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Reliability of kinetic measurements of healthy dogs examined while walking on a treadmill

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  • 1 1Clinic for Small Animal Surgery and Reproduction, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 80539 Munich, Germany.
  • | 2 2Department of Veterinary Sciences, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 80539 Munich, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To investigate whether an actual improvement in gait could be differentiated from physiologic differences or habituation effects during gait analysis of dogs.

ANIMALS

11 healthy dogs.

PROCEDURES

On 4 examination days, kinetic parameters were measured while dogs were walking on a treadmill. Differences in mean parameter values and habituation effects (ie, effect sizes) were quantified and compared among examination days. Coefficients of variation for repeated measurements were calculated to determine measurement reproducibility, and minimum differences were calculated to distinguish between physiologic fluctuation and an actual change in gait pattern.

RESULTS

Among the 4 examination days, mean absolute differences in peak vertical force and vertical impulse (VI) varied from 1.5% to 5.3% of body weight (BW) and 0.9% to 1.8% of BW·s, respectively. Mean absolute differences in the percentage of stance-phase duration (%SPD) and relative stride length (RSL) varied from 0.9% to 3.2% and 1.7% to 3.0%, respectively. Reproducibility of parameter measurements was good. Values for %SPD had the lowest amount of dispersion and largest effect size, suggesting a habituation effect for this parameter. Calculated minimum differences among the days for peak vertical force, VI, %SPD, and RSL did not exceed 9.9% of BW, 3.3% of BW·s, 5.8 percentage points, and 5.2 percentage points, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The %SPD of healthy dogs walking on a treadmill was the most sensitive and diagnostically reliable of the measured kinetic parameters, in contrast to VI and RSL. Findings suggested that actual changes can be distinguished from random physiologic fluctuations during gait analysis of dogs.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To investigate whether an actual improvement in gait could be differentiated from physiologic differences or habituation effects during gait analysis of dogs.

ANIMALS

11 healthy dogs.

PROCEDURES

On 4 examination days, kinetic parameters were measured while dogs were walking on a treadmill. Differences in mean parameter values and habituation effects (ie, effect sizes) were quantified and compared among examination days. Coefficients of variation for repeated measurements were calculated to determine measurement reproducibility, and minimum differences were calculated to distinguish between physiologic fluctuation and an actual change in gait pattern.

RESULTS

Among the 4 examination days, mean absolute differences in peak vertical force and vertical impulse (VI) varied from 1.5% to 5.3% of body weight (BW) and 0.9% to 1.8% of BW·s, respectively. Mean absolute differences in the percentage of stance-phase duration (%SPD) and relative stride length (RSL) varied from 0.9% to 3.2% and 1.7% to 3.0%, respectively. Reproducibility of parameter measurements was good. Values for %SPD had the lowest amount of dispersion and largest effect size, suggesting a habituation effect for this parameter. Calculated minimum differences among the days for peak vertical force, VI, %SPD, and RSL did not exceed 9.9% of BW, 3.3% of BW·s, 5.8 percentage points, and 5.2 percentage points, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The %SPD of healthy dogs walking on a treadmill was the most sensitive and diagnostically reliable of the measured kinetic parameters, in contrast to VI and RSL. Findings suggested that actual changes can be distinguished from random physiologic fluctuations during gait analysis of dogs.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Figure S1 (PDF 140 kb)
    • Supplementary Table S1 (PDF 127 kb)
    • Supplementary Table S2 (PDF 160 kb)

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Meyer-Lindenberg (andrea.meyer-lindenberg@chir.vetmed.uni-muenchen.de).