Nine-axis inertial measurement unit output discriminates activities of varying intensity in the dog

Molly A. Vitt, Aaron Rendahl, Sara E. Pracht, Brooke M. Knotek, B. Duncan X. Lascelles, Wanda Gordon-Evans, Michael G. Conzemius

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OBJECTIVE To explore relationships between 9-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) output and activities of varying intensity in dogs of various sizes. ANIMALS 20 healthy, agility course–trained dogs of various ages and sizes. PROCEDURES Height, weight, body condition score, age, length from IMU to the ischium, and height of IMU to the floor were recorded. Dogs performed a series of activities (rest, walk, trot, and agility course) while wearing the IMU device. IMU and video output were reviewed by independent investigators. Correlations and multiple regression models were used to explore relationships between independent variables and IMU output. RESULTS Calibration demonstrated excellent correlation and concordance between IMUs (intraclass correlation > 0.9) and that the IMUs reliably measured a known acceleration (gravity at rest). Resultant vector magnitude {sqrt[(x^2) + (y^2) + (z^2)]} normalized to body size was calculated from the data. IMU output clearly discriminates between activities of varying intensity in the dog. CLINICAL RELEVANCE The inability to accurately measure chronic pain is a barrier to the development of new, or critical evaluation of, therapeutics. Activity monitors (AM) may be the ideal diagnostic target since they are small and provide objective data that can be collected while the pet remains in its natural environment. These results demonstrate the concurrent and predictive validity of the IMU tested. Our long-range goal is to validate an open-source algorithm for the IMU so activity in a pet’s natural environment can be used as an outcome measure in future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican journal of veterinary research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023

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