Questions and Answers
The impression (casting) kit is $60, plus shipping. Please note that the fiberglass kit is non-refundable after shipment.
Your pet's device is made from a fiberglass impression. Once we receive a correctly made fiberglass impression, we are able to make an exact replica (model) of your pet's leg. Your pet's custom manufactured device is created over this exact replica and your measurements ensure precision and accuracy to the model size and shape.
The fiberglass impression kits are non-refundable after shipment. Un-used kits can be donated to rescue groups and rescue organizations.
Your case manager will request that a new fiberglass impression be made in order to fabricate the most correctly fitting brace with the least amount of adjustments or modifications. The most important part of this entire process is to first receive an accurate fiberglass impression. Your case manager is available to speak with your local veterinarian about the specific fiberglass impression techniques over the phone or with a scheduled FaceTime or Skype appointment. OrthoPets has specific step by step fiberglass impression instructions that must be followed in order to create an accurate fiberglass impression.
The fiberglass impression needs to be done according to our protocols so an accurate plaster model replication of your pet's limb can be created. The most important part of this entire process is receiving an accurate fiberglass impression.
OrthoPets has fiberglass impression "How to" videos and specific step by step picture instructions that must be followed in order to create an accurate fiberglass impression with proper anatomical joint alignment.
We prefer and recommend your veterinarian or CCRT/CCRP perform the fiberglass impression and measurements.
The most important aspect of this entire process is obtaining an accurate fiberglass impression and measurements that intimately replicate the shape, contour, and anatomy of your pet's affected limb(s).
Your veterinarian needs to use rigid (NOT flexible) 1.5" or 2" (breed & size specific) fiberglass casting tape. We sell a fiberglass impression kit for $60 plus shipping that includes the specific tools and materials to successfully create an accurate fiberglass impression.
OrthoPets impression kit contains:
- 2 rolls of fiberglass casting tape, bandage scissors, hook cutting blade, yellow cut strip, tape measure, sharpie marker, and medical gloves
- All the forms and documents required for your case.
- 1 small bowl filled with cool water to submerse the fiberglass casting tape.
- 1 roll of tape (either scotch or electrical).
- 1 roll of "GLAD Press'n Seal" plastic wrap (Saran wrap with a tacky backing). This product features a sticky backing which enables the plastic wrap to stay in place on the patient’s limb. It also is used as the interface between the pet's fur and the fiberglass casting material
No, OrthoPets has specific impression techniques for each injury. The general impression technique is the same; however, the process for each limb and injury is very specific regarding position of the patient, position of the limb segment, and other factors.
Please have your veterinarian contact your OrthoPets case manager before attempting a fiberglass impression. We will speak with them about the proper fiberglass impression techniques, tips, and tricks to enable your veterinarian to create an accurate fiberglass impression.
Yes. Please contact your OrthoPets Case Manager promptly prior to shipping your impression and paperwork.
Please contact an OrthoPets representative for specific pricing. Pricing is dependent upon the size of the patient, the exact diagnosis, exact injury, and therapeutic goals.
OrthoPets does not offer a payment plan. Because all our devices are custom made to your pet, we require that payment be made in full before we begin the fabrication process.
- Upon receiving an accurate fiberglass impression, the case manager will review the fiberglass impression, measurements, and medical information to help assess how we can best assist your pet. The impression and measurements are then transferred to the manufacturing lab to start the fabrication process.
- First, the fiberglass impression is scanned to create a 3-D model replica of the limb segment. Our technicians digitally sculpt the 3-D model with unmatched accuracy to create the shape and contour of the Veterinary Orthotic & Prosthetic device. The fit of the device is based upon the quality of the provided fiberglass impression as it is the limb representation of the limb.
- The 3-D model is moved to the vacuum station to be draped formed with (polypropylene) plastic, which is heated in an industrial convention ovens.
- Prosthetic devices include a pre-liner manufacturing process, extension placement and aligning process, and socket padding before the socket is vacuum formed.
- The vacuum formed model is then carefully cut out, rough ground, beveled, and finish polished.
- After the finished grind and polish, the shell is assembled by adding straps, buckles, hinges, padding and case specific components.
- Our Hobble Vests are hand sewn based on measurements to create a simple, lightweight and comfortable solution.
