So Far, So Good.

So I managed to get my propsal in on time (Yay), which means I have been allocated a superviser. My plan was to go to Hartpury to meet with her. However after a nightmareish morning with traffic we figured it would be more feasible to have a chat over the phone. So that is what we did! I have a few simple tweaks to make to the proposal before it can go through to ethics. Then a bit of a wait to ethics proir to data collection.

So in the mean time I have had a go at setting up my cameras in order to film my subjects, I have tried to upload it to here, but apparently thats beyond my capabilites, however once I have an edited version I will give it another go.

So here are my main aims and objectives so far:

Aims and Objectives


To develop an outcome measure which can be used by physiotherapists and other veterinary professionals to assess, monitor and evaluate the progress of dogs post spinal cord injury.


  • Develop a functional scoring system through the use of key informant interviews. The scoring system will be based on how well a dog can perform a task such as sitting, standing and walking.

  • Test the outcome measure for inter-rater reliability

  • Suggest a new way to assess the progress of dogs with spinal cord injury

And here is a short introduction;

Spinal cord injury in the canine patient can result in a variety of clinical signs and functional changes, including motor loss, proprioceptive and sensory inhibition (Granger and Carwardine, 2014). It is crucial to be able to measure these changes in order to assess the progress of a patient, in the human field this is obtained through the application of outcome measures (Mayland et al, 1997).

An outcome measure is a tool which can be used assess a specific area of interest, for example the ability of a subject, the movement available at a joint or the forces obtained from a limb on force plates (Cook, 2007). It can be employed several times throughout recovery to establish whether there are consistent improvements or if progress has plateaued. It is particularly useful within the physiotherapy setting and can assist therapists and other professionals to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention (Hammond, 2000).

The importance of using outcome measures and evidence based practice in veterinary practice is becoming more recognised (Schilz et al, 2006), with the recent development of the Canine Orthopaedic Index there is a certain shift towards veterinary medicine becoming more patient centred (Brown, 2014).

And my plan next. . . .

1. Make the ammendements required and submit to ethics.

2. Play around with windows movie maker to try and peice together a decent film which clearly shows what the dogs can and can't do (watch this space for this one!)

3. Continue with research into current canine outcome measures and plan for the literature review.

Hopefully I can get thjis done before xmas. The orgional plan was to have done all my data collection by xmas. . .but I really don't think that that is going to happen now!

But So Far So Good I feel. :)

Thanks for reading!


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