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Evaluation of the effect of signalment and body conformation on activity monitoring in companion dogs

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  • 1 Department of Clinical Studies-Philadelphia, School of Veterinary Medicine and Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Studies-Philadelphia, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Studies-Philadelphia and Veterinary Clinical Investigations Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Studies-Philadelphia and Veterinary Clinical Investigations Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of signalment and body conformation on activity monitoring in companion dogs.

Animals—104 companion dogs.

Procedures—While wearing an activity monitor, each dog was led through a series of standard activities: lying down, walking laps, trotting laps, and trotting up and down stairs. Linear regression analysis was used to determine which signalment and body conformation factors were associated with activity counts.

Results—There was no significant effect of signalment or body conformation on activity counts when dogs were lying down, walking laps, and trotting laps. However, when dogs were trotting up and down stairs, there was a significant effect of age and body weight such that, for every 1-kg increase in body weight, there was a 1.7% (95% confidence interval, 1.1% to 2.4%) decrease in activity counts and for every 1-year increase in age, there was a 4.2% (95% confidence interval, 1.4% to 6.9%) decrease in activity counts.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—When activity was well controlled, there was no significant effect of signalment or body conformation on activity counts recorded by the activity monitor. However, when activity was less controlled, older dogs and larger dogs had lower activity counts than younger and smaller dogs. The wide range in body conformation (eg, limb or body length) among dogs did not appear to significantly impact the activity counts recorded by the monitor, but age and body weight did and must be considered in analysis of data collected from the monitors.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of signalment and body conformation on activity monitoring in companion dogs.

Animals—104 companion dogs.

Procedures—While wearing an activity monitor, each dog was led through a series of standard activities: lying down, walking laps, trotting laps, and trotting up and down stairs. Linear regression analysis was used to determine which signalment and body conformation factors were associated with activity counts.

Results—There was no significant effect of signalment or body conformation on activity counts when dogs were lying down, walking laps, and trotting laps. However, when dogs were trotting up and down stairs, there was a significant effect of age and body weight such that, for every 1-kg increase in body weight, there was a 1.7% (95% confidence interval, 1.1% to 2.4%) decrease in activity counts and for every 1-year increase in age, there was a 4.2% (95% confidence interval, 1.4% to 6.9%) decrease in activity counts.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—When activity was well controlled, there was no significant effect of signalment or body conformation on activity counts recorded by the activity monitor. However, when activity was less controlled, older dogs and larger dogs had lower activity counts than younger and smaller dogs. The wide range in body conformation (eg, limb or body length) among dogs did not appear to significantly impact the activity counts recorded by the monitor, but age and body weight did and must be considered in analysis of data collected from the monitors.

Contributor Notes

Supported by Nestle Purina Company and the National Institutes of Health Grant No. 1-K08-DA-017720-02.

Address correspondence to Dr. Brown (dottie@vet.upenn.edu).