We evaluated four measurement devices for obtaining circumferential measurements at four locations on the canine hindlimb and forelimb. We hypothesised that these devices would be consistent and precise in the hands of veterinary professionals with varying experience levels. Circumferential measurements were made in five dogs with no history or clinical evidence of orthopaedic disease. Measurements were obtained in triplicate by three observers at mid-thigh, tibial tuberosity, hock and carpus bilaterally. Results indicated a significantly larger measurement at the left mid-thigh region than the right, with no significant differences between limbs noted at other sites. Measurements with a tape measure and a retractable tape measure resulted in significantly smaller values at each site than an ergonomic measuring tape and a circumference measuring tape. Interobserver variation was 3.6 times higher than intraobserver variation. These results illustrate the importance of consistency when obtaining these measurements. Sequential circumference measurements should be made by the same individual using the same device to decrease measurement variability. Devices were equally precise for repeat measurements although the absolute measurement varied by device.
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