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Gait Analysis as an Objective Tool to Measure Hoof Lameness Phases in Multiparous Sows

19 March 2014

Iowa State University Extension

A study at Iowa State University Research has found that a pressure mat gait analysis walkway system has potential for sow lameness detection.

The objective of this study at Iowa State University was to compare differences in gait characteristics from sows in varying hoof lameness phases.

Twelve, clinically healthy, mixed-parity, crossbred sows (228.89±19.17 kg) were used. The sow was the experimental unit and a cross-over design with a 2×3 factorial arrangement of treatments were compared: two hooves (left and right hind hoof) and three days (D-1, D+1 and D+6) .

On induction day (D0), 10mg of amphotericin B was injected in the distal interphalangeal joint space in both claws of one hind hoof. All sows served as their own control and treatment. After completion of the first round, sows were given a seven-day rest period and then the round procedures were repeated with the opposite hind hoof induced.

Sows were walked in a continuous closed loop across the pressure mat. Each sow was required to complete three quality readings each day of data collection. Gait analysis measures collected were maximum pressure, stride time and stride length.

All data were statistically analysed using the PROC MIXED procedure in SAS. A P value of ≤0.05 was considered to be significant.

For this study, the GAITFour® pressure mat gait analysis walkway system:

  • maximum pressure placed on the induced hoof was lower on D+1 than D-1 (P<0.05)
  • stride time increased on D+1 for all hooves (P< 0.05) and
  • stride length was shorter on D+1 than D-1 (P<0.05).

The researchers concluded these kinematic measures all detected changes when sows were sound and in acute lameness phases, indicating future potential for sow lameness detection.

The authors of this paper were Caroline Mohling (Graduate Research Assistant), Anna Johnson (Associate Professor), Kenneth Stalder (Professor), Caitlyn Abell (Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Animal Science); Locke Karriker (Associate Professor, Swine Medicine Education Center, Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine), Hans Coetzee (Associate Professor, Cyclone Custom Analyte Detection Service, Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine), Suzanne Millman (Associate Professor, Veterinary Diagnostic and Animal Production Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine), all at Iowa State University.

Further Reading

You can read the full report by clicking here.
To view other reports from the Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 2014 by clicking here.

March 2014

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