To determine ground reaction forces, head and pelvis vertical motion (HVM and PVM, respectively), and thoraco-lumbar lateral angular motion (LAM) of the spine using kinematic gait analysis in dogs with mild asymmetric weight-bearing of the pelvic limbs while trotting.
Twenty-seven hound-type dogs were fitted with reflective markers placed on the sagittal crest of the skull, the ischiatic tuberosity, and thoracolumbar spine of dogs to track motion while trotting. Kinetic and kinematic data were used to characterize asymmetry between the left and right pelvic limbs, and to describe HVM, PVM and thoraco-lumbar LAM. Maximum and minimum position and total motion values were determined for each measured variable.
Dogs with asymmetric weight bearing of the pelvic limbs had greater PVM on the side with a greater peak vertical force (PVF), and greater thoraco-lumbar LAM toward the side with a lower PVF while trotting. No differences in mean HVM were detected, and there were no significant correlations between the magnitude of HVM, PVM and thoraco-lumbar LAM and the degree of asymmetric weight bearing.
Dogs with subtle asymmetric weight bearing of a pelvic limb had patterns of body motion that may be useful in identifying subtle lameness in dogs; greater PVM on the side with greater weight bearing and greater thoraco-lumbar LAM toward the side with less weight bearing while trotting. Description of these compensatory movements is valuable when evaluating dogs with subtle weight bearing asymmetry in the pelvic limbs and may improve the sensitivity of lameness detection during subjective clinical lameness examination.