- OrthoPets utilizes the same variety of materials that are used in the human field of orthotics and prosthetics.
- Our devices are made from vacuum formed polypropylene plastic with color transfer options available upon request.
- Several different foam types and thickness are used for padding. Our foam is selected for its durability and closed-cell waterproof properties, in addition to offering softer foam for pets with sensitive skin. A variety of mechanical hinges are used for normal joint range of motion while controlling/blocking/preventing abnormal joint motion from occurring. For large breeds or pets that weight over 100 pounds or are capable of extreme forces, specialized metal and composite mechanical hinges are available.
- Hardware includes chafes (buckles) and straps made of reinforced industrial Velcro that attached to the device via stainless steel screws and lock washers (for ease of owner replacement).
- If your pet's device includes a paw component or walking surface, BMX bicycle tire-tread is secured.
- "Hoppy Vests" are manufactured with a flexible shock absorbing runners and/or wheels which improve mobility and restore proper alignment to the spine, hips, and neck.
- "Hobble Vests" consist of a combination of neoprene fabric and Velcro sewn into a vest system that creates stability and comfort for complex shoulder injuries.
OrthoPets devices are not refundable as they are prescription based. Each device is custom made to your pet's measurements, specifications, and case requirements and not appropriate to be used on another patient as no two patients are the same.
Please notify us immediately to stop fabrication or shipment of the device. Refund amount is case dependent and based on status of fabrication.
Upon request, devices can be shipped to the owner to keep.
OrthoPets individually hand-makes each custom veterinary orthotic and prosthetic from a fiberglass impression of your pet's limb. Each device is specific to your pet's injury and diagnosis, outcome, and treatment plan goals.
Our plastic is available in black and white. We also offer transfer colors and patterns for an additional cost which are added to the surface of white plastic. Please ask your OrthoPets case manager for specific pattern options.
The devices on the website are there to provide you samples of the type of devices made by OrthoPets. We consider every case to be unique and will fabricate a device that will be functional and comfortable for your pet.
Contact OrthoPets to discuss the unique individual options available.
- Very rarely do our patients chew their device.
- When a patient chews at the device it is usually an indication that a modification or adjustment to improve fit or function is required.
- Please contact your OrthoPets case manager immediately if your pet is chewing on the device.
An "off the shelf" device is not made to fit an individual patient and their individual needs. They are made in bulk and made to "fit" patients grouped into categories by size, not individual shape and contour. OrthoPets believes each individual patient requires a custom made device to appropriately address their instability and/or injury. Even though the basic anatomy and injury may be the same, a device will fit very differently on a 50 pound Bulldog versus a 50 pound Golden Retriever. As such, a custom device allows us to create the perfect fit for each patient individually and can therefore address their injury more appropriately.
Each device is designed for that specific leg. Like in the human field, you would not want to wear your "right" shoe on your "left" foot. If you try to fit a "right legged" device on the "left leg", it will not fit appropriately and will create pressure sores and other significant complications.
If you pet is already using a device for an injury, and the other leg also becomes compromised with an injury, please contact your veterinarian to discuss treatment options.
An orthosis is a device used to support or "brace" an existing limb. An orthotic device can be easily put on or taken off with a Velcro system.
An orthosis can replicate the immobilization of a traditional cast or create dynamic range of motion featuring control, resistance, enhancement, protection, and guidance over an affected joint.
A prosthesis is a device used to "replace" a missing limb segment due to elective subtotal amputation, trauma, or congenital deformity.
- In order to attach a functional forelimb prosthesis, there needs to be at least 40% of the radius and ulna intact.
- In order to attach a functional hind limb prosthetic, ideally the entire tibia and fibula needs to be present.
- Advanced prosthetic solutions are available for partial tibia/fibula amputations.
- OrthoPets is available to examine each case to establish if a prosthesis is a viable option. OrthoPets strives to advance prosthetic technology in order to help as many pets as possible.
- If your pet does not have a remaining limb segment, we recommend bracing the opposite limb to provide aid in mobility and reduce the adverse compensatory effects of being 3 legged.
Our mechanical concepts are still the same, but the appearance of the new device might look different. We are always working to create the best products for our canine friends. We are working on new designs and innovative ways to constantly improve our devices and continue to be the leaders in this new industry.
