CCL tear or cranial cruciate ligament is a common joint-related injury in dogs. The severity of the mishap may vary. When you want a quick fix or avoid the surgery for the age or pre-existing health issues or cost, a DIY knee brace will be a great alternative.
If the knee injury is not too severe, the DIY knee brace may reduce the pain and swelling, increase flexibility and stability. And while you are willing to make a brace, it should offer comfort and a proper snug fit.
Now, we guess many of you are wondering– ‘how to make a homemade knee brace for my dog?’ Fret not! Scroll down the article, check out the steps, and thank us later!
What Is A Knee Brace?
A knee brace is a support that helps to relieve knee pain. It is basically a structure of plastic or elastic fabric. These braces can be made of various materials such as plastic, foam, or other elastic straps. Nylon, lycra, neoprene are some common materials.
For dogs, it attaches to their joint tightly and creates pressure. This pressure helps the dogs by giving relief from joint pain like arthritis. It also helps heal ligament injury and works as post-surgical support for the dog. Overall, it increases the dog’s mobility and reduces the pain of the dog. The dog gets relief from its pain, and your cute puppy can company you far better.
How Does Knee Brace Work?
Nothing hurts more than seeing your pet suffering from pain. Knee braces are a common way of removing knee pains for dogs. But how does it really work?
Most knee braces depend on creating compression and pressure at the injured knee. Compression reduces the diameter of the vein and hence makes bird circulation faster. Improved blood circulation brings nutrition faster to the injured cells and helps them heal quickly.
Moreover, they create pressure against the dog’s movement. So, the joint or the scar tissue of the dog can only move at a certain range. It resists the dog from moving the joint or muscle or scar tissue and keeps the muscle straight. This stability helps to heal gradually and improves the fractures of the pet.
How To Make Homemade Knee Braces For Dogs?
Before making a knee brace, you should be aware of some crucial factors:
- The knee is a hinge joint that moves back and forth. So, the brace should be able to prevent any sideways movement.
- The brace should have strong support on the side of the leg. This support has to run down the surface of the leg.
- It should allow a range of movement also. Otherwise, keeping the knee straight without any activity can cause further problems.
You’ll need a soft but strong material to house the supports and the hinge joints. As the brace will move with the joint, a rough material will cause pain. So always use a soft one that will be comfortable for your pet. We’ll be using a flimsy Tupperware lid with foam.
- To make one, you have to determine the length of the leg first with the proper pattern. For this, measure the distance from above to below the dog’s knee. It has a slight turn at the joint. So, measure the upside and the downside of the joint separately.
- Cut two pieces from a Tupperware lid that has the same length and pattern as the dog’s knee.
- Now keep the pieces side by side. The dog’s leg will stay in the space between these two pieces. So, the room between these two should be slightly more than the thickness.
- Use duct tape to hold both pieces together. You can keep two foams at the corners to enhance comfort.
- Now cover the whole space with duct tape, and the brace will be ready.
- Finally, use Velcro strips to secure the brace around the leg. Use two strips, one at the top and another one at the bottom, to secure properly.
Reasons to Make a DIY Knee Brace
In general, a knee brace from the market will be more comfortable than a DIY one. But there are several reasons to use homemade knee braces. While DIY enthusiasts can do it as a hobby, it also will give you several benefits in certain cases.
The main reason for using a DIY knee brace is money. An average knee brace in the market can cost 20 dollars or more. But you can make your own brace by spending only a fraction of it. Again, if the injury is really mild, this investment won’t be a worthy one for you. If you need a knee brace for a short period, a homemade one will be the best one.
Some cheap braces use toxic plastics, which can be harmful to your dog. You can avoid them with a homemade knee brace.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a luxating patella?
The luxating patella or floating kneecap is quite a common orthopedic condition for dogs. Luxating means out of place, and patella means kneecap.
Q. What are the signs of a cruciate ligament injury in dogs?
Since the tibia moves freely for the torn ligament, your dog will start limping on one of its back legs. You will notice that your dog will sit at an awkward angle.
Q. How to measure the right size of the knee for the brace?
It won’t need too many instructions. Let’s find out the process –
- Take a tape measure and calculate the contour area of the back leg at the groin level.
- Then calculate the tarsus area.
- So, the length of the brace should be in between these two areas.
Q. Are Homemade Knee Braces Any Good?
Obviously, they are! Homemade knee braces are capable of healing the ailments of your dog without breaking the bank. However, they’re only good for minor injuries as they don’t have the same level of effectiveness as the commercial braces.
The commercial braces are waterproof, durable, and perfect for recovery. So never use a DIY brace if your dog faces a severe injury. It’s always recommended to consult with a doctor before using any knee brace if the damage is severe.
We hope by now, you have a clear understanding of how to make a homemade knee brace for dogs. Though we know that there is a possibility of recovering from knee injuries, it may not be applicable for all situations. Always contact a certified veterinarian for your dogs’ health.
Let us know in the comment section whether the DIY knee brace is a ‘fix-all’ solution for you or not.