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  • Author or Editor: Barbara A. Bockstahler x
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OBJECTIVE To evaluate the pressure-volume relationship during capnoperitoneum in dogs and effects of body weight and body conformation.

ANIMALS 86 dogs scheduled for routine laparoscopy.

PROCEDURES Dogs were allocated into 3 groups on the basis of body weight. Body measurements, body condition score, and body conformation indices were calculated. Carbon dioxide was insufflated into the abdomen with a syringe, and pressure was measured at the laparoscopic cannula. Volume and pressure data were processed, and the yield point, defined by use of a cutoff volume (COV) and cutoff pressure (COP), was calculated.

RESULTS 20 dogs were excluded because of recording errors, air leakage attributable to surgical flaws, or trocar defects. For the remaining 66 dogs, the pressure-volume curve was linear-like until the yield point was reached, and then it became visibly exponential. Mean ± SD COP was 5.99 ± 0.805 mm Hg. No correlation was detected between yield point, body variables, or body weight. Mean COV was 1,196.2 ± 697.9 mL (65.15 ± 20.83 mL of CO2/kg), and COV was correlated significantly with body weight and one of the body condition indices but not with other variables.

CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE In this study, there was a similar COP for all dogs of all sizes. In addition, results suggested that increasing the abdominal pressure after the yield point was reached did not contribute to a substantial increase in working space in the abdomen. No correlation was found between yield point, body variables, and body weight.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the applicability of Fourier analysis for assessment of ground reaction forces (GRFs) and differentiation between dogs with unilateral hind limb lameness caused by degenerative joint disease of the hip (DJD-H) and dogs without lameness.

Animals—37 dogs with or without unilateral DJD-H.

Procedures—Data were obtained from other studies and analyzed retrospectively. Among the 37 dogs, 20 had unilateral DJD-H and 9 (non–Belgian Malinois breeds) had no lameness; another 8 were nonlame Belgian Malinois (radiographically confirmed Fédération Cinologique International classification A [ie, no hip dysplasia or DJD-H]). Gait data acquisition was performed as dogs walked on a treadmill with integrated force platforms. The peak vertical force, mean vertical force, and vertical impulse were compared among the 3 groups. Fourier analysis was performed on the force-time curves for the vertical GRF, and calculated Fourier coefficients were compared within and between groups.

Results—Lameness in the hind limbs with DJD-H was detectable via conventional analysis of the GRF as well as via Fourier analysis. However, subtle gait aberrations in the forelimbs of the dogs with DJD-H were detected solely via Fourier analysis of GRFs and remained undetected via conventional analysis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results support the applicability of Fourier analysis for evaluation of force-time curves of GRFs. Fourier analysis can reveal subtle alterations of gait that might otherwise remain inapparent; however, further investigation is necessary before this method can be routinely applied for lameness detection in dogs.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


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.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To detect changes in joint kinematics of clinically sound dogs with or without radiographically detectable borderline hip dysplasia (HD).

Animals—20 Belgian Shepherd Dogs (Malinois; mean ± SD age, 2.75 ± 1.32 years) with no clinical signs of HD.

Procedures—Kinematic gait analysis was performed in Malinois walking on a treadmill. On the basis of results of radiographic examination for HD and in accordance with guidelines established by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, dogs were assigned to group 1 (no radiographic signs of HD; 8 dogs) or group 2 (borderline HD; 12 dogs). Ground reaction forces and weight distribution among limbs and differences between groups were evaluated. Maximal sagittal angle during the stance and swing phases, the time at which they were detected, and angle velocities were calculated for joints of the hind limbs.

Results—Ground reaction forces revealed no differences between groups. Dogs in group 1 had significant changes (earlier time for maximal flexion of the hip joint and less flexion and less range of motion of the stifle joint), compared with results for dogs in group 2. Maximal angle velocity of the stifle and tarsal joints was significantly lower during the swing phase in group 1 than in group 2.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—This study revealed that dogs with borderline HD had altered joint kinematics. Our data provide basic kinematic values for clinically sound and affected dogs and can be used to investigate the long-term effects for subclinical radiographic changes of the hip joints of dogs.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the effects of a weight reduction program combined with a basic or more complex physical therapy program including transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation on lameness in overweight dogs with osteoarthritis.

Design—Nonblinded prospective randomized clinical trial.

Animals—29 adult overweight or obese dogs with a body condition score of 4/5 or 5/5 and clinical and radiographic signs of osteoarthritis.

Procedures—A weight-loss program was initiated for all dogs. One group received caloric restriction and a home-based physical therapy program. The other group received the identical dietetic protocol and an intensive physical therapy program including transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Lameness was assessed clinically and by kinetic gait analysis on a treadmill with 4 force plates to measure symmetry of ground reaction forces (GRFs) of the affected and contralateral limbs in bimonthly intervals for 6 months.

Results—Significant weight loss was achieved in both groups; however, greater weight reduction was attained by dogs treated with caloric restriction and intensive physiotherapy. Mobility and symmetry indices of GRFs were improved after 6 months; the best outcome was detected in the group receiving energy restriction combined with intensive physical therapy.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Caloric restriction combined with intensive physical therapy improved mobility and facilitated weight loss in overweight dogs. The combination of dietetic and physical therapy may help to improve the health status more efficiently than dietetic treatment alone.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To assess forelimbs and hind limb joint kinematics in dogs during walking on an inclined slope (uphill), on a declined slope (downhill), or over low obstacles (cavaletti) on a horizontal surface and compare findings with data acquired during unimpeded walking on a horizontal surface.

Animals—8 nonlame dogs (mean ± SD age, 3.4 ± 2.0 years; weight, 23.6 ± 4.6 kg).

Procedures—By use of 10 high-speed cameras and 10 reflecting markers located on the left forelimbs and hind limbs, joint kinematics were recorded for each dog during uphill walking, downhill walking, and walking over low obstacles or unimpeded on a horizontal surface. Each exercise was recorded 6 times (10 s/cycle); joint angulations, angle velocities and accelerations, and range of motion for shoulder, elbow, carpal, hip, stifle, and tarsal joints were calculated for comparison.

Results—Compared with unimpeded walking, obstacle exercise significantly increased flexion of the elbow, carpal, stifle, and tarsal joints and extension in the carpal and stifle joints. Only uphill walking caused increased hip joint flexion and decreased stifle joint flexion; downhill walking caused less flexion of the hip joint. During obstacle exercise, forward angle velocities in the elbow and stifle joints and retrograde velocity in the tarsal joint changed significantly, compared with unimpeded walking. Joint angle acceleration of the elbow joint changed significantly during all 3 evaluated exercises.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These evidence-based data indicated that each evaluated exercise, except for downhill walking, has a specific therapeutic value in physical therapy for dogs.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research