All OrthoPets products are shipped via Federal Express. We offer ground, second day, overnight, and Saturday delivery options. Please contact your OrthoPets case manager regarding pricing.
You can use Federal Express, UPS, or the United States Post Office (USPS) to ship packages to us. OrthoPets shipping and receiving department receives packages from all carriers daily.
As OrthoPets receives many packages daily, we ask that you include the following information in your package each time you send a package to OrthoPets:
- Your first and last name.
- Your pet's name.
- Any other related or specific information inside the package each time you send something to OrthoPets.
By including your name and related information inside the package your fiberglass impression or device will not be lost or unidentifiable.
We suggest that you wrap the fiberglass impression in bubble wrap, paper packaging, or similar packing materials when shipping to OrthoPets.
Please use a big enough box to fit your item in without forcing it into a box.
- Fiberglass impressions and custom devices have been damaged by inappropriate packaging and may not be covered under your shipping carrier's warranty.
OrthoPets case managers will provide you with detailed written instructions as well as pictures and video links to help you learn how to properly fit your pet's device(s). Your case manager is available to speak with you on the phone or a scheduled FaceTime or Skype appointment to better assist you through the fitting process. Each case manager has been trained in the appropriate fitting techniques and can offer useful tips and tricks.
Yes! Your pet's device will be shipped with information regarding fitting instructions, a wearing protocol, and initial wearing schedule.
Your veterinarian may modify or change your wearing schedule and protocol to best fit their treatment plan.
OrthoPets provides information to help your pet adjust to wearing a custom device and instructions for care and cleaning of the device.
- Once you have received your new device, we request that you send us pictures and video of your pet after the device has been fitted.
- Your case manager will evaluate the fit, alignment and function of your new device. It is important to get your case manager's approval of the fit before allowing your pet to return to normal activities. Please email all pictures and video to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- When sending an email, please include your first and last name and your pet's name in the subject line of the email. This will help direct your email to your specific case manager.
- Please contact your case manager immediately if you have specific questions about the fit of your pet's device.
OrthoPets provides two wearing schedule options for your pet. Our recommended wearing schedule protocols may be modified by your veterinarian or rehabilitation therapist.
For cases that are not post-operative or treatment plans with the goal of a curative outcome, a two week introductory break-in schedule is recommended.
- Your pet's first two weeks in their new device is like breaking in a new pair of shoes. During the first week, the device is used for short wearing sessions daily. These wearing sessions enable you to inspect your pet's skin for any signs of irritation and to inspect the device's fit and function.
- After the two week break in schedule, AND after you have sent pictures and video to your OrthoPets case manager to ensure the fit is appropriate, you can increase your pets wearing schedule to 8-12 hours a day.
- We do not recommend that your pet wear the device for 24 hours a day without proper air-break sessions. Your pet"s skin needs time without the device on for breathability.
- We recommend that your pet not wear the device at night while they are sleeping.
When using a device as a post-operative support or a curative treatment plan, your device will be worn 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- This full-time wearing schedule must include 3 to 5 air-break sessions during the day to provide needed air flow to the limb. These air-break sessions require that your pet is NOT allowed to stand or weight-bear on the affected limb at any time.
- The air-break session can be as long as is convenient for you. We recommend 15 minute minimum air-break sessions and encourage longer air-break sessions if possible.
- Your OrthoPets case manager will help you with a customized wearing schedule to fit your pet"s needs.
Your OrthoPets case manager will require pictures and video of your pet in the device to first access if the device is fitting correctly, and that you have secured the device appropriately.
Your case manager will discuss the discoloration of the white foam liner. The liner material provides a visual assessment of fit and comfort.
- The material will indicate a dark "smudge mark" where the body is in direct contact with the device. These smudge marks enable you to visually assess the fur/skin condition in those exact locations. It's like having "GPS" for comfort. The only areas that could be uncomfortable to your pet are the areas in direct contact to the device. Fur loss or redness of skin may be an indication of a fit concern.
- Your case manager will be able to guide you and/or your veterinarian through the evaluation process to confirm if the device needs to be adjusted for comfort.
Your OrthoPets case manager will require pictures and video of your pet in the device to access if the device is fitting correctly, and that you have secured the device appropriately.
