02141-A: Describing the Kinetic and Kinematic Recovery of Dachshunds with Spinal Cord Injury

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $12,935
Gwendolyn J. Levine, DVM; Texas A&M AgriLife Research
September 1, 2014 - August 31, 2017

Sponsor(s): Dachshund Club of America, Inc.

Breed(s): Dachshund
Research Program Area: Neurology
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Intervertebral disk herniation (IVDH) is common in dogs and results in injury by compressing and bruising the spinal cord. The most frequently affected breed is the Dachshund, with as many as 19% of Dachshunds developing IVDH. Effects of IVDH include paralysis, paresis, incontinence, reduced quality of life, and permanent neurological disabilities; these facets of injury place a tremendous burden on caregivers. Traditionally, qualitative scoring systems have been used to determine injury severity, recovery, and identify if therapies are effective. More recently, computerized gait assessment (kinematics) has been applied to dogs with IVDH. These studies have examined dogs at single time points and suggest that kinematics is more sensitive than traditional scoring in detecting changes in gait. The goal of Dr. Levine's research is to characterize gait recovery in Dachshunds with IVDH using kinematics. She will utilize dogs with moderate and severe injury to capture the spectrum of dysfunction and recovery that occurs following injury. All dogs will receive spinal decompression surgery (standard) and be assessed at 5 time points: pre-surgery and 7, 14, 30 and 90 days post-surgery. Information will be compared to the gait of healthy Dachshunds. This work is novel based on the quantitative, kinematic and longitudinal characterization of locomotion in healthy and spinal cord injured Dachshunds. The major outcomes will be: 1) an enhanced understanding of natural recovery post-IVDH; 2) improved clinical decision making with respect to treatment options; 3) identification of effective assessment parameters; and 4) creation of a baseline for future clinical trials assessing therapies.

Funding for the research is provided through the efforts and generosity of the Dachshund Club of America.


None at this time.

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