Vertical loading rates in clinically normal dogs at a trot

Steven C. Budsberg From the Departments of Small Animal Medicine (Budsberg, Reece) and Medical Microbiology (Brown), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering (Verstraete), College of Engineering, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325.

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 DVM, MS
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Mary C. Verstraete From the Departments of Small Animal Medicine (Budsberg, Reece) and Medical Microbiology (Brown), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering (Verstraete), College of Engineering, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325.

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John Brown From the Departments of Small Animal Medicine (Budsberg, Reece) and Medical Microbiology (Brown), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering (Verstraete), College of Engineering, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325.

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Lynn Reece From the Departments of Small Animal Medicine (Budsberg, Reece) and Medical Microbiology (Brown), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering (Verstraete), College of Engineering, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325.

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SUMMARY

Present data describe the rates of vertical loading and unloading generated by clinically normal dogs in a trotting gait. Forward velocity was found to influence maximal rates of limb loading and unloading in forelimbs and hind limbs. The rates increased as the velocity of the dog/handler increased. The position of maximal limb loading during the stance phase was independent of velocity in the forelimbs, but in the hind limbs, as velocity increased, the position of maximal unloading occurred earlier in the stance phase.

Within velocity groups, the forelimbs had greater rates of vertical loading and unloading than did hind limbs. The position at which maximal loading occurred was earlier in the forelimbs than in the hind limbs. There was a difference in the position of maximal unloading between forelimbs and hind limbs, with the forelimbs unloading earlier in the stance phase. Difference between paired forelimbs or paired hind limbs was not found for any measurement within any group.

Calculation of loading and unloading rates provides another method of examining functional limb loading in dogs. This method of analysis can be adapted to any animal gaited across a force platform in which single limb strides can be recorded. Calculations can also be done in any axis of measurement. Data indicated loading and unloading rates to be consistent, and easily determined. Use of data generated from rates of limb loading can be classified into 2 areas: documentation of acceptance of load by the limb, and indirect measurement of functional stresses placed on bones of the appendicular skeleton.

SUMMARY

Present data describe the rates of vertical loading and unloading generated by clinically normal dogs in a trotting gait. Forward velocity was found to influence maximal rates of limb loading and unloading in forelimbs and hind limbs. The rates increased as the velocity of the dog/handler increased. The position of maximal limb loading during the stance phase was independent of velocity in the forelimbs, but in the hind limbs, as velocity increased, the position of maximal unloading occurred earlier in the stance phase.

Within velocity groups, the forelimbs had greater rates of vertical loading and unloading than did hind limbs. The position at which maximal loading occurred was earlier in the forelimbs than in the hind limbs. There was a difference in the position of maximal unloading between forelimbs and hind limbs, with the forelimbs unloading earlier in the stance phase. Difference between paired forelimbs or paired hind limbs was not found for any measurement within any group.

Calculation of loading and unloading rates provides another method of examining functional limb loading in dogs. This method of analysis can be adapted to any animal gaited across a force platform in which single limb strides can be recorded. Calculations can also be done in any axis of measurement. Data indicated loading and unloading rates to be consistent, and easily determined. Use of data generated from rates of limb loading can be classified into 2 areas: documentation of acceptance of load by the limb, and indirect measurement of functional stresses placed on bones of the appendicular skeleton.

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