Comparative kinematic gait analysis in young and old Beagle dogs
Malin Lorke1, Maray Willen1, Karin Lucas1, Martin Beyerbach2, Patrick Wefstaedt1, Hugo Murua Escobar1,3, Ingo Nolte1,*
1Small Animal Clinic, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, D-30559 Hannover, Germany
2Institute for Biometry, Epidemiology and Information Processing, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, D-30559 Hannover, Germany
3Division of Medicine Clinic III, Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Medicine, University of Rostock, D-18057 Rostock, Germany
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Received: June 1, 2016; Revised: December 1, 2016; Accepted: January 2, 2017; Published online: April 6, 2017.
Age-related involution in dogs involves loss of muscle mass and changes in connective tissue and articular cartilage. The aim of this study was to examine whether an age-related influence on joint mobility can be detected in the absence of diseases. Five young (Ø 2.0 years) and five old (Ø 10.4 years) healthy and sound Beagle dogs were measured during locomotion on a treadmill by computer-assisted gait analysis. Angles of the shoulder, elbow, carpal, hip, stifle and tarsal joints were analyzed, including joint angle progression curves, minimum and maximum joint angles and range of motion (ROM). The old group showed a smaller maximum joint angle (p = 0.037) and ROM (p = 0.037) of the carpal joint and similar tendencies in the shoulder, elbow and carpal joint. The descriptive analysis of the progression curves revealed less flexion and extension of the joints of the forelimb. This indicates restricted joint mobility of the forelimb but primarily of the carpal joint. Findings in the joints of the hindlimb were not consistent; contrasting alterations may be due to a compensatory mechanism. As most alterations were found in the distal joints, these should receive particular attention when examining elderly dogs.
Keywords: Locomotion, Joints, Range of Motion, Geriatrics, Canine

© 2017 The Korean Society of Veterinary Science.