Digital Thermal Imaging can be a crucial and valuable “on the spot” visual tool in helping diagnose inflammation or lack of circulation and its exact location in the animal’s body. This imaging is a valuable tool used as an adjunct to other diagnostic procedures. Digital thermal images do not depict temperature but measure the radiant energy from the target tissue. These infrared cameras read and illuminate this energy and are both non-invasive and non-destructive as an aid to patient diagnosis and improved treatment plan for your pet.
The advantage of thermographic imaging compared to other commonly used diagnostic methods, such as ultrasonography, radiological examination and MRI, is that it is a non-invasive and safe method of detecting and visualising physiological changes that induce superfi cial temperature changes in animals It is a non-contact and non-radioactive method and does not require sedation of the animal. The method is based on the fact that physiological changes in the animal can lead to changes in blood fl ow and the following superficial temperature changes can be detected with thermographic imaging.
Research has shown that 80% of older cats could be suffering with bad backs, which they mask as an innate protective response. If your cat has become more lethargic, is spending more time asleep in their bed, or doesn’t enjoy being stroked as much as she used to, there could be an underlying back problem.
Back and joint problems in dogs can also be picked-up before they cause undue discomfort to your pet, and allowing early treatment which in most cases is quicker, more effective and cheaper. Thermography compares favourably to the cost of other diagnostic tests, for example X-rays ($100-$150 per plate) and MRI scans ($800-$1000), and the results correlate very well with those discovered through other diagnostic methods.
If you are feeding your pet herbal or homeopathic remedies for conditions such as arthritis, or they are under prescribed medication, the efficacy of these can also be monitored and shared with your Vet or Physiotherapist through the objective results of Infrared Imaging.
White cats are particularly susceptible to developing malignant growths, particularly on the ears and nose. Veterinary Thermal Imaging is effective in the early detection of cancer as the growth brings with it its own vasculature, and therefore increased blood flow. Skin lesions and conditions in dogs will also be picked up within the report.
In domesticated cats and dogs dental problems can be a problem. Looking inside the mouth with a thermal imaging camera can detect teeth which appear cooler. This is due to a decrease in blood flow as the pulp inside the tooth dies, or as the resulting pressure from an abscess builds and restricts flow, and can be an early indicator that intervention or an extraction may be necessary.
Rabbits aren’t exempt from musculo-skeletal problems either, with back and hind leg problems common, and treatable with physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment. A thermogram will help you monitor your rabbit’s health.