January 23, 2018

Often time’s people ask me for recommendations of things I like, use or send people to buy for our patients.  I have compiled a short list with some links on my website as a resource for you and your clinic.  So by popular demand, here are a few of my ‘must haves’…

Dr. Wardlaw with Emma, her Bullmastiff

Dr. Wardlaw with Emma, her Bullmastiff

Help ‘em up harness – these amazing full body harnesses are sturdy, easy to fit on all size dogs, but best of all they can stay on the dog.  Dogs can swim, have hydrotherapy in treadmills and sleep in these harnesses.  They are super soft neoprene with a cloth lining and quick drying fabric.  The handles are sturdy plastic to make it easier for large dogs that need a little extra assistance walking or getting up into cars.

Walk-a-bout booties– these are wonderful neoprene with elastic straps to keep them on the feet.  Not only for cold weather and hot pavement, but to keep pathologic licking under control as well.  These are a great product for the low cost.

Walk-a-bout slings (male) – I really like the male sling the best.  For those shorter postoperative recovery times when patients need a little support. The male harness has a cutout so the dogs can urinate while still supported by the sling. I always get the male cutout, but turn it caudally for the female urine stream as well.  The handles are nice and adjustable for more comfortable walking for the owner.  Because they are neoprene, they are easily cleaned.  If you are getting one for a dog with very muscular thighs, go up a size above the recommended one.

Orthovet – is a wonderful company that makes splints and braces for the more chronic instabilities or leg issues.  There tough plastic design with Velcro straps keep them looking new after months of wear. They have several sizes for you to choose from, easy to understand measuring charts and customizable options. I have used these long term for cases with carpal and tarsal instability when surgery is not an option, or even after arthrodesis to replace weekly bandage changes. I usually start with a liner of some sort, and frequently have the owner looking for pressure spots.  They come with very nice instructions and have a good return policy to exchange sizes if the owner buys the wrong one.

Dog leggs – have some wonderful products to prevent and treat hygromas, lick granulomas, decubital ulcers and other sports brace-type support. The have a return policy similar to Orthovet splints, but can be harder for clients to order from, unless you measure for them.

Hemostatic agents – There are several hemostatic agents out there now to use for venous oozing all the way to arterial hemorrhage. You have seen me use Gelfoam or Vetspon, which are collagen sponges used as scaffolds to mature the fibrin clot.  However there are several gels, powders and sticks that can be used on wounds, in sterile surgery and even in body cavities.  My recommendation is to figure out which scenario you are most likely to use the hemostatic agent, and then investigate the ones that fit that case. Otherwise you may be paying a lot more for a sterile surgical product when you really just needed a laceration or nasal option. Also, ask about shelf life and whether you have to buy a case or can purchase them individually.