The objective of this study was to determine activity of the elbow flexor and elbow extensor groups of muscles relative to shoulder and elbow joint kinematics in normal walking and trotting dogs using surface electromyography (EMG), and to determine if muscle activity varies with gait or limb. Ten healthy mixed-breed dogs were walked and trotted across embedded force plates in a 6 m walkway while simultaneously recording muscle activation using surface EMG positioned over the biceps brachii (elbow flexor group) and triceps brachii (elbow extensor group); peak shoulder, elbow, and carpal joint angles from motion capture, and ground reaction forces. EMG magnitude, timing, and power spectral density (PSD) were used to analyse muscle activity. The effects of gait type and limb side on EMG measures and joint angles were assessed using an analysis of variance. Results showed that the elbow flexor group was maximally active at end of stance. The elbow extensor group was maximally active at the beginning of stance. Muscle activity occurred earlier in the gait phase (stance or swing) in the trot compared to the walk. The amplitude, frequency at maximum PSD (elbow flexor group only) and the median frequency were larger on the right side than on the left side. The maximum PSD and integrated PSD were larger on the left side than the right side. These data provide a reference for identifying abnormalities associated with orthopaedic, neurological, or rehabilitative changes. Limb asymmetry observed in muscle activation in clinically normal dogs should be further evaluated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- veterinary (miscalleneous)
- Physiology (medical)