Casting For a Device
Why do I need an impression kit?
Your dog’s leg brace or prosthetic device is made from a fiberglass impression. Once we receive a fiberglass impression, we are able to make an exact replica (model) of your pet’s leg. Your pet’s custom leg brace is created over this replica and the measurements you provide ensure precision and accuracy to the model size and shape.
How much is a fiberglass impression kit (casting kit)?
If you order a device directly from us, we offer a complementary impression kit. The normal price is $80-$95. This includes Fed Ex Ground shipping. Please note that the fiberglass kit is non-refundable after shipment.
What comes inside the OrthoPets impression kit?
OrthoPets impression kit contains:
- 2 rolls of fiberglass (non-flexible) tape, 1 roll of the GLAD Press N Seal plastic wrap, bandage scissors, hook cutting blade, yellow cut strip, tape measure, sharpie marker and medical gloves.
Not included but is required:
- 1 small bowl filled with cool water to submerse the fiberglass casting tape
- 1 roll of tape (bandage or electrical)
The fiberglass impression was not a good representation of my pet’s leg. What happens now?
We may request that a new fiberglass impression be made in order to fabricate the most appropriately fitting brace with the least amount of required adjustments. The fiberglass impression is the key component in fabricated an appropriate dog brace or prosthetic.
Can I create the fiberglass impression myself?
You can create the impression according to our video tutorials. Many of our clients ask their veterinarian to make the impression.
OrthoPets Devices Info
Do you offer a payment plan?
Unfortunately no. Since all braces and prosthetics are custom fabricated, we are unable to start the fabrication process of a device until full payment is received.
How are OrthoPets devices manufactured?
- Upon receiving a fiberglass impression (cast) of your pet’s limb, we will review the impression, measurements and medical information to assess how we can best assist your pet. The impression and measurements are then transferred to the fabrication team to start the process.
- First, the fiberglass impression is scanned to create a 3-D model replica of your dog’s leg. Our technicians digitally sculpt the 3-D model with unmatched accuracy to create the shape and contour of the device. The fit of the devices is based upon the quality of the provided fiberglass impression as it is the representation of the limb.
- The 3-D model is moved to the vacuum station to be drape formed with (polypropylene) plastic which is heated in an industrial convention oven.
- Prosthetic devices include a pre-liner manufacturing process, extension placement and aligning process and socket padding before the socket can be 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.
What kind of materials do you use?
- 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.
- Several different foam types and thicknesses 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. Our foam also includes color-changing properties that allows us to assess the fit of the device for increased pressure and/or friction. A variety of mechanical hinges are used for normal joint range of motion while controlling/preventing abnormal joint motion from occurring. For large breeds or pets that weigh over 150 pounds or are capable of extreme forces, specialized metal and composite mechanical hinges are available and sometimes required.
- Hardware includes chafes (buckles) and straps made of reinforced industrial Velcro that is attached to the device via stainless steel screws and lock washers (for ease of owner replacement).
- If your pet’s dog brace includes a paw segment or walking surface, either BMX bicycle tire or a more specialty orthopedic tread will be secured. The type of tread is dependent on your pet’s size, specific diagnosis and biomechanical requirements.
Are your devices refundable?
OrthoPets devices are non-refundable as they are prescription based and custom fabricated.
What is media and why is it required?
What colors are your devices available in?
We offer transfer colors and patterns which are added to the surface of the natural plastic to create a fun and unique look. Available options are shown in our online ordering form.
I do not see the solution I am looking for on your website. Can you still create something for me?
The devices on our website are to provide you examples of common dog braces fabricated by OrthoPets. We consider every case to be unique and will fabricate a device that will be functional and comfortable for your pet. Please contact OrthoPets to discuss unique options available.
What is the difference between an “off the shelf” splint and a custom dog brace?
An “off the shelf” device is not made to fit an individual patient and their individual needs. They are made in bulk to “fit” patients grouped together into categories by size, not individual shape and contour. OrthoPets believes each individual patient requires a custom made brace 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, custom fabrication allows us to create an ideal fit for each patient and can therefore address their injury more appropriately.
Will my pet chew the device off?
Very rarely do we see our patients chew their device. When a patient chews their device, it is usually an indication that a modification or adjustment to improve the fit and/or function is required. Please contact your OrthoPets VOP Specialist immediately if your pet is chewing on the device.
What is an orthotic (leg brace)?
An orthosis is a device used to support or “brace” an existing limb. An orthotic device can be easily put on (donned) or taken off (doffed) 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 and affected joint.
What is a prosthetic (replacing of the limb)?
