Special Issue "Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in Companion Animals: From Lameness Diagnosis to Treatment and Prevention"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Companion Animals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. José M. Vilar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Animal Pathology Department, Instituto Universitario de Investigaciones Biomédicas y Universitarias, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35416 Trasmontaña S/N, Arucas, Spain

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

After the constitution of the European College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation and the recent celebration of the first annual general meeting, a clear conclusion emerged from the meeting room: This is a very novel field and much more knowledge in this ambit is required.

Many disciplines and specialties require the intervention or even the help of dogs with a high level of athletic performance such as, for example, agility, sled, rescue, police, defense, etc. Some of these situations could lead to excessive locomotion requirements, and, thus, the overload of different locomotor components as bones, tendons, ligaments, among others.

On the other hand, many conditions are susceptible to be treated with rehabilitation, such as single or coadjutant treatment, when pain, swelling, and atrophy are present in tissues. Consequently, many rehabilitation techniques (massage, exercise routines, hydrotherapy, etc.), often extrapolated from human medicine, are increasingly being settled given their proven efficacy.

The aim of this Special Issue is to cover the description of locomotor injuries, training techniques, adaptive changes in locomotor, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems in the field of sports medicine. In line with this, research involving rehabilitation techniques with the objective of returning companion animals to their normal function as fast as possible is also welcome.

