The Dog Knee Brace has been designed for cases of cruciate ligament rupture (ACL, CCL), luxation of the patella, knee joint conditions such as arthritis and arthrosis. The Dog Knee Brace can be used both as an alternative to surgery, and in post-surgery (TTO, TTA, TPLO, DeAngelis, tie rope, extracapsular).
BT JUMP Dog Knee Brace has two pockets, which contain two angled splints that restrict the movement of the knee where necessary. An abdominal band ensures the brace is secured at the right height on the leg. An additional “Collar Link” is provided and can be used if needed in order to prevent the abdominal belt from sliding.
The brace can also be used without splints for conditions such as arthritis and arthrosis. This is because the compression it provides increases the blood pressure in the area, thus raising the temperature and reducing the pain caused by the conditions.
WHAT IS A DOG CRUCIATE LIGAMENT INJURY?
The rupture of the cruciate ligament means that the knee joint of your pet is unstable. The instability is triggered each time the dog bears weight on the leg. In the short term the injury is painful and can be swollen, then a lack of activity leads to muscle wastage (atrophy). Within the time frame of a few months to a few years the long term consequences of this instability is the onset of osteoarthritis.
THE NEED FOR RIGID SPLINTS IN A DOG KNEE BRACE
Ensuring the stability of the affected part often means aiding recovery.
The 2 angled lateral aluminum splints inserted in the sides of the BT-JUMP Dog Knee Brace restrict movement, as required, controlling the area which needs to be held still, while the abdominal belt keeps the support in place.
BALTO DOG KNEE BRACE AS AN ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT TO SURGERY
Your veterinarian can perform surgery and place an internal support (tie rope or screws and plate) to stabilise the knee joint. The dog knee braces can also bring an external support to settle the joint instability. This is the reason why the BT-JUMP dog knee brace features two splints inserted into a comfortable, padded fabric to provide real support.
BALTO DOG KNEE BRACE AS SUPPORT FOR POST SURGERY
After any stifle surgery on your dog (such as tie rope technique, TTO, TTA, TPLO, D’Angelis, Extra-capsular imbrication technique, luxating patella surgery, Tibial Crest Transposition), the knee is painful and swollen from the implant stabilizing the knee joint. The first 2-3 weeks are delicate and even though the joint is stable, over-activity of your pet could damage the corrective work of the surgery. Some dogs will be easy to manage and some may become restless confined and / or limited to restricted activity. For those canine patients that become too energetic, the use of a dog knee brace will help support and protect the surgery site.
The dog knee brace is then not used all the time but only when you are unable to restrain the activity level of your dog.
It is very common (50% to 80% of cases) for a dog with a damaged first cruciate ligament on one leg to damage the other one on the opposite hind leg during the immediate months to 2 years.
The Balto Dog knee braces are designed so that 2 simple BT-JUMP knee Dog Knee Brace on each side can be used together in a double knee brace. The BT-JUMP-DUAL dog brace.
The exception is the XXS size for smaller breeds as the BT-JUMP-XXS brace is too small to have an internal ring.
SIZES AND MEASUREMENTS
Before proceeding with your purchase, please make sure you have taken the correct measurements on your dog as shown below.
May you have any doubt, please contact us by email and give measurements (A, H), weight and breed of your pet. If you are able to, please provide us with pictures as well for the measurements you took (measure tape on the side) : [email protected]
When having your dog standing (leg straight as it would be within the brace) :
Measurement A : just above the knee, at mid-thigh level, tightly taken.
Do not measure on the knee.
Do not measure in the groin area
Measure the circumference of the leg just at mid distance between the 2 (knee and groin)
The leg must be in full extension, like when the dog is standing. If the dog is painful and do not put the leg on the ground then measure on the controlateral leg (the healthy one)
Measurement H : height at the back when standing, from the ground at the paw straight to the spine.
Like measuring a child against a wall.
Place your dog along a wall, use a book or something to slide against the rump (it is the back of your dog above the hind legs) and leave a slight mark on the wall. Then measure the distance on the wall
BE AWARE: dogs with sore leg for several days or weeks tend to develop a sore back and round it. A round back will show a higher H value that the dog normal height. A good massage on the back to relax it is also a great idea and they usually love it. If the back is still rounded then please measure H near the base of the tail or send us a picture of your dog with the tape on the side.
