Recently I had two of my horses Thermal image scanned. I’am always open to new technology and being a reasonably priced service (£50 per horse) I couldn’t see the harm in trying it out.
The two horses I decided to have scanned where my paint mare and my mothers horse. To give you some background on each horse in brief:
Bubbles (My paint mare), had sustained a injury to her rib cage last October in 2016. She has been off work since as she had some fairly bad bruising to her left ribs along with tissue on the right hand side. It could of been a lot worse given the circumstances causing the injury. She has since been back and forth to Rossdales and our Local vets. 3-weeks prior had given me the “ok” to proceed with work. Although I’am not in a rush so I have decided to wait until she had the thermal imaging and will be visiting a specialist Herbal vet in the start of April. Once I have the all clear from her I will then commence work. Anyway so I thought a thermal image scan couldn’t hurt, an the geek in me wanted to explore this tech.
Here is her scan results. All pretty positive. Surprisingly she still has some pain in the base of her neck, although this will be muscle not bone as she has had various bone scans and xrays to confirm nothing in her whole entire body is broken! The most positive result being there was no heat at all on either side of her ribs, this indicates that there is no current injury as heat is caused by the body healing, flowing more blood to the injured area. No heat=no injury although heat in some parts of the body are perfectly normal which is why its important to have it done by a expert so not to frighten yourself! .
Now this is my Mothers horse. She is 9-years old. She has had constant issues with her sacroiliac joint causing pain hence being retired at such a young age. She also has what is referred to as “club” foot on the front. Now interesting that again the Thermal imaging picked up both these areas of pain. She has heat in both areas. Although not as bad as we thought it would be, given shes a horse at rest it still showed up some hot spots. It has been approx 3-years since she was last worked and the morning of the thermal imaging and day before she had been confined to the stable yard. So there was no way she hurt herself overnight. Her hinds which had previously had issues with suspensory ligament seemed to be well healed and not causing pain which would make sense as we haven’t seen any hind lameness for a while.
My conclusion of thermal imaging is that whilst it doesn’t change anything it does give a insight into current healing process of your horse, it can also determine uneven muscle development and give you a indication to the cause. And compared to the cost of a bone scan or even xray is very reasonable price. Although not a replacement for bone scans or xrays, its another technology which can help us understand whats going on in our horses bodies. Which can only be a good thing in my book.
Thermal imaging images supplied by Martin collishaw, Contact him on his website at http://www.equineinfrared.co.uk