Thermography and Veterinary Medicine

It is funny how often I do things like take pictures of hamsters in costumes…


or show pictures of my glowing cat…

…or do equally silly things, and friends will be reminded of Super Awesome Medical Information they have to share.

I know I am supposed to be the veterinary professional here, but I am going to let my friends (vets and non-vets alike) continue to provide the Super Awesome Medical Information, and keep doing what I do best – promote preventative care by being random and celebrating pets (and, of course, providing links to the Super Awesome Medical Information, like this article on dysplasia by Jana Rade).

I do put medical information out there, but usually more in a conversational, story-telling sort of way.  (This one time, my dog got arthritis and my cat got arthritis and they both had arthritis…) Writing the technical, detailed stuff and case studies and research and the like is not my strong suit.  I promise I keep up with it and understand it, and most importantly, know where to find the experts in the things I am not an expert in!

Still, I was a bit disappointed in myself that I did not know anything about thermography before Tom came to our house to assess it for heat loss and electrical problems.  In a roundabout way, we came to discuss the applications of his profession to mine.

At first (Sorry if you read this Tom, but it’s true) I was worried since I had not heard of it before, that thermography in veterinary medicine was probably not a valid science.  I am one of those veterinary nerds who reads every small animal article in JAVMA and every horse article that includes a great picture and every large animal article pertaining to herd health. (You would be surprised how many parallels there are between cattle and guinea pig medicine).  And I NEVER EVER miss the synopsis of the artist who created the cover art.

I suck those bimonthly journals dry, and every other one I can get my hands on.

However, as much as I love to read and love veterinary medicine, I cannot read every important thing about everything without some direction from you all.  So I was very grateful Tom pointed me to these articles about thermography in veterinary medicine…


My second impression, after researching and reading a bit, was this makes sense.  One of the five hallmarks of inflammation is heat.  Another is pain.  Pain (as every veterinarian and pediatrician knows) can be very difficult to localize without some direction from the patient.

Thermography, which detects heat differences, seems to be a very promising tool in the detection of inflammation.  If we can better localize pain, we can better manage it.

It is kind of new, it is kind of different.  The scientist in me is cautiously optimisitic.  The optimist in me is really excited.  The art lover in me is really, really hoping Mom and Dad send me the pictures Tom took of Ernie Dog so I can post them here.  The blogger in me promises that as I learn more about thermography and veterinary medicine, I will pass on what I learn to you.  I have learned so much from you, it is the least I can do!

If you have information on thermography as it pertains to medicine or otherwise, or would like to weigh in with your impressions of its potential applications in Real Life, I would love to hear!  And if you have Ham-Rabbit or glowing pet pictures…I am going to need those too.

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5 Responses to “Thermography and Veterinary Medicine”

  1. Jodi says:

    Max’s eyes freak me out a little bit in the thermography pictures… :)

  2. admin says:

    Me too!

  3. i saw that post with the hamster hands. haha!

    • Lara says:

      A thermal imgaing camera will most likely read whatever is in the background. For example, when you point a thermal imgaing camera at a window, you will see your reflection in the screen of the camera. Its just like looking into a mirror. I would imagine you would have the same result with the material you are using. If you want to give us the specific material you are using, we would be glad to investigate further for you! Thanks, Global Test Supply Team

  4. admin says:

    haha I know it was recent, but I just couldn’t resist putting the hamsters in again – they are so cute!

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