What Is Contralateral Support and Why Is It Important?
Typically, when a dog is injured on one side of their body, they start to rely on the opposite side, also commonly referred to as the contralateral side. Contralateral support is important to consider when your pet has an injury on one side to help ensure that the overcompensation for the injury does not injure them any further. For Cranial Cruciate Ligaments (CCL), for example, once a dog has injured one side, there is a 70% chance that a tear or rupture will also occur to the contralateral leg due to the additional stress.
What Is Contralateral Support?
Most contralateral supportive treatments include a combination of bracing devices and nutritional supplementation to keep dog’s joints, ligaments, and muscles strong and healthy. Orthopedic braces, such as the Balto Jump – Knee Brace, can be used to support the contralateral knee (after an injury or surgery has occurred) or used bilaterally. This supports the unaffected leg while it has become the primary, weight-bearing leg due to the opposite leg being injured and recovering.
Another bracing device that can offer contralateral support or bilateral compression is the Balto Life - Hip Dysplasia Brace. This is a great option for dogs recovering from a Total Hip Replacement (THR), which is presently the most effective surgery for treating hip dysplasia. Although these are just a couple of examples, most braces can be used for contralateral support.
Paired with bracing, a nutritional supplement, such as MYOS Canine Muscle Formula, can help your dog from experiencing muscle atrophy and more. This is achieved by blocking the myostatin in their blood which inhibits muscle growth. Muscle health matters because it helps improve things such as longevity, quality of life, bone health, and energy metabolism. MYOS uses a single, all-natural ingredient called Fortetropin®. No additives or artificial ingredients. Fortetropin® has been shown in multiple clinical studies to accelerate gains in muscle mass, improve mobility and enhance recovery from injury.
Why Is It important?
Contralateral support is important because overcompensation can lead to another serious injury and sometimes even be debilitating. Making sure to protect the healthy joints, ligaments, and muscles during recovery is so important.