Navigation Links
Blowing in the wind: How accurate is thermography of horses' legs?
Date:3/27/2013

Since its introduction fifty or so years ago, thermography has been increasingly used by vets to pinpoint the cause of lameness in horses. The method is fast and safe and is based on a simple idea. The horse's body surface emits infrared radiation that can be detected by an infrared camera, which is both easy and inexpensive to use. The camera produces a coloured image that shows the variation in surface temperature across the area investigated. The temperature is directly related to the presence of blood vessels near the skin, so the method can detect local inflammatory lesions or regions of modified blood flow and thus help localize the origin of lameness.

The theory is clear but to date there have been comparatively few investigations into the reliability of the method. Furthermore, it is important to note that in practice trivial matters such as time constraints and movement of the horse can cause changes in both camera angle and distance of the camera to the area of the horse being investigated. The effect to which these changes affect the results of thermographic imaging is unknown. Finally, although it is generally accepted that thermographic imaging of horses should be performed in draught-free surroundings, there have not been any published studies on the effect of airflow on the results.

These issues have now been tackled by Simone Westermann of the Clinical Unit of Equine Surgery at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, together with colleagues at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna) and with Adrian Ion at the Vienna University of Technology. The scientists found that the method was highly reproducible and was less sensitive to variations in camera position and angle than might be expected. In fact, the results were almost completely unaffected by 20 changes in camera angle and increases of up to 50 cm in the distance of the camera from the animal. At a distance of 1 m from the horse a 20 change in camera angle corresponds to about 35 cm. This represents the effective horizontal tolerance in positioning of the camera. As Westermann says, "vets should have little difficulty in remaining within this limit, so the method is applicable in practice". Surprisingly, the results showed that horses' left and right forelimbs show minor differences in temperature and Westermann cautions that "it might be important to take these into account before reaching a final diagnosis."

The technique is thus reliable and robust, at least in terms of variation in where the camera is located. However, it turned out to be extremely sensitive to even very gentle drafts. A wind speed of less than 1 m/s causes a drop in measured temperature of about 0.6C, while winds of 1.3-2.6 m/s cause a drop of 1.5C and winds of 3-4 m/s cause a drop of 2.1C. The discrepancies are more than sufficient to lead to a wrong diagnosis, although even the highest wind speed tested is hardly perceptible: it would barely cause leaves on trees to move.

Westermann is keen to note the relevance of her work for vets who work on horses. As she says, "It turns out that it is not too important to be sure that the camera is in exactly the correct position before taking measurements. But it is essential to perform thermography on horses in a room that is completely free of draughts. If you don't, your diagnosis will be completely unreliable."


'/>"/>
Contact: Simone Westermann
simone.westermann@vetmeduni.ac.at
43-680-405-1605
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Agricultural bacteria: Blowing in the wind
2. Blowing in the wind: How hidden flower features are crucial for bees
3. Blowing hot and cold: US belief in climate change shifts with weather
4. Immunosignaturing: An accurate, affordable and stable diagnostic
5. Protein signal is crucial for accurate control of insect size
6. New method provides fast, accurate, low cost analysis of BRCA gene mutations in breast cancer
7. More accurate wind energy forecasts
8. Plants provide accurate low-cost alternative for diagnosis of West Nile Virus
9. More accurate, sensitive DNA test allows early identification of fungus causing WNS
10. APL novel method accurately predicts disease outbreaks
11. Bend or stretch? How stressful is hyperflexion of horses necks?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/20/2016)... DALLAS , June 20, 2016 ... criminal justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, ... by the prisons involved, it has secured the ... Corrections (DOC) facilities for Managed Access Systems (MAS) ... (4) additional facilities to be installed by October, ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems ... seamlessly log work hours, for employers to make sure the right employees are actually ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160609/377486LOGO ... ... ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... 3, 2016 Das ... Nepal hat ein 44 ... geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und IT-Infrastruktur, ... Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche renommierte ... Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als konformste ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... and BEIJING , Nov. 30, 2016 ... provider of genomic services and solutions with cutting edge ... it has completed a USD $75 Million [515 Million ... Ltd.,s CMB International Capital Management ( Shenzhen ... Co., Ltd. ("SDIC Innovation") and Shanghai Sigma Square Investment ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , November 30, 2016 Part of ... ... Aptuit, LLC today announced that it had ... additional 150,000 novel compounds have increased the Screening Collection to ... the hit discovery capabilities of the company. This expansion, complemented ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , ... November 30, 2016 , ... SSCI, the established ... discuss the implications of the latest FDA guidance on pharmaceutical cocrystals as drug ... in Cambridge, MA. , The event follows the successful November 15th event ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Triangle Park, NC (PRWEB) , ... November 30, ... ... development company engaged in the development of a new orally administered treatment for ... testing and neuroimaging results of a Phase 2a clinical trial of T3D-959 in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: