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Abstract

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.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research