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.
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.
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.