What’s The Best Knee Brace For Dogs?

It’s incredibly difficult to know that your dog is in pain and it is completely natural to want to do everything in your power to make them feel more comfortable. One of the most common causes of pain in dogs is an issue with one or both knees.

Common Knee Problems In Dogs

Just like humans, dogs have two knees located in the hind legs. The most common medical issues involving the knees include:

Patella Luxation

The patella, which is more commonly known as a kneecap, sits in front of the joint that is called the stifle and behind a ligament called the patellar ligament. When a dog moves its legs, the patella moves up and down in a groove in the femur.

When the femur’s groove is too shallow, the patella can move out of place. This is called a patella luxation. Dogs with patella luxation will often “skip” for a few steps, holding their leg off of the ground until the patella pops back into place.

Over time, a patella luxation can cause the patellar ligament to weaken and the condition to worsen. Patella luxations are “graded” and are broken into four grades:

1. Grade 1: The patella can be manually moved but returns to a natural position when not manipulated.

2. Grade 2: The patella will occasionally luxate but can easily return to the correct position when the dog straightens the stifle joint.

3. Grade 3: When a patella luxation reaches a Grade 3, this means that the patella spends more time outside of the groove in a luxation. It can be manually pushed into the correct position.

4. Grade 4: A Grade 4 luxation will never return to the correct position.

Depending on the severity of the problem, your dog might require surgery to fix the issue. Many dogs undergo patellar stabilization surgery and recover without incident!

Cruciate Ligament Tears

The cruciate ligament helps to connect the femur and tibia bones. The knee has a caudal and cranial cruciate ligament that cross over one another. If a dog twists the knee, this can cause the ligament to tear.

When the cruciate ligament tears, the knee becomes unstable. This condition is very painful and dogs with a tear will generally “toe touch” and avoid putting weight on the leg.

Typically surgery is required to stabilize the joint although some very small dogs might be able to heal and function after weeks of strict rest.

Trauma

Accidents, like being hit by a car, can cause damage to the knee and fracture the femur and tibia. It is also possible to fracture the kneecap and rupture the patellar ligament.

Dog Breeds That Are Prone To Knee Problems

Breeds that have a higher risk of being diagnosed with a knee problem include:

1. Golden Retrievers;
2. Labrador Retrievers;
3. Mastiffs;
4. Great Danes;
5. Dachshunds;
6. Toy Poodles;
7. Italian Greyhounds;
8. Yorkies;
9. French Bulldogs;
10. Bulldogs;
11. Chihuahuas;
12. Maltese;
13. German Shepherds;
14. Newfoundlands.

These breeds likely have a genetic risk factor that causes them to predisposed to issues with their knees and other joints. Additionally, dogs who are used for hunting, herding, and who are involved in sports like agility are more likely to suffer from knee injuries.

Ways To Help Your Dog With Their Knee Issues

As a dog parent, you will want to do everything you can to make sure your dog is comfortable. Here are a few steps you might want to take to help your dog live their best life despite joint damage:

1. Start Your Dog On A Joint Supplement: There are numerous joint supplements available that can help to alleviate your pet’s pain and to help protect the joints from further damage.

2. Choose Appropriate Exercise: It’s important to keep your pet moving but high-impact exercise should be avoided. If possible, swimming is a great way to keep your pet strong and healthy! If your pet doesn’t like to swim or you can’t find a safe place to swim, walking is a good alternative.

3. Consider Alternative Medicine: Alternative treatments could include acupuncture and massage therapy. These treatments are typically used in conjunction with traditional treatments. Many owners have reported seeing great improvements in their pets who undergo these treatments!

4. Make Changes To Your Home: Laying down no-slip carpeting on hard floors and stairs is a great place to start! You might want to also consider installing ramps so that your pet can avoid stairs.

5. Invest In Orthopedic Bedding: There are many great orthopedic dog beds, typically made from high-quality memory foam. Be sure to do your research and choose a bed that is both supportive and easy to get in and out of.

6. Put Your Dog On A Diet (If They Need It): When a dog is overweight the extra weight can put unnecessary strain on the joints. You’ll find they feel better and get around easier when they lose a little weight!

7. Consider A Knee Brace: A knee brace can help to restrict motion in the knee.

Why Should I Consider A Knee Brace?

A knee brace can help to stabilize the knee after it has been damaged. Although many dogs do well after surgery, in some cases your veterinarian may recommend that you provide them with a brace.

Additionally, some dogs have medical conditions, such as heart disease, that prevent them from going under anesthesia. If surgery is not a safe option, a knee brace might be the best option.

Highly Rated Knee Braces For Dogs

The following are some of the top-rated knee braces available:

Ortocanis Knee Brace For Dogs
  • Reduces pain in cases of cruciate ligament injury, osteoarthritis and kneecap problems
  • Improves balance among the muscle groups, helps dogs with limping and joint pain
  • Increases the stability preventing the injury from turning into a more serious condition

Last update on 2020-08-03 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This knee brace comes in eight sizes and is specifically made to fit either the right or left leg. The brace helps to support and stabilize the knee joint. It also helps to warm the joint and to increase blood flood.

Sale
Labra K9 Stifle Brace
  • SIZING - PLEASE SEE PHOTOS SECTION FOR BRACE DIMENSIONS BY SIZE - *NOTE* THESE BRACES ARE NOT APPROPRIATE FOR SMALL BREEDS
  • CHEST HARNESS NOT INCLUDED - Your dog must have a properly fitting chest harness for this brace to be effective
  • HEAL NATURALLY - Surgery is NOT the only option when your dog has suffered a knee injury. Our braces are made to provide maximum support while...

Last update on 2020-08-03 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This brace comes in four sizes. Designed for comfort, the brace can help to stabilize the knee both before and after surgery.

Kruuse Knee Protector
  • KRUUSE Rehab Knee Protector helps dogs with lameness and joint pain to an improved quality of life
  • This protector has both elastic and a stabilizing effect
  • With the KRUUSE Rehab Knee Protector you can help the dog directly with supporting the joint and muscles until it is no longer deemed necessary

Last update on 2020-08-03 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

With eight different sizes, you’ll be sure to find the right fit for your pup. The brace offers the support your dog needs while stabilizing the knee.

Caldera Pet Therapy Wraps
  • Patented therapy wrap delivers hot or cold therapy to the sore or injured site
  • Velcro straps and adjustable quick release buckle system make the device easy and straightforward to secure in place
  • Durable four-way stretch neoprene and quality stitching in each Pet Therapy Wrap means its designed for repeated use and is machine washable

Last update on 2020-08-03 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This wrap can help to deliver either hot or cold therapy to the injury site! Each wrap includes a gel pack that can be heated or cooled. The company also makes wraps for other parts of the body, such as the elbow, hip, and shoulder.

Walkabout Canine Knee Brace
  • SIZE TO FIT MEASUREMENT 1' ABOVE THE KNEE
  • ACL INJURIES support Joint, tendon, ligament instability
  • arthritis, mild pain

Last update on 2020-08-03 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This brace is made from neoprene and is another excellent way to provide support for dogs who have suffered a cruciate ligament rupture or luxating patella! The brace can be purchased in seven different sizes!

Always be sure to consult with your veterinarian about brace sizing and when the use of a brace is appropriate. There may be times, such as immediately after surgery, where it is better to use a sling to help your dog walk. This is to prevent excessive stress on any sutures or staples that are used to keep the incision closed.

Also, remember that a knee brace should not be left on all the time. You should check your pet regularly to ensure that the brace isn’t rubbing the skin raw. If the fit is inappropriate, skin ulcers could appear and your pet could become even more uncomfortable.