Computer-Assisted Videograpghy

Computer-Assisted Videography (CAV) of canine movement can be used to assess canine locomotion.
Computer assisted videography can be a useful tool to:


  • Evaluate the conformation and gait of any dog. 
  • It can be used diagnostically to determine causes and location of lameness. 
  • Post-treatment it can be used to assess rehabilitation from injuries. 
  • In the competitive dog it can be used to assess any subclinical factors that might affect performance. 

 Motion is the one common component of all athletic competition.  Motion is a result of a combination of nerves stimulating muscle to move bone.  Abnormal motion occurs when this chain of events is disrupted.  Locomotion of an animal is described as its gait.  The walk, trot, and gallop are three forms of gait.  The walk and trot are symmetrical gaits. In this type of gait the movements of the right side mirror the movements of the left side.  The gallop is an example of an asymmetrical gait , whereby the limbs of one side move in a different pattern then limbs on the other side.

   Lameness is defined as a variance from normal gait.  There are two types of lameness: anatomical and pathologic.  Anatomical lameness may not necessarily be from pain, and can be genetic or acquired.  Pathological lameness can be neural or musculoskeletal.   Musculoskeletal lameness is usually caused by pain .  Two diagnostic tools to assess lameness are gait analysis and the physical exam.  The amount of variance from a normal gait is defined in degrees of lameness.

    Most abnormalities can be detected with subjective gait analysis.  A dog with a lesion causing severe sharp constant pain will carry the limb and keep the weight off it when lying down.  A dull aching pain will produce a limp during the gait analysis.  A lesion that produces a small pain that occurs in certain phases of locomotion allows the dog to adjust its gait for relief.  The quadruped has the ability to minimize pain by altering movement in such a way that the abnormality may be unnoticeable.  This altered gait can lead to subsequent orthopedic problems.

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Computer-Assisted Videography of Canine Movement
Motion Analysis can be used to asses the biomechanical health of the dog. There have been many advances in this field since this web site was first created. This can be both exciting and confusing. Previously video tapes (VHS, SVHS, VHS-C, SVHS-C, or DV) were how we captured video. Now days we can capture video with our phone.

Gait analysis has been a helpful assessment tool for Veterinarians throughout time. It is mostly based on subjective judgment by the practitioner. Computer-assisted videography (CAV) allows us to quantify animal motion, and to locate minute lameness that could go unnoticed by visual analysis. The purpose of this web site is to introduce CAV as a tool when diagnosing lameness, evaluating conformation, and analyzing performance.

Computer-Assisted Video Analysis of Canine Locomotion

    A video can be taken of the dog while it is moving. The video can then evaluated to assess the movement.

  • A Veterinarian can view it to help diagnose causes of lameness 
  • It can be used to evaluate rehabilitation and therapy regimens 
  • The owner or a trainer can view the video to assess performance and training programs 
  • It can be used by breeders to assess conformation and gait 
  • It can be used by any individual who is interested in how their dog moves 
Below is a link to a page that I have developed that explains the basics of gait analysis and a typical filming protocol. There is also a link to a page that could be used as a Patient history and submission form.


Gait Analysis Basics & Filming Protocol
 Analysis Submission Form



Example Report

Below is some of the data that could be included in a report
“Away” Doe
7 YOA Male Greyhound
“Away” DoeIn general Away seems to have no significant gait abnormalities.  If the handler is concerned about a lameness the following information is provided.  There was some gait values that could be related to a gait abnormality that are described below.

Left Front Lameness (see shortened Stance phase in Front Leg Chart)
Related to distal extremity:
Check for pain in the Carpal joint or other distal joints

Left rear lameness (see Lengthened Stride cycle in Rear Leg Chart)
Related to proximal extremity:
Check for pain in the Hip joint or surrounding musculature
Check Lumbosacral joint


The information provided on this site is designed for educational purposes only, and is provided with the understanding that Robert L. Gillette is  not rendering veterinary medical or professional medical services or advice.  By accessing my website you agree that you  hold Dr. Robert L. Gillette harmless from any loss, claim or damage arising from your use of any of the information and ideas contained and presented at this site. 

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