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Predictive models of lameness in dairy cows achieve high sensitivity and specificity with force measurements in three dimensions

  • Jason Dunthorn (a1) (a2), Robert M Dyer (a3), Nagaraj K Neerchal (a4), Jonathan S McHenry (a4), Parimal G Rajkondawar (a5), Gary Steingraber (a5) and Uri Tasch (a2)...


Lameness remains a significant cause of production losses, a growing welfare concern and may be a greater economic burden than clinical mastitis . A growing need for accurate, continuous automated detection systems continues because US prevalence of lameness is 12·5% while individual herds may experience prevalence's of 27·8–50·8%. To that end the first force-plate system restricted to the vertical dimension identified lame cows with 85% specificity and 52% sensitivity . These results lead to the hypothesis that addition of transverse and longitudinal dimensions could improve sensitivity of lameness detection. To address the hypothesis we upgraded the original force plate system to measure ground reaction forces (GRFs) across three directions. GRFs and locomotion scores were generated from randomly selected cows and logistic regression was used to develop a model that characterised relationships of locomotion scores to the GRFs. This preliminary study showed 76 variables across 3 dimensions produced a model with greater than 90% sensitivity, specificity, and area under the receiver operating curve (AUC). The result was a marked improvement on the 52% sensitivity, and 85% specificity previously observed with the 1 dimensional model  or the 45% sensitivities reported with visual observations. Validation of model accuracy continues with the goal to finalise accurate automated methods of lameness detection.


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Predictive models of lameness in dairy cows achieve high sensitivity and specificity with force measurements in three dimensions

  • Jason Dunthorn (a1) (a2), Robert M Dyer (a3), Nagaraj K Neerchal (a4), Jonathan S McHenry (a4), Parimal G Rajkondawar (a5), Gary Steingraber (a5) and Uri Tasch (a2)...


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