During the initial two week break-in period, we will ask you to visually inspect the white foam liner for smudge marks and your pet's skin each time you take the device off.
Contact your case manager if:
- You notice fur loss or redness of skin persisting for more than 20 minutes.
- Fur loss that directly correlates to a dark smudge mark on your pet's white foam of the device.
- Email pictures of any skin based irritations along with pictures of the dark smudge marks within the device.
- Include a short description of the affected area of your pet's limb. Your OrthoPets case manager will review your pictures and description and recommended appropriate next steps to resolve any areas of concern.
A large majority of our patients live by oceans, rivers, lakes, ponds, and participate in daily water therapy. Your pet's device was designed for use in water. Let your pet enjoy the water!
OrthoPets V-OP devices are waterproof. The plastic shell and the closed cell foam used within the device are waterproof.
However, we do recommend that once your pet comes out of the water, that you take a few minutes to dry your pet's leg and the inside of your pet's device with a towel. The neoprene pads may remain damp. These pads will air dry overnight when the device is off.
Reordering and replacing the buckles, straps, and pads are very easy. We can ship these items directly to you. All you will need is a 2.5 mm Allen wrench. Please contact your OrthoPets case manager for detailed information.
All the soft good (straps, pads, foam) and hardware on the device can be replaced, and should be replaced every 12-24 months.
OrthoPets recommends that your pet's device be sent back to us every 12-24 months for a complete refurbishment.
Our complete refurbishment costs anywhere from $250 to $350 depending on the condition of the device. Special modifications to device are on a case by case basis. If you notice a crack in the plastic shell, please contact your OrthoPets case manager as soon as possible.
- OrthoPets will remove all the soft goods (foam, straps, and pads), hardware, and tread if your pets device has a paw component.
- We then re-build your pet's device, making it as good as new.
- We recommend that you repeat the "initial wearing schedule" again once you receive your refurbished device back.
- Your pet's skin needs time once again to re-acclimate to the device and to enable the foam liner to form to your pet's limb.
- We suggest you contact your OrthoPets case manager every 6 months to ensure the prosthetic device is fitting correctly.
- OrthoPets case managers can recommend refurbishments to ensure the comfort and fit is optimized for your pet. After all, this is their new leg!
OrthoPets has engineered your device so that you can replace your own tread with BMX bicycle tread.
- To replace the tread, all you will need is a Standard Phillips Screw Driver and the old tread as a template/pattern for your new tread. Your OrthoPets case manager can provide specific details on which tread we would recommend for your pet's device.
- You can always have OrthoPets replace your pet's tread.
OrthoPets suggests that you thoroughly clean your pet's device at least once every month.
You can use non-toxic disinfecting wipes to clean the outer plastic shell and mild dish-soap and water to clean the inside foam.
You can wash the black neoprene pads in your washing machine on a cold water cycle.
- Do not machine dry your neoprene pads as the neoprene will become hard and brittle.
- Please do not put the device through the dishwasher or clothes washer or place your device or pads on top of a wood stove or heating element.
You will work with your OrthoPets case manager to ensure that your pet's device is fitting correctly. If your pet's device needs to be adjusted, you will simply send the device back to OrthoPets.
In most cases, OrthoPets will complete the adjustments to your pet's device within 1-3 business days.
- It is our policy to follow up with you after you have received your device and ask for new pictures and video of the fit and function of the adjusted device.
OrthoPets suggests that you contact your case manager as soon as you have questions about the fit of the device.
OrthoPets case managers rely on pictures and video to ensure the device is fitting correctly, and you have placed the device on correctly. Your case manager will review your pictures and video and respond with confirmation, tips, tricks, and recommendations so that your device is functioning as designed for optimal performance.
In some cases we will suggest a FaceTime or Skype appointment with you, your vet, or your rehabilitation therapist so we can literally be right there with you, just as if you had been in our Denver clinic.
Custom orthotics and prosthetics are prescription based "durable medical equipment" and cannot be dispensed without a signed referral form.
- All custom made medical devices require a doctor’s referral. The referral form acts as a prescription for your pet's device and needs to be signed by your referring veterinarian.
OrthoPets is an accredited veterinary clinic, and follows the highest standards of care procedures to ensure your pet receives an appropriate V-OP solution.
