Infrared Thermography is a non-invasive monitoring tool that uses the very latest infrared imaging equipment and computer software to detect small differences in the horse's thermal condition and allows us to quickly and efficiently identify abnormal thermal patterns that may be related to injury or disease. By identifying abnormal patterns, often before other clinical signs are apparent, investigation can be instigated at an earlier stage. Early identification of injury or disease may prevent development of more severe conditions, and also allow monitoring of horses during the recovery process. Infrared Thermography also offers the trainer or rider the opportunity to monitor the effects of training before, during and after competition.
Previous research in human and equine fields has demonstrated that many injuries and physical conditions can be accurately detected using Infrared Thermography, even before any physical signs and symptoms are visibly apparent. Feeling the horse's legs for signs of heat is universal, however the hand can only detect heat where there is a 3-4° difference in temperature from what is considered to be normal and by this stage the damage is more severe. Because Thermography measures minute changes in the thermal and neural conditions it allows for the vet to be called earlier to diagnose problems therefore preventing serious injury trauma and stress to the animal. Infrared Thermography also provides a unique way to monitor the horse's recovery from intense activity, injury and illness.
Recent improvements in Infrared camera technology and supporting software have now enabled us to further investigate potential uses and applications in Equine monitoring.
About Equine Thermography
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Progex Equine Infrared, 58 Carr Lane, Willerby, East Yorkshire, HU10 6JW.
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Our objective in this study is to establish normal thermal patterns in horses under controlled conditions and the effects of the environment on those patterns using the latest technology. This will then allow us to identify what is abnormal, and therefore requires veterinary assessment or investigation. This gives the rider, trainer, owner and vets the opportunity to take necessary action.
Unlike Radiography and Scintigraphy, Infrared Thermographic Imaging does not involve radiation or radioactive materials and is therefore perfectly safe for the horse and the handler. In most cases the results of the Thermographs can be provided instantly to enable vets, owners and riders to make prompt decisions on appropriate treatment.
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