Dr. José M. Vilar
Guest Editor

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Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Article
Comparative Kinematic Analysis of Hurdle Clearance Technique in Dogs: A Preliminary Report
Animals 2020, 10(12), 2405; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122405 - 16 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1269
Abstract
Although the jumping characteristics of agility dogs have been examined in recent years, there is currently a lack of data related to the suspension phase. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the biomechanics of the suspension phase of the agility [...] Read more.
Although the jumping characteristics of agility dogs have been examined in recent years, there is currently a lack of data related to the suspension phase. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the biomechanics of the suspension phase of the agility jump and to analyze the kinematic differences in dogs with different jumping abilities. Two groups of dogs of the same height category (large dogs) competing at different skill levels and assessed as excellent jumpers (n = 4) and less-skilled jumpers (n = 3), respectively, were analyzed and statistically compared. Excellent jumpers showed longer and faster jumps with flatter jump trajectories than less-skilled jumpers. In less-skilled jumpers, the distance in front of the hurdle was notably greater than the distance behind it, while the difference between these two distances was less in excellent jumpers. Length and duration of the jump, maximal height of the jumping trajectory, take-off and landing distances to the hurdle, time of occurrence of maximal jump height, and time of change in back orientation essentially defines the suspension phase of the agility jump. This study presents preliminary evidence that the kinematic characteristics of hurdle clearance are different in excellent jumper dogs and in less-skilled jumper dogs. Full article
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Article
Cardiovascular Clinical Assessment in Greyster Dogs in Bikejöring Training
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1635; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091635 - 11 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1368
Abstract
Bikejöring is a type of dryland mushing requiring high-intensity aerobic effort, with speed peaks close to 42 km/h. Greysters (crosses between the German Shorthaired Pointer and the Greyhound) often participate in such events and perform well. The objective of this comparative study was [...] Read more.
Bikejöring is a type of dryland mushing requiring high-intensity aerobic effort, with speed peaks close to 42 km/h. Greysters (crosses between the German Shorthaired Pointer and the Greyhound) often participate in such events and perform well. The objective of this comparative study was to evaluate the clinical use of non-invasive methods in assessing the cardiovascular health of 22 Greyster dogs in physical training, by determining the differences between different cardiovascular parameters before and after physical training. Blood pressure, heart rate and echocardiographic results were compared. The mean age of the dogs was 4.4 years ± 1.8% and 54.5% were female. All participating dogs regularly participated in bikejöring. Post-exercise increases were observed in systolic blood pressure (SBP), mean arterial pressure (MBP) and pulse pressure (SBPD), with diastolic blood pressure (DBP) remaining stable. Changes of clinical interest were observed in numerous echocardiographic variables such as left ventricle fractional shortening (LVFS), left ventricule ejection fraction (LVEF), E-point to septal separation (EPSS), cardiac output (CO), cardiac index (CI), posterior wall thickness at end-diastole (PWd) and major/minor axis ratio (MA/ma), including a decrease in the shortening fraction and an increase in EPSS after exercise. These clinical findings were observed in both males and females; they do not appear to be associated with dilated cardiomyopathy, but rather with a cardiovascular response to physical training. This study derives from the real interest of clinical veterinarians who care for highly trained canine athletes. It contributes to an increase in knowledge of the different cardiac adaptations of such dogs after intense exercise and serves to differentiate these from pathologic conditions. Full article
Article
The Effect of a Moderate Exercise Program on Serum Markers of Bone Metabolism in Dogs
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1481; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091481 - 23 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 800
Abstract
The beneficial effect of physical activity on the musculoskeletal health in dogs is well recognized, but the level of intensity, duration, and frequency of exercise is not fully described. Measurement of serum markers of bone metabolism (bone alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin as bone [...] Read more.
The beneficial effect of physical activity on the musculoskeletal health in dogs is well recognized, but the level of intensity, duration, and frequency of exercise is not fully described. Measurement of serum markers of bone metabolism (bone alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin as bone formation markers and C-terminal telopeptide as bone resorption marker) during four months of organized moderate-intensity physical training in Labrador retriever and Golden retriever dogs aged between 11.7–24.4 months, showed variations of bone metabolism. Dogs were included in treadmill running sessions for 25 min, three times per week. Blood samples were taken at the beginning of the program (baseline), after two months (mid-term) and at the end of the study after four months. The values of bone alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin significantly decreased following two months of exercise program. Bone alkaline phosphatase increased by the end of four-month training cycle, but did not reach baseline value. Osteocalcin levels continued to decrease towards the end of the study. C-terminal telopeptide concentrations did not significantly change throughout the study duration. The results of this study show that aerobic exercise of moderate-intensity caused an initial decrease in bone formation followed by an increase of bone alkaline phosphatase and a further decrease of osteocalcin concentration. The response of two formation markers can be explained by the different stage of osteoblast activity that they express. In summary, moderate exercise resulted in no change in bone resorption, and a mild bone formation in young developing dogs. Full article
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Article
Center of Pressure in the Paws of Clinically Sound Dogs in Comparison with Orthopedically Diseased Dogs
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1366; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081366 - 06 Aug 2020
Viewed by 955
Abstract
The center of pressure (COP) is recognized as a valuable tool for the assessment of orthopedic and neurologic disorders in humans. Relatively few studies are available in veterinary medicine, particularly concerning the COP in the individual paw. This study assessed the dynamic paw [...] Read more.
The center of pressure (COP) is recognized as a valuable tool for the assessment of orthopedic and neurologic disorders in humans. Relatively few studies are available in veterinary medicine, particularly concerning the COP in the individual paw. This study assessed the dynamic paw COP parameters during the stance phase of dogs with cox- or cubarthrosis (20 dogs each), as well as of 20 sound dogs. Data were obtained by walking over a pressure platform and analyzed within the diseased groups in comparison to the control group. Both diseased groups showed significant differences between the affected and non-affected limbs, but also in comparison to the reference limbs of sound animals. For coxathrosis, the primary increase was in the medio-lateral COP displacement and the COP area in both hind limbs. For cubarthrosis, the most prominent changes were an increase in the medio-lateral COP displacement in the ipsilateral hind limb and in the cranio-caudal COP displacement in the lame limb. Additionally, the COP area increased in both hind limbs. This can reflect a compensatory redistribution of the body mass as well as compensatory changes of body balance. Full article
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Article
Comparison of the Vertical Force Distribution in the Paws of Dogs with Coxarthrosis and Sound Dogs Walking over a Pressure Plate
Animals 2020, 10(6), 986; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10060986 - 05 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 826
Abstract
