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Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2014;27(4):257-62. doi: 10.3415/VCOT-13-10-0118. Epub 2014 May 7.

Modification of the contact area of a standard force platform and runway for small breed dogs.

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  • 1Dr. Amy S. Kapatkin, DVM, MS, Dip ACVS, University of California, School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, Davis, CA 95616, United States, Phone +1 530 752 6787, Fax: +1 530 752 6042, E-mail:



To develop a platform that used standard size force plates for large breed dogs to capture ground reaction force data from any size dog.


A walkway platform was constructed to accommodate two force plates (60 cm x 40 cm) positioned in series to a variety of smaller sizes. It was constructed from a custom wood frame with thick aluminium sheet force plate covers that prevented transfer of load to the force plate, except for rectangular windows of three different dimensions. A friction study was performed to ensure plates did not translate relative to one another during gait trials. A prospective, observational, single crossover study design was used to compare the effect of force platform configuration (full plate size [original plate], half plate size [modified plate]) on ground reaction forces using eight adult healthy Labrador Retriever dogs.


Slippage of the steel plate on the force plate did not occur. Peak propulsion force was the only kinetic variable statistically different between the full size and half sized platforms. There were no clinically significant differences between the full and half force platforms for the variables and dogs studied.


The modified force platform allows the original 60 x 40 cm force plate to be adjusted effectively to a 30 x 40 cm, 20 x 40 cm and 15 x 40 cm sized plate with no clinically significant change in kinetic variables. This modification that worked for large breed dogs will potentially allow kinetic analysis of a large variety of dogs with different stride lengths.


Force platform; dogs; gait analysis; ground reaction forces; kinetics

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