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  • Author or Editor: Denis J. Marcellin-Little x
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Objective—To assess differences in sagittal plane joint kinematics and ground reaction forces between lean and obese adult dogs of similar sizes at 2 trotting velocities.

Animals—16 adult dogs.

Procedures—Dogs with body condition score (BCS) of 8 or 9 (obese dogs; n = 8) and dogs with BCS of 4 or 5 (lean dogs; 8) on a 9-point scale were evaluated. Sagittal plane joint kinematic and ground reaction force data were obtained from dogs trotting at 1.8 and 2.5 m/s with a 3-D motion capture system, a force platform, and 12 infrared markers placed on bony landmarks.

Results—Mean stride lengths for forelimbs and hind limbs at both velocities were shorter in obese than in lean dogs. Stance phase range of motion (ROM) was greater in obese dogs than in lean dogs for shoulder (28.2° vs 20.6°), elbow (23.6° vs 16.4°), hip (27.2° vs 22.9°), and tarsal (38.9° vs 27.9°) joints at both velocities. Swing phase ROM was greater in obese dogs than in lean dogs for elbow (61.2° vs 53.7°) and hip (34.4° vs 29.8°) joints. Increased velocity was associated with increased stance ROM in elbow joints and increased stance and swing ROM in hip joints of obese dogs. Obese dogs exerted greater peak vertical and horizontal ground reaction forces than did lean dogs. Body mass and peak vertical ground reaction force were significantly correlated.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Greater ROM detected during the stance phase and greater ground reaction forces in the gait of obese dogs, compared with lean dogs, may cause greater compressive forces within joints and could influence the development of osteoarthritis.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the electrical impulse duration thresholds (chronaxy) for maximal motor contraction of various muscles without stimulation of pain fibers in dogs.

Animals—10 healthy adult Beagles.

Procedures—The dogs were used to assess the minimal intensity (rheobase) required to elicit motor contraction of 11 muscles (5 in the forelimb [supraspinatus, infraspinatus, deltoideus, lateral head of the triceps brachii, and extensor carpi radialis], 5 in the hind limb [gluteus medius, biceps femoris, semitendinosus, vastus lateralis, and tibialis cranialis], and the erector spinae). The rheobase was used to determine the chronaxy for each of the 11 muscles in the 10 dogs; chronaxy values were compared with those reported for the corresponding muscles in humans.

Results—Compared with values in humans, chronaxy values for stimulation of AA motor fibers in the biceps femoris and semitendinosus muscles and muscles of the more distal portions of limbs were lower in dogs. For the other muscles evaluated, chronaxy values did not differ between dogs and humans.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Application of the dog-specific chronaxy values when performing electrical stimulation for strengthening muscles or providing pain relief is likely to minimize the pain perceived during treatment in dogs.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research