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  • Author or Editor: Sebastian Pietsch x
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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.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the reliability of range-of-motion (ROM) measurements and describe physiologic differences in ROM or habituation effects during gait analysis of healthy dogs walking on a treadmill.

ANIMALS

11 orthopedically normal dogs.

PROCEDURES

ROM of appendicular joints was determined for each dog while walking on a treadmill on 3 consecutive examination days and once again 6 weeks later. Significant differences in ROM between examination days were determined and quantified. As a measure of reproducibility, the coefficient of variation for repeated measurements was calculated, as were the minimum differences necessary to distinguish between physiologic variation and true change in ROM.

RESULTS

Mean ROM of the shoulder, elbow, and carpal joints varied among examination days between 29.9° and 33.1°, 49.4° and 52.8°, and 7.7° and 88.1°, respectively. Mean associated minimum differences were 12.0°, 14.1°, and 35.6°. Mean ROM of the hip, knee, and tarsal joints varied between 32.9° and 35.8°, 33.7° and 36.8°, and 31.7° and 33.5°, respectively. Mean associated minimum differences were 16.2°, 14.0°, and 9.2°. Only ROM of the elbow joint was reproducible to a small degree. Few systematic effects were detected.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Measurement of ROM in healthy dogs walking on a treadmill was shown to be diagnostically unreliable owing to high variation among examination days. However, random physiologic fluctuations could be distinguished from systematic effects, demonstrating the importance of reliably applicable threshold values for follow-up treadmill examinations. The applicability of the minimum differences determined here to orthopedically diseased dogs remains to be determined.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research