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SyncThermology Blog

My Personal Experience of Thermography - by Equine Vet Lucinda Ticehurst BSc BVMed Sci Hons BVM BVS MRCVS

Thursday, April 09, 2020  ‹ Back To Latest News List

As a vet, I have worked with SyncEquine – specialists in quality controlled veterinary physiological imaging, for a few years now and routinely get my point to point horses scanned pre and post season. 

A Surprise Find During Routine Monitoring

At one of these scans I presented my horse, West Cork Flash, with no clinical concerns. He was my schoolmaster pointer, consistently jumping very well. I was, therefore, surprised when he presented with a classic sacroiliac disease pattern and at the time did not investigate further due to his very good performance. 

The SyncThermology report stated: "There is significant sacroiliac inflammation present on dorsal views of the hindquarters at rest and post exercise. On caudal views of the hindquarters, there is bilateral linear hypothermia of the sciatic grooves, this is less apparent post exercise.

Thermal findings in the hindquarters are suggestive of pelvic dysfunction, potentially secondary to sacroiliac (SI) inflammation - sciatic groove hypothermia and possibly distal RH hypothermia are suspicious of a neuropathy which may be secondary to SI disease. Further clinical correlation is advised."

Fast forward 18 months and I retired him from racing due to age. Flash never let me down and I owed him everything. My friend wanted him to take to local shows and fun rides so he went to her.

Clinical Signs Becoming Apparent

Several months later he lost the muscle mass he had when in training for racing and had started doing a bit with her, however he was struggling in canter and threw in a few bucks! Hugely out of character! 

With minimal to see on physical exam and an orthopaedic work up I looked for further diagnostics. His clinical signs now fitted with the changes detected so early using thermography and I immediately medicated his sacroiliac. 

Back on Form

Since this he hasn’t missed a beat and is now happily back with me and doing a lot of side saddle, notably carrying me aside for 4 hours over some of the best Leicestershire hedges.

As a veterinary surgeon I have used SyncEquine on many cases to help identify:-
• neck, sacroiliac and spine conditions
• joint and bone conditions
• multi-limb lameness
• dental issues
• laminitis and foot conditions
• nerve dysfunction
• stifle pathology
• muscular, tendon and ligament issues.

I have also seen the benefit of rehabilitation and medication monitoring, baseline and preventative screening and pain assessment. As a horse owner I have experienced the benefits with Flash back to his very best.

This imaging modality provides many benefits with appropriate case selection, conducted under correct protocols and with specialist interpretation as part of a complete veterinary investigation.

It is minimally stressful to the horse, relatively inexpensive, safe, practical, non-invasive and can be very useful in localising, preventing through early identification, diagnosing and managing a wide range of conditions.

Lucinda is an Equine Vet at Averley Equine Veterinary Services covering Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire.