Orthopedic Support Braces for Dogs

by Deborah Lundin
    A canine wheelchair supports the rear limbs and gets your dog mobile again.

    A canine wheelchair supports the rear limbs and gets your dog mobile again.

    China Photos/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Whether your dog is recovering from an injury or suffering from decreased mobility due to arthritis or general aging, orthopedic braces may provide him with additional support. This support allows him to get back to daily activities. Some support braces work by immobilizing a bone, joint or ligament, while others provide movement assistance with or without help from you. Talk to your veterinarian regarding the best support aids for your dog.

    Taking One Step at a Time

    Support braces vary in specific design, but they're all made to support the rear legs. Braces such as the ACL brace or the luxating patella brace stabilize the knee. These may be necessary after an injury such as an anterior cruciate ligament tear, whether as a way to avoid surgical intervention or as a form of support following surgery. Braces are available for injuries to ankles, paws and toes. A hock brace is commonly used for Achilles tendon injuries.

    But He Doesn't Type

    When you think of carpal injuries, you may think of carpal tunnel and repetitive typing or writing injuries -- but unless your dog is unique, this cause is unlikely. However, carpal hyperextension is a common injury often seen in active or sporting dogs; traumatic injury can occur when a dog jumps down from an elevated location. Carpal braces slip over and help to support the carpal joint with the use of metal support rods. For smaller breeds, the brace has a strap that slips over the shoulder to prevent slipping.

    He's Down and He Can't Get Up

    Whether your dog suffers from hip dysplasia, shoulder injuries or surgery, degenerative disc disease or hind-leg lameness, various support braces and harnesses can support the injured areas while allowing a handler to provide assistance as needed. For example, a shoulder stabilization vest supports the shoulder joints after a dislocation, while a harness allows you to assist your dog when he's getting up or to provide stability when he has a weak or unstable gait.

    These Wheels Are Made for Walking

    Spinal conditions such as degenerative myelopathy or degenerative disc disease can cause rear limb paralysis in dogs. While dogs are able to adjust to the loss of limb function, their ability to be active is usually diinished. To get these dogs moving again, orthopedic support involves wheels. These dog wheelchairs support all of a dog’s rear body weight while providing freedom of movement.

    Photo Credits

    • China Photos/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Deborah Lundin has worked as a professional writer since 2005, though writing has always been a passion. She brings a background in health and fitness, veterinary care, professional cooking and parenting. She studied medical laboratory science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Sites published on include Yahoo, Physorg and MedicalXPress.

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