Last Updated on 2021-11-18 by Admin
Last week I received the custom dog knee Brace we had ordered for Annie. It took roughly a week from the time we had provided the measurements and photos of Annie. A couple of days after we received the brace. We booked a Skype Video meeting. The meeting was to double-check the fit of the custom knee brace and make minor adjustments if needed. It would also allow us to put the brace on Annie’s knee, with an expert to watch us. We got valuable feedback and got all our questions answered.
We had decided to buy a custom dog knee brace from https://www.poshdogkneebrace.com. I have no affiliation with them.
The reason we went with the posh custom dog knee brace is for the following reasons:
- No casting Required
- The brace is durable and can be used in water, snow and ice
- I was impressed that they called me after I emailed them with questions
- They did not push for a sale. They focused 100 % on Answering my questions and gave me other resources to investigate
- While talking to the representative, I found out that they also have some resources regarding supplements, massage and other treatments. And they made it clear that its only for customers
- The FAQ page is full of information that I valued
- Spare parts are available, and the brace is adjustable
- Should Annie require a custom brace for the other leg later, it won’t cost as much
On that last point, there is about a 50 – 60 % chance that the other knee will also develop a Cruciate Ligament tear. That is because the healthy leg has to overcompensate. The chance of developing a Cruciate Ligament tear is no different for Cruciate Ligament Surgery or Cruciate Ligament Surgery Alternatives.
Here are my findings of the custom dog knee brace. It is only a short term evaluation. Anyone with a dog that has a torn cruciate ligament and is considering getting a custom brace might find this article useful. A longer-term review of the custom knee brace is for a few months from now.
Putting The Custom Knee Brace On
The first time we put the custom knee brace on Annie, we were a bit nervous. Annie was holding still and was calm and patient. At the same time, she was alert and curious about what was going on. It went much better than expected
Once we had the custom knee brace on, we went for a short walk. Annie was walking unnatural and tried to remove the straps. Which we expected she would do.
As we walked around the block, I kept an eye on Annie. There was something that bothered her. My wife got Annie to stay, then made a couple of adjustments. Annie was much happier after the adjustment and walked considerably better.
Surprise, More Than Just A Custom Knee Brace
With the brace also came some spare parts. After our Skype Video conference, we received an email with a list of supplements, a link to videos for massaging the leg and some other resources.
It is nice that with this brace, you get a whole recovery package, with a weekly plan of things to do.
The first thing I did was to have a look at the supplement list for unhealthy ingredients.
There are many popular joint formulas out there. Some have a lot of great reviews. Once You research the ingredient list, You find cancer-causing or an unhealthy ingredient on the label. That is something I want to avoid.
The list of supplements that we received doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients. And the supplement list has a nice balance between premixed joint formulas and individual components from the health food store.
How The Dog Walks
With the custom knee brace on the injured leg, Annie is moving her leg differently. When the knee brace initially is put on, it looks odd how she walks. But a few minutes later, it seems more natural. By watching how she walks, You can tell that the muscles will be sore after a walk.
Two factors are the cause. One is how the brace gets fitted. The other, the custom knee brace, does restrict certain motions to protect the knee. Fitting of the custom knee Brace needs to be precise every time.
The recommended walking time with a brace is 15 minutes for the first week. We do more than that.
Annie is more energetic during our walks. I believe she has less pain when walking with the custom knee brace.
Improvements Detected Almost Immediately
Since Annie uses the brace on our walks, I have not seen her limping without the brace at home. That, even when we overdo it a bit during the walk. What I also noticed since we got the brace, Annie is much happier.
We can go for a little longer walks than before. Annie is much more interested in interacting with us than before. Here muscles are building up nicely on the injured leg. And she does not seem to be in pain anymore.
The expectations were that maybe a couple of weeks of wearing the custom knee brace, we would see the results we see after just five days.
Be Careful Not To Overdo It
Annie has adjusted well to the custom knee brace. On the second day, when we went on our evening walk. It started harmlessly enough. At first, I was just totally surprised by how fast she walks. She was almost running. She was a dog on a mission. Then I felt happiness and surprise. Annie went into the field to take the route we would take before she had her cruciate ligament torn. That is when I had to curtail it and head for home. It became clear she would go the whole route. That would be way too far of a walk with the new brace.
Overall she tends to walk faster with the brace. The custom knee brace still needs breaking in. It will take some time for that to happen. Sometimes during a walk, I take the knee brace off when I see she is getting uncomfortable with it. When it’s early on in our walk, I might make some adjustments for a better fit. And see how she does.
When we overdid it, Annie will have soar muscles. She gets massaged multiple times a day. I did that before we got the brace already. So nothing new for us.
Annie Is Accepting The Custom Knee Brace
I can’t say that Annie loves the brace. She sometimes tries to avoid putting it on by walking away from me when I hold the custom brace. Other times Annie does not mind putting on the knee brace and stands in front of me.
Overall she adjusted well to the brace. She is still curious about it and wants to lick or sniff it. So I let her do that. When we get home, she no longer comes and gives me the leash handle. Now she gets in the door and stand, waiting for me to take the brace off, then she brings the leash.
We have to make sure she never has a bad experience with the brace. Otherwise, she will be stubborn and refuse to wear it. One thing to watch out for is that she licks her hock when we come home. That still needs our attention. Currently, I put compression foam around the hock as a protector. It is also time for my wife and me to review the fitting video one more time.
Minor Adjustments And Brace Maintenance
The brace looks and feels like a quality product. It has screws that hold things together. Weekly, one needs to check and tighten the screw if required. The buckles work well to fine tune the brace fitting. Loosening the straps is not that easy if you got big fingers. My wife has a much easier time with the straps than me.
The custom knee brace can be washed with soap and water when dirty.
From taking the initial measurement, the process of getting the brace and putting it on went better than I had expected. Better than anticipated were also the extras like supplement list, massage videos and recovery treatment plan.
The most enjoyment I get is to see Annie pain free and being herself again. During the day, unless we go for walks, the brace is off. And I have not seen her limp at all since we use the custom knee brace during walks.
Can one create a Brace for a torn cruciate ligament without a leg cast? Yes, for sure.
This short-term evaluation shows that the brace does more than expected in Annie’s case. It will be interesting to see if anything will change when I do a long term evaluation of the custom dog knee brace.
There is a followup post called custom dog knee brace – 2 month evaluation that shows how much more progress we made Annie wearing a a brace. And the latest update is related to the how the Posh dog knee brace performs in a Canadian winter.
I also like to make my readers aware of the following post, Dog knee injury – Why After one Year of Conservative Treatment I Decided on Surgery. That article will be interest to dog owners that have a dog young and healthy enough to undergo surgery.
Only found Human studies on the effectiveness of knee braces.
The effectiveness of self-adjustable custom and off-the-shelf bracing in the treatment of varus gonarthrosis https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17142415/
Role of bracing in the management of knee osteoarthritis https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20035222/