The cow pedogram-Analysis of gait cycle variables allows the detection of lameness and foot pathologies.

Alsaaod, Maher; Luternauer, M; Hausegger, T.; Kredel, R.; Steiner, Adrian (2016). The cow pedogram-Analysis of gait cycle variables allows the detection of lameness and foot pathologies. Journal of dairy science, 100(2), pp. 1417-1426. American Dairy Science Association 10.3168/jds.2016-11678

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Changes in gait characteristics are important indicators in assessing the health and welfare of cattle. The aim of this study was to detect unilateral hind limb lameness and foot pathologies in dairy cows using 2 high-frequency accelerometers (400 Hz). The extracted gait cycle variables included temporal events (kinematic outcome = gait cycle, stance phase, and swing phase duration) and several peaks (kinetic outcome = foot load, toe-off). The study consisted of 2 independent experiments. Experiment 1 was carried out to compare the pedogram variables between the lateral claw and respective metatarsus (MT; n = 12) in sound cows (numerical rating system <3, n = 12) and the differences of pedogram variables across limbs within cows between lame cows (numerical rating system ≥3, n = 5) and sound cows (n = 12) using pedogram data that were visually compared with the synchronized cinematographic data. Experiment 2 was carried out to determine the differences across limbs within cows between cows with foot lesions (n = 12) and without foot lesions (n = 12) using only pedogram data. A receiver operator characteristic analysis was used to determine the performance of selected pedogram variables at the cow level. The pedogram of the lateral claw of sound cows revealed similarities of temporal events (gait cycle duration, stance and swing phases) but higher peaks (toe-off and foot load) as compared with the pedogram of the respective MT. In both experiments, comparison of the values between groups showed significantly higher values in lame cows and cows with foot lesions for all gait cycle variables. The optimal cutoff value of the relative stance phase duration for identifying lame cows was 14.79% and for cows with foot lesions was 2.53% with (both 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity) in experiments 1 and 2, respectively. The use of accelerometers with a high sampling rate (400 Hz) at the level of the MT is a promising tool to indirectly measure the kinematic variables of the lateral claw and to detect unilateral hind limb lameness and hind limb pathologies in dairy cows and is highly accurate.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Clinic for Ruminants
05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Veterinary Public Health / Herd Health Management
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Alsaaod, Maher, Hausegger, Thomas, Kredel, Ralf, Steiner, Adrian


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)




American Dairy Science Association




Maher Alsaaod

Date Deposited:

22 Mar 2017 10:31

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:02

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

accelerometer; dairy cows; gait cycle; lameness




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