Pets At Risk For Joint Disease.

“Porky Pets”

 At risk for joint disease.

Fat-Cat

If you find the photo above adorable, you’re not alone. We all love to see our pets fat and sassy. However, we may not be seeing the risks that are associated with being so cute.

The nation’s obesity epidemic reaches far beyond adults and children to our pets, who share our homes, eating habits, and lack of exercise. 

Röntgenbild Hundepfote

Recent studies from Tufts University suggest that up to 50% of dogs and cats are obese or overweight.

While most cats and dogs don’t develop the life-threatening conditions, like cardiovascular disease that are associated with obesity in humans, being overweight can affect animals in other ways. The extra weight can wreak havoc on their joints and complicate other health problems.

Degenerative Joint disease (DJD) in our overweight pet population is common. DJD is the long term decrease in cartilage around the joint spaces.  Over time this will cause the animal to have a decrease in activity, sudden lameness, and stiff gaits that worsen with exercise.

Golden retriever dog

The use of splints or braces is widely utilized to support the joints affected by DJD.

OrthoVet carries a full line of splints to get your pet back up and running to shed those unwanted pounds.

Call us today at 866.207.9205 or send an email to contactus@orthvet.com to learn about our full line of dog and cat splints.

Using Pet Orthotics in Animal Rehabilitation

As pet owners, most of us would prefer not to think about our canine or feline companion ever sustaining an orthopedic injury. Not only do we cringe at the thought of our animal friend in pain, but also at the high cost of treatment or surgery.

pet orthotics hock splint

This dog is wearing the OrthoVet Hock Splint, available at our online store.

Luckily, developments in pet rehabilitation – including pet orthotics and splinting/bracing devices – has helped treat and maintain many orthopedic conditions and injuries successfully, with and without surgical intervention. When combined with the proper rehabilitation plan, these splints or braces often provide an alternative to surgery.

Some advantages of using splinting or bracing in the rehabilitation process are:

  • Keeping the dog or cats leg in a normal walking position allowing the injured limb to continue normal weight bearing.
  • Providing extra support for fractures of the lower limb.
  • Reducing the cost and time associated with casting, bandaging and degloving injuries.
  • Preventing knuckling of lower limb associated with nerve paralysis.
  • Easing of application and lightweight construction increases owner and patient compliance.
  • Keeping the lower limb in a normal position to reduce contracture problems.

The above list is just a short summary of the many injuries a splint or brace can help stabilize. It is important to work closely with your Veterinary Rehabilitation Professional to insure the best fit and function of an orthopedic device.

OrthoVet, LLC offers a wide range of styles and sizes of splints and braces with custom made splinting options also available. Visit our Product Info page to read more, or go right to our Online Store to see the products we have available.

A Guide to Pet Physical Therapy Options

Pet physical therapy adapts human physical therapy techniques to small animals. This allows them to lead longer, happier lives with less pain. Most veterinary physical therapists work with dogs, but the same techniques can heal cats and other small animals.

Clinical practice of physical therapy for animals is a relatively new field in United States. The veterinary community has acknowledged the benefits of physical therapy for many years. But in the last three to five years, the discipline has seen particularly large growth. This has allowed for more available resources for practicing veterinarians.

orthovet cat leg brace

What does practicing physical therapy on animals look like?

First, a Certified Rehabilitation Practitioner discusses the animal’s condition with the diagnosing veterinarian. Together, they develop a specialized therapy plan. This plan is different from case to case. Each technique used in animal physical therapy has different benefits. There is no ‘one size fits all’ technique.

Physical therapy for orthopedic conditions can include any combination of the following techniques:

  • Thermotherapy
  • Cryotherapy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Muscle building exercises
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Coordination exercises

Neurological conditions benefit the most from the following techniques:

  • Balance and coordination building exercises
  • Muscle building exercises
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Hydrotherapy

Surgical repairs and traumatic injuries are treated with the following techniques:

  • Heat therapy
  • Cryotherapy
  • Massage
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Hydrotherapy

These techniques also help enhance recovery from injuries, slow age-related diseases, and fight obesity.

orthovet dog leg brace

Orthopedic devices, such as splints or braces, are a helpful tool during the healing process. Veterinarians use these devices to correct or support the limb affected by trauma or surgical intervention. The vet will use the splint or brace as a temporary or permanent solution, depending on the case.

Situations where a veterinarian will use splinting along with the physical therapy include:

  • Knuckling or nerve damage
  • Tendon/ ligament weakness
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Arthritic problems
  • Non-union or unstable fractures
  • Lower limb positioning

OrthoVet currently offers a full line of lower limb splints used on a variety of injuries. Visit our storefront to see what we have available.

We always recommend consulting with a veterinarian or veterinary rehabilitation/ physical therapy professional before using any orthopedic devices.