Frequently Asked Questions
How are OrthoPets devices manufactured?
- Upon receiving a fiberglass impression (cast) of your pet’s limb, your Case Manager will review the impression, measurements and medical information to assess how we can best assist your pet. The impression and measurements are then transferred to the fabrication team to start the process.
- First, the fiberglass impression is scanned to create a 3-D model replica of your dog’s leg. Our technicians digitally sculpt the 3-D model with unmatched accuracy to create the shape and contour of the device. The fit of the devices is based upon the quality of the provided fiberglass impression as it is the representation of the limb.
- The 3-D model is moved to the vacuum station to be drape formed with (polypropylene) plastic which is heated in an industrial convention oven.
- Prosthetic devices include a pre-liner manufacturing process, extension placement and aligning process and socket padding before the socket can be vacuum formed.
- The vacuum formed model is then carefully cut out, rough ground, beveled and finish polished. After the finished grind and polish, the shell is assembled by adding straps, buckles hinges, padding and case specific components.
What materials are used to fabricate the devices?
- OrthoPets utilizes the same variety of materials that are used in the human field of orthotics and prosthetics.
- Our devices are made from vacuum formed polypropylene plastic with color transfer options available upon request.
- Several different foam types and thicknesses are used for padding. Our foam is selected for its durability and closed-cell waterproof properties, in addition to offering softer foam for pets with sensitive skin. Our foam also includes color-changing properties that allows us to assess the fit of the device for increased pressure and/or friction. A variety of mechanical hinges are used for normal joint range of motion while controlling/preventing abnormal joint motion from occurring. For large breeds or pets that weigh over 100 pounds or are capable of extreme forces, specialized metal and composite mechanical hinges are available and sometimes required.
- Hardware includes chafes (buckles) and straps made of reinforced industrial Velcro that is attached to the device via stainless steel screws and lock washers (for ease of owner replacement).
- If your pet’s dog brace includes a paw segment or walking surface, either BMX bicycle tire or a more specialty orthopedic tread will be secured. The type of tread is dependent on your pet’s size, specific diagnosis and biomechanical requirements.
- “Hobble Vests” consist of a combination of neoprene fabric and Velcro sewn into a vest system that creates stability and comfort for complex shoulder injuries.
What is the difference between off the shelf splints and braces versus a custom made orthotic brace?
An “off the shelf” device is not made to fit an individual patient and their individual needs. They are made in bulk to “fit” patients grouped together into categories by size, not individual shape and contour. OrthoPets believes each individual patient requires a custom made brace to appropriately address their instability and/or injury. Even though the basic anatomy and injury may be the same, a device will fit very differently on a 50-pound Bulldog versus a 50-pound Golden Retriever. As such, custom fabrication allows us to create an ideal fit for each patient and can therefore address their injury more appropriately.
Are OrthoPets V-OP devices water-proof?
A large majority of our patients live by oceans, rivers, lakes, ponds, etc. and participate in daily water therapy. Your dog’s device was designed for use in water. Your device is lined with a “closed cell” foam that does not absorb water. The only components that will absorb water are the straps and pads which can be air dried. We do recommend that when your pet is done with their water activities, you remove excess water from their leg with a towel and wring out excess water from straps and pads. The straps and pads will dry overnight while your pet’s brace is off.
Why Choose OrthoPets?
It is important that you know whom you are working with for your Veterinary Orthotic & Prosthetic (V-OP) needs. Does the provider have experience and knowledge in the veterinary profession ensuring the V-OP solution is both appropriate and biomechanically correct for an animal patient, not a human patient?
A V-OP provider should ensure each design is biomechanically correct to achieve the results and outcomes the referring veterinarian has prescribed. The health and well being of the animal patient depends upon this!
A V-OP provider should be able to design, manufacture and dispense a custom orthosis (brace) or prosthesis (artificial limb) for animal patients.
We want the best for your pet! OrthoPets has assembled a team of experts from the fields of veterinary orthopedic surgery, veterinary sports medicine, veterinary rehabilitation, mechanical engineering, and human orthotics & prosthetics. We operate a state of the art manufacturing center increasing accuracy and quality while decreasing fabrication time frames.
When you are researching V-OP providers or if your referring veterinarian is prescribing a brace or artificial limb, ensure you are working with the best V-OP manufacturer!
Are these devices covered by my pets insurance?