old Mastiff, visited us from New York to have a custom knee brace designed and fabricated in two days through our expedited service.
Sarge, a 12 year old Jack Russell, is loving life in his knee brace.
Cooper has a knee brace for both back legs, pink for the left and purple for the right. She tore her left ACL in the beginning of 2015 and she came back to us in February of this year because she tore her right ACL.
Harlow is happy to be wearing her pink knee brace. She might not understand it yet, but the brace will reduce her pain and help her limp less by realigning the bones in her leg which helps heal and protect her knee from an ACL tear. Most importantly to her, it will mean more walks and play time!
Remy looks dashing in his matching light blue knee brace.
Diamond decided she likes her new knee brace. She just needed a sniff and a moment to realize it.
Dude, a nine year old Australian Shepherd, received his custom elbow brace to provide him with greater stability and help his arthritis. We had a great time meeting Dude and his family.
Just too cute!
We love to hear from our pet families! Jessie's family sent us some wonderful pictures and said, "I just wanted you to see Jessie in her new brace. She is doing great with it on here in the Utah snow."
Knee brace in action! Coach can now use his injured leg to go to the bathroom, something he couldn't do before the brace. Glad he's back to the important things in life.
Teddi, a Shar Pei, is looking very cute in her matching pink knee brace for her ACL tear.
Laila sends us greetings from Japan! She is part of a military family currently stationed in Japan. Her family says she is adjusting well to the knee brace and will be wearing the brace while swimming in the ocean as part of her continued therapy. Wish we would join her!
You can hardly see Sasha's new knee brace. Picking the brace color is everyone's favorite part of the casting process.
Sesi, a Siberian Husky, looks comfortable in her custom knee brace for her ACL. We think pink was a great color choice.
Sadie, a Brittany, looks ready to take on the world with the help of her custom hock brace!
Rebel, an English Bulldog, is looking good in his custom knee brace for his ACL tear.
Here's Sophie, a sweet 11 year old lab, in her custom knee brace for an ACL tear.
Sculley, an American Eskimo, is excited to be wearing her new knee brace.
Gracie, a three year old Pit Bull cross, is wearing her custom knee brace for the very first time for her ACL .
Lexington, a Border Collie, strikes a pose in his custom carpal brace for the hyperextension in his wrist.
Ginger is all smiles is her new knee brace.
Jenny paused just long enough for a picture before she returned to running around and exploring the clinic with the help of her new mobility cart from Eddie's Wheel for Pets.
Here's Cleo looking pretty in pink with her custom knee brace.
Maizie looks ready for the weekend in her new pink knee brace.
Bailey, a Cavalier King Charles, is happy in her new custom stifle brace for her ACL tear.
Nikko, who reminded us of a mini Chewbacca, received bilateral carpal braces after being in splints for 6 weeks due to fractures in both front legs. He's now ready to take on the universe!
Felicity is a rescue who is missing the bottom portion of her right hind limb. We designed and fabricated a custom prosthesis for her and she was so happy to be walking on all fours once again and playing with her sister.
Klaus is looking happy and relaxed in his stifle.
Blindness and deafness hasn't stopped Izzy and neither will an ACL tear. He's too sweet for words.
Meet Appa, a beautiful Pyrenees mix, who was fitted for his custom-made stifle brace for his ACL tear.
Diggy in his new stifle brace for his partial ACL tear.
Faith, a 7 year old Greyhound, was fitted for her carpal brace after sustaining a contracture from a carpal fusion.
Wilford, or Willie, is a sweet senior Shiba/Husky mix looking for his forever home this holiday season (2015). He was abandoned in Philadelphia before finding his way to Senior Dog Haven & Hospice, Inc. We are happy we could help Willie in our own small way by fabricating an elbow brace for his arthritis.
For more information about Willie, contact his foster parents at Adopt My Foster Dogs or Senior Dog Haven & Hospice, Inc. Willie's foster parents started Adopt My Foster Dogs 4 years ago and have helped place over 50 dogs.
"Bionic" Brinks in her stifle brace for her ACL tear.
Mocha is excited to be wearing his carpal brace for the hyperextension and instability in his front leg.
Savannah, an Akita mix, is looking cute in her hock "boots" as her mom call them for her Achilles tendon tears in both legs.
Hank, an 8 year old Whippet and retired show dog, was fitted for a hock brace to support his leg after an Achilles tendon injury.
Ophelia, a Great Dane, was fitted for her stifle brace after undergoing a total of 6 surgeries on both hind legs. She wasn't so sure about visiting us, but was happy to process was easy and is on her way to recovery.
Carly was experiencing tarsal instability in her right hing leg and was in a splint for 11 weeks before visiting My Pet's Brace. We fabricated a non-jointed hock brace that will support her leg and permit easier care.
Charlie is a Japanese Chin who was happy to receive his stifle brace for his ACL tear.
Oliver is a handsome 3 year old Pit Bull. He's sporting his stifle brace for his ACL tear.
Trey, an 8 month old Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, was born without his left front leg. He was fitted for a cart from Eddie's Wheels for Pets to take stress off his right front leg and promote proper growth. He only wanted to sit when he first tried the cart at My Pet's Brace. His Mom wanted us to see Trey is loving his cart and playing outside with his siblings once again.
Sophie, a Boxer, was fitted for her pink prosthesis! Sadly, her right front leg was amputated below the elbow due to a sarcome in her wrist.
Kira, a Pit Bull mix, wants to say hi in her pink stifle brace.
Bruce, a Havanese, is sporting his blue stifle brace for his ACL injury.
Gracie's Mom contacted us and let us know Gracie is doing very well in her stifle brace. She sent us this picture of Gracie resting after enjoying one of her walks.
Dozer is a handsome English Bulldog who visited us for a stifle brace for a torn ACL.
Sandi is a Boxer Beagle mix who injured her leg chasing some rabbits. She received a carpal brace for the hyperextension in her right front leg.
Teddy is wearing one of the smallest stifle braces we've ever made! He's an adorable 10 pound Yorkshire Terrier with an ACL tear. He and his parents were so happy to get a brace to help him with his injury.
