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  • Author or Editor: Walter C. Renberg x
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Objective—To conduct an in vitro investigation of the biomechanical characteristics of the canine lumbar spinal column in flexion and extension and measure the destabilizing effects of multiple consecutive unilateral and bilateral hemilaminectomies.

Sample Population—30 isolated multisegmental spinal units (L1-L4) from nonhypochondroplastic dogs weighing 15 to 30 kg.

Procedure—Physically normal and surgically altered spinal specimens were subjected to 4-point bending in flexion and extension to determine effects of multiple consecutive hemilaminectomies on the basis of analysis of test system load-displacement data. Six groups with 5 spinal columns in each were defined on the basis of the following procedures: hemilaminectomy at L2-L3, 2 adjacent hemilaminectomies at L1- L3, 3 adjacent hemilaminectomies at L1-L4, bilateral hemilaminectomies at L2-L3, 2 bilateral hemilaminectomies at L1-L3, and no hemilaminectomy (intact). Spinal stability before and after surgery was determined in all groups. Each group served as its own control for nondestructive testing. Spinal strength was evaluated through destructive testing to determine deformation at failure, strength to failure, and mode of catastrophic failure. The intact group served as the control for destructive testing.

Results—Stability in extreme flexion and extreme extension did not change significantly following any hemilaminectomy procedure. Postoperative stability within the neutral zone was significantly decreased in all groups. Range of motion within the neutral zone was not significantly different from the intact condition in any group.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Multiple hemilaminectomies did not decrease stiffness of the lumbar spinal column during flexion and extension. These results support clinical recommendations regarding multiple consecutive hemilaminectomies in dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:1139–1145)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To investigate effects of the use of stance time or velocity as control variables on ground reaction forces in lame dogs.


12 dogs with pelvic osteotomies.


Data for ground reaction forces were obtained preoperatively and at 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, and 28 weeks postoperatively, using velocity and stance time as control variables. Ground reaction forces obtained were compared between the 2 methods of data collection, as were velocities and stance times of the trials.


Significant differences in ground reaction forces were not found between the use of velocity or stance time as a control variable at any time. Also, significant differences in stance times or velocities were not found between the 2 methods of data collection. Greatest variation in stance time and velocity was found during periods of greatest lameness.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Use of stance time as a control variable in force plate analysis does not lead to significantly different results from use of velocity as a control variable, indicating that either method may be used in force plate analysis of dogs. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:814–819)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the local and systemic effects of IM implantation of lead shot alternatives in rats.

Animals—22 laboratory rats.

Procedures—Sterile IM implantation of shot metals was performed, with euthanasia and necropsy at 2, 8, 16, and 26 weeks after implantation. Skeletal muscle specimens were examined histologically and kidney specimens were tested for heavy metals. In vivo and in vitro evaluation of corrosion of metals was performed.

Results—Corrosion of susceptible metals was greatest at 2 weeks in vivo and in vitro. Inflammation associated with all pellet types was greatest 2 weeks after implantation. Nickel-plated steel incited significantly greater inflammation at 2 weeks, compared with bismuth alloy. Kidney iron concentration was significantly greater at 26 weeks, compared with other test periods. Local tissue deposition of iron was verified by use of Prussian blue staining for all iron-containing metals. Concentration of arsenic in kidneys was significantly greater at 8, 16, and 26 weeks after implantation, compared with 2 weeks.

Clinical Relevance and Impact for Human Medicine—Humans or dogs wounded with nickel-plated steel may require more aggressive initial monitoring than those wounded with other shot types. Monitoring of systemic arsenic concentrations may be indicated in patients wounded with shotgun pellets.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To assess single-day and multiday repeatability of weight distribution (stance) data obtained with a commercial analyzer for dogs with naturally occurring hind limb lameness.


46 dogs (15 and 31 for single-day and multiday trials, respectively).


