I scanned a horse Friday with a case of the strangles which can be a fatel equine disease that restricts the air passage thus the name strangles. I was playing with the camera on auto setting and manual adjust. This infections is known to create high temps in the swollen areas of the Jaw and throat but I was unable to detect abnormal temps with a 320 X 240 camera. The normal body temp of a horse is 101 degrees taken within the rectum. There is a specific reason for a lower scan temp anyone care to voice an opinion.

  1. Get out the clippers.
  2. 101 is a core temp. Turn the camera on yourself, not 98.6F.

I would think Strangles should show up though. Depends how bad it is I guess.
High temp is a result not a cause.

I think short wave IR is better for this. (Time for another camera!) :wink:

Now you are thinking like a thermagrapher not a hvac guy good call. In the pic you can see the light blue hue from the long winter hair on the jaw. The owner is going to clip all of the hair on the jaw and throat this next week and I am going to re-scan.

Was talking to the vet Friday while scanning this horse and he told me something interesting. We have a very large equine complex near OKC call the Lazy E arena and it is where the big boys hold horse sales for the high dollar horses. The vet stated someone has been scanning the legs and feet of the horses at this sale for the buyers. He also stated that the race tracks were also using this service. Just thought you might like to know.

One of our instructors in IR told us about someone he knew that bet on the horse with the least amount of heat/inflamation in the joints and had an 85% win rate. He bet after scanning the horses. I looked around for a grain of salt but it was interesting nonetheless.

Hey David,

Why do you think short wave would be better suited for this application?

Just curious.


Remember, you are only detecting surface temperature. the subcutanious tissue will block much of the internal heat.

I had a call the other day from a guy that is starting a race track and wants me to take some images for horses for him. I do not know if my camera will work (EX 320 320X240) so am going to do a free call. His concern is legs and damage to them.

My question to you is do you think that my camera will work?

If somebody has any other tips or tricks for horses please pass them along. This is just another application for IR.


Get a good book on hourse anatomy and check these out:

Hope this helps;

Your camera will work just fine, but you do have to have knowledge of the object you are imaging. That’s pretty much the way it is with any IR application.

Both a SW (2-5.6 microns) and a LW (8-12 microns) camera will work in this application. However, not sure why anyone would go out and invest in a SW camera just to conduct these type IR scans. SW cameras are no longer manufactured and are expensive. You can get a pretty good “refurbished” SW camera from FLIR for about 20K, but you will have to spend another 2-5k per year for maintenance.

As a side note, SW cameras are really good for IR roof surveys, process applications (looking through flames), and building envelope applications where you are scanning windows.


Thanks for the info.

I told my guy upfront that I know nothing about how to properly diagnose the images of the horses. It is clear that either himself or a vet will be on hand to diagnose the images.


Not much tissue on the jaw of a horse unlike a shoulder or hip in the stifle area. Will be curious what the turnout is with the hair removed. Legs, knees and below along with sinus cavity’s are the easiest to scan. More horses have bone problems in the knees and below than any other area and a horse without good legs and feet are like a car with no wheels. Since becoming the owner of a infrared camera and having a high interest in horses I would never purchase any kind of horse without the legs being scanned.

My heel has no meat on it and it was glowing like a flashlight! Not much hair thought! :slight_smile:

Kevin, I have read several papers on this and the instructor Larry was talking about said the guy was using sw IR.

Lawrence, try to get two legs in the scan so you have a comparison. Also horses get lame in one leg because of damage in the other.

Here in California we are only photographers when it comes to horses. It is considered practicing medicine if one tries to interpret the images. One has to have a medical license to do that. Kinda like an x-ray technician cannot interpret images!!


Thanks, Chuck. This is true, not only in California, but throughout the country. If you interpret an image without being a medical professional, you leave yourself open to prosecution for practicing medicine without a license.

There are courses and processes for thermographers to become certified to take images that medical professionals can then interpret. I watched medical imaging “take it on the chin” in the '80s because we did not follow protocol; I’d hate for the same thing to happen to equine thermography. A great deal is being published, from which we can all learn, about the current use of thermography in both animal and human medicine.

Guys I don’t think anyone here on this board is practicing medicine just a group of guys talking. I thought that was what this BB is about. Did you not read above where I stated I was with a vet at the time I was scanning these pics.

That very well maybe true, but it does not mean that SW is better suited for equine thermography. As stated in my previous post, both SW and LW will work well in this application.


Yes it will, I don’t have SW so I can’t say for sure. I have just read articals that said and my itc instructor said so.
Just passing it on, not making a point or reference.


I did not mean to offend anyone but am quite sensitive to posts like these that then get a life of their own and pretty soon folks get carried away. It happens frequently and so, when the opportunity is there, I think it is worth a reminder to ere on the side of caution.

I know a number of vets who either use thermography themselves or hire qualified thermographers to take the images and the results can be amazing.

No offense taken I have pretty thick skin. I have lived under licensed requirements most of my adult life in one form or another and do not step over the limits of a license or into someone else’s license. I am of the opinion that we should be able to simply show different images and discuss them openly. This thread was generated for that purpose but a lot of the guys have become gun shy about posting images.

Hey David went back by where the horse was being treated and they had the jaw hair trimmed down so I re-scanned, big difference can see how far the inflamation has traveled