Daisy and Willy
Daisy and Willy and good griends from New York who just happened to sustain ACL injuries around the same time and whose Moms both work together at Guiding Eyes for the Blind, which provides guide dogs to the visually imparied. It was great to meet all of them!
Angel is a lovable pit bull who received a stifle brace for her right leg in August. Unfortunately, she tore the ACL in her "good" leg so she visited us again last week to be fitted for her stifle brace for her left leg.
Oliver is a bichon who was sadly hit by a car and sustained nerve damage is his left rear leg. He's stylin' now in his matching blue hock brace.
Natalie, a boxer/terrier mix, received her hock brace for her acute Achilles Tendon injury.
Johnny is an American Bull Dog that was sadly hit by a car before he was rescued. We fitted him for a carpal brace in 2013, but eventually a portion of his left front leg had to be amputated and he could no longer wear the brace. Johnny visited us again for a prosthesis and he is running on all four limbs again.
Sophie is smiling in her carpal brace to help with the hyperextension in her forearm.
Roscoe looks good in his stifle brace for an acl injury.
Maury visited us to be fitted for a cart from Eddie's Wheels for Pets. His siblings Little Miss Lexi and Pumpkin, in their own carts, came to support him. Maury has a degenerative disc disorder with partial paralysis of both of his hind limbs, but he doesn't let it slow him down. Maury is a foster dog with great things ahead of him. Check our facebook page to watch Maury and his siblings enjoy their wheels.
Watch Elsie (in her brace) and Tanya on BCTV's Dog is Family! Two thumbs up.
Sebastian Cabot visited us this week with his Mom and brother Elliotness to be fitted for his elbow brace. We were so happy to help Sebastian and thank all of his friends for supporting him and My Pet's Brace
Phoebe was fitted for a stifle brace this past May and visited us for a recheck today. Her and her family recently went camping and her Dad said they couldn't have gone on vacation if Phoebe hadn't gotten her brace. Phoebe is back to her old self, taking long walks and playing with the other family dog.
Winnie looks happy in her pink stifle brace for her acl injury.
Sandy is a senior dog with severely diminished mobility due to ACL tears in both of her back legs. Being a senior dog with neurological problems, her family wanted to try stifle braces to increase her movement. At the consultation, our clinicians decided a cart would be the most beneficial option for Sandy. Sandy took to her cart right away and was happy to be enjoying her freedom once again. View our Facebook page to see a video of Sandy leaving My Pet's Brace and happy to be on her way home.
By Leo's mom- LeeAnn
My husband and I are members of the Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association (ACDRA.org). Leo showed up on our rescue's dogs-in-need list on April 27th, 2014. He had a bum leg and needed out of the shelter. He was only 1 1/2 years old at the time (his birthday is 10/11/2012). We took him in to be our foster on May 10th, 2014. We were committed to dealing with his bum leg before adopting him out.
What we got was the sweetest, smartest dog I'd ever met. He was a very quick "foster failure" (meaning the foster home...us...couldn't bear to part with him and he'd be our forever dog).
We had him evaluated by a neurologist, an orthopedic surgeon, and the rehab team at Red Bank Rehab facility. He was diagnosed with radial nerve damage in his shoulder, most likely from blunt force trauma (usually a car accident we've been told). We took him to physical therapy and acupuncture and it was determined that a brace would be a good next step. He could use the leg but not walk on it normally.
We found out about Jim and My Pets Brace through members of our rescue who do human PT and OT. Leo immediately did well with the brace. He's always been athletic and very responsive to learning commands, etc. I have a few friends who do agility and they encouraged me to try it out with him.
We took him to classes at the Monmouth City SPCA this past summer. His class was taught by a woman who is a member of a large agility club nearby (Jersey Agility Group, JAG). He did GREAT, he actually seemed to already know most of the moves which makes us think he started training earlier in his life.
At this time he hasn't competed though he will be going to more classes in the fall. It's my understanding that he won't be allowed to compete in AKC competitions because of his brace, you can BET I'll be finding a way to end THAT "discrimination."
Even if he's never allowed to compete I'm going to try to be allowed to do exhibitions with him so people can see how well a dog can adjust to a brace and not have to go to the extreme measure of amputating an otherwise okay limb. Amputations are traumatic surgery and in my opinion should only be done to save the dog's life such as with bone cancer. Something like this? Nope, slap a brace on the dog and let him run with it.
What do I like best about doing agility? I like bonding even more with my boy and I love watching him figure out the various obstacles. He's so smart and he just enjoys every challenge so much. He loves doing things like the dog walk and other daredevil things like that (anything he can climb up and down on).
The brace has made his life so very much easier, you can tell when he needs it put on, he looks at you and offers up his leg. Without the brace he tires out easier and is a bit more sedentary, with the brace he just soars. It's been life altering for all of us.
So many people have suggested we just amputate the whole leg...NO WAY!!!! All he needs is his brace and he's a 100% (110%!) whole dog.
Leo can easily jump a 4' foot fence (with or without the brace). He can play with our other dogs, and does so with a passion, he goes on a walk every night with our 6 1/2 year old female cattle dog and keeps up with her just fine.
He is my "go everywhere" dog. He sometimes goes to our friends' bar on a Sunday afternoon and socializes with everyone there. He gets sympathy from everyone and I have to explain that he is the happiest guy EVER, no sympathy needed. Last night he had a profound case of the zoomies, he did about 10 laps at high speed around our yard...yes, he had his brace on. He's a life lesson in being happy.
Purdy walked with all four feet for the first time with her new prosthetics at My Pet's Brace. Purdy had severe frostbite when she was 1 week old and all of the toes on both of her hind legs had to be amputated. Her new family visited us and we were able to make two custom prosthetic hind feet for her. She is a happy playful puppy and we were all so joyful to see her walking and running on all fours. Visit our Facebook page to see a video of Purdy enjoying her new legs.
