University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine > Compensatory lameness in dogs: kinematic description and inertial sensors detection

Compensatory lameness in dogs: kinematic description and inertial sensors detection

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  • UserDr Constanza B. Gómez Álvarez, Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Biomechhanics, Head of Veterinary Biomechanics Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey World_link
  • ClockWednesday 31 May 2017, 16:00-17:00
  • HouseLecture Theatre 2, Department of Veterinary Medicine.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Fiona Roby.

Lameness can be defined as an alteration in the normal gait of an animal. Houlton (2006), classified lameness as supporting or swinging limb lameness in dogs and defined them as: “reluctance or inability to place full weight on the limb” and “lameness seen when the affected limb is in flight”, respectively. During lameness, the full body attempts to adapt to it by applying diverse compensatory mechanisms depending on the location of the disturbance. Compensatory changes in the limb loadings have been studied, however how these compensations relate to the movement of the upper body in the dog, particularly head and pelvis, have not been quantified. Understanding the amount of movement to be expected would allow for wearable devices to detect these lameness and thus objectively quantify lameness. In a recent study of the author (Gómez Álvarez et al 2017), ten sound dogs of varied breeds were trotted on a treadmill before and after induced transient lameness with the aim of describing the vertical movement of the head and pelvis. Lameness was achieved by securing a cotton wad under the paw to produce a supporting limb lameness and by placing a weight around the elbow/tarsus to produce a swinging limb lameness, both in the fore- or hind limb. 3D data from reflective markers was obtained from a motion capture system while an inertial sensor system capture the acceleration of the head and pelvis in order to investigate if the system could detect lameness. The authors concluded that dropping the head or pelvis is an excellent indicator of distal limb lameness; lifting head or pelvis is an excellent indicator of lameness originated higher up in the limbs during induced lameness in the dog; smaller head/pelvic motion changes also occur in both fore and hind limb lameness. Both types of lameness were readily detected by the inertial sensor system and identified as different, showing that a wireless and light device can quantify lameness in experimentally lame dogs in a parallel study of the author (Rhodin et al 2017). Further studies are needed to evaluate the method for clinically lame dogs trotting over ground.

References Gómez Álvarez C.B, Gustås P., Bergh. A and Rhodin M. Head and pelvic movement symmetry in trotting dogs with induced supporting lameness. The Veterinary Journal, 2017. IN PRESS Houlton, J. An approach to the lame dog or cat. In: Houlton J.E.F., Cook J.L., Innes J.F., Langley-Hobbs S.J. (Eds) BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Musculoskeletal Disorders. British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Gloucester, p. 6, 2006. Rhodin M., Bergh. A., Gustås P. and Gómez Álvarez C.B. Inertial sensors based system for lameness detection in trotting dogs with induced lameness. The Veterinary Journal, 2017. Apr; 222:54-59.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine series.

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