10-16cm / 3.9-6.3in
20-26cm / 7.9-10.2in
3-6kg / 6.6-13.2lb
16-19cm / 6.3-7.5in
26-38cm / 10.2-15in
5-10kg / 11-22lb
21-26cm / 8.2-10.2in
38-48cm / 15-18.9in
10-20kg / 22-44lb
26-31cm / 10.2-12.2in
48-60cm / 18.9-23.6in
15-30kg / 33-66lb
29-38cm / 11.4-15in
60-70cm / 23.6-27.5in
28-45kg / 61.7-99.2lb
36-45cm / 14.2-17.7in
68-78 cm / 26.7-30.7in
45-62kg / 99.2-137lb
EXAMPLE OF BREEDS **Please do not select the size of the brace based on these examples. You need to measure your dog.
XXS (CATS and TINY DOG): Pomeranians, Chihuahuas
XS (SMALL DOGS): Jack Russell, Shih Tzu
S (MIDSIZE DOGS): Beagle, Cocker Spaniel, French Bulldog
M (MEDIUM DOGS): Border Collie, Bulldog, Kelpie
L (LARGE DOGS): German Shepherd, Labrador/Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, Doberman
XL (GIANT DOGS): Bullmastiff, Great Dane, Large Rottweiler and Doberman…
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO READ : POTENTIAL SIZE INCOMPATIBILITY
Our braces are designed for STANDARD LEG PROPORTIONS (size/shape)! They unfortunatley do not fit all dogs.
All three measurements must indicate the same size in the size chart IfANYof the measurements you took does not enter the same size category, the brace will most likely not fit (e.g : dogs with short legs & large thighs). Should it be the case, please email uspictures for the measurements you took, the breed and weight of your dog :[email protected]. This will help us assess the way you took the measurements for us to recommend you the appropriate size to select.
Example: Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Westie, Cairn, Basset Hound, Corgi…
CHOOSE THE CORRECT SIDE
If you are standing behind the dog looking in the same direction then the right leg is the one on the right.
For example the dog in the main photograph above is wearing the brace on its RIGHT LEG.
As your pet has the potential to damage the brace or injured themselves, we recommend supervision of your dog at all time when wearing the brace.
Do not forget to check out the other tabs under the main picture:
Look at your brace and identify the abdominal belt, the collar link and the brace with its straps.
Find the patella or knee cap of your dog. The hole of the brace should be centered on the knee cap of your dog.
Note: It is easier to fit the brace if your dog is standing.
Open the abdominal belt and close it around your dog’s belly. Tighten it just enough to help position the knee brace at the right level on the leg.
Open all the straps of the brace and place the knee brace with the hole centered on the patella.
Starting at the top, close one strap at a time. Please note that for small breeds (XXS and XS size) the brace has only one knee strap. Adjust the abdominal brace a bit tighter if needed.
The dog should have its leg straight when sitting and lying down. If the brace slides down and the dog flexes its leg when sitting or lying down then it means it is too loose.
If your dog tends to lift or drag its leg instead of bearing weight on it while walking, check the lowest strap near the hock. It may be too tight and be putting too much pressure on the tendon, therefore loosen slightly.
For breeds with long hair, please bear in mind a clipping might be necessary in order for the brace to fit properly.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR USE
During the period of restraint, it is advisable not to leave the dog alone for too long, because it might try to remove the brace by biting or scratching it
Be careful of the band when applying the brace to a male dog. When wrapping the band around the pelvis, pass the band in front of foreskin in order to avoid compressing the urethra.
As your pet has the potential to damage the brace or injured themselves, we recommend supervision of your dog at all time when wearing the brace.
ABDOMINAL BELT POSITION
On male dogs the abdominal belt can be positioned in front of the penis or over the penis. The fabric of the belt is soft and comfortable in order to prevent skin irritation. Please check twice a day to ensure a comfortable fit. The abdominal belt is only meant to keep the brace at the correct height on the leg so please do not over-tighten the belt to avoid rubbings.
Please note that overweight dogs can have issues because of the abdomen hanging lower which can apply extra pressure against the belt.
OPTIONAL OVERWEIGHT MALE DOG ADAPTOR
Our braces are designed to fit male and female dogs.
In some cases of overweight dog (usually male) we offer an Optional Male Adaptor that can be used.
ADAPTATION PERIOD - DOG KNEE BRACE
Most dogs get used to the Dog Knee Brace very easily within a few minutes or hours.
If not then check the fitting again and help your dog with some exercises.
The weight-shifting exercise described in the section above is ideal.
Be sure to provide lots of treats and rewards when the dog is wearing the Dog Knee Brace for encouragement.
