Veterinary applications of infrared thermography (IRT)

AJVR coverAm J Vet Res. 2016 Jan;77(1):98-107. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.77.1.98.

Steven I. Rekant, DVM, MPH; Mark A. Lyons, DVM; Juan M. Pacheco, DVM, PhD; Jonathan Arzt, DVM, PhD; Luis L. Rodriguez, DVM, PhD
Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Greenport, NY 11944;. (Rekant, Lyons, Pacheco, Arzt, Rodriguez);
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Plum Island Animal Disease Center Research Participation Program, Oak Ridge, TN 37831. (Rekant, Lyons, Pacheco, Arzt, Rodriguez)


Abnormal body temperature is a major indicator of disease; infrared thermography (IRT) can assess changes in body surface temperature quickly and remotely. This technology can be applied to a myriad of diseases of various etiologies across a wide range of host species in veterinary medicine.

It is used to monitor the physiologic status of individual animals, such as measuring feed efficiency or diagnosing pregnancy. Infrared thermography has applications in the assessment of animal welfare, and has been used to detect soring in horses and monitor stress responses.

This review addresses the variety of uses for IRT in veterinary medicine, including disease detection, physiologic monitoring, welfare assessment, and potential future applications.

[PubMed – in process]

Dr. Lyons’ present address is Ohio Department of Agriculture, 8995 E Main St, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068.

Address correspondence to Dr. Rodriguez (


Full Text PDF (298 KB) PDF Plus (348 KB)