WHAT IS THERMAL IMAGING?
Thermal Imaging is an effective, safe, non-invasive tool for diagnosing areas of inflammation or injury by measuring differences in surface temperature of the animal. It also gives special insights into soft tissue inflammation that is occurring as a result of compensating for a primary injury. In addition, thermal imaging is an excellent tool for monitoring the healing progress of soft tissue or joint. Thermal images can depict areas of heat, inflammation, cold, and reduced blood flow in the muscular, vascular, skeletal and nervous systems.
HOW DOES THERMAL IMAGING WORK?
Thermal imaging utilizes a specialized camera that converts emitted heat or infrared waves into a picture visible to the human eye. Thermal Imaging is a physiologic imaging tool. This means it tell us what is going on right now in terms of changes in blood flow. When an animal has inflammation or injury to an area, changes in blood flow occur. These are seen as changes of color on the image of that area.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE USES OF THERMOGRAPHY?
Thermal imaging can be used to help identify:
- Muscular pain and injury
- Back problems and injury
- Joint and skeletal issues
- Tendon and ligament issues
- Identification of lameness and gait abnormalities
- Hoof balance
- Hoof abscesses and bruises
- Establishment of a baseline to track changes over time
Examples of equine thermal images showing areas of increased heat (white & red emit the most heat):