Horses show few signs of pain. Injuries or latent health issues are often invisible to the naked eye or not apparent to the touch. ThermoSurvey is the solution. A preventive survey will pick up problems before they are obvious, help to reduce pain for the horse and ensure treatment is prompt and effective. Examples:
- Diagnose anomalies in the feet – a brewing abscess just before a competition.
- Identify muscle inflammation – essential for competing horses & to avoid compensatory injuries.
- Detect ill -fitting tack – hot spots under the saddle and areas of increased pressure can lead to a decline in performance
- Monitor healing – A thermal image can show if there is still inflammation from a healing injury and if it is advisable to start work or wait further.
- Benchmarking – establish normality for your horse so that later, when a problem is suspected, a thermal survey will highlight the anomaly.
A thermal image survey can show areas of inflammation, injury, previous history (eg scar tissue), decreased circulation and likely areas of pain. The images can be used by your veterinary surgeon, saddle fitter or other equine professional, in conjunction with ThermoSurvey, to assist with their diagnosis and treatment. Efficient use of ThermoSurvey will deliver cost reductions.
The Process- There are two methods
A one off survey of a horse after an injury or illness or prior to purchase. This is conducted by a qualified thermographer in conjunction with a qualified equine physiotherapist. Identifies (and potentially rectifies) heath issues and communicates the issues to the relevant parties eg the owners or prospective owners and the vet.
A series of surveys geared to monitor health and identify potential future medical problems during the season. This will reduce recovery time and focus the remedial effort.The resulting report with images will be produced jointly by the thermographer and the physiotherapist, featuring state of art computer analysis. The images will be used as a medical data bank for subsequent referrals .
Muscle produces the most heat in the body due to a rich blood supply especially round the neck and upper forelimbs and hind limbs of the horse. This allows the thermographer to identify if there is either excess heat (which generally is suggests inflammation due to damage of the muscle), or abnormal cooling (this could be potentially due to damage of the blood supply.
As there is effective bi- symmetry in the horse the thermographer can compare both sides of the horse with a view to identifying any irregularities. Furthermore if the horse has been telegraphed for them these previous images can also be used as a comparison and in many cases are extremely useful.
Thermal imaging is a very useful tool in the identification of back issues. These firmer grams cover both the thoracic and lumbar vertebra usually from the dorsal aspect. This can identify a number of problems such as kissing spine and inflammation within the individual vertebra. The images will be able to tell whether the problem was indicative of bone and joint issues such as an inflammation of the spinous processes.
These will be localised heat points. A broad heat map is more indicative of the inflammation of back muscles.
Leg surveys and especially the lower limb surveys easily show any anomalies due to the relative lack of muscle. Therefore if there is a problem it usually presents with a large colour difference. The foot is a very good example of this and any inflammation or infection within the foot creates a very large heat anomaly. Additionally blood and neural supply can be identified and therefore any problems can be seen.
Other surveys in this case are twofold. First, equine surveys in other areas can help diagnose many areas of pain in horses. These include teeth, pelvis and overall the health of the horse. However all surveys conducted by ThermoSurvey are whole horse surveys. This is important as an anomaly or a problem in one area of the horse can easily present itself in another area of the horse so therefore an holistic approach is certainly the best way.
Second, other relatively short haired mammals can also be surveyed in a similar vein as the equine investigation. Examples of this would be dogs and other domesticated mammals.