Frequently Asked Questions

What's your background?

Veterinary Thermal Imaging only employs Thermographers who hold science degrees and professionally recognised qualifications, coupled with extensive animal handling experience across all species.

Where did you train?

Veterinary Thermal Imaging's Managing Director was the first British applicant to be accepted onto the University of Florida’s Thermal Imaging Course, delivered by the four most eminent Veterinary Surgeons working in the field of Thermal Imaging. Trained by Veterinary Surgeons to deliver medically acceptable images, manage artefacts, and present comprehensive reports of findings, your Veterinary Thermal Imaging Report will meet your Vet’s requirements as well as being easy to understand and interpret.

What is Veterinary Thermal Imaging?

Veterinary Thermal Imaging is a branch of Veterinary Medicine that emcompasses all areas of Thermography relating to animals.  It is also known as Equine Thermography, Animal Thermography, Equine Infrared Imaging and Animal Infrared Imaging.

Can I claim on my Insurance?

Yes, provided your vet has referred you for Thermal Imaging then you will be able to claim on your insurance policy, as thermal imaging is a recognised diagnostic modality. We'll provide you with a full invoice to claim for the costs, or we can invoice your vet who'll add the costs of thermal imaging to one of their invoices.

What regulatory bodies are you accountable to?

Veterinary Thermal Imaging Ltd works under a Code of Conduct, and operates under the name Veterinary Thermal Imaging with the written permission of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, details of which are lodged at Companies House and available to view on request.  Our Thermographers are members of the UK Thermography Association and European Association of Thermography, undertaking continuous professional development to always remain abreast of current developments in the field.

Do you work under Veterinary supervision?

Yes, we work under veterinary referral. We can be present at the same time as your Veterinary Surgeon, or can attend at another time. Where a client has self-referred we always require details of their Veterinary Surgeon and their permission to proceed, and as a matter of courtesy will send them a copy of the final report. Please note that under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 only a Registered Veterinary Surgeon can make a diagnosis or prescribe a course of treatment for any animal. Veterinary Thermal Imaging Ltd cannot make diagnoses or administer treatment.

What is the specification of the camera you use?

We use FLIR veterinary thermal imaging cameras with a minumum resolution of 320 x 240 pixels, and can detect temperature differences of 0.05oC. Images are presented in a Rainbow High Contrast Palate. These are the medically acceptable specifications to produce a Thermography Report.  A lower resolution, greater temperature differential detection rate, or a different palate are not acceptable when producing medical or veterinary thermal images.

Is the camera suitable for use in a veterinary context?

Yes, the images produced have incredibly high resolution allowing pinpoint accuracy in determining any areas of thermal abnormality. The camera is mobile and portable, and doesn't need to be connected to a laptop or any power supply, or to be attached to a stand. The animal can therefore remain still as the thermographer moves around them to take all the images needed, rather than having to reposition them. Some cameras developed for industrial use don't have a high enough resolution, and some cameras developed for use in the medical field are not ideal for outdoor use, and only function accurately between normal room temperatures. Always check the quality of the images the camera produces when chosing a thermal imaging provider.

Can I see your calibration certificate?

Our camera self-calibrates for each and every image, so you can be sure that accurate data is being captured. You can hear the calibration taking place, as the camera makes a soft ‘clunk’. Our cameras are checked annually, and when professionally advised they are fully recalibrated. Our latest model is currently too new to require recalibration, and is less than 12 months old.

Are you insured?

Yes, we have public liability insurance of £5,000,000, professional indemnity insurance, personal accident and equipment insurance.

How long does your consultation take, and what happens?

Each consultation takes between 30 and 90 minutes depending on the size of the area or animal to be imaged, and how still they stand. Initially a history will be taken on your animal, and a visual examination conducted. The area chosen for the imaging will also be examined. There are many external factors which can create ‘artefacts’ on a thermal image and these must be noted by the thermographer to ensure no erroneous data is presented.
The camera is set up, including programming the external temperature, the relative humidity and the emissivity. A field of view calculation is completed, and the imaging can begin.
Each area to be imaged is comprehensively recorded onto the camera’s memory, and after the consultation is viewed. These images are digitally enhanced offsite on a PC, edited and compiled into a Thermography Report, which is mailed to you the next day.

Where can the images be taken?

It is important that the animal is out of direct sunlight, draughts, and in a dry area of hard-standing. For horses this could be an indoor school (most ideal), a large foaling or loose-box with the bedding cleared, a hay or storage barn, or a sheltered part of the stable yard.
For dogs and cats most home environments are suitable, but on the day of imaging, please reduce your central heating temperature, and don’t let your animal ‘sunbathe’ or lie in front of the fire for an hour before the consultation.
Farm animals can be viewed in the barn, or less ideally outside on an overcast day.  Zoo animals are best viewed in their night enclosures. Thermal Images cannot be taken through glass. A telephoto lens is available to avoid disturbing them.

Can I see the images before you go?

Yes, you’ll be able to view them on the camera’s screen, although they will be a small size, and will still require digital enhancement which is conducted off-site. Following the consultation a full Thermography Report, and if you choose to receive your report on CDROM, full sized files of all the images will be sent onto you.

Can you tell me what’s wrong with my animal at the consultation?

If your Vet is also present at the same time, then yes, the Veterinary Thermal Imaging report often aids diagnosis, or accurately pinpoints an area for further investigation.
If your Vet isn’t present the Thermography Report will be emailed to them overnight, and you’ll be able to discuss the findings with them at your leisure. Only Registered Veterinary Surgeons can make a diagnosis or prescribe a course of treatment for any animal. Veterinary Thermal Imaging Ltd cannot make a diagnosis or prescribe a course of treatment.

How will I receive my images?

You can choose to receive them either on a CDROM, which will contain your Thermography Report, and separate image files as .jpg, or if you prefer your report can be printed.

How long will it take to get them?

Your Thermography Report will be produced overnight, and mailed to you the next day. If you urgently require the results we’ll also email the report across to you. Your Vet will receive an emailed copy of the report overnight.

What payment methods to you accept?

We accept cash and cheques. Some thermographers have card payment facilities for debit and credit cards (sadly we cannot accept American Express or Diners Club cards). Payment is required in full at the time of the consultation unless an alternative has been agreed prior to the session.

Are you VAT registered?

Yes we are. All the quoted prices include VAT at the prevailing rate. You will be issued with a VAT receipt, enabling you to recover VAT if you are also registered.

How can I contact you?

We’re available on the phone 24/7 on 0844 544 3314, after a consultation you’ll also receive your Thermographer’s mobile phone number and email address to directly contact them. You can also send us an email message through our contact us page

Animal Thermography© 2018 Veterinary Thermal Imaging Limited.
Registered in England and Wales. Registration No 7159409.