A prosthesis is a device used to “replace” a missing limb segment due to elective subtotal amputation, trauma or congenital deformity.
What if my pet is missing an entire limb?
In order to attach a functional forelimb prosthesis, 40% of the radius and ulna (forearm) needs to be intact. In order to attach a functional hind limb prosthesis, ideally the entire tibia and fibula (shin bones) would be intact. However, advanced prosthetic solutions are available for partial tibia/fibula amputations. OrthoPets is available to examine each case to establish if a dog prosthetic 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 can discuss with you and your veterinarian the option of bracing the contralateral (opposite) limb to provide aid in mobility and reduce the adverse compensatory effects.
What shipping courier do you use?
All OrthoPets products are shipped via FedEx. We offer ground, and overnight options. Please contact your OrthoPets VOP Specialist regarding all shipping pricing. You are able to ship to OrthoPets via your choice of courier. However, we do recommend obtaining tracking information and insuring your package.
As OrthoPets receives many packages daily, we ask that you include the following information in your package:
Your first & last name
Your pet’s name
How should I package my impression or device to ensure that it will not get damaged?
We suggest that you wrap the fiberglass impression or device in bubble wrap, paper packaging or similar packing materials.
We ask that peanuts not be used as they are not recyclable.
Fitting of the Device
How will I know how to put my dog’s brace on?
We will provide you with detailed written instructions as well as pictures and videos to guide you as to how to properly fit your pet’s device(s).
Your pet’s device will also be shipped with additional information such as wearing schedules, care of device, etc. Your veterinarian may modify or change your wearing schedule to best fit their treatment plan.
How do I know if my dog’s brace is fitting correctly?
If you have any concerns, send your information and our specialist will assess the fit and function of the device. Media can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your pet’s name and your last name in the subject line.
Contact your veterinarian you notice any of the following:
- Fur loss
- Redness of skin
- Increased lameness
Follow-up on your pet’s device
How long can my pet wear a V-OP (Veterinary Orthotic & Prosthetic) device?
OrthoPets provides two generic wearing schedule options. However, we recommend that wearing schedules be modified by your veterinarian or rehabilitation therapist to meet your pet’s therapeutic goals.
- Most cases start out with a two-week introductory period. This two-week period will include short wearing sessions daily. These sessions allow you to assess your pet’s skin for any signs of irritation and closely monitor the device’s fit and function. Depending on your veterinarian’s goals for your pet, you may gradually work up to a “full-time” schedule which we consider on in the morning and off at night.
- For many post-operative support cases or a “curative treatment plan,” your veterinarian may recommend a 24-hour wear schedule. This wearing schedule must include 3-5 non-weight bearing air break sessions throughout the day.
Are OrthoPets V-OP devices water-proof?
A large majority of our patients live by oceans, rivers, lakes, ponds, etc. and participate in daily water therapy. Your dog’s device was designed for use in water. Your device is lined with a “closed cell” foam that does not absorb water. The only components that will absorb water are the straps and pads which can be air dried. We do recommend that when your pet is done with their water activities, you remove excess water from their leg with a towel and wring out excess water from straps and pads. The straps and pads will dry overnight while your pet’s brace is off.
Can I order replacement parts for my pet’s brace?
Most removable components such as straps, pads, hardware, tread, etc. can be replaced at home. Please contact your VOP Specialist and they can go over your pet’s specific device
When should my pet’s device be refurbished?
We recommend that your pet’s brace be refurbished every 12-24 months depending on your pet’s activity and environment. Refurbishments typically cost anywhere between $250-350. This includes the device being stripped down to the shell, cleaned and all soft goods such as foam liners, tread, straps, pads, etc. being replaced. Essentially, your device will come back looking brand new! We don’t take this lightly as the foam does conform to your pet’s anatomy and therefore, we do not recommend changing it unless needed. Sometimes, only some parts need to replaced. Please call your VOP Specialist to discuss what your pet’s device needs.
What if my pet’s brace needs to be adjusted?
Adjustments are a normal part of the process, and typically take 4 days to complete. Please contact our team using this form if you think the brace should be adjusted.
V-OP Rehabilitation and Veterinarian Info
Does my pet need rehab with a V-OP solution?
For maximum results with our custom orthotic/prosthetic solutions, we recommend a rehabilitation program appropriate for your pet and their specific injury or instability. A detailed rehabilitation treatment plan can be advised by a professional of your choice.
I am a veterinarian and want to learn more about V-OP solutions and how to offer them to my patients.
We have many veterinarians worldwide that spend time with us on-site to learn about what we do and what we can offer. Please feel free to contact OrthoPets for more information. If you are ever in the Denver area, we would be happy to facilitate a tour!