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Debunking the Tripawd Brace Myth

Tripawd parents often contact us to ask if we carry a “Tripawd brace” to help their pet walk better. But we have to break it to them:  a brace can certainly help many amputee pets, but putting one on a dog or cat without consulting an orthopedic specialist can actually make things worse.

When a Tripawd Brace May Not Solve Mobility Problems

tripawd brace
The right Tripawd brace makes all the difference. Image:

Pet parents ask us about a Tripawd brace when the dog (or sometimes cat), has obvious mobility problems. Maybe the pet struggles on walks, or maybe just getting up to go potty.

People often mistakenly believe that the best Tripawd harnesses we recommend will help a pet get around better, but that’s not the case.

Our favorite harnesses like the Ruffwear Webmaster Plus are not the same thing as vet-prescribed braces and orthotics that will make it easier for the pet to get around.

All of our favorite Tripawd dog harnesses are simply tools to help us help our pets in tricky situations. Tripawd harnesses make it easier to handle staircases, slippery floors and loading into and out of our cars.

A proper Tripawd brace does so much more, and is quite a bit more of an investment.

But The Right Brace Can Make All the Difference for a Tripawd’s Quality of Life

Tripawd dog harness
This is not a Tripawd Brace

It seems logical for us to think that a Tripawd brace or orthotic can help the pet get around better. After all, crutches help humans get around after a leg or knee surgery. This can certainly happen, but it’s not as simple as ordering one online. Just because we can go out and buy pet braces without a prescription, doesn’t mean we should.

The truth is that a brace or other orthotic device can actually do more harm than good. To solve the problem, we must work directly with an orthopedic specialist and prosthetic maker.

Before prescribing a brace, an orthopedic specialist and their preferred Tripawd brace designer will consider all of the factors that influence a Tripawd’s mobility. They consider things like:

  • The pet’s breed type
  • Weight and age
  • The pre and post-surgery activity levels of the Tripawd
  • Any existing orthopedic issues
  • The pet parent’s budget

Watch this interview with world-renowned pet orthotics and prosthetics maker Martin Kauffman of Orthopets. You’ll learn how the right Tripawd brace can make all the difference.

Don’t Get a Tripawd Brace Until You Do This

If your three-legged dog or cat is having trouble walking, playing and getting around, please don’t buy a Tripawd brace online. The best thing you can do is invest in a consultation with an orthopedic specialist, or a rehabilitation therapy practitioner.

In a perfect world, you’ll find a clinic where the two specialists work together. They can collaborate to diagnose and solve your pet’s mobility problems.

When your pet gets into a rehabilitation therapy center, don’t forget the Tripawds Foundation’s Maggie Moo Fund for Free Tripawd Rehab. Thanks to generous donations, the Foundation will reimburse you for your pet’s first consultation with a credentialed “CCRT” or “CCRP” practitioner!

Tripawd rehab grant
Apply for the Tripawd rehab grant!

We are happy to assist with any Tripawd harness needs. But in the meantime if you believe your three-legged dog or cat needs a brace to get around in the world, we hope you will consult with veterinarians before shopping for one.

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