How to train in Thermography for Horses
Courtesy: iRed Academy
We are frequently asked for advice on what training and qualifications are required to become an Animal or Equine Thermographer (in the UK). This page has been compiled with the help of the iRed Academy to answer some of the most common questions. If you have any further queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to help, or contact the iRed Academy for further advice.
What is Equine Thermography?
Equine Thermography, otherwise known as equine thermal imaging, is a non-invasive method of measuring heat emissions from the body. Using thermal imaging cameras on horses (or warm-blooded animals) allows for the discovery of abnormal thermal patterns, the identification of potential error sources and the assessment of training performance.
Equine thermal imaging reports can help provide guidance to qualified Veterinary Surgeons, indicating areas of concern and assisting with medical diagnosis and treatment.
Benefits of Equine Thermography
Once thermal images have been captured, trained equine thermal imaging technicians (thermographers) will be able to accurately measure heat emissions from a horse’s body, allowing them to identify problem areas such as:
- Nerve damage
- Bone injury
- Undiagnosed lameness
- Muscle damage
- Soft-tissue damage
- Tendon stress
- Incorrect saddle fit
Equine thermography is often a significantly cheaper alternative to conventional body scans, x-rays and MRI’s. In addition to this, veterinary professionals can use equine thermography as a non-contact tool for the static assessment of stall-bound horses. This is especially useful for conducting an indicative analysis on horses that are temperamental or not previously ridden.
Remember - It is an offence for any person, other than the owner of the animal, to treat an animal unless the permission of the vet in charge of the case or to whom the animal would be referred is sought and obtained. A Veterinary Surgeon is extremely unlikely to refer any customers to you unless you are trained by a reputable training centre.
Are qualifications needed?
Strictly speaking no. However, recognised qualifications are a great way to demonstrate knowledge and competence for those new to industry.
Those interested in equine thermography should however be wary of organisations offering ‘accredited’ training. In the UK, accredited training courses can only be delivered by organisations that have been accredited by UKAS, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. Currently, there are no UKAS accredited organisations offering equine thermography courses. However, many qualifications are still well-recognised within industry.
The iRed Academy is the UK’s largest provider of ISO certified thermal imaging courses. They have a range of industry experts teaching the practice of infrared thermography for a wide variety of applications including buildings, aerial and equine.
Their courses require no previous experience or equipment. Thermal imaging cameras are provided for the duration of the course, and a practical exercise including assessed equine scanning in a local stables is included within the course cost.
Their leading equine course, the Equine Thermography Category 1, is suitable for candidates with no prior veterinary or thermography experience as it is for practicing veterinarians, animal physiotherapists, laser therapists and other professionals in related fields. The course topics include:
- Principles of Infrared Thermography
- Equipment and Data Acquisition
- Setting up a Thermal Imaging Camera
- Thermal Image Processing
- Basic Reporting for Equine Scans
- Basic Equine Pattern Recognition
- Pre-scan, scan and post-scan procedures
As a training centre, iRed is approved by the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing, the UK Thermography Authority (UKTA) and the Awarding Body of the Built Environment. In addition to this, iRed works closely with the University of Portsmouth to pioneer new techniques and practices for industry. In operation since 2002, even before thermography had been accepted as a mainstream tool, iRed has always used the newest techniques, technologies and industry practices to deliver thermal solutions for a variety of applications throughout the UK and around the world.
Equine Thermography Courses
iRed equine thermography courses are taught by Elaine Hall, a certified thermographer and equine specialist. Elaine has trained globally with some of the world’s leading veterinary thermographers; and is an active member of the UKTA, Veterinary Thermal Imaging Society, American Academy of Thermology (AAT) and International Equine Thermography Association.
The courses themselves are the only equine thermal imaging courses to conform to AAT Veterinary Guidelines for Infrared Thermography, as well as ISO 18434 and ISO 18436 standards.
Successful completion of the iRed course would enable delegates to join the International Equine Thermography Association and the Veterinary Thermal Imaging Society (USA). Additionally you would be certified by the iRed Academy, which would enable you to receive discounts on the iRed range of thermal imaging cameras and thermal imaging camera calibration services.
Most insurance companies will offer Professional Indemnity insurance to thermal imaging professionals.
**Exclusive Taranet Discount for iRed Training**
Use the code ‘TARANET10’ to receive an exclusive 10% discount for the Equine Thermography Category 1 course, delivered by the iRed Academy. Visit https://ired.ac.uk
About The Author
This article was provided by the iRed Academy, the UK’s leading provider of infrared qualifications.
Useful Contact Links:
- American Academy of Thermology
- International Equine Thermography Association
- iRed Academy
- More about Veterinary Thermography with our Holistic Animal Care Knowledge Hub advice page here
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