With my list of the latest paralyzed dog products in hand, I was on a mission to see, touch, and ask questions about the new trends at the Western Veterinary Conference. This was the 89th year of WVC. The conference is the second largest in the country and it is the place where veterinary professionals go to learn about state-of-the-art products and medical procedures.
Because this was my second year attending the Las Vegas based conference, I was prepared to tackle the gigantic exhibit hall. I maneuvered down the isles like a pro. I found an amazing number of new products to make life better for owners who are caring for a paralyzed dog.
Here are my favorites!
Did you notice the tape the volleyball players were wearing on their shoulders at the 2016 Olympics? It is called RockTape and it is a great asset to athletes. RockTape or kinesiology tape works wonders for muscle strains, tears, inflammation and more. The tape actually lifts the myofacial tissue beneath the skin so the body can heal and inflammation can reduce.
RockTape Canine is now available to help dogs heal. Veterinary physical therapists love it for reducing inflammation, promote healing, and enhancing rehabilitation. The tape also prevents dogs from reinjuring themselves because it keeps their limbs and back in proper alignment.
You will be seeing more of this product as canine rehab therapists get trained. It will an asset for dogs with spinal injuries, IVDD and hind end weakness.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber
I got to see my first hyperbaric chamber and it did not disappoint. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy uses pure oxygen that is released into a pressurized tube which is up to three times higher than normal air pressure. The treatment quickens the healing process. Dogs are placed in a clear glass chamber for an hour at a time to treat injuries, heal wounds, reduce swelling, and more. It works wonders on reducing inflammation in dogs with spinal cord injuries and eliminating symptoms in dogs who have suffered a stroke.
I was told the atmosphere inside the chamber gives dogs a sense of calm. The clear glass shell enables owners to see and talk to their dog throughout the treatment.
More companies are manufacturing hyperbaric oxygen chambers so hopefully we will see them in veterinary hospitals throughout the country.
PawFriction was one of the top exhibits I wanted to visit at the WVC. It’s a clever product for senior and disabled dogs who can’t get enough traction to stand up and walk on smooth surfaces. Dogs with the problem typically rely on boots to maintain their stability, but many don’t like the feel of a boot on their paws.
PawFriction has solved this problem with an easy to use coating that adheres directly onto the pads of your dog’s paws. It reduces sliding on smooth surfaces and it reduces the risk of injury.
Designed by a veterinarian, PawFriction is non-toxic and safe for your dog. Each application can be applied at home and lasts up to 7 days.
The product works by mixing the friction blue granules into a small disposable pawprint container and applying an adhesive to the clean the pads of their dog’s paws. Then place each paw into the blue mixture so it coats the pad. Here are pictures of the process.
Under the Weather
I am surprised no one has thought of this product before. Under the Weather is for the times when your dog isn’t feeling well and needs to be on a bland diet. Veterinarians typically recommend that you go home and boil some chicken and rice for your dog.
When that’s not convenient, pet parents can now leave their veterinarian’s office with Under the Weather’s pre-packaged envelopes of bland food. All you do is add water. The meals are made with human grade quality meats that are freeze dried to keep them fresh.
Under the Weather comes in Chicken & Rice, Chicken & Rice with Pumpkin, and Bison & Oatmeal.
I’ve written before about the popular inflatable, waterproof, orthopedic dog beds from Komfy K9. They are widely used in veterinary hospitals because of the comfort and support they give to dogs recovering from surgery. Komfy K9 beds are also easy to clean in case of an accident. Hospitals simply replace the outer case with a fresh one and toss the soiled cover in the laundry.
I visited their booth at WVC so I could see in person their waterproof bed for incontinent dogs to use at home. The quilted outside pad was plusher than the hospital version, but just as absorbent in case of an accident. The self-inflating mattress provided evenly distributed support for paralyzed dogs who are prone to developing pressure sores.
I mentioned to Komfy K9 that my only concern about the bed was that a paraplegic dog might fall off the flat mattress. The company has already thought of that problem and is in the process of making a bed with bolsters.
Hero Brace makes braces for dogs with knee problems and neuromuscular conditions. The company was founded by Ben Blecha and Wayne Watkins, DVM.
Blecha is a Certified Orthotist-Prosthetist who previously worked at Shriners Hospitals for Children- Greenville. He learned about the need for braces for dogs when he was asked by Animal Planet’s Emergency Vet show to make a prosthetic device for a dog named Triumph. The dog had osteosarcoma and a limb amputation. Blecha realized there were limited options for dogs so he changed course to start Hero braces.
Dr. Watkins lends his experience of treating limb and joint problems in dogs for more than 30 years. He is a firm believer that putting a dog in the correct brace can offer a better outcome for recovery.
Veterinarians at WVC were impressed with the quality and lightweight feel of the braces from this new company.
L’il Back Bracer
Dogs with IVDD have had access to back braces for a while. In fact, one of my favorite products is the WiggleLess back brace. The L’il Back Bracer works on the same principle of splinting and bracing a dog’s back during the healing process of IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) or after back surgery. It is made from durable, breathable and antimicrobial material. The brace is comfy and designed to alleviate pressure on the spine
I hope you find the latest paralyzed dog products as interesting as I did. Which was your favorite?
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