Preparing the Horse and Imaging Area
As Equine Thermography works by detecting subtle temperature differences, images can be affected by environmental artefacts. It is therefore important that the following guidelines on preparing your horse and the imaging environment are followed to get the most accurate images for interpretation.
Preparing the Horse
24 hours prior to the scan:
· Do not pull the mane or tail
· Do not clip your horse
· Do not apply any topical lotions or liniments, unless under veterinary guidance. This includes grooming products and fly spray – these can block heat emitted from the horse
2 hours prior to the scan:
· Stable your horse out of direct sunlight, unless this causes them to become stressed and agitated. Weaving, kicking the door and box-walking will increase body or limb temperature and make images misleading. If this is the case, the horse should remain out until the time of the scan.
· Ensure your horse is clean and well groomed, free from mud, shavings and stable stains – these can block heat emitted from your horse. However, please refrain from brushing your horse for 1 hour prior to the scan – vigorous grooming will increase circulation and make the horse appear abnormally hot.
· Ensure your horse is completely dry – water blocks heat emitted and influences images taken.
· Remove all rugs, bandages, boots etc 2 hours prior to the scan. If this is not possible, try to reduce rugs to a single lightweight rug and fasten surcingles loosely.
· Do not exercise your horse. Exercise will increase circulation and can cause the horse to sweat, both of which will influence the thermal images.
· Bunch the mane up off the neck 30 minutes prior to the scan. The tail can be plaited or bandaged.
The Imaging Environment
The viewing area for taking thermal images should have a flat surface of hard standing and be large enough to move around the horse safely. It must be out of direct sunlight and free from draughts. Appropriate areas can include an indoor school, a large stable free from bedding or a covered barn. A handler must be available to position the horse for imaging.