Elsie, a rescued pit bull, breast cancer survivor, circus performer, artist, actress and public figure inspired us all at her recent appointment at My Pet's Brace. She visited us for a custom brace for her ACL injury, in which we had the pleasure of meeting this warm-hearted dog with an amazing story.
As with so many pit bulls, in 2006, Elsie was found at Animal Care and Control in Manhattan on the euthanasia list.? Luckily, her sweet disposition got her into a foster family. She was soon adopted by her forever love, Tanya. Together, the two of them have overcome every hurdle in their path and they have as much fun as they can along the way. Elsie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and is cancer free today thanks to a partial mastectomy. She also had aural hematomas in both of her ears, a toe amputated and a tumor on her tail. It was only through the excellent and gracious work of the Human Society of New York that Tanya was able to provide Elsie which such excellent care.
Tanya was so grateful to Animal Care and Control and the Humane Society of New York for their services to Elsie that she wanted to find a way to give back. Through this inspiration, Tanya created Something Else. Using canvas, paint and some treats for motivation, Elsie made modern art masterpieces with her paws and tail. The paintings were sold across the world with proceeds benefiting the two organizations.
Elsie and Tanya have kept busy with different activities over the years. Both of them participated in Circus After School, helping children learn leadership, patience and respect through circus tricks. Those in New York may even recognize Elsie from Animal Care and Control of NYC's PR campaign- New York's Kindest or her upcoming feature in a canine dental ad this fall. Elsie has reached such a following that people have asked to meet Elsie and hear about her story in person. Tanya and Elsie are happy to take a drive and have met their friends in states across the country.
Today, Elsie and Tanya continue to advocate for pit bulls through their participation in Animal Care and Control's Pit Bowl and regular donations. Even as Elsie ages, Tanya takes her on walks or on rides in her special stroller around the neighborhood or at events. Elsie loves people and brings light and happiness to everyone she meets.
The newest venture for Elsie and Tanya, are Movie Mondays. Every Monday, Tanya posts a picture of a famous movie scene the two of them have recreated. Check them out on Elsie's Facebook page and Instagram account. My Pet's Brace was very happy to be a small part of Elsie's journey and can't wait to hear what she does next.
Leroy, a darling Yorkie, came in recently for a Stifle (knee) brace to help stabilize the leg while healing from an ACL tear.
Pete and Purdy
Pete and Purdy were two of our patients today and they were so photogenic we had to snap a few pictures as they got acquainted.
The small dog in the photos is Purdy, a 6 month old Golden Retriever puppy who lost both hind paws at the ankle due to frostbite. She was here to be casted for prosthetics. She acts just like a normal puppy and her missing paws do not slow her down much.
The dog in the cart is Pete, a 14 year old American Staffordshire Terrier who originally came to us for a stifle brace for an ACL tear. Pete also has weakness in his hind legs due to a back problem for which he had surgery so we measured for, ordered and delivered an Eddie's Wheels rear wheel cart for Pete. This was his second cart so he took to it right away.
Annie's family brought her to us for a stifle brace to support her ACL injury. She's doing great--her family recently sent us this picture with the note: "I had to let you know how well Annie is doing. We are just so completely amazed. Not only when she wears it, but how she is when it comes off. It's like the brace teaches her how to move. Her limp is practically non existent, with or without the brace. She loves it! We can't thank you enough!"
Pebbles is a diminutive Min Pin approximately seven years old. She was rescued by her current family several months ago. The full history of her injuries is unknown but the only way Pebbles has been able to move was to "army crawl" on her front elbows.
We worked with Pebbles's family to measure, order and fit this custom made Eddies Wheels quad cart with the castors in the rear. Once in the cart, Pebbles was in a true walking position for the first time in who knows how long, able to move her rear legs in a walking gait and push herself forward in short bursts.
In this picture you'll notice the straps or "yokes" seem loose--at this point they are not needed and are left loose; the castors (think of them as training wheels) are there since she is weak in the back end and they hold her up--if and when the training wheels come off, the yoke will be more snug and supportive.
The family is pleased because Pebbles will be more mobile and will be able to get more exercise in the cart.
Kramer is a happy, handsome Goldendoodle who injured his right ACL/CCL when he slipped on a pool cover. He had surgery on the knee but it still wasn't stable so his veterinarian recommended a brace from My Pet's Brace, to stabilize the knee.
Lily, a Golden Example of a Therapy Dog wearing an ACL Brace for Dogs
Generous families and their dogs helping sick and disabled children is one of the many good stories we hear at My Pet's Brace. Lily and her family are an excellent example of this. We first met Lily, a Golden Retriever, in December of 2013 when she came to My Pet's Brace for a partially torn ACL or Anterior Cruciate Ligament. After a thorough evaluation we casted and fitted her with an ACL brace for dogs.
For the past seven years Lily and her Mom Kathy have visited the local Ronald McDonald House and a Wilmington, Delaware nursing home as a therapy team. A couple of years ago they joined the Pet Therapy program at Nemours A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children and, as part of the program, they visit the kids in their rooms including the Pediatric ICU and the Cardiac ICU/transplant unit.
Kathy reports that their favorite visit is to the rehab gym where the kids do their physical therapy. Because she's wearing her brightly colored canine knee brace, Lily gets a lot of attention. The kids seem to relate to Lily and vice versa - because they appreciate that she had to do tough physical therapy to rehabilitate her knee, just like they do. Kathy relates that Lily has a special talent for handling each situation just right whether it's being calm and gentle when small children want to give her lots of attention or correctly choosing when to stay a couple of steps ahead when racing or slow down and let the child win the race.
The hospital has been so pleased with Lily's and Kathy's good works that they've featured Lily in a promotional video for the Children's Hospital. Take a few minutes to follow this link to see Lily in action: http://youtu.be/wxaMRa2b88w.
Attribution: Much of the information in this story came from a letter Kathy recently sent to Lily's fans. If you would like to help the team, go to http://givenow.nemours.org/.
Mr. T is a Small Dog with a Big Attitude and a Canine Knee Brace
We've all heard of small dogs with big attitudes and we now believe in their existence after meeting Mr. T! He is a 13-pound Bichon with a large attitude and only three legs who was named after the iconic character from the TV show, The A-Team.
