Orthopaedic diseases are common in the pelvic limbs of dogs, and reference values for large muscle groups of the pelvic limb may aid in diagnosis such diseases. As such, the objective of this study was to compare the large muscle groups of the pelvic limb in seven breeds of dogs.
A total of 126 dogs from different breeds were included, and the widths of the quadriceps, hamstring and gastrocnemius muscles were measured from images of the lateral radiographies. The width of the quadriceps was not different between the breeds, but the widths of the hamstring and gastrocnemius muscles were significantly different between the breeds. The widest hamstring and gastrocnemius muscles were seen in the Rottweilers and the Boxers, respectively. The narrowest hamstring and gastrocnemius muscles were seen in the Belgian Malinois and the Golden retrievers, respectively. All ratios between the measured muscles differed significantly between the breeds. Doberman pinschers and Belgian Malinois had the highest ratio of gastrocnemius width:hamstring width. Doberman pinschers had also the highest ratio of quadriceps width:hamstring width. German shepherds had the highest ratio of gastrocnemius width:quadriceps width. The lowest ratios of quadriceps width:hamstring width were determined in the German shepherds.
The ratios of the muscle widths may be used as reference values to assess muscular atrophy or hypertrophy in cases of bilateral or unilateral orthopaedic diseases of the pelvic limbs. Further studies are required to determine the widths and ratios of the large muscle groups of the pelvic limbs in other dog breeds.
KEYWORDS: dog; muscle widths; pelvic limb; radiography