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  • Author or Editor: Marion Müller x
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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.

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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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association