Thermal Imaging

Thermography is a useful diagnostic tool. Our thermography camera takes a digital image, showing surface body temperature. It can be very useful to see if certain areas are abnormally warm or cold, particularly if the image is taken during or immediately after exercise. ‘Colder’ areas suggest that there is decreased blood flow in a particular region which may be circulatory or due to under-activation of the superficial muscles in that area. ‘Warmer’ regions show areas of increased blood flow, which may show inflammation or overuse. This tool is used adjunctively with gait assessment and in-depth palpatory examination. It helps us to fine-tune many of our programmes.

This is an image of a dog who had had knee surgery (to repair a ruptured cruciate ligament) on the left hind limb four months preceding the image. As shown on the scale at the side of the picture, white is the hottest and blue in is the coldest in the range. As you can see there is a considerable amount of heat radiating from the left stifle, consistent with inflammation.









It is interesting to compare the left stifle (above) to the right stifle (below) which has a more normal heat distribution.