Equine Infrared Thermography : Tennessee


Equine Infrared Thermal Imaging available in the Nashville, TN area.
Though available for decades for use in human medicine, thermography is now becoming a more available for use by Veterinarians and Farriers. More portable equipment and reduce cost is the primary reason.

With millions of dollars of equipment available to veterinarians during the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, thermography was the most requested diagnostic tool because it was fast, non-invasive and extremely accurate.

Equine thermal imaging uses an infrared thermal camera capable of identifying temperature variances of the horses body down to .8°C.

This technique is used to identify inflamed areas such as the joints, tendons, ligaments and back. It is very helpful to identify lameness, imbalances of the hoof and is an effective tool in pre-purchase examinations.

Tendon Damage

Most lame horses do not have just one problem associated with the lameness. The horse may give to the right but the actual cause may be associated with stress from an injury at another location. Veterinary evaluations can diagnose and treat the lame digit, however the primary cause of lameness may go undetected.

According to Tracy Turner,  DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS,  “Tendons and joints will show  inflammatory changes as much as two weeks before clinical lameness is apparent.”

Dr. Turner is renowned for his use of thermal imaging in equestrian diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment Follow-up: treatment of the horses condition is considered successful when the horse no longer shows visual signs of lameness. Thermal imaging can monitor the progress of the healing process which may exist weeks after the horse no longer shows signs of lameness. Prematurely returning to training or use may aggravate the healing process.

Fatal Tumor

Purchase Exams: thermal imaging will detect inflammation that may not present itself through clinical signs. The current owner may not yet be aware of the horses condition. Drugs that may be administered to mask adverse symptoms cannot mask the condition from the thermal imager.

Hoof Balance: an unbalanced hoof is obvious to the thermal imaging camera. Areas of the hoof that strike the ground become very warm compared to the remainder of the shoe. This also can identify where a horse may compensate for pain by rotating or improperly placing the hoof to alleviate the discomfort.

Hoof wall separation

Saddle Fit: many leg and back problems in the horse can be attributed to improperly fit saddles or imbalanced riders!

It's not all about hot-spots!

One of the most effective uses of thermography according to Dr. Turner, is in the assessment of muscle injuries. "It locates the area of  inflammation associated with a  muscle or muscle group," he  said. "It shows atrophy before  it becomes apparent  clinically. Atrophy is seen as  an area of consistent decrease  in circulation when compared  to the opposite side."

Also nerve injury due to trauma or disease affects blood flow and may show up "cold" in comparison.

I am not a veterinarian, I'm an Infrared Thermal Imaging Thermographer. When you go to the doctor and you have an x-ray taken, it must be further evaluated by a doctor of radiology. Our services are intended to be used in conjunction with your Veterinarian or Farrier provider.

Infrared Thermography should not be used in place of other veterinarian diagnostic techniques. It is intended to enhance the evaluation of existing conditions and to identify what may be making your horse feel off when other clinical techniques are not effective until the horse becomes substantially lame.

Feel free to contact me for further information on our services and pricing. There are so many possible applications, we cannot list them all. The cost of our services also differ greatly between applications and circumstances. Most initial diagnostic surveys begin at about the cost of your horse being shod.