Our Airedale, Salsa, injured her ACL/knee last year. The vet thought it was bad enough that she might need surgery. Before sending us to a specialist, he gave her some prescription meds to see if it would help. Luckily, it did! She got better and stayed that way for a long time. However, she injured it again in September and it was worse than before. She couldn't even use that leg and held it up when she hobbled around. That put pressure on her good back leg to the point that she started just laying around and we had to help her up. This time, the meds didn't help and they even made her feel bad. We could tell that she was in a lot of pain and a little depressed.
We really didn't want to go down the surgery path as it's about $1,500, takes a year for recovery, and the ACL/knee often gets re-injured. Salsa is such an active girl and still very much like a puppy...even at nine years old! So, the odds of re-injuring it would be big!
We had done a bunch of research on other options the first time she was injured and had found a brace that sounded like something worth trying. It's a bit expensive but MUCH less than surgery and the results for the dogs that use it are great! So, we did all the required measurements (each one is custom made), placed an order, and kept our fingers crossed. It almost seemed too good to be true but we wanted to believe it would work! Luckily and amazingly it did! It's called the MuttKnee Brace.
We put it on her right after it arrived and she immediately put some weight on her injured leg and danced around a bit. She still limped a little but we started taking very short walks with her. We were careful not to over-do it and the moment we noticed that her leg was starting to bother her, we'd turn around and come home. At first, the walks were only past the neighbor's house and back. But, within a week or so, she could walk all the way down the street and back and could soon go all the way around the block! She continues to improve.
It's incredible that something so simple can work so well and can even prevent the need for surgery. I'm shocked that vets aren't prescribing these instead of medications and surgery! The custom made brace includes a sleeve for the injured knee and a cuff for the other one. Or, you can get a sleeve for both. That's what we did because we were concerned about any injury that had been caused while the her good leg compensated for the bad one. They also sent a cuff, in case we decided to switch to that. The two sleeves have straps that go up over her back and connect to one another and then to a harness that they provide. This keeps the braces in place and prevents them from coming off.
At first, we had her wear it during the day time and took it off at night. Now, she's doing so well that we only use it for walks. She's even able to go upstairs again! She's back to being our happy girl....active and able to move around...a LOT!
We held off from any trips to the groomer while she was injured and while we waited for the brace. Then, we waited for her to get strong enough. She had gotten to be quite shaggy! She was finally able to go to the groomer a couple of weeks ago and came back smaller (without all that fur) and extra happy! Here she is after we her grooming visit...
She felt extra good after getting groomed and ran around like crazy...with her brace on! She finally settled down enough to get a photo to show what her brace looks like...
She's extra cute when she's groomed and I've been taking photos like crazy!
She's such a cutie! We love her so much! Look!...She's smiling again!
Without all that extra fur and with the drop in temperatures, she's been getting a little chilly with all that extra fur shaved off! She was happy to have her red jacket on to keep her warm!
If you or someone you know is interested in this amazing brace. You can find the MuttKnee Brace website HERE. You can also find them on Facebook HERE. We're so happy with how much it helped our Salsa! In fact, it's helped hundreds of dogs! So, I'm excited to share about it in the hopes of helping other dogs and saving their owners lots of money over surgery. What an incredible invention!