Quantification of deficits in lateral paw positioning after spinal cord injury in dogs. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Previous analysis of the behavioural effects of spinal cord injury has focussed on coordination in the sagittal plane of movement between joints, limb girdle pairs or thoracic and pelvic limb pairs. In this study we extend the functional analysis of the consequences of clinical thoracolumbar spinal cord injury in dogs to quantify the well-recognised deficits in lateral stability during locomotion. Dogs have a high centre of mass thereby facilitating recognition of lateral instability. RESULTS: We confirm that errors in lateral positioning of the pelvic limb paws can be quantified and that there is a highly significant difference in variability of foot placement between normal and spinal cord injured dogs. In this study there was no detectable difference in lateral paw positioning variability between complete and incomplete injuries, but it appears that intergirdle limb coordination and appropriate lateral paw placement recover independently from one another. CONCLUSION: Analysis of lateral paw position in the dog provides an additional tier of analysis of outcome after spinal cord injury that will be of great value in interpreting the effects of putative therapeutic interventions.

published proceedings

  • BMC Vet Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Hamilton, L., Franklin, R., & Jeffery, N. D.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Hamilton, Lindsay||Franklin, Robin JM||Jeffery, Nicholas D

publication date

  • November 2008