A prosthetic limb for a disabled dog helps to overcome immobility. It is still a relatively new field in the pet world. With the growing interest and demand new prosthetic limbs designed which have high durability and reliability.
What are prosthetics ?
Prosthetic limb gives your dog the mobility which he had before losing a limb. Due to any condition e.g a road accident, fall from stairs, etc may result in limb loss. Prosthesis can bear body weight and help your dog to move.
Prosthesis is designed for a number of different conditions that range from dogs who are recovering from serious limb surgery to needing prosthetics for limbs that have been removed.
After fracture or any disability, the dog will not be able to bear the load of his body that can cause pain or further injuries due to imbalance or poor body biomechanics. Instead of living the rest of life without a limb it is better to have an artificial limb. Artificial limbs can restore a sense of body position and movements.
Biomechanically, if the body alignment is not correct due to disability then your dog will need a prosthesis. This will be helpful for correct body posture that prevents further postural abnormalities. After wearing fit prosthesis he will feel much comfortable.
There are prosthetics for the handicapped dog’s front and back legs. It is possible that sometimes prosthesis needs more than one leg or foot.
Sometimes, the limb is congenitally absent whereby prosthesis is also used for congenital defects. But, with time the change in height or physique occurs, that’s why prosthesis will be adjusted timely.
Consultation with veterinary orthopedic specialists
How accurate the prosthetics have to be for the handicapped dogs, a consultation with a veterinary specialist is usually necessary.
Veterinary orthopedic specialists help in fitting your dog with a prosthetic. He could give your dog a better quality of life and mobility.
Though dogs perform well on three legs it can cause your dog body and neck ache. Dog may feel the strain on the remaining limbs on which they depend on for mobility, especially the one opposite the missing limb. For guidance and quick recovery suggestion of specialists is always essential for betterment. But sometime prosthesis needs for more than one leg, therefore, emphasis should be on the affected part.
Prosthetic procedure in dogs
Once the veterinary surgeon has done with amputation and the healing of the soft tissue completed, you can have your dog fitted for a prosthesis. It is usually done by a veterinarian himself or they may send you to a veterinary orthopedic specialist or prosthetist.
Firstly, dog limb cast into mold then prosthetic custom made for your dog. It usually takes four to six weeks to custom manufacture.
The rehabilitation phase takes time and it is not possible that your dog started walking on the very first day. Your prosthetist may ask whether your dog wear the prosthetic for only a few hours a day for about a two-week period.
Once the skin has adjusted to the prosthetic and your dog is used to the feel of the prosthetic, your dog will be able to wear it during waking hours.
It is possible that you may revisit your veterinarian for the initial few months. Because you may need a prosthetic device fit if the dog is still growing.
Efficacy for prosthetic limb in dogs
Well-fitted prosthetic will give your dog close to normal, if not completely normal, mobility and movement. Care is necessary to use a prosthesis therefore its appropriate use will help your dog to enjoy a lifetime.
For lifetime use adjustment of the artificial limb is necessary on a regular basis. It is possible that some dogs may perform well without a prosthetic device. However, your dog may face other limb injuries over time from favoring one limb in lieu of the missing limb.
Recovery of prosthetic limb in dogs
Your dog will require time to adapt to the new prosthesis. Rehabilitation specialists should teach how to use a prosthetic limb for quick recovery.
Some dogs are able to place full weight on their new prosthesis in a few weeks, but most take a few months before they are able to use the device fully. All this is possible with the collective effort. Rehab specialists will also guide you about exercises which you to perform at home.
Dog prosthetic consideration
Your dog may perform well as a tripod dog. However, for long-term overall health, it is best to take the unbalanced weight off the three healthy intact limbs. Fitting your dog for a prosthetic limb will take the strain off the intact limbs and improve core strength while taking pressure off your dog’s neck and back.
If your dog is still growing, you may need to refit the prosthetic as he grows otherwise it causes problems due to change in body demands.
Some pet owners wait until the dogs are fully grown for a prosthetic limb. Physical therapy is also required for the core strength of an intact limb. That’s why core strength may be strong enough for quick recovery and support so as to lift a newly fitted prosthetic limb.
Keeping a close eye on your dog’s weight will be imperative if your dog has a prosthesis. A healthy dog with an ideal weight will be a candidate for a prosthetic device. An overweight dog may need to lose weight before being fitted for a prosthesis.
Durability of prosthesis affected if operated pet weight started increasing. The prosthesis designed should have durability and reliability.
Prevention of prosthetic limb in dogs
Whenever an animal visited the first thing is to take history so that veterinary surgeon could understand the exact etiology of the problem. For example, if a dog has lost a limb due to any trauma, consider how the trauma occurred.
Being a pet owner it’s your responsibility to keep your dog safe and healthy. However, it is true that not all accidents can be prevented. Anything can happen at any time. Even pet dogs living all day in the house may face such tragedies. Try to keep your dog on a leash and away from dangers lie traffic.
Although, technology has advanced with time and the availability of prosthesis is an option in case of trauma but prevention is better than cure.