Thermographic diagnostics in equine back pain.
ABSTRACT Infrared thermographic imaging (ITI) is the most sensitive objective imaging currently available for the detection of back disease in horses. It is, however, only a physiological study primarily of vasomotor tone overlying other superficial tissue factors. Interpretation requires extreme care in imaging protocol and in understanding the significance of altered sympathetic nervous tone and the sympathetic distribution. Most discussions on back pain have centered on nociception and inflammatory events. ITI provides information and localization for more significant than diagnosing areas of hot spots. Chronic back pain usually involves vasoconstriction at the affected sites and from ITI studies in man, we have an opportunity to appreciate chronic pain phenomena that involves non-inflammatory events. These occur commonly in horses, but are still seldom recognized and treated.
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ABSTRACT: REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: Current literature suggests that thermographic imaging of horses should be performed in a draught-free room. However, studies on the effect of airflow on determined temperature have not been published. OBJECTIVES: To investigate effects of airflow on thermographically determined temperature of horses' forelimbs; to assess the relationship of wind velocity, rectal temperature, ambient temperature and humidity. METHODS: Thermographic images were obtained for the forelimbs of 6 horses in a draught-free room. Three replicates (R) with defined wind velocities (R1, 0.5-1.0 m/s; R2, 1.3-2.6 m/s; and R3, 3.0-4.0 m/s) were conducted. Each replicate consisted of a baseline image, a 15 min phase with the wind on and a 15 min phase with the wind off. We exposed only the right leg to airflow and determined the temperature by thermography with the wind on and wind off. Temperature differences between baseline and wind on, between wind on and wind off and between different wind velocities were analysed by a general linear model, Student's paired t test and ANOVA. RESULTS: After the onset of wind, the temperature on the right forelimb decreased within 1-3 min (by approximately 0.6°C at R1, 1.5°C at R2 and 2.1°C at R3). With the wind off, the temperature increased within 3 min (by approximately 1.2°C at R1, 1.7°C at R2 and 2.1°C at R3). With increasing wind velocity, the temperature differences between baseline and wind on and between wind on and wind off increased significantly. CONCLUSIONS: Barely noticeable wind velocities caused a decrease in thermographically determined temperatures of the forelimbs of the horse. Further research is required to assess the influence of airflow on other parts of the body and at different ambient temperatures, as well as the effect on horses with inflammatory lesions, especially of the distal limbs. POTENTIAL RELEVANCE: It is essential for practitioners to perform thermography on horses in a draught-free environment in order to avoid false-positive or -negative diagnoses.Equine Veterinary Journal 11/2012; · 2.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Infrared thermography (IRT) was used to assess surface temperature change as an indirect measure of muscle activity and exercise associated changes in blood flow in the working hind limb muscles of horses (n=7) undergoing water treadmill exercise. Three treatments were investigated including the treadmill ran dry (TD), water at the height of the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP) and water at the height of the carpus (CP). Maximum skin surface temperature was recorded from the region of the semitendinosus muscle during exercise at each water height. There was a significant difference in surface hind limb temperature between exercise on the water treadmill ran dry and with water at the height of the PIP and CP (p<0.0001) with hotter temperatures recorded during the TD treatment. There was a greater increase in surface temperature of the hind limbs from pre exercise to maximum temperature during the PIP and CP treatments when compared to the TD treatment, however, this was not significant (p=0.58). There was no significant difference in surface hind limb temperature found between exercise in water at the height of the PIP and water at the height of the CP. The findings from this study suggest that IRT is able to non-invasively detect muscle activity and associated changes in blood flow whilst horses are exercised on a water treadmill. IRT could potentially be used as an alternative method to assess muscle activity and temperature change in an aquatic environment where existing methods present methodological challenges.Journal of Thermal Biology 01/2014; · 1.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective-To determine the skin temperature of the metacarpus in horses associated with the use of bandages and tendon boots, compared with the bare limb, at rest and after 20 minutes of lunging. Animals-10 adult horses. Procedures-Skin temperature on the bare metacarpus of both forelimbs was measured at rest and after lunging. Subsequently, a bandage was applied to the left metacarpus and a tendon boot to the right metacarpus and skin temperature was measured at rest and after lunging. Skin temperature was measured with fixed sensors and thermographically. Results-Mean ± SD skin temperatures of the bare metacarpi were 14.1 ± 2.4°C (left) and 14.1 ± 3.4°C (right) at rest, and 14.4 ± 1.8°C (left) and 13.6 ± 2.6°C (right) after exercise. Skin temperatures under the bandage were 15.3 ± 1.6°C at rest and 24.8 ± 3.6°C after exercise. Skin temperatures under the tendon boot were 15.3 ± 2.6°C at rest and 20.6 ± 2.9°C after exercise. Skin temperatures under the bandage and tendon boot were significantly higher after exercise than at rest. Skin temperatures at rest were not significantly different with a bare limb, bandage, or tendon boot. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Skin temperature of the metacarpus in horses increased significantly during exercise but not at rest when a bandage or tendon boot was used. The authors speculate that both a bandage and a tendon boot accelerate the warmup phase of exercise. Further research should focus on the effects of warmup and maximum exercise on the temperature of other anatomic structures such as tendons.American Journal of Veterinary Research 04/2014; 75(4):375-9. · 1.35 Impact Factor