About Veterinary Orthotic & Prosthetic Devices
The use of orthoses (braces) and prostheses for injured animals is becoming increasingly common. Orthoses are any medical device attached to the body to support, align, position, immobilize, prevent or correct deformity, assist weak muscles, or improve function. Prostheses are medical devices as well and are used to compensate for a missing or amputated leg segment. It is no longer necessary to amputate an entire leg when only the lower part is injured; instead a partial amputation called an elective level sub-total amputation is possible in many cases.
A veterinarian must prescribe an orthosis or prosthesis after a thorough evaluation including muscle, skeleton, and nerve assessment as well as gait analysis. Once a prescription has been made the device is manufactured by a fabrication lab specializing in veterinary orthotics and prosthetics (V-OP). Fit and function are critical to meet the goal of getting an animal back on all fours! Guidance by a V-OP specialist can ensure that the veterinary patient can take the next step safely and comfortably.
Millie is a beloved family pet from New Zealand who, after being struck by a car, suffered radial paralysis of one of her limbs; compromising her quality of life. After researching the treatment options for Millie, her owner learned that custom orthotic bracing could be an effective alternative to amputation. She worked with a local orthotist to develop a custom articulated brace incorporating Tamarack Flexure Joints to preserve natural joint motion.
With her custom-fit orthotic brace, Millie is able to continue life as a happy and healthy family pet. Watch Millie in Action with Her Custom Tamarack Brace
Animal O&P Facilities
The field of veterinary orthotics & prosthetics (V-OP) has grown immensely over the past few years. Over a dozen facilities around the world currently fabricate, fit, and distribute veterinary orthotic & prosthetic devices for farm animals and family pets. For a list of V-OP providers, worldwide, visit our Animal O&P Facilities page.