Systematic studies involving technologies such as surface electromyography (sEMG) may provide important data that enable veterinarians to recognize musculoskeletal, ligamentous, and neurological alterations. The aim of this study was to describe the gait cycle phases and the timing of muscle activation in healthy Boxer dogs during gait by means of sEMG. The gait cycle of seven Boxer dogs was evaluated and sEMG was recorded from the biceps brachii, triceps brachii, brachiocephalic, rectus femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and superficial gluteal muscles of the right hemibody. Circular monopolar Ag/AgCl electrodes were attached to the mean point between the motor point and the muscle insertion. The electromyographic signals were collected by an active interface with 20-fold gain in a bipolar differential configuration using a 16-channel signal conditioner (EMG Systems Brasil), while the dogs walked on a treadmill at a speed of 2m/s. Pearson's correlation was used for the statistical analysis. A positive correlation was found between the rectus femoris and biceps brachii (r= 0.81); superficial gluteal and triceps brachii (r= 0.69); semitendinosus-semimembranosus and biceps brachii (r= 0.76); and rectus femoris and semitendinosus and semimembranosus muscle groups (r=0.99). The biceps brachii and brachiocephalic muscles work in tandem to position the thoracic limb during the gait cycle, while the semitendinosus-semimembranosus group flexes the knee and, simultaneously with the quadriceps that flexes the hip, prevents the contact of the pelvic limb with the ground during the swing phase. The body is propelled forward by the triceps brachii muscle, which extends the elbow and flexes the shoulder at the final contact, while the superficial gluteal muscle extends the hip.
limb muscles; canine gait cycle; surface electromyography