Kinematic Study of Wobbler Disease

Kinematic Study of Wobbler Disease

Doberman in motion capture lab


Project utilizes motion capture for monitoring the effectiveness of treatment for Wobbler disease in dobermans.

Project Team

Dr. Ronaldo da Costa, Faculty, College of Veterinary Medicine
Kari Foss, PhD Candidate, College of Veterinary Medicine
Neelima Karanam, ACCAD GRA, Computer Science and Engineering
Susana Del Rio, ACCAD GRA, Department of Design
Vita Berezina-Blackburn, ACCAD Staff


ACCAD collaborated with Drs. da Costa and Foss of the OSU School of Veterinary Medicine in two year-long study using motion capture to assess the effectiveness of treatment for dobermans with Wobbler disease. For the study we captured ten healthy dogs. Additionally nine dogs affected by the condition were captured before and after the treatment. The motion capture data was then processed by our lab team. The data was analyzed with a process designed by ACCAD GRA Neelima Karanam (CSE)in Matlab and evaluated changes in spine rotation angles as well as various stride properties.


Wobbler syndrome, known as cervical spondylomyelopathy, is a common spinal disease of large breed dogs, with the Doberman being the most affected. This disease is diagnosed using computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or myelography. Currently, there is no specific treatment method proven to be the most effective. The main reason for this is a lack of an appropriate way to assess the dogs’ response to treatment. Most patients’ responses are based on gait exam and the owner’s assessment. As such, mild changes can go unnoticed. Using two computerized systems to evaluate the gait of normal Doberman Pinscher and Dobermans affected with Wobbler syndrome, we will compare the results of the computerized assessment with the gait exam and the owner’s perception of improvement, thus hoping to demonstrate that the computerized gait analysis provides a more accurate reflection of the dog’s response to treatment.

Completed in 2012.

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