Supportive device is a general term referring to any device or material used to assist your dog during Conservative Management or following CCL surgery.
The most commonly used devices in the case of ligament injury in dogs are Support Harnesses and Dog Knee Braces. Both serve an unique purpose with regard to reducing strain on the canine knee joint. Support harnesses are useful when taking your dog out to the restroom, navigating stairs or providing assistance in and out of the car. Dog knee braces can help to prevent excessive motion within the joint, encouraging healing and the development of scar tissue to provide stability in the absence of a cruciate ligament.
The recovery process, whether you’ve chosen Conservative Management or a surgical approach, is a long commitment. Recovery can be taxing on both you and your pet, and the support devices can help to make recovery a bit more easy and tolerable.
For example, your dog may need help getting in and out of the car for veterinary appointments because they will be restricted from jumping. A support harness gives you safe control, without straining your back, while supporting your dog.
Your dog will need a harness that provides adequate support for he rear legs while giving you an adequate amount of control. The fit of the harness is also important – so make sure to measure your dog’s chest accurately from behind the front legs at the deepest part.
Your dog may need help going to the restroom at the beginning stages of recovery. A support harness is quite a useful tool in this situation. It’s much more friendly on your back, and your pet will appreciate the extra lift when changing positions or standing outside. Support harnesses also come in handy when you need to navigate stairs (although these should, ideally, be avoided if at all possible), load your dog into your car for follow up appointments or during times when he/she needs a bit of an extra boost. A harness makes it more safe and effective for you to assist your dog with tasks.
There are a number of different types of knee braces available for dogs. Some are made from soft, flexible materials, while others are harder and more durable. No matter the type of brace, they all have the same goal – to prevent the “drawer sign” movement of the knee, relieve pain and encourage healing. Similar to harnesses, knee braces may be utilized whether you are doing Conservative Management or surgery.