Special thanks for use of the below [VIDEO clip] to Dr. Clemmons, UF Associate Professor Neurology and Neurosurgery Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, U of F and to Buc's mom, Amy Reynolds, UF Veterinary Neurology Technician
An excellent lesson with animation:
How the crossed extensor reflex works in spinal walking.
have locomotor automatism, meaning that the
basics of walking are hardwired into the
spinal cord of domestic species.
While a dog with severe spinal cord injury does not have deep pain sensation meaning their legs can no longer communicate with the brain, some figure out how to "walk" by using their rear limb reflexes. They learn to swing their legs into position underneath the body. The leg movements look jerky or motorized. The "walk" is in a straight line, as the brain is not involved to tell the legs to change direction to avoid falling.