The current study investigated the compensatory load redistribution due to osteoarthritis of the elbow joint using ground reaction forces of all four legs, simultaneously measured on a treadmill with integrated force plates. Three groups of dogs were used: the first group was clinically sound; the second group suffered from a naturally occurring osteoarthritis of the elbow joint, and a reversible lameness was induced in the third group. The naturally occurring osteoarthritis resulted in a compensatory gait pattern to reduce the stress on the affected limb. The load was reduced on the lame limb and increased on the contralateral hindlimb. The symmetry index indicated a weight-shift to the contralateral forelimb and diagonal hindlimb, which resulted in a more balanced weight distribution than in normal dogs. Dogs with induced lameness showed comparable but less pronounced alterations. These results suggested that forelimb lameness could lead to overload on non-affected extremities and the vertebral spine.
Animals Dog Diseases/physiopathology* Dogs Exercise Test/veterinary Female Forelimb/physiopathology Gait/physiology* Lameness, Animal/physiopathology* Male Osteoarthritis/physiopathology Osteoarthritis/veterinary*