The Pet PT Pit Stop: New, New, Cool Things!”

by Susan E. Davis, PT “pull in for a helpful refuel!”  

It’s all about guiding and empowering you to help your dog avoid injury, provide practical solutions and achieve rapid restoration of health and function!   

In the world of PT for animals, something is always new! Here are 2 wonderful canine products to know about:

Hip Hound, by OrthoDog

The Hip Hound is a soft adjustable support used to provide stability to the hind end, designed for use when your dog is active.  

It is indicated primarily for mild to moderate hip dysplasia, arthritis and conditions that cause decreased endurance to the hind end during functional activity.

The design is simple and effective.

It provides mechanical lift to the dog’s rump, helping to draw the hips back into extension. 

This is accomplished through the angle at which the garment is worn, as well as the shape and design of the thigh segments. There is a nice strap connecting the rear mechanism to a chest harness, looping through a D-ring or rectangular fitting.

I recently recommended Hip Hound for “Kodi”, an elderly white-coated golden retriever with weakness of the hind legs and degenerative spinal arthritis. Kodi had reached the point where he couldn’t walk outdoors on a leash for more than 5 minutes before stopping to sit and having to return home, dragging his rear limbs.  Although his gait still shows deviations, he is able to take daily leash walks of 12-15 minutes while wearing the Hip Hound!
TIP: start by placing the thigh pieces as low as possible, just above the knee/stifle joints, and then fasten the lower Velcro closures tight enough so the pieces will not ride up toward the groin when the dog begins to walk.

With the thigh pieces in proper position, attach the rear mechanism to the chest harness, looping the attached strap thru the harness ring, pulling slightly to create the angle needed for lift.  The dog should still be able to sit. 

Now that this is done, if the thigh pieces still ride up slightly while the dog walks, it’s no problem as the Hip Hound will maintain proper mechanics.  This product falls under the “now why didn’t I think of that” category! 

L’il Back Bracer

I love using and recommending soft supports due to their adjustability, affordability and lightness in weight. In addition to Hip Hound, I’m happy to introduce the product, L’il Back Bracer!

The ‘back bracer” is great for dogs with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and other spinal issues.

It reduces pressure on the spine and provides stability for the dog’s back.  It comes in various sizes and is indicated primarily for chondrodystrophic (dwarf) breeds that are susceptible to IVDD, such as Dachshunds, Basset Hounds, Corgis and Pekingese, up to 32 pounds. The product is designed by a veterinarian and is certainly long (no pun intended) over-due!


Susan E. Davis (Sue) is a licensed Physical Therapist with over 30 years of practice in the human field, who transitioned into the animal world after taking courses at the UT Canine Rehabilitation program.  She is located in Red Bank, New Jersey.

She has been providing PT services to dogs and other animals through her entity Joycare Onsite, LLC in pet’s homes and in vet clinics since 2008.

She also provides pro bono services at the Monmouth County SPCA in Eatontown, NJ.  Sue is the proud “dog mommy” to Penelope, a miniature Dachshund with “attitude”.  For more information see her website , or follow on Twitter @animalPTsue.

Sue is also the author of a fantastic book on physical therapy, Physical Therapy And Rehabilitation For Animals: A Guide For The Consumer.  

Physical therapy can do so many great things for your dog. Understanding all the possibilities physical therapy can offer will change your dog's life. This book definitely belongs on the shelf of every dog lover.

Articles by Susan E. Davis:
Functional Strengthening Exercises: the What, Why and How
One Thing Leads To Another: Why The Second ACL Often Goes Too
Compensation: An Attempt To Restore Harmony
Paring Down to the Canine Core
Canine Massage: Every Dog ‘Kneads’ It”
Photon Power: Can Laser Therapy Help Your Dog?  
Physical Therapy in the Veterinary World  
Reiki: Is it real? 
Dog Lessons: Cooper  
The Essentials Of Canine Injury Prevention: 7 Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safer 
It's Not Just Walking, It's Therapy! 
Treatment And Prevention Of Canine Intervertebral Disc Disease (Part I)
Treatment And Prevention Of Canine Intervertebral Disc Disease (Part II Physical Therapy)
Range Of Motion: It’s A Matter Of Degree…
The Weight Of Water And How It Helps Dogs 
By Land or By Sea? A Comparison of Canine Treadmills 
Unraveling The Mystery Of Fascia And Myofascial Trigger Points (Part I)
Unraveling The Mystery Of Fascia And Myofascial Trigger Points (Part II) 
Scar Tissue: Is it Too Much of a Good Thing? 
Physical Therapy Tip Of The Month: Ramps! 
Physical Therapy Tip Of The Month: Indoor Duo Dog Exercises!
Physical Therapy Tip Of The Month: Best Practices After Your Dog’s Surgery 
Physical Therapy Tip Of The Month: Ideas to Chew on - Can Physical Therapy Help with my Dog’s Digestive Problems?
Wrap It Up: Using Soft Supports For Your Dog
When Do I Use Heat versus Cold? : A Tale (or Tail) Of Two Temps! (Part I) 
When Do I Use Heat versus Cold? : A Tale (or Tail) Of Two Temps! (Part II) 
Physical Therapy Tip Of The Month: Safe Summer Boating Tips for your Dog 
Physical Therapy Tip Of The Month: Hip Dysplasia - What’s a Dawg Mama to Do?
PT Pit Stop: Wheeled Carts Keep Them Doggies Rollin' (Part I)
PT Pit Stop: Wheeled Carts Keep Them Doggies Rollin' (Part II)
Staying in the Loop with Targeted Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy
Addressing Frailty Syndrome in Geriatric Dogs 
The Pet PT Pit Stop: "Where's The Evidence?"
Physical Therapy is Great, Except When It Isn’t 
Top Dogs and their Toplines at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (Part I)
Top Dogs and their Toplines at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (Part II) 
What's in a Dog's Gait? 
A Practical Method to manage your Dog’s Care Plan 
Wound Care 101 (Part I The Basics) 
Wound Care 101 (Part II Wound Management)
Prevention and Management of Hip Dysplasia in Puppies: Attention all Breeders!