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 during lameness have been quantified in dogs by analysing foot pressures and ground reaction forces (Abdelhadi et al., 2012, 2013; Budsberg et al., 1988; Fischer et al., 2013; Katic et al., 2009; Oosterlinck et al., 2011 and others). These studies showed not only decreased loading of the lame limb, but increased loading of the sound limbs, as well as changes in the breaking and propulsion forces, both in hind and forelimb lameness. The above studies nicely explain how the other limbs modify their loadings to reduce the force with which the painful limb hits the ground. However, it is not fully understood how these compensations relate to the movement of the upper body in the dog, particularly head and pelvis. In the clinical set up, it is well known that lame animals change their head and hip pattern of movement, therefore observation of these is a crucial part of any lameness evaluation. However, the magnitude, pattern and timing of these movements have not been fully quantified. In a study by Hicks and Millis (2014), the vertical movement asymmetries of the pelvis was measured in clinically lame dogs. This study has shown that vertical asymmetry of the pelvis is relevant for hind limb lameness assessment and seems to be a reliable and quantifiable indicator of lameness in dogs as it is in horses. Equine lameness research has greatly advanced in relation to objective and semi-automatic lameness detection. It uses kinematic of the head and pelvis to define a series of parameters; where, a sinusoidal pattern characterises the head and pelvic motion; with two upward movements and two downward movements during each stride cycle. In a sound individual, the two curves of the sinus have similar shape and magnitudes. However, in a lame individual, the shape of the sinus curve changes, resulting in different values of the motion parameters. The main kinematic parameters used will be explained during the presentation. 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 upper body parameters mentioned above were compared to the sound condition. The results indicated that induction of supporting limb lameness resulted in changes between the lowest displacements of the head and pelvis coinciding with the impact of the limb against the ground during the stance phase; while induction of a proximal disturbance resulted in changes between the highest displacements of the head and pelvis coinciding with the push-off of the limb during the stance phase and the beginning of the swing phase. Other changes were also seen, for example forelimb lameness also showed differences in the pelvic motion, and hind limb lameness in the head motion, but in lower magnitudes. 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. It is unknown whether the described motion changes occur with the same magnitudes in clinically lame dogs. More research is needed to fully understand lameness in dogs, particularly in clinical cases. Objective measurement of lameness helps us not only to better understand how different lameness look like, but also allow us to quantify these changes in order to assess the progression and treatment. Integration of objective measure tools with visual assessment of the gait can provide high quality objective data to help improving knowledge of lameness in dogs. References Abdelhadi, J., Wefstaedt, P., Galindo-Zamora, V., Anders, A., Nolte, I., Schilling, N. Load redistribution in walking and trotting beagles with induced forelimb lameness. American Journal of Veterinary Research 74, 34–39, 2013. Abdelhadi, J., Wefstaedt, P., Nolte, I., Schilling, N. Fore-Aft Ground Force Adaptations to Induced Forelimb Lameness in Walking and Trotting Dogs. PLoS One 7, 1–8. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052202, 2012. Budsberg, S.C., Verstraete, M.C., Soutas-Little, R.W., Flo, G.L., Probst, C.W. Force plate analyses before and after stabilization of canine stifles for cruciate injury. American Journal of Veterinary Research 49, 1522–4, 1988. Fischer, S., Anders, a., Nolte, I., Schilling, N. Compensatory load redistribution in walking and trotting dogs with hind limb lameness. The Veterinary Journal 197, 746–752, 2013. 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 Hicks, D.A. and Millis, D.L. Kinetic and kinematic evaluation of compensatory movements of the head , pelvis and thoracolumbar spine associated with asymmetric weight bearing of the pelvic limbs in trotting dogs. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology 6, 453–460, 2014. 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. Katic, N., Bockstahler, B. a, Mueller, M., Peham, C., Ing, T.D. Fourier analysis of vertical ground reaction Forces in Dogs With Unilateral Hind Limb Lameness and in Dogs Without Lameness. American Journal of Veterinary Research 70, 118–126, 2009. Oosterlinck, M., Bosmans, T., Gasthuys, F., Polis, I., van Ryssen, B., Dewulf, J., Pille, F. Accuracy of pressure plate kinetic asymmetry indices and their correlation with visual gait assessment scores in lame and nonlame dogs. American Journal of Veterinary Research 72, 820–825, 2011. 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. IN PRESS

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

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