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.
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.