Infrared Thermography as an Adjunct Tool for the Diagnosis of Fracture in a Racing Buffalo Bull: A Case Report
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Introduction: Lameness is a severe clinical issue in racing animals, which can severely affect their health. Therefore, identifying the cause of the lameness is a crucial step in its diagnosis. Animals with subclinical etiologies are difficult to be identified in field conditions. Infrared thermal imaging is an advanced diagnostic tool for locating the injury site. Although sports injuries are regular in buffalo bulls used for traditional racing in villages, fracture diagnosis is challenging when regular clinical examination, lameness evaluation, and palpation of suspected areas fail to detect a sign. Hence, infrared red thermography can accurately localize the lameness region and locate the radiography area. Timely intervention with this technological tool can prevent further aggravation of the condition and relieve pain in the animal.
Case report: A 5-year-old buffalo bull was presented to the Teaching Veterinary Clinical Complex at Mannuthy, Thrissur, Kerala, India, on September 2021, with intermittent lameness exhibited in the right forelimb. However, the animal appeared healthy on detailed clinical, physiological, and hematological examinations. Using infrared thermal imaging, increased thermal activity was detected at the distal aspect of the right forearm region. The radiograph of the right forelimb revealed a hairline fracture in the distal part of the radius. The animal completely recovered after the treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and rest for three months.
Conclusion: Infrared thermography is a simple and non-invasive method to identify the diseased location based on its thermal activity. In the present study, the correct location of the fracture site was discovered using infrared thermography.
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