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Alternatives to Surgery for Your Pet

August 04, 2017

Alternatives to Surgery for Your Pet - Animal Ortho Care

Mobility plays a large part in your pet’s happiness and health. When your pet loses its mobility, either gradually or suddenly, it can be detrimental to their outlook on life. It use to be that these cases required surgery to correct these issues, but the evolution of 3D technology and numerous advances in the animal orthotics field have allowed for our cutting edge team to create various tools and technologies to help pets regain their mobility without the need for invasive and costly surgery.

There are numerous reasons why some pets can’t have surgery. When it comes to surgery one needs to weigh the benefits gained against the risks to perform the procedure to analyze whether an animal should undergo the procedure or not. Some animals are not surgical candidates due to preexisting medical conditions or age. Others may find that expensive surgeries are not obtainable on their budget, for those who fit into either of these categories finding alternatives to surgery that are effective can be difficult.

At Animal Ortho Care we believe that the loss of a limb, or the loss of mobility, doesn’t need to signify the end of the road for an animal. Our dedicated team of orthotic experts, lead by Dr. Derrick Campana has made a difference in hundreds of pets across the globe. From rams in Spain to donkeys in Bhutan and elephants in Thailand, we’ve seen it all. No pet is too small and no injury or ailment too large.

Animal Ortho Care specializes in creating customized orthotics that serve a variety of purposes including stabilizing neurologically deficient limbs, providing support for a weak tarsus or carpus, protecting the limb from self-mutilation, or for preventing contractures. Over 10 years ago we started researching new and innovative ways to help animals get back on their feet after accidents or illness, and we haven't stopped since.

Common Conditions That Used To Require Surgery

20 years ago most accidents and illnesses that affected your pet’s mobility required surgery, but today Animal Ortho Care is creating custom brace solutions to help pets and their owners avoid the stress of surgery. The following conditions are some of the most common conditions that pet owners can treat with Animal Ortho Care braces. Such conditions include angular limb disorder, carpal hyperextension, elbow dysplasia, partial ligament tears, luxating patellar, arthritis, and hip dysplasia.

Angular Limb Disorder

Angular limb disorder, or ALD, is a pathological abnormality which means that it is a disorder it is an aggressive and excessive warping of the spatial alignment of any limb. Some breeds that are shorter in stature are more prone to developing ALD such as Bulldogs, Shih Tzu, and Lhasa Apsos; but ALD can affect any breed of dog or species of animal. A custom brace can be used to realign the bones in your pet’s legs and increase joint flexibility.

Carpal Hyperextension

If you enjoy playing sports or are an avid gym goer you’ve probably heard a coach or instructor warn you about hyperextending your knees; did you know that animals need to worry about the same thing? A carpal hyperextension occurs when a joint or muscle has been extended beyond its normal range of motion. Unlike human hyperextension, animals will commonly overextend their carpus - more commonly known as their wrist. Typically, carpal hyperextension presents itself in young animals, after a trauma, or in elderly animals. Braces can be used to reign in the range of motion that an animal can use, leading to a stronger and more supported range of motion.

Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is the most common cause of forelimb lameness in large and giant-breed dogs including Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Chow Chows, Collies, and Newfoundlands. But it should be noted that elbow dysplasia can affect any four-legged pet. Elbow dysplasia usually has a very sudden onset and can be present in animals starting at a very young age. Animal Ortho Care elbow braces are the perfect solution to your pet’s elbow dysplasia issues.

Partial Ligament Tears

If your pet suddenly starts limping, one of the most common causes is a partial ligament tear. Some pets are more at risk than others for partial ligament tears; if your pet is overweight, has been spayed or neutered too young, is a large or giant breed dog, or is a breed or species that has longer legs, than it is at an exaggerated risk for partial ligament tears. Partial ligament tears can be treated by using a brace to limit your pet’s range of motion.

Luxating Patellar

A patellar luxation put simply is when an animal dislocates their kneecap (patellar). A patellar luxation can be the result of either a genetic predisposition or a sudden trauma. Females are more likely to dislocate their kneecaps then males. In some cases, a patellar luxation can be a one-time occurrence, whereas other animals can suffer from chronic patellar luxation. Animals suffering from a luxated patellar will commonly skip or exhibit hindlimb or sudden lameness. By using a custom brace, you can keep your pet’s kneecap in its socket where it belongs.


Custom braces can be used to treat the two most common types of arthritis: Osteoarthritis and Infectious Arthritis. While typically displayed in older animals, some younger pets can show signs of arthritis including lameness, lessened mobility, and activity, or stiffness in his/her gait. Large breeds and species are more likely to develop arthritis. Corrective and comforting braces can be used to lessen the effects of arthritis for your pet.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia can affect animals young or old. Hip dysplasia can be present when no other conditions are, or it can accompany degenerative conditions such as Osteoarthritis. Hip dysplasia can either occur when the hip joint has failed to develop normally, when the ball and socket combination that makes up your pet’s hip becomes out of alignment, or when either the ball or socket portion of your pet's hip has been ground into a different shape. Hip braces can be used to manage your pet’s hip dysplasia.

Avoid Surgery One Step at A Time

Whether your pet is not a surgical candidate or you are looking for a more natural way to help address their health concerns, Animal Ortho Care has a brace for you. When working with Animal Ortho Care, you’ll receive individualized care and treatment. Our innovative team is continually pushing the limits of what’s possible when it comes to the orthotics field. With over 10 years of experience our team has seen just about everything; we’re ready to help your furry family member regain their mobility and avoid the scalpel.

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