In the present study, we used a pressure plate to investigate the ground reaction forces of limbs and the vertical force distribution (VFD) within the paws of dogs with coxarthrosis. We included 23 sound dogs (GSou) and 23 dogs with hip [...] Read more.
In the present study, we used a pressure plate to investigate the ground reaction forces of limbs and the vertical force distribution (VFD) within the paws of dogs with coxarthrosis. We included 23 sound dogs (GSou) and 23 dogs with hip osteoarthrosis (GCox). The dogs walked over a pressure plate and the peak vertical force (PFz), vertical impulse (IFz) as the percentage of the total force, and time of occurrence of PFz as a percent of the stance phase duration (TPFz%) were evaluated, as well for the entire limb as in the paws (where the paws were divided into four quadrants). The GCox presented a lower PFz% in the lame hind limb than in others and transferred the weight to the caudal quadrants of the front limbs. IFz% was lower in the lame limb and was counterbalanced through higher loading of the caudal quadrants in all unaffected limbs. TPFz% was reached later in the lame limb than in the contralateral limb and the GSou, specifically in the caudomedial quadrant. In conclusion, we found complex compensatory effects of lameness in the hind limb, and this methodology was useful to define the VFD within the paws of dogs. Full article
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Article
Surface Electromyography of the Longissimus and Gluteus Medius Muscles in Greyhounds Walking and Trotting on Ground Flat, Up, and Downhill
Animals 2020, 10(6), 968; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10060968 - 03 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 840
Abstract
In the field of canine rehabilitation, knowledge of muscle function in the therapeutic exercises prescribed is needed by physical therapists and veterinary surgeons. To gain insight into the function of longissimus dorsi (LD) and gluteus medius (GM) muscles in dogs, five Greyhounds performing [...] Read more.
In the field of canine rehabilitation, knowledge of muscle function in the therapeutic exercises prescribed is needed by physical therapists and veterinary surgeons. To gain insight into the function of longissimus dorsi (LD) and gluteus medius (GM) muscles in dogs, five Greyhounds performing leash walking and trotting on the ground flat, up (+7%), and downhill (−7%) were studied by surface electromyography, and the mean and maximum activity was compared. For the same incline, the surface electromyography (sEMG) of LD was higher (p < 0.05) at the trot than at the walk. In LD muscle, trotting uphill showed significantly higher maximum activity than any other exercise. A change of +7% incline or −7% decline affected (increased or decreased, respectively) the mean sEMG of the LD and GM muscles of dogs walking or trotting on the ground. When combined, the influence of gait and incline on electromyographic activity was analyzed, and walking at certain inclines showed no difference with trotting at certain inclines. Walking and trotting up and downhill added separate therapeutic value to flat motion. The results of the present study might contribute to a better understanding of the function of LD and GM muscles in dogs, this being especially useful for the field of canine rehabilitation. Full article
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Article
Changes in Pulse Rate, Respiratory Rate and Rectal Temperature in Working Dogs before and after Three Different Field Trials
Animals 2020, 10(4), 733; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040733 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1178
Abstract
Physiological changes (pulse rate, respiratory rate and rectal temperature) induced by exercise are usually studied as physical fitness indices. The aim of this study was to investigate how these physiological parameters could be modified in a group of trained working dogs during three [...] Read more.
Physiological changes (pulse rate, respiratory rate and rectal temperature) induced by exercise are usually studied as physical fitness indices. The aim of this study was to investigate how these physiological parameters could be modified in a group of trained working dogs during three different field trials (rubble, search on field, obedience), in order to assess which parameter would be more useful to detect the dog response to exercise. Nine dogs were included in this study. The animals were monitored at rest, immediately before and after the working session. Pulse rate values increased significantly in all the phases compared to rest status. Respiratory rate values increased significantly after the competition, while rectal temperature was significantly increased only after search on rubbles and obedience activities. Reference values for specific competitions need to be stablished in order to promptly identify poor performance or exercise intolerance. Full article
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Article
The Time Course of Inflammatory Biomarkers Following a One-Hour Exercise Bout in Canines: A Pilot Study
Animals 2020, 10(3), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10030486 - 13 Mar 2020
Viewed by 1149
Abstract
There is little information available to describe the inflammatory consequences of and recovery from moderate-intensity exercise bouts in hunting dogs. The purpose of the current study is to generate pilot data on the appearance and disappearance of biomarkers of inflammation and inflammation resolution [...] Read more.
There is little information available to describe the inflammatory consequences of and recovery from moderate-intensity exercise bouts in hunting dogs. The purpose of the current study is to generate pilot data on the appearance and disappearance of biomarkers of inflammation and inflammation resolution following a typical one-hour exercise bout in basset hounds. Four hounds were set out to find a scent and freely adopted running or walking over wooded terrain for approximately one hour. Venous blood samples were obtained before the exercise and at 1, 2, 4, 6, and 10 h following cessation of exercise and were analyzed for biomarkers of inflammation (prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), nitric oxide (NO), interleukin 1β (IL-1β)) tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)), and inflammation resolution (resolvin D1 (RvD1)). There was an increase in inflammation one hour after the exercise, shown by a significant increase in PGE2. Following this peak, PGE2 steadily declined at the same time as RvD1 increased, with RvD1 peaking at six hours. This pilot study provides evidence that dogs that undergo an hour of hunt exercise experience transient inflammation that peaks one hour after the end of exercise; inflammation resolution peaks six hours after the end of exercise. Future studies should seek to further understand the distinct and combined roles of PGE2 and RvD1 in dog adaptation to exercise stress. Full article
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Article
Objective Comparison between Platelet Rich Plasma Alone and in Combination with Physical Therapy in Dogs with Osteoarthritis Caused by Hip Dysplasia
Animals 2020, 10(2), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020175 - 21 Jan 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2009
Abstract
Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most significant joint diseases worldwide. There are different therapies for OA treatment, and a relatively new strategy is the use of plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF), a platelet rich plasma (PRP) derivative. The objective of this [...] Read more.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most significant joint diseases worldwide. There are different therapies for OA treatment, and a relatively new strategy is the use of plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF), a platelet rich plasma (PRP) derivative. The objective of this study was to objectively assess the efficacy and duration of the effect of an intraarticular injection of PRGF and a combination of PRGF + physical therapy. The objective assessment was provided using a force platform. The obtained parameters were peak vertical force (PVF) and vertical impulse (VI). A total of 24 dogs with lameness and pain associated to OA attributable to bilateral hip dysplasia were included in the study. Animals were divided into two study groups and evaluated at baseline and at 30, 90, and 180 days after intraarticular PRGF or PRGF + physical therapy. Significant differences were observed at every checkpoint with respect to basal time in both groups. However, after 180 days, the PRGF group showed a decrease in PVF and VI with respect to the values obtained at 90 days. However, the PRGF + physical therapy group maintained increased values of both PVF and VI values during the 180-day study period. Full article
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