CUSTOM FORELIMB
DORSI–FLEX ASSIST

 Rx 

CUSTOMIZED FOR DISTAL FORELIMB WEAKNESS & KNUCKLING.

This is a prescription product. Contact your veterinary professional about your pet's special needs. Veterinary Professionals log in here.
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USES

  • Customized for a variety of distal forelimb conditions including:

  • brachial plexus avulsion

  • radial nerve palsy

  • IVDD

  • Pets should have functional control of shoulder and triceps

PRODUCT DETAILS

Reduces dragging, knuckling, standing on the dorsum of the paw and stabilizes the carpus.  Assists with carpal and digit extension.  Used as a mobility aid for unstable or weak distal forelimb.  

DEVICE CONSTRUCTION

Fabrication style and materials are chosen based on the pet's specific needs.

Most often, it includes:

  • Antebrachial cuff - lined with foam or sheepskin

  • Fitted boot - with rubber treaded sole and D-rings 

  • Toe straps made of nylon (for static hold) or elastic (for dynamic assistance)

CUSTOMIZATION

  • Can be fabricated for toy breeds and cats

  • Can be made using most pet booties (e.g., Muttluks, NeoPaws)

  • Antebrachial cuff can be splinted over for added carpal stability

  • Components can be replaced and are sold separately

TIPS & RECOMMENDATIONS

​Recommended for distal forelimb weakness; pet should have some ability to advance the shoulder and extend the elbow.   

Balancing the need of an assistive aid for a significantly weak pet and a device that will withstand the stress of such a pet can be challenging.  Often, the more rugged the construction, the heavier the device, the more you run the risk of encumbering the pet further. The choice may not be ideal but one of optimizing the pet's function while maintaining the integrity of the device.  

Standard sizes of the Forelimb Dorsi-Flex Assist (DFA) are available for purchase from select Veterinary Distributors.  

The DFA is a therapeutic exercise, assistive, and gait retraining aid.  It should be worn during periods of controlled activity and should not be left on the pet while unsupervised.  

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If using the DFA for more than 2 hours at one time or if in a hot climate, sprinkle the inside of the boot with anti-chafing/lubricating powder.

 

Options

For toy breeds and cats - The DFA is often fabricated completely by hand with lightweight materials including nylon, fleece, shearling, and leather.  For these small pets, toe straps are sewn directly on the bootie (no D-rings) to minimize weight.


For pets that need an indoor assistive aid or plan on wearing the DFA for more than 2 hours at a time - We recommend using lightweight, breathable booties.  Most often, we encourage the veterinary professional or pet owner to purchase booties that fit the pet (e.g., Muttluks) and ship them to us.  We will then use these booties and modify them into DFAs.

THINGS TO KNOW

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For pets with soft tissue contractures

Forelimb DFAs can be difficult to slip over the paw of a pet with carpal and digital contractures.  For these pets, we offer an "open top" boot solution where the dorsal aspect of the boot opens completely to allow placement of the paw. The top closes snugly over the pet's paw.  This is easier than trying to "slide" a paw into a boot.

As with any footwear that is worn for long periods, we recommend sprinkling anti-chafing powder inside the boots to help absorb excess moisture and lubricate the paw.

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