We use measurements in combination with the fiberglass impression of your pets affected limb to ensure the best fit and outcome possible.
An accurate fiberglass impression and accurate measurements are the key to receiving a functional orthotic or prosthetic device that fits correctly and offers the best performance possible.
Measurements allow us to find specific boney landmarks on your fiberglass impression. These landmarks enable us to confirm exact anatomical joint locations to ensure the best fit possible.
For maximum success with our custom orthotics/prosthetics, we recommend a rehabilitation program appropriate for your pet and their specific injury. A detailed plan for rehabilitation can be devised with a professional of your choice. OrthoPets suggest finding a CCRT in your area to work with.
If you are CCRT, CCRP, or CCRA you can sign up for a V-OP course through CRI (Canine Rehabilitation Institute). Here is the direct link.
We have many veterinarians from across the world spend time with us in our clinic to learn about what we do. Please feel free to contact an OrthoPets case manager for more information. If you are in the Denver area, we would be happy to have you stop by for a tour of our veterinary clinic.
The field of veterinary orthotics and prosthetics is an emerging field. Veterinarians who are new to the field of canine rehabilitation and advanced treatment options for post-operative patients and those patients who are not surgical candidates may have not been exposed to V-OP.
Fortunately, veterinarians can learn more about V-OP by stopping by our booth at most major veterinary conferences in the USA, surgical meetings, or attend our V-OP course held through CRI.
- Here is the direct link.
Yes, OrthoPets USA does attend many veterinary conferences in the United States. Please look for us at the:
- NAVC Conference in Florida in January
- Western States Conference in Las Vegas in February
- VOS Conference in March (Specific location alternates each year)
- ACVS Conference in November (location alternates each year)
- International Rehabilitation Symposium (every other year, location changes each venue)
OrthoPets Europe, Australia and Canada also attended conferences in their own countries each year. Please check out their specific websites for more details.
Yes, we work with clients and veterinary clinics all over the United States and around the world.
Because all of our devices are custom made from a fiberglass impression and measurements of your pet's limb, we can fabricate a device for you no matter where you live. 95% of OrthoPets patients come from out of the state of Colorado.
If you are a pet owner and are considering a custom orthotic or prosthetic solution for your pet, please fill out an online request form and one of our case managers will contact you within 24 hours, Monday through Friday and intermittently during the weekends and holidays.
If you are a veterinarian, please contact us via e-mail or by phone (303) 953-2545. An OrthoPets case manager will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have about your part of the process.
All OrthoPets devices are prescription based and require a referral from your veterinarian.
Our devices are custom made and require a fiberglass impression and measurements of your pet's affected limb segment to fabricate your pet's device.
Once we receive all of the required paperwork, the fiberglass impression and payment, the fabrication process will begin.
The finished product will be shipped to your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will assess the fit and function of the device.
OrthoPets offers orthopedic solutions for pre-op, post-op, and non-operative cases.
Just like surgery, a V-OP solution does not cure but rather provides the most optimal environment for Mother Nature to cure. In other cases, a V-OP solution provides a comfortable long-term solution for patients who suffer debilitating injuries that have a poor prognosis for healing.
Each case is considered unique. Your case manager and veterinarian will discuss the details of your case to establish the device solution that will be the most functional and appropriate for your pet.
We have a "Puppy Plan" put in place for these cases. We strongly feel that the impact to the immature skeletal system due to injury or congenital deformities can be devastating. As such, we have developed our puppy program to help reduce costs to make our solutions available to as many puppies (and kittens) as possible.
Your case manager will provide you with more information once we obtain details regarding your case.
All of our devices are fabricated in Denver, Colorado. However, we do have distributors worldwide including Europe, Australia, Canada, and South America.
We have many other “partner clinics” that we work with around the United States. They have been trained by us and are qualified to assist you in the process of having a custom device fabricated for your pet. If there is not a distributor in your area, we can work with your family veterinarian, surgeon, or rehabilitation therapist.
OrthoPets and our distributors have a very close relationship with each other. There are specific requirements and qualifications that are required in order to become an OrthoPets distributor.
You must have a veterinary background to be considered a partner or distributor. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about becoming an OrthoPets partner!
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