Gait analysis in French bulldogs with and without vertebral kyphosis

Wyatt, S E and Lafuente, M P and Ter Haar, G and Packer, R M A and Smith, H and De Decker, S (2019) Gait analysis in French bulldogs with and without vertebral kyphosis. VETERINARY JOURNAL, 244. pp. 45-50.

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The study objective was to compare temporal-spatial and kinetic gait variables in neurologically normal French bulldogs with and without vertebral kyphosis. French bulldogs presented to a dedicated brachycephalic clinic were prospectively enrolled. All dogs underwent general physical, orthopaedic, and neurological examination prior to study inclusion. The presence of vertebral kyphosis was evaluated by computed tomography and kyphosis was defined as a Cobb angle exceeding 10°. Gait variables were collected using a pressure-sensitive GAITRite walkway with GAITFour software and included measurement of total pressure index (TPI) defined as the sum of peak pressure values recorded from each activated sensor by a paw during mat contact. Fifteen French bulldogs with (n = 8) and without kyphosis (n = 7) were included. Cobb angle in kyphotic dogs ranged from 14.9° to 39.5°. Univariate analyses were initially performed to examine the association between kyphosis and 16 gait variables. When those variables found to be associated (P < 0.2) were taken forward into multivariate generalised linear mixed models (accounting for dog, velocity and side), kyphosis had a significant effect upon TPI of the forelimbs and TPI symmetry ratio (P < 0.05); however, the size of these effects was small. Although vertebral kyphosis is rarely associated with neurological deficits, it was associated with subtle alterations in kinetic gait variables (TPI forelimbs and TPI symmetry ratio). Further studies are needed to evaluate the clinical importance of altered gait variables in French bulldogs with kyphosis.

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