Exercises in canine physical rehabilitation: range of motion of the forelimb during stair and ramp ascent
Version of Record online: 13 JUL 2013
© 2013 British Small Animal Veterinary Association
Journal of Small Animal Practice
Volume 54, Issue 8, pages 409–413, August 2013
How to Cite
Carr, J. G., Millis, D. L. and Weng, H.-Y. (2013), Exercises in canine physical rehabilitation: range of motion of the forelimb during stair and ramp ascent. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 54: 409–413. doi: 10.1111/jsap.12111
- Issue online: 23 JUL 2013
- Version of Record online: 13 JUL 2013
- Accepted: 5 June 2012
To evaluate overall joint range of motion of the forelimb in healthy dogs ascending stairs compared with incline slope walking.
Normal canine forelimb kinematics (range of motion, flexion and extension) were compared during ascent of stairs or a ramp, and compared to unimpeded trotting on a flat surface. Eight adult dogs with no evidence of orthopaedic or neurological lameness were assessed using a 2-dimensional kinematic system as they walked up a custom built ramp and stairs.
In healthy dogs, ramp and stair ascent consistently had greater range of motion compared to trotting on a flat surface, and ramp ascent had significantly greater range of motion compared to stair ascent (P<0·05). Shoulder flexion and extension, elbow extension and carpal flexion were all significantly greater while ascending the ramp compared to stairs. Shoulder extension on the flat was significantly greater than while ascending stairs.
When planning physical rehabilitation exercises following injury to the forelimb, stair and ramp ascent may be considered, as both augment range of motion of joints. Ramp ascent provides the greatest increase in range of motion of forelimb joints.