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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2020

Authors: Schnabl-Feichter, E; Tichy, A; Bockstahler, B

Title: Evaluation of a pressure plate for detection of hind limb lameness in cats.

Source: PLoS One. 2020; 15(4):e0231904

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Bockstahler Barbara
Schnabl-Feichter Eva
Tichy Alexander

Vetmed Research Units
University Clinic for Small Animals, Clinical Unit of Small Animal Surgery
Platform Bioinformatics and Biostatistics

Detection of lameness in cats can be very time-consuming and frustrating. Feline studies have shown that the success of treatment can be evaluated by measurement of the ground reaction force (GRF). However, the possibility of multiple limb involvement or the presence of a compensatory mechanism has not been investigated. Furthermore, there has been no research in cats on possible differences in GRFs between those with stifle problems and those with hip problems, as reported in dogs. In this study, we compared temporospatial parameters and GRFs in 20 lame cats after femoral head and neck ostectomy (FHO) or stifle disease to those in 15 healthy cats. An orthopedic examination was performed in all cats and radiographs were obtained to confirm the disease. GRFs, including peak vertical force (PFz), vertical impulse (IFz), time to PFz, and temporospatial parameters, including step length, paw contact area, and stance phase duration, were calculated. We also calculated the symmetry index (SI) in the forelimbs and hind limbs. The GRFs were normalized to total force (% TF). We found that the IFz (% TF) and PFz (% TF) were lower in the affected limb than in the other limbs in the lame cats. When the lame cats were compared with the sound cats, this difference was only significant for IFz (% TF). The SI values for the PFz and IFz were significantly higher in the hind limbs than in the forelimbs in the lame cats group but there was no difference in the SI according to whether the problem was in the hip or stifle. There were also differences in stance phase duration and paw contact area in both the forelimbs and hind limbs between the sound group and the lame group. There was no difference in PFZ (% TF) or IFZ (% TF) in the affected limb between the lame cats with stifle and those after FHO; however, there were changes in time to PFz and step length. In conclusion, mild to moderate lameness can be detected and measured in cats using pressure plates. The compensatory mechanisms in cats at a walk appear to involve shifting the weight to the other three legs without favoring either the contralateral or the diagonal limb.

Keywords Pubmed: Animals
Biomechanical Phenomena
Lameness, Animaldiagnosispathologyphysiopathology

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