Two-dimensional link-segment model of the forelimb of dogs at a walk

Cheri Nielsen, Susan M Stover, Kurt S. Schulz, Mont Hubbard, David A. Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Objective - To calculate normative joint angle, intersegmental forces, moment of force, and mechanical power at elbow, antebrachiocarpal, and metacarpophalangeal joints of dogs at a walk. Animals - 6 clinically normal mixed-breed dogs. Procedure - Kinetic data were collected via a force platform, and kinematic data were collected from forelimbs by use of 3-dimensional videography. Length, location of the center of mass, total mass, and mass moment of inertia about the center of mass were determined for each of 4 segments of the forelimb. Kinematic data and inertial properties were combined with vertical and craniocaudal ground reaction forces to calculate sagittal plane forces and moments across joints of interest throughout stance phase. Mechanical power was calculated as the product of net joint moment and the angular velocity. Joint angles were calculated directly from kinematic data. Results - All joint intersegmental forces were similar to ground reaction forces, with a decrease in magnitude the more proximal the location of each joint. Flexor moments were observed at metacarpophalangeal and antebrachiocarpal joints, and extensor moments were observed at elbow and shoulder joints, which provided a net extensor support moment for the forelimb. Typical profiles of work existed for each joint. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - For clinically normal dogs of a similar size at a walk, inverse dynamic calculation of intersegmental forces, moments of force, and mechanical power for forelimb joints yielded values of consistent patterns and magnitudes. These values may be used for comparison in evaluations of gait in other studies and in treatment of dogs with forelimb musculoskeletal disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-617
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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