For single-day trials, 5 to 10 measurements/trial were collected to determine body weight (BW), weight distribution on each limb, and forelimb and hind limb symmetry indices (SIs). The dog was removed from the room and returned immediately; 5 trials were performed. For multiday trials, measurements were performed in the same manner on 2 sequential days. Data were compared among trials (single-day measurements) and between days (multiday measurements). Repeatability (correlation coefficients and Lin concordance correlation coefficients [LCCCs]) and variability (coefficients of variation [CVs]) were assessed.


In single-day trials, BW (r = 0.999), weight distribution on the lame hind limb (r = 0.915) and contralateral hind limb (r = 0.948), and hind limb SI (r = 0.964) were each significantly correlated among trials. In multiday trials, BW results were similar; weight distribution on the lame hind limb and contralateral hind limb and hind limb SI were each less closely but still significantly correlated between days. The LCCCs were highest for BW, weight distribution on the contralateral hind limb, and hind limb SI in single-day trials and for BW and weight bearing on the contralateral and lame hind limbs in multiday trials. The CVs were lowest for BW and highest for forelimb SI in both trial types.


The analyzer used allowed repeatable measurement of BW and weight distribution on the hind limbs of dogs with hind limb lameness. Measurement of forelimb stance variables was not repeatable in this group of dogs.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To measure strain in the common calcaneal tendon during trotting in dogs and to compare strain before and after immobilization of the tarsal joint.

Animals—6 dogs.

Procedures—A microminiature strain gauge was surgically implanted on the tendinous portion of the gastrocnemius muscle. Surface electromyography (EMG) values, percentage strain, and ground reaction forces were measured before and after immobilization. Peak vertical force; vertical impulse; initial, maximum, and final strain; and peak-to-peak EMG amplitude were recorded. Data were analyzed by use of a repeated-measures ANOVA and paired t tests.

Results—Timing of strain data correlated closely with foot strike of the hind limb and EMG activity in all dogs. Maximum tendon strain was simultaneous with peak vertical force. Continued muscle contraction was evident after immobilization. There was no significant difference in maximum strain after immobilization, compared with maximum strain during normal motion. Minimum strain, both at the beginning and end of the strain curve, was sig-nificantly decreased for the immobilized state, compared with results for nonimmobilized joints.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Immobilization of the tarsal joint did not eliminate calcaneal tendon strain during weight bearing in dogs. Decreased isometric muscle contraction during the swing phase of the gait could account for smaller minimum strain in immobilized joints. Immobilization is frequently applied after Achilles tendon rupture to alleviate strain and force on the sutured repair, with possible complications because of the immobilization method. Consideration of these findings could be important in adjusting current treatment recommendations.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate a method for experimental induction of osteoarthritis in the hip joints of dogs.

Animals—12 mixed-breed dogs.

Procedure—A unilateral triple pelvic osteotomy was performed. In 6 dogs, the iliac osteotomy was repaired with 45° of internal rotation, reducing coverage of the femoral head by the acetabulum. In the other 6 dogs, the fragments were repaired in anatomic alignment. Radiography, force plate evaluations, and subjective lameness evaluations were performed before and after surgery. Dogs were euthanatized 7 months after surgery, and samples of cartilage and joint capsule were examined histologically.

Results—Subjective lameness scores, radiographic appearance of the hip joints, and Norberg angles were not significantly different between groups; however, force plate evaluations did reveal significant differences in vertical ground reaction forces. Femoral head coverage was significantly decreased with rotation of the acetabulum. Mild inflammatory changes were discernible in the joint capsule and articular cartilage of some dogs in both groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that 45° internal rotation of the acetabulum does not consistently induce biologically important osteoarthritic changes in the hip joints of dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:484–491)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To evaluate pharmacokinetics of cefazolin after IV injection of cefazolin (22 mg/kg) and after simultaneous IV and IM injections of cefazolin (total dose, 44 mg/kg) to dogs.

ANIMALS 12 adult Beagles.

