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Article

Spinal Locomotion in Cats Following Spinal Cord Injury: A Prospective Study

1
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Lusófona University, Campo Grande, 1300-477 Lisboa, Portugal
2
Animal Rehabilitation Center, Arrábida Veterinary Hospital, Azeitão, 2925-583 Setúbal, Portugal
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CIISA—Centro Interdisciplinar-Investigação em Saúde Animal, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Av. Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, 1300-477 Lisboa, Portugal
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Superior School of Health, Protection and Animal Welfare, Polytechnic Institute of Lusophony, Campo Grande, 1300-477 Lisboa, Portugal
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Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Lisbon, 1300-477 Lisboa, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2021, 11(7), 1994; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11071994
Received: 2 June 2021 / Revised: 25 June 2021 / Accepted: 30 June 2021 / Published: 3 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
Functional neurorehabilitation promotes neural reorganization by stimulating subjects without deep pain perception, leading to a faster recovery when compared to spontaneous recovery, and achieving fewer compensatory errors, or even deviations to neuropathic or adaptive pain pathways, such as spasticity. The present study demonstrates the importance of intensive and repetition-based functional neurorehabilitation, which is essential for subjects classified as grade 0 according to the modified Frankel scale.
This article aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of intensive neurorehabilitation in paraplegic cats, with no deep pain perception (grade 0 on the modified Frankel scale), with more than three months of injury. Nine cats, admitted to the Arrábida Veterinary Hospital/Arrábida Animal Rehabilitation Center (CRAA), were subjected to a 12-week intensive functional neurorehabilitation protocol, based on ground and underwater treadmill locomotor training, electrostimulation, and kinesiotherapy exercises, aiming to obtain a faster recovery to ambulation and a modulated locomotor pattern of flexion/extension. Of the nine cats that were admitted in this study, 56% (n = 5) recovered from ambulation, 44% of which (4/9) did so through functional spinal locomotion by reflexes, while one achieved this through the recovery of deep pain perception. These results suggest that intensive neurorehabilitation can play an important role in ambulation recovery, allowing for a better quality of life and well-being, which may lead to a reduction in the number of euthanasia procedures performed on paraplegic animals. View Full-Text
Keywords: spinal cord injury; treadmill training; central pattern generator; spinal locomotion; reflexes; cats; neurorehabilitation spinal cord injury; treadmill training; central pattern generator; spinal locomotion; reflexes; cats; neurorehabilitation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Martins, Â.; Silva, C.M.; Gouveia, D.; Cardoso, A.; Coelho, T.; Gamboa, Ó.; Marcelino, E.; Ferreira, A. Spinal Locomotion in Cats Following Spinal Cord Injury: A Prospective Study. Animals 2021, 11, 1994. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11071994

AMA Style

Martins Â, Silva CM, Gouveia D, Cardoso A, Coelho T, Gamboa Ó, Marcelino E, Ferreira A. Spinal Locomotion in Cats Following Spinal Cord Injury: A Prospective Study. Animals. 2021; 11(7):1994. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11071994

Chicago/Turabian Style

Martins, Ângela, Cátia M. Silva, Débora Gouveia, Ana Cardoso, Tiago Coelho, Óscar Gamboa, Eduardo Marcelino, and António Ferreira. 2021. "Spinal Locomotion in Cats Following Spinal Cord Injury: A Prospective Study" Animals 11, no. 7: 1994. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11071994

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