Anyone who has torn an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knows how painful this knee injury is. It’s the same for dogs, of course. Red Feather businesswoman Daryllanne Franks makes custom braces to stabilize the joint and keep dogs comfortable while knees gain back their strength – without the usual $3,000-plus surgery. Many dogs are not good candidates for surgery, noted Daryllanne, and many folks cannot afford this expense although they love their dogs.
Daryllanne’s business is Red Feather Design LLC. Several years ago, Daryllanne and her husband, Jerry Thomas, began designing the MuttKnee Braces after their dog Muttley tore her ACL. Soon dogs of family and friends needed help, and eventually the couple developed a website to help dogs everywhere.
Now, their ingenuity has turned into a booming Internet business. “We’ve fitted almost 3,000 dogs in 18 countries,” Daryllanne said. She initially did all the sewing herself but now has four sewing assistants. They help with the increasing workload as the word spreads through dog message boards about the brace’s success.
The neoprene brace supports the knee both laterally and horizontally. Within a few days of wearing the brace, “dogs start running around and being dogs again,” Daryllanne stated. She has made braces for dogs from four pounds to 228 pounds, with about 1,500 Labs in between. The braces also work for small dogs with luxating patellas.
Dog owners send measurements to the business website, MuttKneeBrace.com, and Daryllanne creates a pattern specific to each dog. She guarantees the fit and will replace any brace that doesn’t fit properly. The “misfits” are donated to local shelters and rescue groups, where additional dogs can be helped.
For more information, visit the website or contact Daryllanne at MuttKneeBrace@yahoo.com.