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Objective—To determine the accuracy of pressure plate kinetic asymmetry indices (ASIs) for diagnosis of unilateral hind limb lameness in dogs and their correlation with visual gait assessment (VGA) scores.

Animals—9 healthy dogs and 16 dogs with previously diagnosed unilateral rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament and concurrent unilateral hind limb lameness.

Procedures—Dogs were walked over a pressure plate to determine paw contact area (PCA), peak vertical pressure (PVP), peak vertical force (PVF), and vertical impulse (VI) of both hind limbs. An ASI was calculated for each gait variable. Simultaneously, gait was assessed visually and scored by use of a numeric rating scale (0 to 10). The ASI of each variable was tested for its usefulness in discrimination between lame and nonlame dogs and for correlation with VGA scores.

Results—Sensitivity and specificity of ASIs to discriminate between lame and nonlame dogs were excellent for PVF, VI, and PCA; these values were substantially lower for ASI of PVP. Cutoff values to discriminate between lame and nonlame dogs were determined by use of ASIs for PVF, VI, and PCA; however, this could not be done for ASI of PVP. Correlations between ASIs of PVF, VI, and PCA and VGA scores were higher than correlation between the ASIs of PVP and VGA scores.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that ASIs of PVF and VI determined via analysis of pressure plate measurements were reliable indicators of clinical lameness in dogs, but the ASI of PVP was not. The ASI of PCA is an interesting new variable for assessment of limb loading symmetry.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research