ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: To document the contributions of trial repetition, limb side, and intraday and inter-week measurements on variation in vertical and craniocaudal ground reaction force data. Methods: Following habituation, force and time data were collected for all four limbs of seven Labrador Retrievers during sets of five valid trot trials. Each set was performed twice daily (morning and afternoon), every seven days for three consecutive weeks. A repeated measures analysis of variance was used to determine the effects of limb, trial, intraday, and inter-week factors on ground reaction force data for the thoracic and pelvic limbs. RESULTS: Of the four factors evaluated, variation due to trial repetition had the largest magnitude of effect on ground reaction forces. Trial within a set of data had an effect on all craniocaudal, but not vertical, ground reaction force variables studied, for the thoracic limbs. The first of five trials was often different from later trials. Some thoracic limb and pelvic limb variables were different between weeks. A limb side difference was only apparent for pelvic limb vertical ground reaction force data. Only pelvic limb craniocaudal braking variables were different between sets within a day. DISCUSSION AND CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: When controlling for speed, handler, gait, weight and dog breed, variation in ground reaction forces mainly arise from trial repetition and inter-week data collection. When using vertical peak force and impulse to evaluate treatment, trial repetition and inter-week data collection should have minimal effect of the data.
Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology 09/2011; 24(6):435-44. · 0.81 Impact Factor