Orthotic-prosthetic clinic specialized exclusively for animals


When it comes to caring for our faithful four-legged friends, their mobility should be at the heart of our concerns. Ankle injuries can seriously compromise any dog’s ability to walk, run, and play, which in turn profoundly affects their quality of life.

Fortunately, thanks to advances in the fabrication of orthodic devices, it is now possible to effectively support your dog’s hind leg with an ankle brace. Whether your dog needs help due to an injury or during rehabilitation after surgery, or if they simply need extra support during walks and daily activities, ORTHO DESIGN’s orthotic devices for dogs are a custom solution that can be adjusted to any situation.

What is a hock brace for dogs?

A tarsal orthosis or ankle brace supports, maintains, controls, stabilizes and protects an animal’s ankle. A hock brace can be adjusted to provide either complete immobilization of the joint, free movement or a controlled range of motion. In other words, it can be used to limit flexion and/or extension. This type of orthotic device also realigns the ankle and keeps it in a functional position to help the animal to regain a more normal ability to move around.

In some cases, where needed, the tarsal orthosis can be extended to cover the phalanges of the paw to provide further protection and realignment.

Why choose an ankle brace (orthosis) for your dog?

Ankle injuries in dogs can occur for a variety of reasons, ranging from accidents during overly enthusiastic games, to natural wear and tear in older dogs. Some of the most common types of injuries include sprains, ligament tears, and fractures.

These injuries can severely affect your dog’s mobility, making them less active and sometimes even causing them to limp. Without the proper support, these problems can get worse with time, leading to chronic pain or an inability to move freely. This is why it’s important to recognize the signs of ankle injury and act quickly to give your pet the support they need.

Achilles tendon rupture in dogs

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the calcaneous (central tarsal bone) and allows a dog to extend the ankle (hock) and flex the digits (toes) so it can walk on its toes with the ‘heel’ off the ground.

The rupture of the Achilles tendon can be partial or complete. Partial rupture is mainly observed as a result of chronic wear. It is distinguished by a lameness associated with a slight plantigrade stance, i.e. the heel is closer to the ground than usual, and there may also be a slight curling of the toes. A complete rupture is usually cause by a traumatic event, and results in lameness with a more complete plantigrade stance.

Some breeds of canids are more predisposed to Achilles tendon damage than others, such as the Dobermann and Labrador Retriever.

Benefits of a custom-made ankle brace for your pet

There are several significant benefits associated with using a high-quality dog ankle brace. A properly fitted hock brace can contribute to both the healing and prevention of injuries. Some benefits include:

  • Support and Stabilization: A hock brace provides support to a dog’s injured ankle. By helping to stabilize the joint, it reduces the risk of any movement that could worsen the injury.
  • Pain Reduction: By limiting painful movements and providing support, the brace helps to decrease the pain experienced by your dog and allows them to move about more comfortably.
  • Accelerated healing: By immobilizing and supporting the injured area, a hock brace allows your dog’s ankle to heal in an optimal position, which can potentially speed up the healing process.
  • Prevention of further injury: For dogs with a history of ankle injuries or those at higher risk due to their level of activity, a brace can serve as a preventative measure to prevent future damage.

When are dog hock braces recommended?

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