Although Thermal Imaging Cameras are primarily used in Fire as well as Search & Rescue applications, SOLO Ti have developed a camera specifically for "Equine" applications to detect through abnormal heat signatures from any injuries or underlying problems.
In equestrian sports such as horse racing, show jumping, eventing and dressage the horse is as much the athlete as the rider and as such is subject to huge strain and stresses which, under its normal pattern of movement, it would never experience. Therefore injuries are commonplace and unlike many other animals, horses can disguise their pain in order to mask any threat from predators, a trait stemming back through their evolution as flight animals.
To assist in detecting hidden ailments the use of Thermography or Thermal Imaging is a valuable tool, identifying an injury before the appearance of any obvious visible or physical signs, allowing for earlier detection of injuries than has previously been possible.
Thermal imaging can detect trauma and strain using a non-invasive technique that detects minute changes in the horse's thermal and neural condition. It allows quick, efficient identification of trauma caused by stress and strains in an injured animal by differences between normal thermal pattern and injury sites, very often undetectable to the touch or visible to the naked eye.
Even if an animal has no demonstrable or outwardly physical signs of injury, strain or stress, the thermal camera is still able to detect such issues.
One such case in the UK occurred when SOLO Ti was asked to scan a race horse for a prominent trainer. The only information the trainer could offer SOLO TI was quite simply, "The horse has stopped winning"! No outward or obvious signs of lameness, no identifiable injuries, no heat to the touch; just a horse that had lost its ability to win. It took just two minutes using the SOLO Ti S2 EQ camera for the operator to discover abnormal heat through the near fore fetlock and further trauma to the off shoulder. The trainer had no idea of these injuries and, following subsequent treatment & physiotherapy on the affected areas the horse has returned to its winning form.
The thermal camera can identify between ≤ 50 MK, meaning the difference between what the SOLO Ti S2 EQ identifies as hot or cold is finite offering the greatest chance of early diagnosis. A hot spot can indicate inflammation or increased blood flow, usually the result of swelling, nerve damage or scar tissue. Due to the 0.05°C readings, early detection and monitoring of laminitis has given the SOLO Ti S2 EQ a proven track record in the UK with vets, trainers and owners mindful as to feeding/turn out and exercise regimes for, in many cases, highly expensive competition horses. The SOLO Ti S2 EQ can detect what traditional techniques simply cannot. Whilst the camera is defined as 'thermal' and has 4 colour maps, the greatest area it covers is in looking for symmetry when scanning an animal. That is to say, the user does not just rely on the temperature indicator on the display but more so the differences between the corresponding anatomy of the animal.
The SOLO Ti S2 EQ was used at the London Olympics for both the three day event horses and the modern pentathlon.