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Papers of the Week

2022 Mar 20

Animals (Basel)



Thermal and Circulatory Changes in Diverse Body Regions in Dogs and Cats Evaluated by Infrared Thermography.


Casas-Alvarado A, Martínez-Burnes J, Mora-Medina P, Hernández-Avalos I, Domínguez-Oliva A, Lezama-García K, Gómez-Prado J, Mota-Rojas D
Animals (Basel). 2022 Mar 20; 12(6).
PMID: 35327185.


Infrared thermography (IRT) has been proposed as a method for clinical research to detect local inflammatory processes, wounds, neoplasms, pain, and neuropathies. However, evidence of the effectiveness of the thermal windows used in dogs and cats is discrepant. This review aims to analyze and discuss the usefulness of IRT in diverse body regions in household animals (pets) related to recent scientific evidence on the use of the facial, body, and appendicular thermal windows. IRT is a diagnostic method that evaluates thermal and circulatory changes under different clinical conditions. For the face, structures such as the lacrimal caruncle, ocular area, and pinna are sensitive to assessments of stress degrees, but only the ocular window has been validated in felines. The usefulness of body and appendicular thermal windows has not been conclusively demonstrated because evidence indicates that biological and environmental factors may strongly influence thermal responses in those body regions. The above has led to proposals to evaluate specific muscles that receive high circulation, such as the and . The neck area, perivulvar, and perianal regions may also prove to be useful thermal windows, but their degree of statistical reliability must be established. In conclusion, IRT is a non-invasive technique that can be used to diagnose inflammatory and neoplastic conditions early. However, additional research is required to establish the sensitivity and specificity of these thermal windows and validate their clinical use in dogs and cats.