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Kinematic and kinetic analysis of dogs during trotting after amputation of a thoracic limb

Sarah L. JarvisSchool of Biomedical Engineering, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Deanna R. WorleyFlint Animal Cancer Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Sara M. HogySchool of Biomedical Engineering, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Ashley E. HillDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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Kevin K. HausslerSchool of Biomedical Engineering, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Raoul F. Reiser IISchool of Biomedical Engineering, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
Department of Health and Exercise Science, College of Health and Human Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Abstract

Objective—To characterize biomechanical differences in gait between dogs with and without an amputated thoracic limb.

Animals—Client-owned dogs (16 thoracic-limb amputee and 24 quadruped [control] dogs).

Procedures—Dogs were trotted across 3 in-series force platforms. Spatial kinematic and kinetic data were recorded for each limb during the stance phase.

Results—Amputees had significant increases in stance duration and vertical impulse in all limbs, compared with values for control dogs. Weight distribution was significantly increased by 14% on the remaining thoracic limb and by a combined 17% on pelvic limbs in amputees. Braking ground reaction force (GRF) was significantly increased in the remaining thoracic limb and pelvic limb ipsilateral to the amputated limb. The ipsilateral pelvic limb had a significantly increased propulsive GRF. The carpus and ipsilateral hip and stifle joints had significantly greater flexion during the stance phase. The cervicothoracic vertebral region had a significantly increased overall range of motion (ROM) in both the sagittal and horizontal planes. The thoracolumbar vertebral region ROM increased significantly in the sagittal plane but decreased in the horizontal plane. The lumbosacral vertebral region had significantly greater flexion without a change in ROM.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Compared with results for quadruped dogs, the vertebral column, carpus, and ipsilateral hip and stifle joints had significant biomechanical changes after amputation of a thoracic limb. The ipsilateral pelvic limb assumed dual thoracic and pelvic limb roles because the gait of a thoracic limb amputee during trotting appeared to be a mixture of various gait patterns.

Abstract

Objective—To characterize biomechanical differences in gait between dogs with and without an amputated thoracic limb.

Animals—Client-owned dogs (16 thoracic-limb amputee and 24 quadruped [control] dogs).

Procedures—Dogs were trotted across 3 in-series force platforms. Spatial kinematic and kinetic data were recorded for each limb during the stance phase.

Results—Amputees had significant increases in stance duration and vertical impulse in all limbs, compared with values for control dogs. Weight distribution was significantly increased by 14% on the remaining thoracic limb and by a combined 17% on pelvic limbs in amputees. Braking ground reaction force (GRF) was significantly increased in the remaining thoracic limb and pelvic limb ipsilateral to the amputated limb. The ipsilateral pelvic limb had a significantly increased propulsive GRF. The carpus and ipsilateral hip and stifle joints had significantly greater flexion during the stance phase. The cervicothoracic vertebral region had a significantly increased overall range of motion (ROM) in both the sagittal and horizontal planes. The thoracolumbar vertebral region ROM increased significantly in the sagittal plane but decreased in the horizontal plane. The lumbosacral vertebral region had significantly greater flexion without a change in ROM.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Compared with results for quadruped dogs, the vertebral column, carpus, and ipsilateral hip and stifle joints had significant biomechanical changes after amputation of a thoracic limb. The ipsilateral pelvic limb assumed dual thoracic and pelvic limb roles because the gait of a thoracic limb amputee during trotting appeared to be a mixture of various gait patterns.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Worley (dworley@colostate.edu).

Supported in part by the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences College Research Council and the Colorado State University Flint Animal Cancer Center.

This manuscript represents a portion of a thesis submitted by Ms. Jarvis to the Colorado State University School of Biomedical Engineering as partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Science degree.

The authors thank Kristen Weishaar, Kelly Carlsten, Laura Steele, and Laura Chubb for technical assistance.