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Monday, August 19, 2019
What Is Equine Thermography and the Benefits to Your Horse

What Is Equine Thermography and the Benefits to Your Horse

Posted in: Equestrian
Mon, Dec 10, 18, 14:43, 9 Months ago
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Thermography can highlight an area of inflammation before there is any clinical evidence such as lameness or swollen joints and can explain a reduction in the horse's performance or changes in behaviour.

By detecting an area of injury or disease early we greatly reduce the risk of significant injury or disease as it allows it to be treated before a condition develops into something much more serious.

We all wish that our horses could tell us where they are hurting because it would make our lives so much easier. Unfortunately this is not possible, in fact, as prey animals it is part of their natural behaviour to go out of their way to mask any signs of pain, injury or discomfort. Therefore, it is notoriously hard to spot an injury until it has possibly evolved into something much more serious... But we can be shown where the pain is through Thermography. It allows us to See the pain, which enables us to treat the horse more effectively.

What is Thermography?

Thermography is the use of a thermographic imaging camera which houses infrared imaging science to give a visual representation of the temperature of an object. By using a colour scale, we can clearly see the heat variations of an object / person / animal in the image, this image is called a thermogram.

How we use thermography in the equine world

Thermography is useful for the horse owner, veterinarian and equine therapist as it can detect very slight changes in temperature. The human hand can detect an increase in temperature of approximately 2-3º whereas an infrared camera can detect differences of 0.5º.

DETECTION

Thermography can highlight an area of inflammation before there is any clinical evidence such as lameness or swollen joints and can explain a reduction in the horse's performance or changes in behaviour.

By detecting an area of injury or disease early we greatly reduce the risk of significant injury or disease as it allows it to be treated before a condition develops into something much more serious.

PREVENTION

Prevention is better than a cure. Regular scanning of a horse even if no issues are present, or scanning a horse after an event is invaluable for early detection of potential problems - identifying an injury as early as possible is the key to preventing further trauma.

MONITORING RECOVERY

By scanning a horse whilst it is in recovery we can assess how an injury is responding to treatment and when the horse is returned to work we can observe how the injury is reacting to work, this allows you to adjust workload

Thermography can play a big part in the healing process, continued monitoring of an injury using thermographic imaging allows us to assess how an injury is responding to treatment and enables the workload of the horse to be adapted so that it is not returned to work before it is safe to do so.

Benefits

-Non-invasive

-Non-contact

-Silent (great for young or nervous horses)

-No sedation required

-No radiation is used

-Mobile - the horse is scanned in the comfort of its own surroundings

-Comprehensive report to include full descriptions and interpretation of images, designed to be used in conjunction with your vet.

-The latest infrared imaging equipment and computer software are used

The following issues can be identified with thermology:

-Infection

-Tendon damage

-Ligament stress or damage

-Back pain

-Joint and muscular problems

-Arthritis

-Sacroiliac pain

-Secondary or compensatory problems

-Bruising

-Nerve damage

-Circulatory problems

What are the limitations of thermography?

Thermography, when used correctly following strict protocols, is extremely reliable for identifying a region of interest by locating areas of inflammation. It cannot give an absolute diagnosis, however, it will zone-in on the area which is causing an issue, perhaps reducing the need for some costly investigative procedures from a vet. Further diagnostic tools can then be applied swiftly to ensure the right course of action is taken to minimise further injury.

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SandraJ
Member since Oct 13, 2018
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
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