Infrared Thermography as an Adjunct Tool for the Diagnosis of Fracture in a Racing Buffalo Bull: A Case Report

Main Article Content

T Giggin
Deny Jennes
Anoop Sainulabdeen
KD John Martin


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.

Article Details

How to Cite
Giggin , T., Jennes, D., Sainulabdeen, A., & John Martin, K. (2023). Infrared Thermography as an Adjunct Tool for the Diagnosis of Fracture in a Racing Buffalo Bull: A Case Report . Journal of Veterinary Physiology and Pathology, 2(1), 1–4.
Case Report


urohit RC, and McCoy MD. Thermography in the diagnosis of inflammatory processes in the horse. Am J Vet Res. 1980; 41(8): 1167-74. Available at:

Selfe J, Hardaker N, Thewlis D, and Karki A. An accurate and reliable method of thermal data analysis in thermal imaging of the anterior knee for use in cryotherapy research. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2006; 87(12): 1630-35. DOI:

Grossbard BP, Loughin CA, Marino DJ, Marino LJ, Sackman J, Umbaugh SE, et al. Medical infrared imaging (thermography) of type I thoracolumbar disk disease in chondrodystrophic dogs. Vet Surg. 2014; 43(7): 869-876. DOI: 950X.2014.12239.x

Fernandez-Cuevas I, Marins JCB, Lastras JA, Carmona PMG, Cano SP, García-Concepción MÁ, et al. Classification of factors influencing the use of infrared thermography in humans: A review. Infrared Phys Technol. 2015; 71: 28-55. DOI:

Redaelli V, Tanzi B, Luzi F, Stefanello D, Proverbio D, Crosta L, and Di Giancamillo M. Use of thermographic imaging in clinical diagnosis of small animal: preliminary notes. Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2014; 50(2): 140-46. Available at:


Schrank M, Bonsembiante F, Fiore E, Bellini L, Zamboni C, Zappulli VEG, et al. Diagnostic approach to fibrocystic mastopathy in a goat: Termographic, ultrasonographic, and histological findings.

Large Anim Rev. 2017; 23(1): 33-37. Available at:

Alsaaod M, Syring C, Dietrich J, Doherr MG, Gujan T, and Steiner A. A field trial of infrared thermography as a non-invasive diagnostic tool for early detection of digital dermatitis in dairy cows. Vet J. 2014; 199(2): 281-285. DOI:

Renn N, Onyango J, and McCormick W. Digital infrared thermal imaging and manual lameness scoring as a means for lameness detection in cattle. Vet Clin Sci. 2014; 2: 16-23. Available at:

Schaefer AL, Cook N, Tessaro SV, Deregt D, Desroches G, Dubeski PL, et al. Early detection and prediction of infection using infrared thermography. Can J Anim Sci. 2004; 84(1): 73-80. DOI:

Archer S, Bell N, and Huxley J. Lameness in UK dairy cows: A review of the current status. In Practice. 2010; 32(10): 492-502. DOI:

Turner TA. Thermography as an aid to the clinical lameness evaluation. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 1991; 7(2): 311-338. DOI:

Sidhu PK, Gehring R, Mzyk DA, Marmulak T, Tell LA, Baynes RE, et al. Avoiding violative flunixin meglumine residues in cattle and swine. JAVMA. 2017; 250(2): 182- 189. DOI:

Eddy AL, Van Hoogmoed LM, and Snyder JR. The role of thermography in the management of equine lameness. Vet J. 2001; 162(3): 172-81. DOI:

Love TJ. Thermography as an indicator of blood perfusion.

Ann NY Acad Sci. 1980;335(1):429-37. DOI:

Rekant SI, Lyons MA, Pacheco JM, Arzt J, and Rodriguez LL. Veterinary applications of infrared thermography. Am J Vet Res. 2015; 77(1): 98-107. DOI:

Glehr M, Stibor A, Sadoghi P, Schuster C, Quehenberger F, Gruber G, et al. Thermal Imaging as a non- invasive diagnostic tool for anterior knee pain following implantation of artificial knee joints.

Int J Thermodyn. 2011; 14(2): 71-78. Available at:

Gaussorgues G, and Chomet S. Thermal emission by matter. In: Infrared thermography. 3rd ed. Dordrecht: Springer Science and Business Media; 1994. p. 11-60.

Sung J, Loughin C, Marino D, Leyva F, Dewey C, Umbaugh S, et al. Medical infrared thermal imaging of canine appendicular bone neoplasia. BMC Vet Res. 2019; 15: 430. Available at:

Orman A, and Endres MI. Use of thermal imaging for identification of foot lesions in dairy cattle. Acta Agric Scand Section A-Anim Sci. 2016; 66(1): 1-7. DOI:

Larkin M, Loughin C, Marino D, Dewey C, Umbaugh S, and Sackman J. Medical infrared thermal imaging of syringomyelia in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. BMC Vet Res. 2020; 16: 137. DOI:

Narayan E, Perakis A, and Meikle W. Using thermal imaging to monitor body temperature of koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) in a zoo setting. Animals. 2019;9(12):1094. DOI:

Casas-Alvarado A, Mota-Rojas D, Hernandez—Avalos I, Mora-Medina P, Olmos-Hernández A, Verduzco-Mendoza A, et al. Advances in infrared thermography: Surgical aspects, vascular changes, and pain monitoring in veterinary medicine. J Therm Biol. 2020; 92: 102664. DOI:

Mota-Rojas D, Olmos-Hernández A, Verduzco-Mendoza A, Lecona- Butrón H, Martínez-Burnes J, Mora-Medina P, et al. Infrared thermal imaging associated with pain in laboratory animals. Exp Anim. 2021; 70(1): 1-12. DOI:

Giggin T, Narayanan MK, and John Martin KD. Advancements in diagnostic imaging of elephant feet. In: Giggin T, Niyas E, and Sivakumar A, editors. Reviews of veterinary research-what next?. Morrisville, NC, USA: Lulu Publication; c2021. p. 152-176.