Veterinary Thermal Imaging as a Diagnostic Tool

Scientifically Proven Benefits

Veterinary Thermography for diagnosing injuries in animals.

High Definition imaging allowed secondary heel pain to be identified with Veterinary Thermal Imaging.

Veterinary Thermal Imaging has been honed and developed over the past thirty years, and scientifically proven in its benefits to vets and paraprofessionals. Veterinary Thermal Imaging provides a valuable addition to existing diagnostic tools such as X-rays, CT, MRI and Ultrasound scanning offered by your Vet. It also provides a visual management tool for owners and professionals monitoring or treating injury, illness or disease.

High Definition Images with Pinpoint Accuracy

Today's high definition imaging allows anatomical structures to be easily discerned, and pinpoint the seat of pain, allowing diagnosis or more targeted tests to be performed - saving time and money.

Veterinary Thermal Imaging effectively indentifies problems in bone as well as soft-tissue, and can assist in the detection of nerve damage and dysfunction.  It objectively measures the extent of any issues, and is highly effective for monitoring recovery progress.  As it uses a small, high mobile passive sensor, Veterinary Thermal Imaging has the following advantages:

  • Non-invasive, your animal remains comfortable
  • Non-contact, allows your animal to be monitored from a distance
  • Does not require sedation, no risk or additional costs
  • Mobile service, eliminates travelling stress for your animal

A Valuable Additional Diagnostic Tool

A cat x-ray - Veterinary ThermographyVeterinary Thermal Imaging is very sensitive to changes in the muscular, vascular, skeletal and nervous systems, detecting temperature differences of less than 0.05oC which is 40 times more sensitive than the human hand.

Veterinary Thermal Imaging fills a gap in clinical diagnosis tools, and shows the animal's physiological state by graphically mapping skin surface temperature in response to changes in blood flow.  In healthy animals, the thermal pattern on the skin is symmetrical.  This is because skin blood flow is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system.

Clinical uses for Veterinary Thermal Imaging include:

  • Determing the extent of a diagnosed injury
  • 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

veterinary thermography used to diagnose muscular atrophy in dog - canine thermography

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 damage found using equine thermography - infrared image of dermatomes in horse legs

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.



veterinary thermography - equine thermography - digital infrared thermal image of hock inflammation in a horse leg

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

veterinary thermography - equine thermography - digital infrared thermal image of saddle fitting

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.
In addition to clinical uses, Equine Thermography provides an objective view on saddle fit, can aid rider training and monitor product and preparation efficacies.

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