Blog

IS YOUR HORSE HOT OR NOT?

SATURDAY APRIL 12: EQUINE EQUILIBRIUM WILL BE CONDUCTING DIGITAL INFRARED SCANS AT ROCKING CHAIR RANCH IN HAMAKUA/WAIMEA 

Saddle Fit Scans: $50!

**Please note that Digital Infrared Thermography IS NOT a substitute for veterinary treatment or veterinary diagnostics. Please consult with your licensed veterinarian regarding the appropriate use of this tool. Equine Equilibrium LLC does not make diagnoses or provide treatments for disease.

Digital Infrared Thermography is a non-invasive, quick proactive step to ensuring the best health for your horse. Digital thermography can be extremely useful in detecting issues such as compromised saddle fit, and subtle issues in the body BEFORE they become a major headache!

Recently I did a thermography scan of a horse who had surgery on his right front pastern over 18 months ago. We did a scan before and after riding. You could detect both times that there was much less IR energy coming off the affected leg even though he shows no lameness—the owner was able to use this information to consult with her veterinarian and trainer about a rehabilitation program to help balance out the way the horse used his body.

Similarly, last summer there was another gelding with lameness in his left fore. Even after extensive blocking the vets couldn’t totally determine where it was coming from. I did a thermography scan and noted two things- he had increased IR signature below his left elbow, and there was a huge IR hot spot on his chest in a muscle that works to pull the shoulder forward (see image below). Sore, inflamed muscles wouldn’t necessarily show up on blocking test; likewise the owner then took the horse in for a more detailed bone scan and it turns out he had a fracture in the bone below the elbow- hence the increased IR signature. The IR thermography helped the owner make wise choices about how to spend her money on more diagnostics and thus led a “real” rehabilitation plan rather than just “laying off” for a short time.

 

As a final example, a few weeks ago I just did a much abbreviated thermography exam of a dressage mare who was having issues in her poll and TMJ. She had already had the TMJ injected, and the vet has discerned that she had old meniscal tears within the TM Joint. The current owner/trainer, who has owned her for a short time, has very sympathetic hands and rides beautifully, so the vet concurred this was all old stuff. Yet after treatment and time off there were still issues. I did a scan of the jaw and poll both before and after riding. What lit up like a Christmas tree on the scan were the hyoid structures UNDER the jaw—the basihyoid bone lies within the tongue and is connected through a series of small joints and bones into the TMJ and poll- but it is often overlooked and one leading veterinary researcher has been implicated this structure in TMJ, poll, and neck issues in over 70% of sporthorses in his practice.

WITH EACH THERMOGRAPHY SCAN YOU GET A FULL COLOR, DETAILED REPORT THAT IS EASILY SHARED WITH YOUR VET, FARRIER, OR SADDLE FITTER.