Gait analysis of lameness-free dogs: experience with a Tekscan pressure-sensitive walkway system

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OBJECTIVES: To define reference intervals and investigate repeatability for key gait parameters in a lameness-free canine popu-lation using a pressure-sensitive walkway (PSW) system.
METHODS: Following institutional ethical approval, 40 healthy client-owned dogs of various breeds weighing 15–40 kg and between 2–6 years old were recruited. Orthopaedic pathology was ruled out by clinical examination and using validated owner questionnaires. Six valid trials (3 in each direction) were obtained using a 2 m by 0.46 m PSW (Tekscan 5101E-VH4), equilibrated daily and calibrated weekly. For a valid trial, all paws had to contact the PSW for two or more consecutive strides, with a constant velocity of 0.9–1.1 m/s, while walking with a loose leash without overt head movements. Measurements were repeated for 10 dogs on a different day. Symmetry indices for key gait parameters were derived and reference intervals for these created from bootstrapped 2.5% and 97.5% percentiles.
RESULTS: Stance time, stride length and peak vertical force reference intervals were typically under ± 10%, and narrower for forelimbs than hindlimbs. Coefficient of variation for repeated measurements was typically under 10%. Direction of travel had statistically significant, but clinically unimportant effects, on several gait parameters.
STATEMENT (CONCLUSIONS): Pressure-sensitive walkway data are repeatable and show relatively little variation, such that deviations beyond reference intervals may permit identification and monitoring of lameness in clinical patients. Pressure-sensitive walkways may be useful in assessing clinical gait profiles and monitoring response to treatments such as surgery or physiotherapy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 British Small Animal Veterinary Congress
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBirmingham, UK
Publication date4 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2019
EventBritish Small Animal Veterinary Congress 2019 - International Conference Centre, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Apr 20197 Apr 2019


ConferenceBritish Small Animal Veterinary Congress 2019
LocationInternational Conference Centre
LandUnited Kingdom

ID: 216308417