• degenerative lumbosacral stenosis;
  • force plate;
  • ground reaction forces;
  • dog.

Objective– Using force plate analysis (FPA), determine ground reaction forces in dogs with degenerative lumbosacral stenosis (DLS) and evaluate the effects of lumbosacral decompressive surgery.

Study Design– Prospective clinical study.

Animals– Twelve dogs with DLS.

Methods– DLS was diagnosed by clinical signs, radiography, computed tomography, and/or magnetic resonance imaging. FPA was performed before surgery, and 3 days, 6 weeks, and 6 months after surgery. The mean peak braking (Fy+), peak propulsive (Fy), and peak vertical (Fz+) forces of 8 consecutive strides were determined. The ratio between the total Fy of the pelvic limbs and the total Fy of the thoracic limbs (P/TFy), reflecting the distribution of Fy, was analyzed to evaluate any changes in locomotion pattern postoperatively. Ground reaction force data for DLS dogs were compared with data derived from 24 healthy dogs (control).

Results– In dogs with DLS, the propulsive forces (Fy) of the pelvic limbs were significantly smaller than those of controls. P/TFy was significantly smaller in dogs with DLS than in control dogs, and increased during the follow-up period, reaching normal values 6 months after surgery.

Conclusions– Cauda equina compression in dogs with DLS decreases the propulsive force of the pelvic limbs and surgical treatment restores the propulsive force of the pelvic limbs in a 6-month period.

Clinical Relevance– In dogs with DLS, FPA is an effective method in evaluating the response to surgical treatment. Normal propulsive force in the pelvic limbs was restored during 6 months after decompressive surgery.