For Mr. T attitude was probably a survival mechanism. His story is one we hear far too often at My Pet's Brace. Before he was rescued by his current family when he was 18 months old, Mr. T suffered a shattered hip, probably from abuse, and had to have his right hind leg amputated at the hip.
His new family soon realized that T, as he is often called, did not consider having only three legs any kind of a limitation so they went with the flow. First he received an AKC CD or American Kennel Club Companion Dog certification in obedience school by earning at least 170 out of 200 points after completing six exercises such as heel on leash and figure eight. Next he began training for agility runs and for many years performed in all events except the A-frame. He ran through the courses so fast that his legs were a blur and most observers were shocked when they discovered he had only three legs!
Mr. T, who is now 11 years old, retired from agility events in 2013 and in the first half of 2014 injured the ACL or Anterior Cruciate Ligament in his left (remaining) knee. His family brought him to My Pet's Brace for evaluation for a canine knee brace also known as an ACL brace for dogs. As of this writing, Mr. T has been wearing his brace for four months and is doing very well. He wears his ACL brace for about five hours a day during the week and more on the weekends and is now full weight-bearing on the leg (meaning he is not limping or favoring the leg).
He may be retired, but Mr. T is still going strong. He is currently a certified therapy dog for reading programs and nursing homes and in August 2014 he presented a demonstration of what handicapped pets can do at the Collie Gathering in New Jersey. We all hope we have his attitude when we retire!
Marvin is Back for Another Carpal Brace!
You may remember Marvin, who we profiled here in our Dog Stories (see below) and on our Facebook page about a year ago. This is what he looked like at the time:
Well, Marvin grew up! He recently visited our clinic for a new canine leg brace to replace the one he outgrew. We first met him when his family brought him to us for a carpal brace to correct hyperextension at his wrist caused by a radial growth plate injury. At the time he was five months old and weighed about 50 pounds. He's now 18 months old and about 80 pounds, but he's still a unique character with Action as his middle name.
Marvin loves to romp and play with his brothers and sister in the family's one acre fenced area. In anticipation of these good times, he positions himself on a corner of a sofa and drapes his leg over the arm of the sofa to make it easy to have his brace put on. Then he licks hands in appreciation.
As it turns out, as he has grown Marvin has become a hardcore Mama's boy according to his Dad. This was confirmed as he followed Mom around the My Pet's Brace clinic. Marvin's family tells us he has done very well with his brace and we agree. Here's a current picture of Marvin:
Bo and Zoe
Two friends visited My Pet's Brace recently. Bo is the Standard Poodle, who came to us last year for a brace to help with a partially torn CCL. Word of mouth about Bo's success with her brace led Bo's playmate Zoe, a Boxer/Pit mix, to My Pet's Brace with a torn CCL in her right knee.
You wouldn't know it from her happy attitude, but Zoe's had a tough time in her two short years--at 4 months old she was hit by a car and the front leg had to be amputated. Then, more recently, she had surgery to repair a torn CCL in her left knee. When the right CCL was torn, the family came to us for a less invasive treatment option.
Remi is a lively, eight and a half year old, female Rottweiler who is described by her family as, Wonderful! Amazing! The best dog ever! Her story is a good example of one we often hear at My Pet's Brace: a lost, scared and probably abused dog is rescued by a big-hearted, caring family.
Remi's story begins when as a puppy she was found wandering along a rural highway in southeastern Pennsylvania by friends of her current family. Using the implanted microchip, Remi's owner was located; however, through several conversations with him, it became clear that he was hesitant to take her back and the friends' offer to adopt her was quickly accepted.
Remi seemed content on the friends' farm and happily trotted along when the horses were being ridden. She was very overweight when she was found, which was quickly addressed, but she is also food-aggressive and is overly protective of her feet being touched. Unfortunately, this caused concern because of the small children in the family.
Luckily the daughter in Remi's current family rode horses with her friends on the farm and fell in love with Remi. The rest of the daughter's family quickly decided she would be a great addition and offered to give Remi a new home. When she was introduced to the family's clothing shop, Remi walked right in and settled down and now works there every day.
It was during one of her frequent romps around the family's 50-acre farm that Remi probably injured the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in her right knee. The injury was then aggravated by a slip on a wet floor. Remi's veterinarian diagnosed the damage in May and recommended surgery, but the family was concerned that they would not be able to keep her quiet and inactive during the extended recovery period. They were afraid that the very active Remi would damage the screws and plates that would be inserted to fix her knee causing her to require another surgery.
This is when Remi's family discovered My Pet's Brace through a friend and brought her to our clinic for an evaluation in July. After a thorough evaluation, a cast was made of the injured knee and was used to make a model of the knee. The custom brace was made from this model in our onsite fabrication center and in less than two weeks Remi was back at the clinic being fitted with her new knee brace, also known as a Stifle brace. During one of these visits Remi demonstrated her impressive trick of flipping a dog treat off of her nose and into her mouth. (Try it sometime to understand why it's impressive.)
We have seen Remi several times since she received her brace to check her progress and she is doing very well. The last time we spoke to Remi's family they told us, "Remi is doing great with the brace; she is putting full weight on the knee. The brace saved us from so much unhappiness; it is an amazing thing!" This is what we like to hear!
Nugget's family brought him to our clinic about five months ago with a torn CCL (ACL) and we fit him with a custom stifle brace, also known as a knee brace. Nugget is a very active, three-year-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever and because of his high activity level the family was concerned that they would not be able to keep him quiet during a surgery recovery period. Here is an update from his family:
"Nugget continues to make good progress with his brace after a torn ACL. He is shown [in the picture] waiting for his next ball to be thrown. When he sees us coming with his brace, he gets very excited and his tail wagging never stops. After his exercise. He often licks his brace to say "Thanks".
If you have never met a German Wirehaired Pointer you are in for a treat when you do. We recently met Sadie who, like her sisters and brothers in the breed, has a weather-resistant coat of medium length wiry hair that is mostly black but with distinctive areas where the ends appear to be frosted white. And if that is not cool enough, she also has webbed feet!
