Force Plate Gait Analysis in Doberman Pinschers with and without Cervical Spondylomyelopathy

K. Foss, R. C. da Costa, P. J. Rajala-Shultz, M. J. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The most accepted means of evaluating the response of a patient with cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM) to treatment is subjective and based on the owner and clinician's perception of the gait. Objective: To establish and compare kinetic parameters based on force plate gait analysis between normal and CSM-affected Dobermans. Animals: Nineteen Doberman Pinschers: 10 clinically normal and 9 with CSM. Methods: Force plate analysis was prospectively performed in all dogs. At least 4 runs of ipsilateral limbs were collected from each dog. Eight force platform parameters were evaluated, including peak vertical force (PVF) and peak vertical impulse (PVI), peak mediolateral force (PMLF) and peak mediolateral impulse, peak braking force and peak braking impulse, and peak propulsive force (PPF) and peak propulsive impulse. In addition, the coefficient of variation (CV) for each limb was calculated for each parameter. Data analysis was performed by a repeated measures approach. Results: PMLF (P = .0062), PVI (P = .0225), and PPF (P = .0408) were found to be lower in CSM-affected dogs compared with normal dogs. Analysis by CV as the outcome indicated more variability in PVF in CSM-affected dogs (P = 0.0045). The largest difference in the CV of PVF was seen in the thoracic limbs of affected dogs when compared with the thoracic limbs of normal dogs (P = 0.0019). Conclusions and Clinical Importance: The CV of PVF in all 4 limbs, especially the thoracic limbs, distinguished clinically normal Dobermans from those with CSM. Other kinetic parameters less reliably distinguished CSM-affected from clinically normal Dobermans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-111
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of veterinary internal medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical vertebral instability
  • Dog
  • Kinetic
  • Wobbler

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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