Orthopedic solutions are going to the dogs

December 9th, 2016

Veterinary orthopedics in Warsaw are becoming more popular and innovative

By Whitney Wright | Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly

Pets are like family to some people, which means they need the same grade of medical attention like other human family members.

It is predicted pet owners will spend about $15.92 billion on vet care in 2016, according to the American Pet Products Association. This is up significantly from even four years ago, when pet owners spent $13.67 billion on veterinary care. As the demand for veterinary services increases, so must the quality and scope of care of the veterinarians. This is especially true in orthopedic solutions and procedures, which is increasingly trending in the veterinary world.

Owl Manor Veterinary and DePuy Synthes in Warsaw are two local companies who are investing in veterinary orthopedic solutions and distribute their products worldwide for a variety of animals.

Owl Manor Veterinary

After seeing the success of different platelet concentrations and bone marrow solutions for joint and soft tissue in humans over the course of 15 years, the founders of Owl Manor saw the potential for similar products in the animal world. In February 2015, Owl Manor opened and began providing regenerative solutions for the equine and canine market.

Owl Manor focuses on products for horses and dogs, because animals must be a certain size for the cells and blood drawn required in Owl Manor’s treatments.

“Our three core products are platelet-rich plasma, anti-inflammatory proteins, addressing early and middle stages of arthritis and bone and joint issues,” said CEO Mark Schindel.

Schindel and Owl Manor COO Mike Leach spent time in the orthopedic world of humans at Biomet and Zimmer and have since transferred their skills to animal orthopedic solutions.

The company’s products use an animal’s blood and cells to create solutions. For example, one joint medicine uses the animal’s own white blood cells and reprograms them to act as anti-inflammatory proteins, called interleukin 1 receptor antagonist proteins. Afterwards, the blood is reinjected and keeps the animal’s joints uninflamed and regenerates cartilage for up to a year.

What is possibly most monumental about Owl Manor’s osteoarthritic treatments is the ease in which they are administered and the amount of time it takes to complete the procedures. Harvest of the necessary blood or cells can be completed at the point of care and any of the solutions are provided in 30 minutes or less, depending on the product and animal.

Though the company is currently focused on keeping the joints, ligaments and tendons of larger species healthy and functional, Owl Manor associates are beginning to look into other veterinary orthopedic solutions, like sports medicine for animals.

DePuy Synthes Vet

DePuy Synthes’ work in the veterinary community began more than 40 years ago and has since worked closely with veterinary and human surgeons in Switzerland to develop internal fixation solutions.

Previously, animal fractures were set externally, but the outcomes were not always ideal. Through internal fracture setting – both for humans and animals – fractures are able to heal more accurately and strongly, with a lesser chance of injury during healing or later in life.

The company’s team is able to design bone plates, screws and instruments for every single bone in the body and has served companion animals, zoo animals and wildlife. However, its biggest market is dog knee solutions.

“The dog’s cranial cruciate ligament (the equivalent of a human anterior cruciate ligament) is 10 times more likely to rupture than a human’s ACL is likely to tear. Dogs actually have biomechanical issues and that’s why it tears,” said DePuy Synthes Vet’s business director, Maria Cunningham.

The company’s veterinary department is located in Westchester, Penn.

A dog’s tibia and femur are connected by the cranial cruciate ligament, which wears down and eventually tears. The medical device DePuy Synthes Vet produces actually changes the mechanics of the dog’s knee after the cranial cruciate ligament tears through implementation of a bone plate that eliminates the need for a cranial cruciate ligament altogether.

One of DePuy’s most notable elements of its bone plate technology is its locking construct, providing a fixed angle for the joint. This is especially important with animals, who are non-compliant and could injure themselves with improper or overuse of a repaired joint.

As the FDA does not regulate veterinary orthopedics, innovative solutions are developed and implemented faster than the human world and continues to allow DePuy Synthes Vet to act on new product ideas quickly. The company is currently creating more size-friendly products for smaller pets, like toy dog breeds. It is also utilizing its effective locking construct plate for fractures in horses, whose size need a great deal of stability.

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