Almost a year ago, after the Fall hunting season, Sadie began limping for no apparent reason. Her family took her to three veterinarians for second opinions and it was agreed she probably had a torn CCL (cranial cruciate ligament), which in humans is commonly known as the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). While considering their treatment options, Sadie's family showed the My Pet's Brace website to their veterinarian and decided that a stifle or knee brace would be a good option.
Sadie and her family came to our clinic for an expedited evaluation, casting and fitting where the entire process took less than two days. While they were here we discovered that Sadie is an accomplished hunting dog. She and her Dad hunt pheasants on a 5,000 acre game preserve where Sadie does some pointing but her main task is to flush the birds out of the cornfields. Her Dad says that she's also a fantastic retriever.
The family quickly decided on Hot Pink as the color for the brace because it would be easier to see outdoors.
Ulysses came to My Pet's Brace this past August to be evaluated for a stifle brace for a CCL/ACL injury. Uly, as he is called, was rescued by his current family when he was two years old, and he's now ten. He's a beautiful mild-tempered Giant Schnauzer with an interesting history.
When he was younger Uly had behavior problems that the original owners couldn't handle so they gave him up to a breeder who was willing to help. (You can see from the pictures that he is a big dog.) The breeder didn't have enough space for him so he was sent to an obedience training school that was run inside a local, non-violent prison. Despite the unusual setting, when Uly was returned he was much more obedient and consequently more adoptable.
This is when Uly's current family entered his life: they were looking for a male Giant Schnauzer as a companion for their female. After six months with his new family, Uly began having grand mal seizures and was diagnosed as being epileptic. He now takes medications to control the seizures but still has as many as three a month. It is one of these recent seizures that probably caused his current CCL (cranial cruciate ligament) injury.
In 2008 Uly had successful surgery to repair his first torn knee ligament (CCL). This time around, because of his age, other medical conditions and some side-effects of the medications he takes, his family decided to try conservative management which includes a stifle brace from My Pet's Brace.
Here is an update on Marvin, a very playful, happy-go-lucky mix of boxer and pit bull. We first met Marvin in early August when we casted and fitted him for a carpal brace. He was rescued by his current family and came to them with a radial growth plate injury and carpal hyperextension which the brace will help to correct. We saw Marvin again in late August and here's what his family said:
He's a maniac! He's running around and playing and roughhousing with his brothers and sister. He is using the brace to dig in the back yard. When the brace is not on, he has been found to be carrying it around in his mouth. He flies up the stairs with the brace on. He jumps over the baby gate when the brace is on. He loves his brace, and is very protective over it. In addition to all of this, as you can see from his picture, he deserves a high place in the Cute Hall of Fame.
Bella came to see us in late February after injuring her knee by getting her leg stuck in the snow. Just came across the picture and wanted to share--she has such a great smile and you gotta love that hot pink brace.
Here are a few recent patients. Marvin, the Boxer/Pit Bull mix, has a carpal brace for a growth plate injury. Max the Lab is wearing a carpal brace to help support a collapsing carpal (wrist). And Remi the Rottweiler is wearing a stifle brace to stabilize his knee while his torn CCL heals.
This is Lucy, a pretty, perky American Eskimo Dog who came to us after a CCL injury. We made a custom Stifle brace to help protect her knee during the healing process. We love the haircut she'd gotten when she came back for her follow up appointment--fluffy face and tail, and short on the body to help her stay cool in summer. Comments from Lucy's family a month after the fitting: "She's wearing the brace all day. It's working great and her walking is so much better than before we got the brace. Even with the brace off around the house she's more stable and able to put more weight on the leg."
Frequent question: "Can a dog wear two braces?" Just ask Jasmine the Cocker Spaniel--she needed two knee braces due to bilateral CCL injuries. (Because she also has Cushings disease her family didn't want to have surgery.) She's doing great!
We regularly do bilateral braces for hock, carpal and stifle injuries. Typically we will fit one brace first and let the dog wear it and get used to it for 3-7 days, and then fit the second brace. But even when that's not possible and the braces are fitted at the same time, the dogs do amazingly well.
Most of our clients bring their pets to our facility in Morgantown, PA to be casted and fitted for custom braces, but long-distance clients are a growing part of our business. Working with local veterinary professionals, we are able to help dogs that live too far away for the drive or who for other reasons can't come to our facility.
Molly, an active 12-year-old former Search and Rescue dog, had been living with cancer, and then tore her ACL. This ended her Search and Rescue career, but as her owner Kelly told us, it didn't end her life! Molly's veterinarian recommended working with My Pet's Brace to have a custom orthopedic device made which would help Molly's leg heal while allowing her to remain active. The veterinarian made a cast of Molly's leg and shipped it to us via UPS. From the cast we fabricated a custom Stifle brace and shipped it back to the vet, who fitted it to Molly's leg and checked to see if any adjustments were needed. The rest is history--and we'll let Kelly tell you in her own words how Molly's doing with her brace:
"I wanted to write you and let you know Molly loves her brace. She knows that when its put on she can do stuff again...The Stifle brace has made a world of difference! Thank You!! She is a great dog and has an amazing personality. She has been living with cancer for 4 yrs. She has lived, and I do mean LIVED, 2 to 3 yrs longer than anyone thought she would and she is still going strong! She hurt her leg being herself, thinking she can jump tall buildings in a single bound. We are to the point when I ask if she wants her brace back on she runs up to me and presents the leg!! And again, THANK YOU for putting all of the time and research into making these braces!!!"
We're happy to have helped Molly and hope to meet her someday. Thanks to Kelly for sharing her story with us!
