Evaluation of gait-related variables in lean and obese dogs at a trot

Robert B. Brady, Alexis N. Sidiropoulos, Hunter J. Bennett, Patrick M. Rider, Denis J Marcellin-Little, Paul Devita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective-To assess differences in sagittal plane joint kinematics and ground reaction forces between lean and obese adult dogs of similar sizes at 2 trotting velocities. Animals-16 adult dogs. Procedures-Dogs with body condition score (BCS) of 8 or 9 (obese dogs; n = 8) and dogs with BCS of 4 or 5 (lean dogs; 8) on a 9-point scale were evaluated. Sagittal plane joint kinematic and ground reaction force data were obtained from dogs trotting at 1.8 and 2.5 m/s with a 3-D motion capture system, a force platform, and 12 infrared markers placed on bony landmarks. Results-Mean stride lengths for forelimbs and hind limbs at both velocities were shorter in obese than in lean dogs. Stance phase range of motion (ROM) was greater in obese dogs than in lean dogs for shoulder (28.2o vs 20.6o), elbow (23.6o vs 16.4o), hip (27.2o vs 22.9o), and tarsal (38.9o vs 27.9o) joints at both velocities. Swing phase ROM was greater in obese dogs than in lean dogs for elbow (61.2o vs 53.7o) and hip (34.4o vs 29.8o) joints. Increased velocity was associated with increased stance ROM in elbow joints and increased stance and swing ROM in hip joints of obese dogs. Obese dogs exerted greater peak vertical and horizontal ground reaction forces than did lean dogs. Body mass and peak vertical ground reaction force were significantly correlated. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Greater ROM detected during the stance phase and greater ground reaction forces in the gait of obese dogs, compared with lean dogs, may cause greater compressive forces within joints and could influence the development of osteoarthritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-762
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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