Start progressively, only wear the brace for 15 minute intervals to begin with, several times on the first day. Then increase this to 1h, then 2h 3-4 times a day the following days.
HOW LONG TO USE THE DOG KNEE BRACE?
The tear can be partial or total
There is the possibility of other damage present in the leg (collateral ligament, meniscus injury, patella luxation, sprain/strain on the hip back or hock)
The weight of your dog is another variable. Small breeds less that 10kg tend to improve faster than larger breeds or overweight dogs
Statistics when using the Balto Dog Knee Brace:
The scar tissue that will stabilise the stifle needs 1 to 3 months to build up in order for the dog to walk without a brace. During this first period we advise you use the Dog Knee Brace every time the dog is active. Remove it at night or when the dog is resting.
After this initial period the scar tissue needs another 6 months to consolidate and be strong enough to bear the full weight of an active (running, jumping, turning) pet without the Dog Knee Brace. During this second phase, you can use the brace only during times of increased activity (e.g. in a dog park or on long walks)
It is very common for a dog to develop a cruciate injury on the second leg after the first one. The BT-JUMP-DUAL dog brace has been designed to lower this risk especially with overweight and older dogs.
Keep in mind that the Dog Knee Brace provides a support externally so it is still possible for the dog to chew and scratch and you can remove it when you leave the dog alone.
Like for any bandages, casts or braces, rubbing against the skin can happen. Please check twice a day the skin in contact with the brace. A rubbing area indicates a fitting issue. Review the strength of the straps and adapt the amount of time when your dog wears the brace to allow healing of the irritated skin.
RECOMMENDED ACTIVITY LEVEL
Your pet is in a recovery period so he/she cannot do as much and as long as before their cruciate tear injury. The healing is slow and depends on the level of activity of your dog. Once the knee is stable (surgery or knee brace) the key to a full, strong recovery is to do as much exercises as possible to prevent muscle wastage but while avoiding pain and a flare up. Ideally, look for a canine rehabilitation practitioner with a CCRP or CCRT qualification. They will establish a specific protocol and home exercise program according to your dog’s specific needs and level of recovery.
The level of exercise needs to be progressive.
It is safe to start with slow walks on a short lead for 5 minutes twice a day (straight lines on flat ground is best) then increase the time and type of ground. For small breeds who like to speed up on 3 legs, walking on gravel will slow them down. Weight-shifting exercises are an easy way to remind your dog that they can trust their leg again.
While your dog is standing (brace ON), place your hands around her/his rear then gently push the bottom from left to right very slowly so your dog will have to put their weight on each leg, shifting their weight from side-to-side.
Hydrotherapy is fantastic but swimming is a very fast motion that could damage the joint if done too soon. Start with walking in water first.
Please control the play time with other dogs or yourself. We recommend your dog does not jump or run for 1 to 3 months.
CARING FOR YOUR BALTO DOG KNEE BRACE
If necessary, you can wash the Dog Knee Brace gently by hand with soap and warm water (Less than 30dg Celcius | 86dg Fahrenheit).
Please make sure the Dog Knee Brace is dry before fitting it on your dog in order to prevent infections.
UNDERSTAND THE CRUCIATE INJURY AND TREATMENT OPTIONS:
UNDERSTAND LUXATING PATELLA AND TREATMENT OPTIONS:
As explained in this video, the Balto dog knee brace is not an alternative to patella surgical treatment and it is only a temporary solution to support the knee until surgery can fix the conformation issue.
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The brace helps dogs suffering from hip dysplasia, reducing pain by exerting bilateral compression on the hips. It is effective for all degrees of dysplasia including degree E (the most severe).
It is also used for other pathologies (hip arthrosis for example). It is an excellent alternative to surgery in cases where the dog cannot be operated. It is made of breathable and washable material that is both retentive and compressive.
BT NECK has been designed to help cats and dogs with problems with their cervical vertebrae. It supports necks with Osteoarthritis, Discospondylitis, Vertebral Instability (Wobbler Syndrome), Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD) and other neurological issues and hernias.
BT PULL can be used for neurological disorders that cause severe proprioceptive deficits, which mean that the dog is unable to sense the position of the limb on the ground, thus tending to stand on the back of its paw (dorsiflexion).
BT-SPLINT is a dog brace designed to support the radiocarpal, carpometacarpal and tarsometatarsal joints.
It is ideal for cases of hyperflexion or hyperextension of the carpus and tarsus, ligament injury, sprains and fracture of the phalanges, metacarpal, metatarsal bones, when conservative treatment is preferable to surgery.