R. Beraud (1), M. Moreau (2), B. Lussier (1)
(1) Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Université de Montréal, Small Animal Surgery, St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada; (2) Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Université de Montréal, The Companion Animal Research Group, Department of Clinical Sciences, St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
Objective: To evaluate the effects of moderate exercise on kinetic gait analysis using a force platform in dogs with hindlimb lameness due to osteoarthritis (OA). Methods: Ten control dogs (Control) and 10 dogs presented with chronic and stable hindlimb lameness (OA) were recruited. Dogs were subjected to force platform gait analysis to determine baseline data. They were thereafter trotted for a distance of 1.2 km on a short leash, lead by the same handler at a gait convenient for each of them (ranging from slow to fast trot), after which the gait analysis was immediately repeated to determine post-exercise values. Peak and impulse of the vertical and braking / propulsion forces were analysed using a linear model for repeated measures and Bonferroni sequential correction. Results: In the Control group, the differences between baseline and post-exercise data were not significant. Conversely, post-exercise peak (p = 0.020) and impulse (p = 0.009) values of the vertical force, as well as the peak of the propulsion force (p = 0.009) values were significantly lower than baseline in the OA group. Clinical relevance: This study demonstrates the significant effect of a moderate amount of exercise in exacerbating hindlimb lameness in dogs clinically afflicted by OA. It is suggested that: 1) exercise should be considered as a potential factor of variation in future force platform gait analyses and an effort should be made to limit bias in data recording; and 2) an exercise-based protocol could be added to the standard force platform gait analysis to potentially increase its sensitivity in the detection of lame dogs.