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J Vet Sci. 2017 Dec 31;18(4):521-530. doi: 10.4142/jvs.2017.18.4.521.

Comparative kinematic gait analysis in young and old Beagle dogs.

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Small Animal Clinic, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, D-30559 Hannover, Germany.
Institute for Biometry, Epidemiology and Information Processing, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, D-30559 Hannover, Germany.
Division of Medicine Clinic III, Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Medicine, University of Rostock, D-18057 Rostock, Germany.


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 disease. Five young (mean age 2.0 years) and five old (mean age 10.4 years) healthy and sound Beagle dogs underwent computer-assisted gait analysis during locomotion on a treadmill. Shoulder, elbow, carpal, hip, stifle, and tarsal joint angles including joint angle progression curves, minimum and maximum joint angles, and range of motion (ROM) in degrees were analyzed. The old group had a smaller maximum joint angle (p = 0.037) and ROM (p = 0.037) of the carpal joint; there were similar tendencies in the shoulder, elbow, and carpal joints. Descriptive analysis of the progression curves revealed less flexion and extension of the forelimb joints. The results indicate restricted joint mobility of the forelimb in old dogs, primarily of the carpal joint. Results in the joints of the hindlimb were inconsistent, and the 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.


canine; geriatrics; joints; locomotion; range of motion

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