03178-A: Effect of a Canine Systematic Exercise Program on the Dimensions of the Lumbar Paraspinal Musculature and Performance Assessment Scores in Healthy Dogs

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $19,994
Cynthia M. Otto, DVM, PhD; University of Pennsylvania
October 1, 2023 - September 30, 2024

Sponsor(s): Labrador Retreiver Club, Inc.

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: General Canine Health
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Participation in canine sports can increase risk of injury in dogs, especially when they have not participated in a conditioning program prior to joining the sport. Developing and maintaining core strength is one key factor for injury prevention; it has been found that a core conditioning program can improve lumbar paraspinal muscle size, reducing muscle asymmetry and decreasing pain scores in working dogs with lumbosacral pain.

This study assesses the effect of participation in a systematic core exercise program in pet dogs with no dog sport experience. Dogs’ core muscle mass will be measured via CT scan before and after program participation. Additionally, performance in two athletic tests (plank and sprint) will be assessed before and after program participation to quantify improvement in core strength. The investigators anticipate that dogs core muscle mass will increase and that their athletic performance will improve as a result of this exercise program.


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