All canine orthopedic bracing options and how to size your pet for the best fit.
Your dog is injured, you’ve talked to your vet about possible solutions, and have landed on getting a canine orthopedic brace. The orthopedic bracing world for companion animals can be daunting when you’re trying to find a reliable brace to aid your pet in their recovery.
There are a few different bracing routes that you can take:
- Custom orthotic braces
- Compression braces
- Balto Braces
Typically, custom orthotics are the more expensive route, but if your pet has a unique body build or injury, it is sometimes the best bracing solution. Additionally, the process of building a custom brace takes time. You or your veterinarian will need to mold the brace to your pet’s affected limb, send the mold back to start shaping a brace, then come in for a fitting.
Compression braces are most often sized with a sizing chart and are made from neoprene or similar fabric. These braces typically do not provide the necessary support needed to assist your pet in healing due to their lack of structure.
Balto Braces are the next best step from custom braces. If a custom brace is not required, a more affordable, but sturdy, dog orthopedic bracing solution is a Balto Brace. These braces are built with lightweight, airplane aluminum splints and thickly padded compression fabric; achieving both compression and strong support.
Although Balto braces are not custom fit braces, Balto USA provides you with several sizing choices ranging from the smallest of dogs to the largest. So how do you go about choosing a size for your pet and how do you if it is the correct fit?
On each product’s page there is a sizing guide, or you can search through All Sizing Guides by brace. Use the sizing guide along with a flexible measuring tape to find the most appropriate size for your pet while they are standing if possible. Occasionally, the dispersion of weight while measuring a pet laying or sitting can cause inaccuracies and lead to the wrong fit. If you are having trouble with the measurements, you can contact a Balto USA customer service specialists or a licensed veterinarian for assistance.
Despite our variety of sizes, some pets will fall in between sizes. When this happens, you should always go with the smaller size, as bracing devices should be snug and apply compression. Compression helps with increasing the blood flow in the injured area and in response causes reduced swelling and discomfort.
After taking measurements, ordering, then receiving your brace, you will want to fit the brace to your pet to determine that the fit is indeed correct – just a quick double check. Indications that your brace might be too large include “gapping” between the brace and your pet, sliding, and twisting of the brace. Signs that your brace might be too small might include chaffing, erythema, or discomfort. If you notice any of these signs happening, please reach out to one of our customer service specialists for assistance.