We had some excitement here last week. Cue the music "Yakety Sax" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakety_Sax) and then picture this: Gilly, a Beagle mix with legs about five inches long, having just been fitted with her new stifle brace, waits till her owner and Mark are talking, and high-tails it out the back door during a plaster delivery. Mark and the owner set out in hot pursuit, racing through neighboring yards, until finally Mark pulls ahead of Gilly, circles in front of her, and stops. Gilly and Mark eye each other. Gilly rolls over on her back and asks for a belly rub. Mark complies. Drama over. The good news: Gilly was wearing her new brace at the time, so her leg was protected during the high speed escape. (This story was too funny not to share, but we should mention that runaway dogs are not a common occurrence here at My Pet's Brace!) Here are pictures of Gilly--on the right, she's having a little rest after her adventure.
Shiloh, a 13-year-old Husky/Shepherd cross, injured her right carpal (wrist) jumping over a retaining wall. Her family brought her to us for a brace to help with the resulting hyperextension (Shiloh also has a large fatty tumor on her right side which was contributing to a weight issue). The family had tried a "soft," non-custom brace but it didn't provide enough support.
We casted Shiloh's leg and fabricated a custom carpal brace. At her fitting appointment Shiloh walked well in the brace and at subsequent recheck appointments we found she was doing great. Feedback from the family: they are very happy with the results; Shiloh seems to want to have the brace on; she's wearing it most of the day and is much more active than before.
Watch the video to see Shiloh walking with her brace.
Gunther is a gorgeous, smart German Shorthaired Pointer who injured his Achilles tendon and was referred to us by the family's veterinarian to prevent hyperextension. On his first visit Gunther walked stiffly at the hock, with a claw foot appearance, and would lift that leg when pivoting on his hind legs. The family wanted to be sure and get Gunther in good shape since they were soon leaving on a 1-year sabbatical, driving a travel camper across the country and back.
We made a cast of Gunther's leg and fabricated a custom hock brace with joints to allow full flexion while preventing hyperextension. At the fitting appointment Gunther walked well in the brace and seemed quite comfortable in it.
Several weeks later at a follow-up visit we were happy to see Gunther putting good weight on that leg without hesitation. Feedback from the family: he's wearing the brace most of the day; they had just taken him out to the fields for grouse hunting a week earlier and he was running all over the place flushing quail and pheasants; and best of all, since he got the brace 9-year-old Gunther has been just like a puppy again. We wish Gunther and his family all the best on their cross-country adventure.
Watch the video to see how well he moves--what a beautiful dog.
Adorable--that's the word that best describes Van Gogh. He's a sweet, dignified Beagle-Bassett mix who has a deep bond with his owner. Van Gogh was referred to us because he was having problems with his front legs, which are shorter than his back legs, giving him the appearance of walking downhill and causing excessive stress on the front carpals (wrists) and hyermobility of the joints in his front legs.
Van Gogh would need braces for both front legs but we started with one, to get him used to walking in a brace. We made a cast of his right leg and fabricated a custom carpal brace--Van Gogh did very well with the brace after some initial hesitation.
A few weeks later he came back for his second brace and walked well with both braces on. We can see that the braces help control the hyperflexion in the joints, and Van Gogh is walking comfortably in them with no rubbed spots--this means the braces fit just as they should. Feedback from the family: at first Van Gogh had trouble learning how to lie down and go up and down stairs, but he's now figured it out; his back is less bowed when wearing the braces; and his front legs are no longer shaky.
We've known Bohdi, aka Bo for 4 months now. He's a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever with an expressive, smiling face that makes you wish you could read a dog's mind. Bo has an interesting story too. He was shot with a gun at the age of 10 months (before being rescued by his current family) and has shotgun pellets in his chest and legs. The injury resulted in shortening of his right hind leg. When he first came to see us after being referred by a veterinarian, Bohdi was walking slowly and not putting much weight on the leg. We made a cast of his leg and fabricated a tarsal paw brace to elevate that leg slightly.
When we fit him with the new brace Bohdi walked well in it and the height was fine. At his re-check a month later he was doing great and we made a few adjustments to straps. Two months later he came in for another check--still doing great and Bohdi's family was happy with the brace, telling us that he wears it outdoors and that they now have him using a treadmill while wearing the brace, to help him lose weight. He's able to run in the woods again and stand up on his hind legs, and is generally able to be much more active than he was before getting the brace. Bohdi's family says he loves his brace--when it's time to put it on he wags his tail and holds up his leg to help them put it on.
Here's a little more backstory on Bohdi. He is a Certified Therapy Dog and an AKC Canine Good Citizen, and he's had a book written about him. On the website for the book, his family explains that Bo was abused as a puppy and shot more than once, and we know that Bo was a stray for at least 6 weeks in the weeks just prior to our adopting him. He lived on his own, digging a den under the overpass of a major highway. He hunted for food at night and avoided humans at all cost. It took a group of 20 volunteers (including a tracking dog) weeks to capture him. He's a smart and resourceful canine. Bo is now part of a caring family with another rescue dog, Banjo, and two cats--he's gone from a life of suffering to a loving home where he works to help people. Find out more about Bo and his family here. See video of Bohdi, after 4 months with his brace, here.
Kiki is an adorable, energetic Mini Doberman who lost her right front leg in an accident last year. The accident also injured her left front leg and she lost several toes. When she came to see us, Kiki's paw pad had begun to break down and there was significant stress on the remaining front leg. The family and vet wanted a brace to protect the leg and paw and provide a larger footpad.
We made a cast of Kiki's leg and fabricated a custom carpal paw brace (carpal braces are also known as wrist braces). Due to their distance from our facility, Kiki's family chose our "expedited fitting" option. We offer this service (for a $75 fee) for clients who want to come to our location but who live a bit too far away to make the drive several times for fitting and delivery. With an expedited fitting, clients can bring their pets to us for the fitting, then stay overnight in one of two nearby pet-friendly hotels. We make the brace that afternoon or the next morning and get the pet fitted with their new brace and on their way.
Kiki took to her brace as soon as it was fitted--she was full weight-bearing right away and did not mind the brace at all. The owners told us they were very happy to see Kiki able to run with the brace. It continually amazes us how well dogs adapt to their injuries. We take very seriously our role in making these pets comfortable as they heal and as mobile and active as possible. See video of Kiki here.
