Golden Retriever with prosthetic leg, sittingA cancerous tumor leads to a partial leg amputation for dog. WCBL helps her take the next step with a prosthetic leg.

After a cancerous tumor led to a partial leg amputation for 7-year-old Golden Retriever, Ava, her owners were unaware that prosthetic limbs were a possibility. While visiting their veterinarian’s office, they came across an article in an animal magazine. The article highlighted prosthetic devices for animals, and they knew exactly what they had to do.

The first step to seeing if a dog is a candidate to receive a prosthetic leg, is to make an evaluation with a licensed prosthetist. Researching prosthetic facilities in their area led Ava’s owners to Westcoast Brace & Limb (WCBL). An evaluation proved Ava to be a good candidate for a prosthesis.

Golden Retriever with prosthetic leg, sitting, with prosthetic practitioners

Working with WCBL prosthetist, Jared Caya, along with other team members, Ava has been able to walk on all four legs again. Ava accepted her new prosthesis very easily and is adjusting fantastically.

“The end of Ava’s amputated limb is pretty boney, so we need to ensure she had extra padding on the bottom of her prosthesis, allowing her to put all of her weight onto her limb without discomfort. Ava’s prosthesis is made of a laminated lightweight and very durable plastic. We used the same joints and materials that are used on human orthotics (braces). She also has a custom prosthetic foot that is very similar to a human prosthetic running foot.” Caya says.

WCBL strives to provide maximum limb performance for amputee animals.

Golden Retriever with prosthetic leg, standing

With a prosthesis, normal weight distribution occurs on all legs. As a result, this helps prevent overuse syndrome on the animal’s sound side. The design used typically eliminates the need for a harness worn over the back of the pet. By evaluating the patient in office, our prosthetists achieve an exact fit for the prosthetic device. Therefore, allowing the best form and most function possible.

When a dog receives a prosthetic leg, the assimilation process can take several weeks. This time allows the dog to accept and feel comfortable using the prosthesis. It can eventually become a natural part of the dog’s everyday life.

We achieve this goal by offering the latest prosthetic innovations and technology. But, it is not all about the device, it is also about the connection. Our highly skilled and experienced practitioners form a relationship with every one of their patients, human and animal alike. As a result, we are helping “man’s best friend” live their lives to the fullest!

Golden Retriever with prosthetic leg, sitting with owner

Do you have a pet in need of a brace or prosthetic device? Contact us to find out how WCBL can help.

Like Ava’s story? Click to read about Journey, another WCBL furry friend, and his brother Jackson.

We are often asked how dogs become certified as a therapy dog. Click here to learn more.