Objective—To evaluate the 3-dimensional motion
pattern including main and coupled motions of the
caudal lumbar and lumbosacral portions of the vertebral
column of dogs.
Animals—Vertebral columns of 9 German Shepherd
Dogs (GSDs) and 16 dogs of other breeds with similar
body weights and body conditions .
Procedure—Main and coupled motions of the caudal
lumbar and lumbosacral portions of the vertebral column
(L4 to S1) were determined by use of a testing
apparatus that permitted precise application of known
pure moments to the vertebral column. Motion was
compared between GSDs and dogs of other breeds.
Results—All specimens had a similar motion pattern
consisting of main motion and a certain amount of
coupled motion including translation. Vertebral
columns of GSDs had significantly less main motion
in all directions than that of dogs of other breeds.
Translation was similar in GSDs and dogs of other
breeds and was smallest at the lumbosacral motion
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated
that motion in the caudal lumbar and lumbosacral
portions of the vertebral column of dogs is
complex and provided a basis for further studies evaluating
abnormal vertebral columns. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:544–552)
Objective—To determine the association between the 3-dimensional (3-D) motion pattern of the caudal lumbar and lumbosacral portions of the canine vertebral column and the morphology of vertebrae, facet joints, and intervertebral disks.
Sample Population—Vertebral columns of 9 German Shepherd Dogs and 16 dogs of other breeds with similar body weights and body conditions.
Procedure—Different morphometric parameters of the vertebral column were assessed by computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging. Anatomic conformation and the 3-D motion pattern were compared, and correlation coefficients were calculated.
Results—Total range of motion for flexion and extension was mainly associated with the facet joint angle, the facet joint angle difference between levels of the vertebral column in the transverse plane on CT images, disk height, and lever arm length.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Motion is a complex process that is influenced by the entire 3-D conformation of the lumbar portion of the vertebral column. In vivo dynamic measurements of the 3-D motion pattern of the lumbar and lumbosacral portions of the vertebral column will be necessary to further assess biomechanics that could lead to disk degeneration in dogs.