The following guidelines have been put together to ensure that the most accurate and easily interpreted images are taken of your horse and a comprehensive veterinary thermal report can be produced.
Horses should be stabled in a dry clean stable for an hour before the consultation, if stabling causes them to become agitated and stressed. Weaving or door banging will make the images of the front legs misleading.
Horses must be mud-free, and completely dry. Mud and water block the emission of infrared and affect the temperature measurements. Do not attempt to towel dry the area prior to the scan as rubbing will increase blood supply which may affect the scan results.
Better views of the neck are obtained where the horses mane is braided or put into bunches along the crest at least 30 minutes before the session.
Your horse should be groomed, and feet picked out, but please don’t groom your horse within the 20 minutes prior to your consultation time. Grooming increases blood flow to the area. Don’t pull the mane or tail within 24 hours prior to the consultation.
Take off all bandages and boots 20 minutes before your consultation, otherwise your horses legs will appear to be warmer than they are. Take off all rugs 30 minutes before the scan.
Don’t use any conditioners, fly sprays, blisters, liniments, poultices or creams on the day of the consultation, unless under veterinary direction.
Make note of any medications your horse is taking and any herbal or homeopathic remedies and feed supplements. Any of these could have an effect on your horse’s circulation and create false positive readings. We will ask for these details at your consultation.
Prepare an area suitable for imaging. This should be out of direct sunlight – the radiation from the sun will warm your house and create falsely warm areas – and draughts – the breeze will ‘take away’ infrared radiation coming from your horse and make the area appear cooler. Ideals areas are: an indoor school (don’t forget to book it), a close barn, a foaling or large loose box with bedding thrown up, or less ideally, a sheltered area of the yard. We can take the images in less than perfect conditions, but the resulting report won’t be as easy to interpret. Don’t be surprised if we ask you to turn the lights off, even the radiation from an incandescent light bulb can affect the images, and the thermal camera works just as well in the dark.
Finally, if the temperature is greater than 25°c, your horse will naturally appear warmer as his capillary beds dilate and blood flow increases to cool him down. On hot summer days it is best to take images as early as possible in the morning, whilst your horse is still cool, or late in the evening. We avoid midday. External temperature is always noted and programmed into the camera and computer software used to analyse the images. This allows correction and eliminates potential problems in interpreting images.
Your report will comprehensively show your horse from all angles, with corresponding anatomical images shown side by side for comparison. In each instance we are looking for thermal symmetry. Any abnormal areas on the images will be detailed, as will any anomalies picked up by the veterinary thermographer.
You will receive your preference of a digital or hard copy report mailed to you the next day. The report will be complied by our qualified veterinary thermographers.
If your vet is unfamiliar with Equine Thermography, or the case is complex, interpretation services are available and we will gladly work with your vet.
Please be aware that our Thermal Imaging Scanners provide a service in infrared imaging and do not make a diagnostic evaluation. The evaluation will be interpreted and given by a vet only.