Understanding the reasons for using a Stance Analyser (Companion Animal Health) for Static Weight Distribution
An animal’s musculoskeletal system is constantly distributing bodyweight, absorbing forces, maintaining posture, balance and transferring the Centre of Gravity (COG) over the base of support. In a healthy dog, approximately 60% of the bodyweight is carried by the forelimbs and 40% by the hindlimbs, with the COG positioned at mid-thoracic level behind the scapula (Gillette and Angle, 2014).
Weight bearing is just one component of an animal physiotherapy examination and can be assessed statically or dynamically. It can be used to indicate the functionality of a limb and the degree of limb symmetry, with the percentage of bodyweight carried by each limb, providing a valid measurement for differentiating which is most affected (Wilson, 2019).
The objective assessment of Static Weight Distribution in dogs provides quantitative data that can be used to identify changes in weight bearing in subtle lameness, or monitoring progression during a rehabilitation programme (Phelps et al, 2007; Leeman and Shaw, not dated).
Static weight bearing can be assessed using a Stance Analyser and these platforms resemble the weighing scales used within Veterinary Practices, except they have four quadrants, with each measuring weight independently.
The patient stands on the matt with a foot in each quadrant (in a square stance)and a percentage of the total body weight is then calculated for each limb.
Data collection is quick and simple and easily repeated to measure progress over time.
Static Weight Distribution using a Stance Analyser is included within the RVN Pet Physio Initial Assessment and Contact Us to book your first session today.
Sophie Sparrow BSc(Hons), DipAnPhys, RVN
RVN Pet Physio