Talking to Your Veterinarian About Knee Braces for Dogs

Woman cradling a puppy

Knees are joints. They give out over time. That’s certainly true of humans, and it’s also true of dogs. Dogs depend on knee ligaments for their joints to work much like we do, and when something goes wrong with a dog’s knee, it can be extremely painful and debilitating.

We all love our dogs, and we will do whatever we can to give them a happy, healthy and comfortable life. If your dog injures his or her knee, you’re most likely going to research the issue before you can see your veterinarian. During that research, you’re going to see information regarding surgical procedures and other treatments.

You may also come across information regarding knee braces for dogs. A dog knee brace may seem like a strange thing to ponder, but much like humans, there are situations where knee braces for dogs are a better option than surgery. Every case is different, but having an understanding of knee braces for dogs isn’t a bad thing before you speak to your vet.

Happy Women’s Day!
Photo by Richard Brutyo / Unsplash

However, suggesting a treatment to your veterinarian can be tough. We all care for our animal so much we want to learn as much as we can to help our pet. We tend to lean on Dr. Google in these times, just like how we learned about knee braces for dogs in the first place.

To make the conversation go smoothly, it's important to remember your Dr. went to many more years of veterinary school than Dr. Google. They did it because they care about animals very deeply. Appreciating this goes a long way with someone that may have had to deal with a deathly ill animal earlier in the day.

As with any conversation, people do not like to be surprised. If you can, get the info about the dog knee brace to your Veterinarian before you meet. Or at the very least give them time to process any new info you bring to them.

Here is an dog brace information sheet you can share with your veterinarian.

It is also important to understand the background. For many years, surgery was seen as the gold standard for treating a CCL/ACL injury in dogs. "A chance to cut is a chance to cure" has been a saying in the veterinary profession for a long time.

And for a long time, surgery was the only solution. There were simply no knee braces for dogs on the market that could adequately support a dog's leg, allowing them functionality and proper movement.

There were fabric wraps available, but they just didn't do the trick.

Then along came Hero. The Hero Brace was designed by both a veterinarian and an orthotist-prosthetist with a dog's knee unique biomechanics in mind. After many different designs and materials, the Hero Stifle Brace was created.

Dog Stifle Brace with Hero Helping Pets Logo

Our Hero Brace starts with the neoprene sleeve customized to a dog's unique anatomy and then uses a black polypropylene shell for lightweight durability. The placement of our Velcro wraps holds the dog knee brace in the optimum place to ensure a secure fit and maximum functionality without relying on a harness or heavy piece of equipment. The brace effectively allows the dog's knee to develop scar tissue and heal on its own while keeping the dog active and happy.

Sometimes Veterinarians can be resistant to the idea of knee braces for dogs simply because they haven't seen a product that works as effectively as Hero. Canine bracing is on the forefront of veterinary medicine, and gaining popularity all of the time. In the coming years, as more Vets graduate with the bracing skills, you are going to see more knee braces for dogs than you have to this point.

Our Hero Braces have been endorsed by Dr. Carrie Adrian, the first PhD recipient in Canine Biomechanics and veterinarian and Michelle Beck, DVM and canine rehabilitation expert. Another CCRP who has worked extensively with animals using Hero Braces is Robert Porter who will be speaking at the STAAR conference in April. We also teach bracing with the University of Tennessee Canine Rehabilitation Program, a world-renowned canine rehabilitation program.

If you have decided that you would prefer a non-surgical route because of concerns about complications of surgery, anesthesia, recovery time, financial reasons or just don't like the idea of surgery in general, tell your veterinarian. Great veterinarians continually want to learn more. They love working with you to make sure that your dog receives the best care possible. If that involves a dog knee brace, then that must be what's best for your furry friend.

Let her know that you are not comfortable with the idea of surgery and then tell her about Hero. Heck, give her our phone number.

We would love to discuss with her about what makes Hero braces so effective and how we can best put together a plan to help your dog get back on his feet.

Jack Russell Terrier Dog running wearing a knee brace

Hero Braces, Veterinary Equipment, Benkelman, NE