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Hind limb kinematics during therapeutic exercises in dogs with osteoarthritis of the hip joints

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  • 1 Movement Science Group Vienna, Clinical Department of Small Animals and Horses, Vetmeduni Vienna, A1210 Vienna, Austria.
  • | 2 Clinic for Surgery and Ophthalmology, Section for Physiotherapy and Acupuncture, Clinical Department of Small Animals and Horses, Vetmeduni Vienna, A1210 Vienna, Austria.
  • | 3 Gartenheimstrasse 5/1/1115, 1220 Vienna, Austria.
  • | 4 Goldschlagstraße 148–158/5/4, 1140 Vienna, Austria.
  • | 5 Mayrhansenstraße 214060 Leonding, Austria.
  • | 6 Clinic for Avian, Reptile and Fish Medicine, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, A-1210 Vienna, Austria.
  • | 7 Movement Science Group Vienna, Clinical Department of Small Animals and Horses, Vetmeduni Vienna, A1210 Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

Objective—To assess joint kinematics in dogs with osteoarthritis of the hip joints during walking up an incline or down a decline and over low obstacles and to compare findings with data for nonlame dogs.

Animals—10 dogs with osteoarthritis of the hip joints (mean ± SD age, 6.95 ± 3.17 years; mean body weight, 34.33 ± 13.58 kg) and 8 nonlame dogs (3.4 ± 2.0 years; 23.6 ± 4.6 kg).

Procedures—Reflective markers located on the limbs and high-speed cameras were used to record joint kinematics during walking up an incline or down a decline and over low obstacles. Maximal flexion, extension, and range of motion of the hip joints were calculated.

Results—Osteoarthritis of the hip joints reduced extension of both hip joints and flexion of the contralateral hind limb, compared with flexion of the lame hind limb, during walking down a decline. Walking up an incline resulted in decreased extension of the stifle joint in both hind limbs of osteoarthritic dogs; extension was significantly decreased for the lame hind limb. During walking over low obstacles, maximal flexion of the stifle joint was increased significantly for the contralateral hind limb. Maximal flexion was increased in both tarsal joints.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Osteoarthritis of the hip joints led to complex changes in the gait of dogs, which involved more joints than the affected hip joint alone. Each exercise had specific effects on joint kinematics that must be considered when planning a rehabilitation program.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Bockstahler (barbara.bockstahler@vetmeduni.ac.at).