EQUINE THERMAL IMAGING

Our center uses veterinary grade thermal imaging cameras to identify heat in horses legs, joints or muscles. It is a fast, efficient and accurate way to pick up injuries or swelling in your horses early before too much damage is done.

Since there is a high degree of thermal symmetry in the normal body, subtle abnormal temperature asymmetries can be easily identified. A “hot spot” indicates inflammation or increased circulation. Hot spots generally are seen in the skin directly overlying injury. A “cold spot” is a reduction in blood supply usually due to swelling, thrombosis, scar tissue or increased tone in the nervous system.

THERMAL IMAGING

CLINICAL USES:

  • Detecting early lesions before they are clinically evident
  • Identifying areas not previously identified where further diagnostic tests should be performed
  • Monitoring the healing process before the animal is returned to work or training

Using a systematic approach to taking and interpreting the images, the following common conditions can be easily identified: Muscle Problems, Nerve Injury, Inflammation and Secondary Problems.

MUSCLE PROBLEMS

A very valuable use of thermography is in detecting muscle injury. It locates the area of inflammation associated with a muscle or muscle group.

It shows muscle wastage (Atrophy) before it becomes apparent clinically. Atrophy is seen as an area of consistent decrease in circulation when compared to the opposite side.

NERVE INJURY

Nerve injury due to direct trauma or secondary to another injury or disease can affect blood flow in various parts of the body, and can be visualised with thermography.

INFLAMMATION

Veterinary Thermal Imaging can be used to determine if there is inflammation in an area that was sore on palpation, or to detect an area of increased blood flow when there is no specific pain or signs (subclinical inflammation).

Research has shown that tendons and joints in horses will show inflammatory changes as much as three weeks before clinical lameness is apparent, as horses mask pain as an instinctive survival mechanism.

SECONDARY PROBLEMS

Most animals don’t have just one problem associated with lameness.
Thermography also helps in detecting the secondary areas with problems which may be overlooked, but which also require treatment to prevent reoccurrence of the primary problem.