A Warm Fuzzy for Christmas; a story of Christmas giving
Merry Christmas from Mark and Jim and everyone at My Pet's Brace. Today we tell the story of Fuzz. This 15 year old Cockapoo is a therapy dog at a retirement community. Fuzz was born in a dairy barn and early on he developed a love of all animals--even cats. He has been visiting residents of this community for 11 years, bestowing happiness and love wherever he goes. He enjoys his visits as much as his hosts do, trotting down the halls in an ever-changing wardrobe appropriate to the season or holiday (including the all-important Santa costume, as well as a tux for formal events and numerous bandanas and sweaters).
Fuzz loves to hike and has been trained to wear a pack, so one of his jobs at the retirement community is to deliver mail to the residents; he also carries food and supplies when he goes on hikes with his family. We get the feeling that Fuzz understands how important his job is.
Fuzz came to see us after injuring his knee a few months before. Due to his age and an active household including two brothers, black lab mixes River and Mooz, the family did not want Fuzz to have surgery. We made a cast of Fuzz's leg and built a custom Stifle brace to support the knee. At his fitting appointment Fuzz accepted the brace with no resistance and he walked very nicely with it. Several weeks later we saw Fuzz for a re-check and his family reported he's wearing the brace for up to 8 hours a day and limping less.
At this time of year we feel Fuzz's gifts of time and shared happiness are especially important, and we wish him joy equal to that which he so happily brings to the folks in the community he visits. We're thankful for Fuzz and his family and feel they exemplify the spirit of Christmas giving, throughout the year. (thanks to our Facebook friend Aimee for suggesting the "Warm Fuzzy" title for this story)
Check out a video of Fuzz here.
Boris is a beautiful bright-eyed 8 year old German Shepherd Dog with degenerative myelopathy. He is unable to walk with his hind legs so his family brought him to us to be fitted for a mobility cart. We work with mobility cart manufacturer Eddie's Wheels. Customers within driving distance of our facility in Morgantown, PA can bring their pet to us for evaluation, measurements (accurate measuring is very important for a good fit) and recommendation for the best cart for their pet. We order the cart and have it sent to our facility, where the pet returns for fitting and follow-up.
We measured Boris and ordered a variable axle cart with 16 wheels and hanging stirrups. This type of cart can be adjusted as Boris's condition changes, allowing him to strengthen when possible or to give him more support if needed. At fitting time, we shortened the cart a bit and moved the wheels forward to transfer more weight from Boris's front legs to the cart wheels. After a few adjustments to straps and stirrups, the cart fit well and Boris was ready to go! He took to the cart quickly, walking and then trotting as he discovered his newfound freedom.
Three months later, Boris's family reports he is doing really well with the cart. He's in it multiple times every day, walking up to 1 1/2 miles. The rugged wheels are great for around their farm, and the family says ...he knows how much the cart helps his mobility and never gives us any problem when we put him in it; he actually tries to help us by moving himself into position next to it so it's easy to bring his back legs up into the openings.
Watch video of Boris here.
Leroy, a beautiful brindle Pit Bull, came to see us after he slipped on a floor and tore his ACL/CCL (anterior or cranial cruciate ligament). He was limping when walking, not putting full weight on the leg when standing, and holding the leg up when walking fast or running.
We casted Leroy's leg and built a custom stifle (knee) brace. We make more knee braces than any other kind. ACL/CCL injuries are common, and bracing is a logical middle ground between the two options usually offered: months-long confinement to let the ligament heal naturally, or surgery to restore the knee's function. Because a custom leg brace supports and protects the knee, it is an excellent accompaniment to the non-surgical option as well as providing pre- and post-surgical support.
In either case a custom brace can help speed healing and prevent re-injury. And bracing is a viable alternative solution for pet owners who don't have the funds for surgery or whose dog is not a surgical candidate due to age or other reasons.
Back to Leroy. He came in for his fitting and walked fine in his new brace. At his follow-up appointments one month and two months later, we were happy to hear Leroy is doing great with the brace, able to chase squirrels and bunnies and negotiate steps. His owner says she can tell he's feeling better because he now stretches both legs out when you rub his back like he did before he hurt his knee.
Check out a video of Leroy here.
Riley came to see us 3 months after injuring his right CCL, also known as ACL. This friendly, happy 7-year-old Lab mix had surgery on his left CCL several years before, enduring a 2-year recovery. But after tearing the right CCL, the additional strain on the left side was causing the left hock to collapse (hyperextend). A solution for the right side was in order.
Riley's family told us that due to his ongoing injuries he was having trouble getting enough exercise. At the initial visit to My Pet's Brace he was limping when he walked, and when standing would only occasionally touch that foot to the ground. We made a cast of Riley's leg and built a custom stifle (knee) brace for him.
At the fitting appointment Riley walked well in the new brace, and at a re-check several weeks later he was doing great. His family reported he was wearing his brace 12 hours a day, and that he was running and chasing balls without a problem. They also felt that the left hock was less swollen since he'd been wearing the brace on his right leg. They are confident enough in the support provided by the brace that when he's wearing it they can let Riley go up and down stairs. A sure sign of Riley's comfort and satisfaction: he appears to look forward to wearing it in the mornings--once they put the brace on, he seems to say "Let's go, I'm ready!"
Check out a video of Riley here.
Dozer is the perfect name for this wonderful 8-year-old English Bulldog that lets nothing get in his way. He was brought to us for a prosthesis after having his left front paw amputated due to trauma. We'd worked with Dozer's veterinary surgeon before, so he consulted with us before the surgery about the best location for the amputation based on the length of the residual limb needed to provide secure suspension for a the new prosthesis.
After making a cast for a carpal prosthesis we made a test "socket" from silicone which fit well. (We use many of the same techniques and high quality materials used for human leg braces and prosthetics, along with joints that are specialized for animals.) When the prosthesis was ready Dozer came back for the fitting. He did great and was full weight bearing on the new limb.
At a follow-up visit we saw that Dozer was walking really well, obviously comfortable with the new paw. His family told us he was wearing his prosthesis most waking hours and that without it he would tire quickly. They also reported that he can now walk all the way to the back of their 2-acre property, and "When he's walking, people don't even notice the prosthesis because his walk is so natural."
