Be informed on how to avoid choosing a brace for your pet that’s made with bad materials. From the bracing experts: bad vs. good bracing materials for pets.
Bad vs. Good Bracing Materials
Neoprene vs. Soft, Breathable Fabric
Maybe you’ve heard of wetsuit rash in surfers when their wetsuits aren’t washed properly. With trapped moisture, the neoprene starts over-exfoliate sensitive skin and cause inflammation and a rash. While Neoprene might be generally appropriate in some human compression braces, it can be dangerous for animal bracing as it is likely to harbor dangerous bacteria and fungal infections, as well as contact dermatitis. Especially when the brace isn’t visually dirty, as pet parents, we are quick to reason that the brace is clean.
Another complication of materials such as Neoprene, cheap foam, and other stretchy-to-the-touch braces is that they are not supportive enough to protect your pet’s joint. The joint is meant to be supported to only encourage healthy joint movements as well as keep joints in place when a pet missteps. Another pitfall to less-structured materials in bracing can be seen in the minimal compression applied to the affected area, not assisting in inflammatory pain pets may be experiencing.
Plastic Splints vs. Aluminum Splints
Although lightweight, plastic splints can defeat the purpose of bracing as they tend to be flimsy and break easily. Balto® Braces use airplane aluminum splints which are known to be incredibly lightweight as well as supportive. Aluminum is known to have an incredible strength to weight ratio, making it ideal for the splints in our braces.
The aluminum splints in each Balto® Brace keep them light while providing maximum stability to the affected area. These splints are also removable, which allows the brace to double as a compression brace. Compression helps with increased circulation which can diminish pain and inflammation. As the brace provides compression and stability, the dog or cat becomes more aware of the circumstances around the affected area as it provides different neuromuscular feedback.
Balto® Braces can also be worn during X-rays as they are radiolucent, allowing veterinarians to take radiographs without the hassle of having to remove the brace, and potentially causing further injury.