The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of extracorporeal radial shock wave therapy on the hindlimb function of dogs suffering from hip osteoarthritis. Twenty-four client-owned dogs with hip osteoarthritis were investigated; 18 of them received radial shockwave therapy and six were left untreated as controls. Force plate analysis on a treadmill was used to assess the dogs' hindlimb function before treatment and four weeks after the last treatment, and the treated dogs were re-evaluated three and six months after the treatment. The parameters chosen for evaluation were peak vertical force and vertical impulse, and the calculated symmetry indices. In the treated dogs, differences between the ground reaction forces exerted by the right and left hindlegs disappeared four weeks after the treatment, whereas in the control dogs only the peak vertical force distribution changed significantly. The significant improvement in the treated dogs was confirmed by changes in the symmetry indices. Significant improvements in vertical impulse and peak vertical force were observed three months after the treatment.
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