Gait Scoring: the UBC method

By Steve Mason on

Through detailed study of cow movement, researchers at the University of British Columbia have developed a gait scoring system based on detailed observations of animal movement. The system uses the seven gait behaviours described in the following video. The 5-point scoring system is described in the table below.

7 Gait Characteristics 
1 Reluctance to bear weight
2 Asymmetric steps
3 Tracking up
4 Head bob
5 Joint flexion
6 Swinging in or out
7 Back arch

 

UBC Dairy Cattle Gait Scoring System
ScoreDescriptionBehaviour
1
Sound
Smooth and fluid
movement
• Flat back when standing and walking
• No swinging out
• Symmetrical gait
• All legs bear weight equally
• Joints flex freely
• Hind-hooves track up to fore-hoof prints
• Head carriage remains steady as the animal moves
2Ability to move freely
not diminished
• Flat or mildly arched back when standing and walking
• Minimal swinging out
• Slightly asymmetric gait
• All legs bear weight equally
• Joints slightly stiff
• Hind-hooves do not track up perfectly but shortened strides are uniform
• Head carriage remains steady
3Capable of locomotion
but ability to move
freely is compromised
• Flat or mildly arched back when standing, but obviously arched when walking
• Swinging out
• Asymmetrical gait
• Slight limp can be discerned in one limb
• Joints show signs of stiffness but do not impede freedom of movement
• Hind-hooves do not track up and strides may be shortened
• Head carriage remains steady
4Ability to move freely is
obviously diminished
• Obvious arched back when standing and walking
• Swinging out
• Asymmetrical gait
• Reluctant to bear weight on at least one limb but still uses that limb in locomotion
• Strides are hesitant and deliberate and joints are stiff
• Hind-hooves do not track up and strides are short
• Head bobs slightly as animal moves
5
Severely
Lame
Ability to move is
severely restricted
Must be vigorously
encouraged to stand
and/or move
• Extreme arched back when standing and walking
• Swinging out
• Asymmetrical gait
• Inability to bear weight on one or more limbs
• Obvious joint stiffness characterized by lack of joint flexion with very hesitant and deliberate strides
• One or more strides obviously shortened
• Head obviously bobs as animal moves

2 comments

  1. hi, i am a veterinarian from argentina
    sorry mi english

    can i down lown this video and instructivo?

    exist a spanshis version?

    • Yes, you can download anything you find on our blog site. If you are interested in communicating with us about dairy cattle hoof health, you can send a message in Spanish to my colleague, Dr. Laura Solano.
      Sí, puede descargar cualquier cosa que encuentre en nuestro sitio de blog. Si está interesado en comunicarse con nosotros sobre la salud de los ganados lecheros, puede enviar un mensaje en español a mi colega, la Dra. Laura Solano.
      laurasolanoquesada@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *