Thermal Imaging is a powerful tool that can be used to help identify problem areas in animals.
How can Thermal Imaging help?
- Some experienced horse owners are able to identify heat in a leg or foot, usually indicating inflammation, a pulled tendon, or an abscess. These are often symptoms that lead to discomfort or poor performance where the horse may not be showing any physical signs of injury.
- Human touch cannot distinguish changes in temperature of less than 2 degrees, however, a thermal camera detects changes of less than 0.5 degree, making it easy to identify problem areas. This is displayed as an instantaneous, clear image on an LCD screen.
- Thermography has been used extensively in the equine world since the 1996 Olympic Games. Infrared thermal imaging inspections are a quick, non-contact method of examining a horse to identify and locate the source of problems or injuries. These thermal images can then be given to your veterinarian to assist with diagnosis.
Thermography as a science has many applications, but in regard to horses, thermography has three main benefits for owners and veterinarians:
- Pre-Purchase Inspection or Sale to confirm there are no "hidden" problems with the horse.
- Check saddle fitting and rider balance (see hot pressure points in the image to the right).
- Monitoring horses during training to ensure that no undue stress is placed on the horse which may result in potential injury.
- Ongoing regular thermal scans to track the health and well being of your horse.
- Identify suspected damaged tendons, ligaments, muscles and the source of non specific lameness.
- Musculoskeletal injuries.
- Easily examine the horse for tooth and jaw problems.
- Locate the source of miscellaneous strains, sprains and injuries.
- Monitor ongoing conditions to assess the level of improvement or deterioration during treatment.
- Monitor hoof maintenance and balance.
- A regular scan can provide important information on the health of an animal and provide early warning signs if problems are starting to occur. This information would be provided to your veterinarian for follow up.