James is a shy 10 year old Lab mix who had been recently rescued from Berks Animal rescue center not far from our office in Morgantown, PA. He came to us with a CCL injury that occurred before he was rescued. When standing, James was putting very little weight on the injured leg and his family told us he would limp more when tired and after periods of higher activity. Because of his age the vets felt James was not a good candidate for surgery so the family brought him to us for a brace. At the time of that first visit, James was quite timid--probably from past abuse--to the point of crouching and cowering when anyone came near him. We encouraged him and talked positively so he wouldn't be scared.
We made a cast of James's leg and fabricated a custom Stifle brace (commonly known as a knee brace). A week later at the fitting, he was noticeably less shy thanks to the kindness and care of his new family. He did extremely well with the new brace and was weight-bearing immediately, keeping his leg down when standing. At his re-check a month later we saw that James was even less timid and more happy. His family reported he was wearing the brace most waking hours. At another re-check a few months later we made some adjustments and found that James was doing very well with the brace, able to take longer walks in the park. Some healing has occurred since he started wearing the brace so that even when not wearing it James can put more weight on the leg than he could before. James's family is pleased with the results.
Rosie is a cute 8-year-old rescued Beagle who tore her ACL a few weeks before coming to see us. She's generally not highly active, though she does live in a lively atmosphere with a Black Lab mix and a Bassett hound as companions. The family vet referred them to us after ruling out surgery due to Rosie's age and the potential difficulty of post-surgical confinement in a more active household. They wanted a brace to support her injured leg and reduce stress on the contralateral (opposite) leg.
We made a cast of Rosie's leg and built her a custom Stifle brace. At her fitting appointment we put on the new brace and Rosie initially touched down her injured leg experimentally; after about 15 minutes she was putting much more weight on the leg and seemed quite comfortable. At her follow-up appointment Rosie was walking nicely and her family was very pleased with the new brace.
Gabe is a shy, friendly Greyhound whose family brought him to us with a badly-healed fractured leg in need of support. In his younger days Gabe was a Grade A racer--he ran in 162 races and won 31. He also ran in several stakes races, placing as high as 3rd!
But at 4 1/2 years old, Gabe fractured his leg on the track during a race. His current family rescued him and he has been happily ensconced in a loving family that includes two other Greyhounds and assorted other fostered dogs.
Gabe's family described him as very laid back--he wouldn't hurt a fly. Like other "sight hounds," during his walks he'd want to set off on a chase as soon as he saw something move, so a good harness and leash were employed to protect the local wildlife.
The family's veterinarian referred them to My Pet's Brace because Gabe had been getting progressively worse and collapsing at the hock. The fracture had caused weakness in Gabe's hock and misalignment of the bones. We created a cast and fabricated a custom hock paw brace which included joints to allow enough movement for him to walk up the stairs, and extra padding to protect his bony leg.
At the fitting appointment Gabe walked very nicely in the new brace; he was full weight-bearing and didn't seem to mind it at all. At follow-up, Gabe's family told us "We are using Gabe's brace every day now. It really has become a life saver for him. He seems to have obvious pain in that leg when we delay putting it on, but after he is in it he bounces around without issueshe has moments of excitement these days...We do believe there are many more dogs that have had previously broken legs that your braces can help."
Bailey, an Akita mix who looks very young for his 14 years, came to see us after a CCL injury (also referred to as ACL). His family did not want him to undergo surgery due to his age and the long rehab time needed. Bailey's family told us that before his injury, he'd been very active, playing with other dogs and with toys, and taking 2-3 walks a day. Following the injury they had to keep him quiet since he was standing on three legs, only occasionally touching that foot to the ground. It was difficult for him to navigate even short flights of stairs.
We casted the leg and crafted a custom Stifle brace. At his fitting appointment Bailey took to the new knee brace right away, walking and weight-bearing on that leg.
At the re-check appointment several weeks later Bailey's family told us he was getting around great with his brace. Now able to take half-mile walks and go up the stairs, Bailey was reported to be much improved and enjoying playing with younger dogs without getting knocked off his feet. A very positive outcome!
Wrecks, a 6-year-old Cocker Spaniel (and in our opinion a strong contender for the title "cutest dog on the planet") was suffering from a fractured elbow that had healed in a flexed position. His family was working with a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP) to help Wrecks strengthen his leg and gain flexibility and range of motion.
The CCRP referred the family to My Pet's Brace for a leg brace to help support the elbow and limit sideways motion. We evaluated Wrecks and determined an elbow brace would do the trick (the wrist didn't need to be included since there was full range of motion in that joint). We casted the elbow and fabricated the elbow brace with urethane joints to provide good medial and lateral support; three padded straps were added to hold the elbow in place and provide a secure fit.
Wrecks took to the brace right away, and at a re-check four weeks later he was full weight-bearing while wearing the brace. The family reported Wrecks was doing great with his brace taking longer walks and playing with other dogs. They say that the brace has changed his life.
When we met Chopper he was two years old. This young Pit Bull has gone through a lot in his brief years. He was abandoned by a breeder at about four months old because of his health problems and rescued by the Furry Friends Network. He presented with bilateral patellar luxation and dislocations of both hips, among other things. He has had surgeries on both knees, both hips and his spine.
His life turned around when on one of his visits to the surgeon, a kindly technician fell in love with him and adopted him. Today he is one of the happiest, friendliest dogs you'll meet, the result of his happy home, we believe.
When we evaluated Chopper, he presented with externally rotated hips and on the left side a fused knee, slight paralysis below the hock and sores on his dorsum which were the result of the paw "knuckling" and dragging. Without a brace he stood the chance of breaking his leg and developing infections on top of his paw. We designed and fabricated a left brace that would encompass his hock (heel) and paw that will keep the hock in a neutral position, stop the knuckling and protect his paw. After a few sniffs and licks to inspect his new leg brace, Chopper jumped up and ran down the hall like he'd been wearing it all his life.