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Sam Gets a Stifle Brace, Part 1 – The Casting

By: Terry Lackmeyer, My Pet’s Brace Customer Service Representative

My name is Sam and I’m a four-year old Labrador Pit Bull mix who wants to tell you about my experience getting a brace.

About a month ago I was out playing with my sister. We were having a really great time running around. I turned quickly and suddenly the fun was all over. My right back leg was really hurting and I had to hold it up because I couldn’t walk on it. I hobbled to the back door. When Mom let me in and saw I couldn’t put any weight on it she got really upset.

Mom called the veterinarian right away and took me in for a visit. I don’t like the vet and this appointment didn’t make me very happy. The vet pushed and pulled on my leg and moved it different ways that made it hurt. She told Mom I had something called a Cranial Cruciate Ligament tear and needed surgery that was more than Mom could afford right now. I would need to be crated for 10-12 weeks while I healed. No playing, no running with my sister, no time outside the crate except to potty (that sure didn’t sound like fun). Mom started to cry and I really got worried. The vet then said there was a place that could make a brace that would help me and she handed my Mom a brochure.

A few days later we went to My Pet’s Brace. It looked and smelled a lot like a vet’s office; I got scared again. However, things there were just different enough tha

t I wasn’t quite sure what was going on. The lady at the desk greeted Mom and came out to meet me. I was really scared and hid behind Mom. The lady kneeled but kept talking with Mom. She talked quietly and nicely, so I came over and sniffed her. She didn’t do anything, just let me check her out and that made me feel better.

The lady led Mom and me into a room and talked to Mom about a lot of stuff. I walked around the room and kept going up and sniffing the lady. At one point she reached out her hand to me and I sniffed that too. She just held her hand there and I kept sniffing up her arm. She was OK so I let her pet me. She brought me water, too.

After a few minutes a man came in and talked to Mom for a while. He sat on the floor and talked and let me come up and sniff him. Eventually I decided he was OK and let him pet me. They talked for quite a bit and I just laid down and relaxed. After a few minutes Mom and I walked up and down a long hallway while the man watched us. That was lots of fun because there were all these great dog smells to take in. Then we went back in the room and the man talked with Mom some more.

Next, the lady that greeted us came back into the room. She and the man put on gloves and I started to worry again. Mom moved to sit on a low table, and I stayed on the floor.

Mom had my head while the other lady sat on the table next to my Mom and gently placed her hands under my belly. I wasn’t sure I liked being held like this, so I started to wiggle around. The lady just kept talking to me and then she started to rub my butt right at that special spot just above my tail. I started to relax and decided this might be OK. Maybe…

Everyone was talking in nice calm voices. The man slipped this thing like a sock on my leg, but it had no toe. He began to wrap my leg with some other stuff called fiberglass casting tape. He wrapped it snuggly around my leg then massaged it for a minute to two. It started to get a little warm and snug but it didn’t hurt. In less than 5 minutes he was cutting the stuff off my leg; they called it a cast. Nothing that he did hurt at all, it just felt a little funny. Plus, he let me sniff everything before he put it on my leg, which helped me to know there was nothing to fear. After the cast came off the man took some measurements of my hurt leg and one of my good leg, but that didn’t hurt either.

Before I knew it, we were done. I was out front being fed treats, people were petting me, and everything was good. My leg didn’t feel any better, but it didn’t feel any worse either. I decided this place wasn’t so bad. The lady said she would see me again soon for something called a fitting.  Next time, I’ll let you know how it went.

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