Posted by Ben Blecha

10/10/2023

Do knee braces really work for dogs with a torn ACL?

Yes but it’s important to understand there are two distinct types of dog knee braces. One works. The other is a waste of hard earned money.

Veterinary studies have shown custom plastic braces to be helpful, while veterinarians agree that fabric braces stretch too much to limit the cranial drawer (the bad motion.) That’s why DogLeggs reached out to our colleagues to find the best knee brace for dog cruciate tears

All signs point to Hero Braces. They have by far the lightest brace on the market but ultimately their biomechanics behind the brace make the most sense to Veterinarians. 

Use Hero Brace discount code DogLeggs to get $50 off!

Can Knee Braces Help Dogs? - A deeper dive...

Many dog owners wonder if knee braces can really make a difference for their furry pals. Let's break down the world of dog knee braces from three important viewpoints.


1. From Fabric to Plastic Braces

To understand if knee braces work, we need to know the problem they're solving. When a dog hurts its ACL, it causes something called "cranial drawer." This means the leg bone (tibia) slides forward under the thigh bone (femur), which hurts and can lead to joint problems.

First, people made braces using fabric, but there was a problem. Fabric stretches, so it couldn't stop the leg from sliding. Plus, these fabric braces needed a harness to stay on, making it hard for dogs to move freely.

Today, we have better plastic braces. These are tough and comfy. Wearing a plastic brace feels better for dogs than the rubbing and discomfort of fabric. Also, plastic braces are custom-made to fit snugly around the dog's bones, so they can move comfortably without needing a harness.

If you're thinking about starting with a fabric brace because it's cheaper, it's usually better to save up for a plastic one. Plastic braces offer better support and comfort.




2. Surgery vs. Bracing: When Surgery Isn't an Option

Surgery is often the first choice for fixing ACL problems in dogs. But sometimes, it's not possible. There are different types of surgeries, and some don't need braces afterward. But others, like the lateral suture or extracapsular, work better with brace support, especially for heavier dogs.

For dogs that can't have surgery, a brace can be a big help until their knee heals naturally. Studies from veterinary colleges show that braces can be good for dogs that can't have surgery, even though surgery makes owners happier.


3. The Importance of Custom-Made Braces

One-size-fits-all knee braces for dogs don't work well. Dogs come in many shapes and sizes. There are 364 different breeds! To stop the small movement causing trouble, a custom-made brace is the way to go. It's made just for your dog's body, so it fits perfectly.

In the end, helping your dog after an ACL injury means understanding what's best for them. Surgery is usually the best choice, but when that's not an option, knee braces can be a great backup. Pick the right materials, go for custom-made solutions, and you're on the right path to helping your furry friend feel better.

At DogLeggs, we're here to help you make the best choice for your beloved pet's health and happiness.