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Objective—To evaluate the reliability of goniometry by comparing goniometric measurements with radiographic measurements and evaluate the effects of sedation on range of joint motion.

Animals—16 healthy adult Labrador Retrievers.

Procedure—3 investigators blindly and independently measured range of motion of the carpus, elbow, shoulder, tarsus, stifle, and hip joints of 16 Labrador Retrievers in triplicate before and after dogs were sedated. Radiographs of all joints in maximal flexion and extension were made during under sedation. Goniometric measurements were compared with radiographic measurements. The influence of sedation and the intra- and intertester variability were evaluated; 95% confidence intervals for all ranges of motion were determined.

Results—Results of goniometric and radiographic measurements were not significantly different. Results of measurements made by the 3 investigators were not significantly different. Multiple measurements made by 1 investigator varied from 1 to 6° (median, 3°) depending on the joint. Sedation did not influence the range of motion of the evaluated joints.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Goniometry is a reliable and objective method for determining range of motion of joints in healthy Labrador Retrievers. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:979–986)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research