Nav: Home

Doggy paddles help dogs to stay on the move

July 06, 2016

Canine hydrotherapy improves the mobility of Labradors suffering from elbow dysplasia. Not only this, it also positively affects the strides of healthy dogs, showing great potential as both a therapeutic tool and an effective way to keep your dog fit.

Mobility is a huge issue for dogs suffering from forelimb lameness, affecting their ability to live a normal happy, doggy life. The most common cause of forelimb lameness is elbow dysplasia, a genetic disorder that causes abnormal bone growth in the dog's elbow. Some breeds of dog, Labradors and German Shepherds for example, are particularly susceptible to this condition.

Researchers at Hartpury University Centre, UK, Tate Preston and Dr Alison Wills, have discovered that hydrotherapy helps with movement in Labradors with elbow dysplasia. Dr Wills explains: "Dogs with elbow dysplasia displayed an increased range of motion, stride frequency and stride length -- measures of mobility in our study -- after the hydrotherapy."

The benefits of hydrotherapy also extended to the healthy control group. "Interestingly, the healthy controls also showed significantly better stride characteristics," says Dr Wills. "From the findings of this study, it does appear that swimming is good for dogs."

So should everyone take their dog swimming? Dr Wills maintains a cautious approach to her exciting results: "It is hard to generalise the findings to the entire canine population due to the small sample size. Dogs also come in all shapes and sizes so what works for one may not for another. Even so, most dogs still find swimming fun!"

The team measured dog strides by marking parts of the dogs' limbs and measuring where the markers move, as Dr Wills explains: "We attached reflective markers to the dogs' legs and then a camera tracked the movement of the markers. We then analysed the information to see how the movement of the dogs at walk differed before and after swimming."

The study involved a small number of dogs - something that the group wishes to expand. Dr Will explains: "In this study only Labradors were examined, but as other breeds are predisposed to developing elbow dysplasia, particularly German Shepherds, it would be interesting to investigate how hydrotherapy affects the movement of different types of dogs."
-end-


Society for Experimental Biology

Related Dogs Articles:

Urban dogs are more fearful than their cousins from the country
Inadequate socialisation, inactivity and an urban living environment are associated with social fearfulness in dogs.
Veterinarians: Dogs, too, can experience hearing loss
Just like humans, dogs are sometimes born with impaired hearing or experience hearing loss as a result of disease, inflammation, aging or exposure to noise.
Dogs and wolves are both good at cooperating
A team of researchers have found that dogs and wolves are equally good at cooperating with partners to obtain a reward.
Hidden danger from pet dogs in Africa
Researchers at the Universities of Abuja and Nigeria, in collaboration with the University of Bristol, have detected a potentially human-infective microbe in pet dogs in Nigeria.
How humans have shaped dogs' brains
Dog brain structure varies across breeds and is correlated with specific behaviors, according to new research published in JNeurosci.
Parasitic worms infect dogs, humans
A human infective nematode found in remote northern areas of Australia has been identified in canine carriers for the first time.
Better prognosticating for dogs with mammary tumors
For dogs with mammary tumors, deciding a course of treatment can depend on a variety of factors, some of which may seem to contradict one another.
Dogs mirror owner's stress
The levels of stress in dogs and their owners follow each other, according to a new study from Linköping University, Sweden.
Sleepovers reduce stress in shelter dogs
Foster care provides valuable information about dog behavior that can help homeless dogs living in shelters find forever homes.
Dogs know when they don't know
In a new study, researchers have shown that dogs possess some 'metacognitive' abilities -- specifically, they are aware of when they do not have enough information to solve a problem and will actively seek more information.
More Dogs News and Dogs Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.