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Research article2017Peer reviewedOpen access

Vertical head and pelvic movement symmetry at the trot in dogs with induced supporting limb lameness

Alvarez, C. B. Gomez; Gustas, P.; Bergh, A.; Rhodin, M.

Abstract

Compensatory limb loading has been studied in lame dogs; however, little is known about how these compensations relate to motion of the head and pelvis, assessment of which is an important component of lameness examinations. The aim of this study was to describe the patterns of vertical head and pelvic motion symmetry at the trot in dogs with induced supporting limb lameness in the forelimbs or hind limbs. Ten sound dogs were trotted on a treadmill before and after temporary induction of moderate lameness (grade 2/5) in each limb. Reflective markers were located on the head, pelvis and right forelimb, and kinematic data were captured with a motion capture system. Upper body symmetry parameters were calculated, including differences in the highest (HDmax) and in the lowest (HDmin) positions of the head, and in the highest (PDmax) and in the lowest (PDmin) positions of the mid-pelvis, with a value of zero indicating symmetry. The head was lowered more during the sound limb stance phase and lowered less during the lame limb stance phase in supporting forelimb lameness (HDmin: 4.6 mm in dogs when sound, -18.3 mm when left limb lameness was induced and 20.5 mm when right limb lameness was induced). The mid-pelvis was lowered more during the sound limb stance phase and lowered and lifted less during the lame limb stance phase in supporting hind limb lameness (PDmin: 1 mm in dogs when sound, -10.1 mm in left limb lameness and 8.4 mm in right limb lameness). The hip of the lame side, measured at the level of the greater trochanter, had an increased downwards displacement during the lame limb swing phase (-21 mm in left hind limb lameness, P=0.005; 23.4mm in right hind limb lameness, P=0.007). Asymmetry in the lowering of the head or mid-pelvis is a more sensitive indicator of supporting forelimb and hind limb lameness, respectively, than asymmetry in the raising of the head. Increased displacement of the hip ('hip drop' of the lame side during its swing phase) is a good indicator of hind limb lameness in dogs. (C) 2017 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords

Canine; Gait analysis; Kinematics; Lameness; Compensation

Published in

Veterinary Journal
2017, Volume: 229, pages: 13-18 Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD