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  • Author or Editor: Susan L. Schaefer x
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To describe intratrial differences in hind limb symmetry in healthy dogs at the trot, using non-invasive, computer-assisted, three-dimensional kinematic gait analysis.


8 clinically normal large-breed adult dogs.


Dynamic flexion and extension angles and angular velocities were calculated for the coxofemoral, femorotibial, and tarsal joints of dogs at the trot. Temporal and distance variables were computed. Essential Fourier coefficients were used to determine mean flexion and extension curves for all joints and to compare differences in movement between right and left hind limbs. Variances attributable to limb, dog, and trial were determined.


Each joint had a characteristic pattern of flexion and extension movement that was used to compare intratrial symmetry of hind limb gait. Significant differences were not detected in temporal or distance variables between the right and left hind limbs. Significant differences were not noted in essential Fourier coefficients used to characterize coxofemoral, femorotibial, and tarsal joint angles and angular velocities, with the exception of the cosine-0 coefficient for coxofemoral angular velocity. Variation in joint angle and angular velocity measurements were attributable to individual dog and trial. Variation attributable to limb was negligible.


Intratrial evaluation of right-left hind limb symmetry, using kinematic gait analysis, indicated objectively that hind limb movement is symmetrical at the trot in healthy large-breed dogs.

Clinical Relevance

Documentation of hind limb symmetry at the trot will help provide a basis for direct comparison of both hind limbs in future studies evaluating gait and treatment of dogs with musculoskeletal disease. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:680-685)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research