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Study finds groundbreaking new cast for pets reduces complications, recovery time and cost

Novel UPETS splint system demonstrates 55% reduction of complications in preliminary study

WESTMINSTER, Colo. – (July 20, 2022) – A recent preliminary study involving a small group of canine patients across three veterinary practices in Scandinavia has shown a reduction in complications involved with casting for fractures using a wood composite cast1. Just 12.5% of dogs had complications1 that required treatment, compared to 55% in previous research where fiberglass casts were used2. The patients’ fractures were immobilized using the UPETS® Splinting System. The results suggest that the new product has the potential to make veterinary casting safer, more sustainable, and can help control costs associated with cast replacement and treatment of complications.  

Three AniCura veterinary clinics across Norway worked with orthopedic company Dassiet, to conduct the preliminary study. The veterinary clinics and Dassiet used a novel anatomical veterinary casting method: The UPETS Splinting System. The splint is available in six different sizes and two shapes to fit thoracic and pelvic limbs. Based on 3D limb scans to ensure a proper fit for all breeds, UPETS is heat-moldable to the individual patient, shortening application times. The two-part splinting system is also suitable for use in other small animals with a similar limb structure to dogs.

Veterinary casting is notorious for high complication rates with the potential to adversely affect patient welfare and increase the cost to the client. The potential worst-case outcomes include amputation or even euthanasia. A previous retrospective analysis found that 55% of dogs treated with fiberglass cast developed soft-tissue injuries that required treatment, with 20% of injuries being severe2. In this preliminary study using UPETS splints, which involved eight dogs, only one dog experienced minor soft tissue complications that required treatment and no severe complications were observed.

The majority of veterinarians (86%) participating in the study rated the UPETS Splinting System as easy to use and said they would use the product on their own dog.

An earlier poll3 questioned veterinarians on their most common concerns about casting and identified that the most significant were fear of complications (57%), the time-consuming nature of casting (54%) and inconvenience (51%).

“Complications often result from a cast that does not fit as well as it should. The results of this study suggest that UPETS might be the groundbreaking tool that veterinarians have been waiting for as it provides them with the means to achieve a cast shape that is more precise,” says Dr. Martin Kaufmann, OrthoPets founder and Dassiet VET COO.

The heat moldable material used in the UPETS splint is the only available option that offers an opportunity for veterinarians to adjust the fit of the cast multiple times. Veterinarians can adjust the fit of the UPETS splint up to 25 times during the healing process.

Dr Kaufmann continued, “This new splint material has been available for over a decade in human orthopedics, and we want to ensure that veterinary orthopedics benefits from it too. UPETS provides a better option for pets and their owners and helps busy veterinary teams  deliver better health care and save time. We fully intend to build on this preliminary work to add further to our evidence base.”

This splint system also has benefits for otherwise inoperable pets. In one case, a 13-year-old dog was diagnosed with synovial cell sarcoma at her right hock and treatment options were amputation or euthanasia once the leg was broken. The UPETS system was used in lieu of surgery with outstanding results. The dog accepted the treatment well and was capable of taking multiple walks daily.

Any veterinary professional wishing to access a white paper detailing the trial can access it from www.upets.vet/research.

Additional details about the 13-year old patient case can be found at www.upets.vet/post/upets-brace-an-alternative-for-amputation.

Note to Editors:

Dr. Martin Kaufmann is available for interview or to discuss the study in more detail.  


  1. Saku S, Kaufmann M, First Eight Dogs Successfully Treated with UPETS Splinting System at AniCura, data on file
  2. RL Meeson, C Davidson, and GI Arthurs. Soft tissue injuries associated with cast application for distal limb orthopedic conditions: A retrospective study of sixty dogs and cats. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol, 24:126–31, 2011.
  3. Dassiet survey, details on file

The study briefly:

The UPETS® Splinting System

About Dassiet

Movement is life. That is why our goal is to get humans and animals back on the move – sustainably. Originated in the Nordics, we build our innovative products from ethically sourced wood. Researchers, product developers, designers, and other specialists work with us tirelessly to bring the best immobilization and mobility products to medical professionals, patients, and organizations. Welcome to the movement.

www.upets.vet | www.dassiet.com

Media Contacts:

-Michelle Guglielmo Gilliam | Email | 904.485.6597

-Heather Kingry | Email | 310.597.1159