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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128

J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. vol.79 n.4 Cape Town  2008




Canine hip extension range during gait



A M van der WaltI; A V StewartI; K E JoubertII; P BekkerIII

IDepartment of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, Parktown, Johannesburg, 2193 South Africa
IIConsultant, PO Box 30705, Kyalami, Johannesburg, 1684 South Africa
IIIDepartment for Biostatistics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa




Assessment of canine gait is frequently used by veterinary clinicians to establish the presence of orthopaedic pain. As up to 30 % of canine orthopaedic conditions affect the pelvic limb, knowledge of pelvic limb biomechanics during gait is very important. Previous studies have investigated the biomechanics at the tarsus and stifle, but little information is available regarding hip motion during gait. The aim of this study was to determine the maximum hip extension range achieved during the stance phase of gait in normal canines. In addition, this study aimed to determine the difference between maximum passive hip extension and maximum hip extension during gait. Using a sample of 30 morphologically similar normal dogs, mean maximum passive hip extension was measured using a goniometer and mean maximum hip extension range during gait was determined videographically. Inter- and intra-assessor reliability studies performed at the start of the study showed that the measurement tools and techniques used in this study were valid and reliable. The goniometric data showed that mean maximum passive hip extension range was 162.44° (±3.94) with no significant difference between the left and the right hind limbs. The videographic data showed that mean maximum hip extension range during gait was 119.97° (±9.26) with no significant difference between the left and right hind limbs. The results of this study provided reference values for active and passive hip extension range and showed that the degree of hip extension range required for normal gait is significantly less than maximum passive hip extension range.

Key words: active hip extension range, canine gait, passive hip extension range



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Received: February 2008
Accepted: October 2008



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