As pet owners, we understand how distressing it can be when our furry friends suffer from injuries. One common yet serious injury in dogs is a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). It causes pain and discomfort while significantly limiting mobility. However, with advancements in pet care, a dog knee brace has become an invaluable tool in supporting our canine companions through their recovery.
In this blog, we will dig deeper into this topic and explore the best dog knee braces available on the market today, to help your beloved pet regain their playful spirit and mobility.
Understanding ACL Injuries in Dogs
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries in dogs are akin to similar injuries in humans, often resulting in lameness and joint instability. The ACL in dogs, like in humans, stabilizes the knee joint. When it's torn, the stability is compromised, leading to swelling, pain, and limited mobility.
Causes of ACL Injuries
- Physical Activity: Sudden changes in direction or speed during play or exercise can cause ACL tears, especially in active or overweight dogs.
- Degenerative Changes: Older dogs or certain breeds may be prone to degenerative changes in their joints and ACL tears.
- Genetics: Some breeds, like Labrador Retrievers and Rottweilers, are genetically predisposed to ACL injuries.
Symptoms to Watch For
- Limping or Lameness: The most common sign is a sudden limp in the hind leg.
- Swelling Around the Knee: Swelling in the knee area can indicate an ACL injury.
- Reluctance to Jump or Run: Dogs may avoid activities that put pressure on the injured leg.
- Audible Clicking: A clicking sound from the knee joint can occur in some cases.
If left untreated, an ACL injury can lead to chronic pain, arthritis, and a significant reduction in quality of life. It's crucial to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Choosing the Right Knee Brace for Your Dog
Selecting an appropriate knee brace for a dog with an ACL injury is crucial for their recovery and comfort. Here are key considerations:
Size and Breed Specifics
- Measure Carefully: Accurate measurements of your dog's leg and knee are essential for a proper fit.
- Breed Considerations: Some breeds have unique body shapes and may require specially designed braces.
Severity of Injury
- Mild Injuries: For mild sprains, a softer brace may provide sufficient support.
- Severe Injuries: More serious injuries might require a sturdier brace with additional features like metal supports.
- Active Dogs: Look for braces that offer both support and flexibility, allowing your dog to move freely.
- Older or Less Active Dogs: Comfort may be more critical for these dogs, with softer materials and easy application being key factors.
Ensuring Proper Fit and Comfort
- Adjustable Straps: Ensure the brace has adjustable straps for a snug fit.
- Breathable Materials: To prevent skin irritation and overheating, choose braces made of breathable fabrics.
- Trial Period: Monitor your dog’s reaction to the brace. It should be snug but not overly tight, and the dog should be able to move without significant discomfort.
Best Dog Knee Brace for Torn ACL – Top products
1. IN HAND Dog Knee Brace – 8 Sizes
This knee brace is specifically designed to reduce inflammation and pain by increasing the temperature of the joints. It is an excellent choice for ACL tears, kneecap problem, and pain due to osteoarthritis.
- Available in 8 sizes
- Good elasticity and easy to adjust
- Comes with a metal spring that provides additional support
- Improves blood circulation and reduces recovery time
- Multiple users have noted that the size of the collar can be small
2. BENCMATE Adjustable Dog Knee Brace
The BENCMATE Dog Knee Brace comes in a universal size to fit any of the 4 limbs. It offers compression and protection of the muscles and joints when wore for about 4 hours.
- Made of very soft fabric for added comfort
- Relieves pain effectively
- Comes with an adjustable strap and supportive harness
- Not too many size options
3. Premium Dog ACL Knee Brace
As the name suggests, this knee brace promises to be highly efficient. It is a supportive brace designed specifically for dogs with ACL injuries.
- Made of soft and durable material
- Suitable for pre-surgery care as well as post-surgery protection
- It cushions and supports the injured knee
- Also works to minimize the impact of arthritis
- Not available in many sizes
4. MerryMilo Dog Knee Brace
Crafted from soft and elastic material, the MerryMilo Dog Knee Brace can be worn for hours without the risk of chafing or discomfort. It is lightweight, durable, and has multiple good features.
- Provides 360-degree support when worn for 4 hours a day
- It is portable and very easy to use
- It works to improve muscle movement and recovery
- Reduces inflammation while improving oxygen delivery to the knees
5. Agon Dog Canine Rear Hock Joint Brace Compression Wrap
The Agon Compression Wrap is very easy to wear and does not cause any discomfort. It is made of nylon and is quite easy to wash and reuse.
- Heals pain caused due to ACL injury
- Prevents future injuries
- Has a Velcro, which makes it easy to wear and remove
- Available in multiple sizes, ensuring perfect fit
- Reduces inflammation
- A few users have reported that the brace comes off quite easily and does not stay on for long periods of time
Dealing with a dog's ACL injury can be challenging, but choosing the right knee brace can significantly aid in their recovery. It is very important to ensure the right fit so that your dog is comfortable and their pain is alleviated without additional issues. We also recommend speaking to the vet so that you have professional guidance specific to the injury.