Dogs’ knees are very different from our own. If injured, they require much more support and stability to make a full recovery. Unfortunately, dogs are also naturally curious. Therefore, they may hurt themselves at times and require a dog knee brace to support their recovery. The reason for this is that it can limit pain, inflammation and ongoing arthritis due to the injury.
In this following blog, our team wants to show you how to make a dog knee brace in Australia. This information should only be used during an emergency, such as over public holidays where you can’t access vet hospitals. The reason for this is that dog knee joints are intricate and the wrong support can damage their knee further.
How do I know if my dog needs a custom dog knee brace?
You may not be home to witness your dog injuring themselves. So, you must look out for signs that they need a dog knee brace or a dog rear leg brace. Some of the signs include limping, lameness and whimpering when walking. Just like humans, all dogs handle pain differently. If your dog is acting out of the ordinary, it’s always best to call in a professional.
As mentioned, should you not have access to a vet, it’s best to trust your instincts. This can prevent further injury. It can also prevent your dog from injuring its other leg, as this will typically be bearing more weight. Should the injury be a torn ligament, your pet will need surgery. So, even if you have created a custom dog knee brace, you must later visit a professional.
How to make a dog knee brace in Australia: Step by step
Your dog’s knee is like a hinge. So, supporting injuries through a knee brace requires specific support that prevents sideways movement. The brace must offer a full range of motion to not impede your dog’s mobility, but it must remain stiff at all times. This intricacy is the number one reason why you should only create a custom brace in an emergency.
As a note, you can purchase most of the materials you need at a regular hardware store. When searching for materials, look for durable and smooth ones. This will prevent chafing while maximising support.
Step one: Measure your dog’s knee
When making a dog knee brace in Australia, you first need to know what size it needs to be. To understand the length of your dog’s leg, you will measure about an inch above and below your dog’s knee. You will also need to measure around your dog’s knee. This will give you an accurate reading of their leg’s circumference. When measuring, you also need to take note of the shape of your dog’s leg. You can take a photo to do this. But, the best visual reference you will get is by tracing their leg onto some paper. Enticing them to sit still with some treats can help you achieve this.
Remember to measure everything twice and take an average. This can help you gain the best measurement possible, especially if your dog is moving around a lot.
Step two: Source your materials
As mentioned, you want to source materials that are sturdy yet soft. These will need to be cut to size. You can ask your hardware store to cut these materials to size to ensure they are the perfect fit. We recommend also getting these materials sanded if necessary. This can remove any sharp edges, which can cause injury.
As well as the base of the brace, you will also need something to hold it to your dog’s knee. Sports tape works well but can bind to their fur. This makes it difficult for them when it comes to take it off. We recommend using materials such as velcro or belt-like contraptions. These are not only easy to remove but they can be adjusted as needed.
Step three: Cut your tape or Velcro to measure
Finally, before you secure the brace to your dog’s knee, you must cut your final materials to measure. When learning how to make a dog knee brace in Australia, it’s important you do this step carefully. If these materials are too tight, it will restrict your dog’s movement and can injure them further. In the same way, if they are too loose it can diminish the effectiveness of the brace.
When securing these straps, it’s important to make sure that they restrict the right movement. You want your dog to still be able to move its leg forwards and backwards. This will allow them to walk without stressing out their other legs. What you don’t want is for them to be able to move their leg too far left or right. This can worsen the injury.
Always consult a professional
Vet fees can be high, but the cost of making a custom dog knee brace in Australia can be higher. Negligence and a failure to look after your dog can have them taken away. In worst-case scenarios, your dog may need to be put down if the injury worsens. The main reason for this is nerve damage and poor quality of life.
Remember this article serves as a guide only for emergencies. You should never create a dog brace on your own if you have access to a vet. Letting the professional handle it will ensure your pet recovers fully. But it will also ensure the chance of reinjury is minimised.
Shyne Cavalli is an accomplished writer, Dog Breeder, and Animal welfare advocate. License and breeding registration holders: SUPPLY #: BIN0002583563378 – DBBC: D8819 – AA: 93740. She has introduced the “SHM” her brand of puppies and nurtured and cared for them since 2015. To learn more, visit her website at www.dogbreedersbrisbane.com.au. Interested in joining a Dog Breeders Club? Go to: www.dbbc.com.au