Use of the Nintendo Wii Balance Board for Assessment of Standing Balance in Normal Dogs and Dogs with Spinal Cord Disease: A Pilot Investigation.

Impaired standing balance associated with spinal cord injury (SCI) is an important cause of reduced functional ability in both dogs and people, as well as a potentially valuable quantifiable outcome measure for use in clinical trials. A number of assessment tools exist in people with SCI, but of recent note is the trend for use of the Wii Balance Board (WBB) for such assessment. The WBB is inexpensive, readily available and has shown good agreement with force platform data in human patients with various neurologic diseases. Here we propose the evaluation of the WBB to assess balance in 10 normal dogs and 10 dogs with SCI. This information will serve as pilot data to be used as part of a larger research proposal in the future. We estimate that the study will take 18 months to complete.