Thermography: a method for noninvasive examination

Thermal cameras are small and easy to use.

Thermal, or infrared, energy is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum that is invisible because its wavelength is too long to be detected by the human eye, instead, we perceive it as heat. Unlike visible light, everything with a temperature above absolute zero emits heat. Even very cold objects, such as ice cubes, emit infrared radiation.

The higher the temperature of an object, the greater the amount of infrared radiation it emits. A thermal camera can thus not only record an infrared image but also measure the surface temperature of an object. An on-board processor performs image enhancement and calculations to measure the temperature of the surface of the object. This method of creating an image of an object while at the same time measuring its temperature has a number of novel applications within veterinary science.

An important concept is the "color palette." A color palette is the set of colors that is used in a thermal image, with the specific colors varying with temperature. For example, a palette may display the coldest areas in blue and the hottest areas in white, with red and yellow in between.

One of the most important points when using your ThermaVet is to build up a base line of images, so that you can compare images taken over a period of time, rather than making a decision on just one image. The ThermaVet gives you the opportunity of using the camera regularly to build up a gallery of pictures, which then allows you to notice changes early.

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