Objective gait evaluation with a pressure sensitive walkway (PSW) has been used to assess welfare of poultry and to assess lameness and response to therapy in domestic mammals. Objective gait analysis of birds with lameness due to pododermatitis, osteoarthritis, and other common diseases could provide non-biased assessment and therapeutic monitoring for zoo clinicians. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of a PSW for objective gait analysis in normal domestic ducks (Cairina moschata domestica) and those with experimentally induced arthritis. Eighteen healthy adult ducks walked across the PSW four times in each experiment at each time point. For experiment 1, gait parameters (step and stride distances and velocities, maximum force, impulse, and peak pressure) were calculated for each foot in each duck (time 0). For experiment 2, six of these ducks were randomly selected, anesthetized, and administered a unilateral intra-tarsal injection of monosodium urate solution to induce arthritis. Serial PSW trials were repeated at 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, and 24 hours post-injection. Gait parameters were calculated and compared at each time point, including baseline at time 0. Among the normal ducks, there were no significant differences between right and left feet for any gait parameter. Maximum force and impulse were significantly lower for the affected limb at the 3- and 4-hour time points in ducks with unilateral induced arthritis. This asymmetry was resolved by 8 hours post injection. This PSW transient arthritis model allows for objective assessment of lameness in domestic ducks with maximum force and impulse serving as the most sensitive gait parameters for lameness detection. This method has potential as a model to assess analgesic efficacy for zoo-housed waterfowl and other avian species.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)