OBJECTIVE To assess the effects of sedation on results of acoustoelastography of the superficial digital flexor tendons (SDFTs) in clinically normal horses.
ANIMALS 27 clinically normal horses.
PROCEDURES For each horse, the pathology index (PI) for the SDFT of each thoracic limb was determined by use of acoustoelastography at 4 locations (5, 10, 15, and 20 cm distal to the accessory carpal bone). Horses were evaluated before and after they were sedated with a combination of detomidine hydrochloride (0.01 mg/kg, IV) and butorphanol tartrate (0.01 mg/kg, IV). A repeated-measures ANOVA was used for statistical analysis.
RESULTS Overall, the PI was lower after sedation than before sedation. In addition, the PI was lower at more distal locations than at more proximal locations. There was not a significant effect of limb (left or right). Differences among individual horses accounted for the largest variance effect.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Sedation with detomidine and butorphanol facilitated acoustoelastography; however, it decreased the SDFT PI in clinically normal horses and should be used consistently in prospective studies. Variance associated with each individual horse in the sample population had the greatest effect on the PI.
OBJECTIVE To determine variance effects influencing ground reaction forces (GRFs) in a heterogeneous population of lame dogs during trotting.
ANIMALS 30 client-owned dogs with thoracic limb lameness and 31 dogs with pelvic limb lameness.
PROCEDURES GRFs, velocity, height at the dorsal aspect of the scapulae (ie, withers), and shoulder height were obtained. Each dog was trotted across a force platform at its preferred velocity. Variance effects for 12 velocity and associated relative velocity (V*) ranges were examined.
RESULTS Individual dog, velocity, V*, and limb significantly influenced GRFs. Withers height V* ranges were associated with small variance in GRFs, but all absolute and V* ranges were associated with significant effects for all 4 limbs and both types of lameness. Significant changes in lame limb GRFs and velocity in ipsilateral trials in dogs with thoracic limb and pelvic limb lameness were evident with trial repetition. Withers height V* range of 0.55 to 0.93 captured a large proportion of trials (> 90%) in dogs with thoracic limb or pelvic limb lameness, with limited effects on peak vertical force and vertical impulse.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Trial repetition caused alterations to GRFs and subject velocity that may have confounded assessment of lameness, which supported the concept that a priori selection of a velocity or V* range for force platform gait analysis should use a range that captures valid trials efficiently while minimizing GRF variance. These ranges typically would span the preferred velocity of subject dogs, such as withers height V* of 0.55 to 0.93.
OBJECTIVE To develop contact time (ConT) and withers height-normalized relative ConT (ConT*) for force platform gait analysis of dogs.
ANIMALS 29 healthy client-owned dogs.
PROCEDURES Height at the most dorsal aspect of the shoulders (withers) was measured with a framing square. Dogs were trotted across a force platform at their preferred velocity with controlled acceleration (± 0.5 m/s2). Ranges of ConT and ConT* centered on the population mean ConT were created. Variance effects on ground reaction forces (GRFs) for 4 thoracic limb and 4 pelvic limb ConT and associated ConT* ranges were examined. Efficiency of trial capture and effects of velocity ranges on GRF variance were determined.
RESULTS Individual dogs had the greatest effect on GRF variance for thoracic and pelvic limbs. Narrow ConT and ConT* ranges had few significant effects on GRFs but were inefficient at capturing trials. The ConT ranges of 0.22 to 0.29 seconds and 0.19 to 0.25 seconds for thoracic and pelvic limbs, respectively, provided the most efficient rates of trial capture with the fewest significant effects on GRFs. Compared with ConT and ConT* ranges, relative velocity ranges had higher efficiency and smaller GRF variance effects.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Dogs of various morphologies have differing limb velocities. Use of ConT as a surrogate for limb velocity may improve GRF data quality. We identified ConT and ConT* ranges associated with low GRF variance. However, relative velocity ranges captured data more efficiently. Efficient capture of data may help avoid worsening of lameness during gait analysis of dogs.
OBJECTIVE To determine whether walking at specific ranges of absolute and relative (V*) velocity would aid efficient capture of gait trial data with low ground reaction force (GRF) variance in a heterogeneous sample of dogs.
ANIMALS 17 clinically normal dogs of various breeds, ages, and sexes.
PROCEDURES Each dog was walked across a force platform at its preferred velocity, with controlled acceleration within 0.5 m/s2. Ranges in V* were created for height at the highest point of the shoulders (withers; WHV*). Variance effects from 8 walking absolute velocity ranges and associated WHV* ranges were examined by means of repeated-measures ANCOVA.
RESULTS The individual dog effect provided the greatest contribution to variance. Narrow velocity ranges typically resulted in capture of a smaller percentage of valid trials and were not consistently associated with lower variance. The WHV* range of 0.33 to 0.46 allowed capture of valid trials efficiently, with no significant effects on peak vertical force and vertical impulse.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Dogs with severe lameness may be unable to trot or may have a decline in mobility with gait trial repetition. Gait analysis involving evaluation of individual dogs at their preferred absolute velocity, such that dogs are evaluated at a similar V*, may facilitate efficient capture of valid trials without significant effects on GRF. Use of individual velocity ranges derived from a WHV* range of 0.33 to 0.46 can account for heterogeneity and appears suitable for use in clinical trials involving dogs at a walking gait.