Comparison of three walkway cover types for use during objective canine gait analysis with a pressure-sensitive walkway

Nina R Kieves, Juliette L Hart, Richard B Evans, Felix M Duerr
American Journal of Veterinary Research 2019, 80 (3): 265-269
OBJECTIVE To compare the effects of 3 walkway cover types on temporospatial and ground reaction force measurements of dogs during gait analysis with a pressure-sensitive walkway (PSW). ANIMALS 35 client- and staff-owned dogs (25 nonlame and 10 lame). PROCEDURES In a crossover study design, all dogs were evaluated at a comfortable walk on a PSW to which 3 cover types (a 0.32-cm-thick corrugated vinyl mat or a 0.32- or 0.64-cm-thick polyvinyl chloride yoga mat) were applied in random order. Temporospatial and ground reaction force measurements were obtained and compared among cover types within the nonlame and lame dog groups. RESULTS Several variables, including maximum peak pressure, maximum force (absolute and normalized as a percentage of body weight), and vertical impulse (absolute and normalized) differed significantly in most comparisons among cover types for both nonlame and lame dogs. There was no significant difference in maximum force values between the 0.32-cm-thick corrugated vinyl and 0.64-cm-thick polyvinyl chloride cover types for both nonlame and lame dogs. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE To the authors' knowledge, the cover type used during data collection with a PSW is rarely provided in published reports on this topic. The findings in this study suggested that to ensure that PSW data for dogs are collected in a standardized manner, the same cover type should be used during follow-up visits to evaluate clinical outcomes, for the duration of research studies, and at all locations for multi-institutional studies. The cover type should be specified in future PSW studies to allow direct comparisons of findings between studies.

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