PROCEDURES Dogs (6/group) were assigned to receive a single injection of cefazolin (IV group; 22 mg/kg, IV) or simultaneous injections (IV + IM group; 22 mg/kg, IV, and 22 mg/kg, IM). Interstitial fluid was collected over a 5-hour period by use of ultrafiltration probes for pharmacokinetic analysis.

RESULTS Mean cefazolin concentration in the interstitial fluid at 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4, and 5 hours after injection was 39.6, 29.1, 21.2, 10.3, 6.4, and 2.7 μg/mL, respectively, for the IV group and 38.3, 53.3, 46.4, 31.7, 19.1, and 8.9 μg/mL, respectively, for the IV + IM group. Mean area under the concentration-time curve extrapolated to infinity, maximum concentration, half-life, and time to maximum concentration was 74.99 and 154.16 h·μg/mL, 37.3 and 51.5 μg/mL, 0.96 and 1.11 hours, and 1.28 and 1.65 hours, respectively, for the IV and IV + IM groups.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Cefazolin concentrations in interstitial fluid of dogs were maintained at > 4 μg/mL for 4 hours after a single IV injection and for 5 hours after simultaneous IV and IM injections. Therefore, simultaneous IV and IM administration of cefazolin 30 to 60 minutes before surgery should provide interstitial fluid concentrations effective against the most common commensal organisms (Staphylococcus spp and Streptococcus spp) on the skin of dogs for surgical procedures lasting ≤ 4 hours.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To evaluate effects of simultaneous intra-articular and IV injection of autologous adipose-derived stromal vascular fraction (SVF) and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to dogs with osteoarthritis of the hip joints.

ANIMALS 22 client-owned dogs (12 placebo-treated [control] dogs and 10 treated dogs).

PROCEDURES Dogs with osteoarthritis of the hip joints that caused signs of lameness or discomfort were characterized on the basis of results of orthopedic examination, goniometry, lameness score, the Canine Brief Pain Inventory (CBPI), a visual analogue scale, and results obtained by use of a pressure-sensing walkway at week 0 (baseline). Dogs received a simultaneous intraarticular and IV injection of SVF and PRP or a placebo. Dogs were examined again 4, 8, 12, and 24 weeks after injection.

RESULTS CBPI scores were significantly lower for the treatment group at week 24, compared with scores for the control group. Mean visual analogue scale score for the treatment group was significantly higher at week 0 than at weeks 4, 8, or 24. Dogs with baseline peak vertical force (PVF) in the lowest 25th percentile were compared, and the treatment group had a significantly higher PVF than did the control group. After the SVF-PRP injection, fewer dogs in the treated group than in the control group had lameness confirmed during examination.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE For dogs with osteoarthritis of the hip joints treated with SVF and PRP, improvements in CBPI and PVF were evident at some time points, compared with results for the control group.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the effects of a food supplemented with fish oil omega-3 fatty acids on weight bearing in dogs with osteoarthritis.

Design—Randomized, double-blinded, controlled clinical trial.

Animals—38 client-owned dogs with osteoarthritis examined at 2 university veterinary clinics.

Procedures—Dogs were randomly assigned to receive a typical commercial food (n = 16) or a test food (22) containing 3.5% fish oil omega-3 fatty acids. On day 0 (before the trial began) and days 45 and 90 after the trial began, investigators conducted orthopedic evaluations and force-plate analyses of the most severely affected limb of each dog, and owners completed questionnaires to characterize their dogs' arthritis signs.

Results—The change in mean peak vertical force between days 90 and 0 was significant for the test-food group (5.6%) but not for the control-food group (0.4%). Improvement in peak vertical force values was evident in 82% of the dogs in the test-food group, compared with 38% of the dogs in the control-food group. In addition, according to investigators' subjective evaluations, dogs fed the test food had significant improvements in lameness and weight bearing on day 90, compared with measurements obtained on day 0.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—At least in the short term, dietary supplementation with fish oil omega-3 fatty acids resulted in an improvement in weight bearing in dogs with osteoarthritis.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association