Objective evaluation of lameness in dogs is performed for research purposes and clinical evaluation of patients. Historically, force plate analysis has been used to evaluate kinetic parameters such as peak vertical force and vertical impulse. Gait analysis by use of this method has been investigated in clinically normal animals at a walk and trot and while jumping1–4 and is used to objectively measure outcomes following treatment for musculoskeletal conditions.5–8
Some disadvantages of force plate analysis include a limited ability to measure consecutive foot-falls9 and the need for dogs to make multiple passes to collect data for each limb.10 Furthermore, force plate analysis cannot be performed in dogs that are minimally weight bearing (eg, prior to or following surgical intervention). Although some of these limitations have been addressed through the use of multiple force plates, PSWs have become a popular alternative that allows for collection of temporospatial (eg, stride length and gait velocity) and GRF measurements.11,12 Comparisons of force plate analysis and PSW analysis for detecting lameness in dogs indicate that measurements obtained by these 2 methods are well correlated.10,13 Reports14,15 detailing the use of PSWs to clinically evaluate the effect of treatment in dogs with cruciate ligament disease and hip dysplasia have also been published.
The manufacturer of a commonly used PSW recommends covering the sensors with a suitably heavy cover pad to protect the system during canine gait analysis.16 To the authors’ knowledge, the effect of cover type on temporospatial and GRF measurements of dogs obtained during gait analysis with a PSW has not been previously evaluated. Because multi-institutional studies are becoming more commonplace in veterinary medicine, it is important to ensure that data are collected in a standardized manner. The use of different cover types for PSWs among study sites or during longitudinal studies may limit the comparability of outcome measurements. Furthermore, if a PSW is used to monitor a patient's clinical outcome, the use of different cover types between visits could result in erroneous conclusions. Therefore, the aim of the study reported here was to compare the effects of 3 cover types on temporospatial and GRF measurements of dogs during gait analysis with a PSW. We hypothesized that there would be no differences in these measurements among the 3 cover types.
Funded by Colorado State University's SMIRK Program and the Eldred Foundation.
The authors declare that there was no proprietary interest for this project.
Presented in abstract form at the Veterinary Orthopedic Society Conference 2016, Big Sky, Mont, March 2016.
The authors thank Dr. Kyle Martin for assistance in data collection.
Ground reaction force
HRV Walkway 6 VersaTek System, Tekscan Animal Walkway System, South Boston, Mass.
V-Groove vinyl runner (2 × 20 ft), Commercial Mats and Rubber, Saratoga Springs, NY.
Randomness and Integrity Services Ltd, Dublin, Ireland. Available at www.random.org. Accessed March 4, 2015.
JMP, version 11.2.0, SAS Institute Inc, Cary, NC.
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