Dogs are typically active, but they don't always know their limits. Unfortunately, their natural curiosity and active lifestyle can lead to injury. You may need to know how to make a dog knee brace at some point in time, but it's not an easy thing to do. And even though it's possible, normally you should let a professional do this job instead of attempting it yourself, and here's why.
The canine knee is a very intricate joint. It is known as a stifle joint and functions as a hinge. Injuries, like a torn ACL, will affect how the joint works. Dogs with knee injuries will experience pain, inflammation and could develop arthritis due to the injury.
- whimpering when standing or walking
If left untreated, it is likely that your dog may experience problems with the other knee as well. He will put more weight on the uninjured knee, which can lead to soreness and added stress. In other words, it's important to seek veterinary treatment as soon as you notice any signs of knee pain in your pet.
Usually, surgery is required to fix torn ligaments and other serious knee injuries in dogs. For this reason, you should NEVER try to treat a knee injury of your pup at home. You should always seek advice from your veterinarian about the best course of treatment and advice on the best knee brace for your pet.
If you're interested in learning how to make a dog knee brace for an older pet that needs some extra knee support, it's not going to be as easy as you think. There are some very high quality dog knee braces on the market, but learning how to make a dog knee brace could save you some money.
How to Make a Dog Knee Brace
Because the knee is a hinge joint, it needs very specific support. The joint is made to move back and forth, so a brace needs to prevent any sideways movement. Learning how to make a dog knee brace should only be a short term fix until you can get in to see your veterinarian.
A dog knee brace must have stiff supports on the side of the leg. These supports need to run down the outside of the leg (the side you can see in the photo above) and the inside of the leg facing the abdomen.
The brace must also offer range of motion. Keeping the knee straight can lead to more problems, as the joint will become stiff without any movement. So, you'll need to find a way to create a hinge joint. Most homemade dog knee braces use a metal hinge joint that you can purchase at any hardware store.
The most important thing to do is ensure the hinge joint is precisely aligned where the knee naturally bends.
You'll need to use a soft, but strong material to house the supports and hinge joint. The material needs to offer support, while being soft enough to be comfortable for your pet. Keep in mind that the brace will be moving with the joint, so a rough material will cause chaffing and pain.
Finally, you'll need to create a way to secure the brace around the leg. You can pick up Velcro strips for just a few dollars at any craft store or your local department store. If you're crafty, you could make your own adjustable straps out of cloth.
With all of that being said, I must stress again that you shouldn't be making a DIY dog knee brace yourself, and instead consult a professional about the way to treat your pet's knee injury and discuss what are the best options you have.