COLUMBIA, MO (KMOX) – Diagnosing orthopedic problems in dogs can be challenging, but the University of Missouri has unveiled the Motion Analysis Laboratory or MAL.

Pressure-sensitive plates and specialized cameras in the lab show how dogs move in real time. Assistant Professor Brian Torres at M-U’s College of Veterinary Medicine says the equipment is the same as in human labs. “It’s a lab that’s designed to really help veterinarians in evaluation and identification and subsequently the treatment of patients we see here and of the surrounding Missouri community with musculoskeletal and neurologic conditions.”

Torres says since dogs can’t tell you where it hurts, this new technology allows clinicians to pinpoint problem areas that might not show up on radiographs or CT Scans. The MAL facility provides rehabilitation and evaluates treatments for the dogs.

Doctor Torres says veterinarians rely on a good physical exam, but the challenge can be subtle orthopedic injuries, like a limp or if your dog might whine.

Torres says the canine model is well-suited for translation to human diagnostics and procedures. MAL Could lead to better treatments for small animals and Orthopedic procedures in Humans.

Rehabilitation not only helps to ease the dogs’ suffering, it also protects the valuable investment made in the years of training that professional dogs undergo. Dr. Torres says “the technology allows clinicians to perform gait analysis on all animals with Osteoarthritis and soft tissue injures and monitor pain management strategies all in the same lab.”

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