In the equestrian sports thermal imaging cameras are often used to determine and locate injuries in performance horses, but a study at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the University of Helsinki shows that thermal imaging cameras are a good tool to find health issues in small animals as well. “The research is not yet complete, but my initial findings are very positive”, explains veterinarian and researcher Mari Vainionpää.
“Unlike humans animals cannot tell the doctor what they are feeling. This can make it very challenging for veterinarians to find clinical problems in animals.” In thermal imaging Vainionpää has found an exciting solution. “Thermal imaging cameras really are a great tool to find out whether an animal is in pain, for instance.”
But thermal cameras can do much more. “All organic activity generates heat”, continues Vainionpää. “If there are changes in the organic activity there are also changes in the amounts of heat that are emitted. These deviations in the heat pattern can be detected with a thermal imaging camera. In my experience a thermal imaging cameras can be used to reveal inflammations, bruises, tendon or muscle related injuries, superficial tumors, nerve damage, blood circulation issues.”