Assessment of body temperature in sows by two infrared thermography methods at various body surface locations

Mariana Schmidt; Karl-Heinz Lahrmann, Dr med vet habil; Christian Ammon, Dr agr; Werner Berg, Dr Ing; Peter Schön, Dr Ing; Gundula Hoffmann, Dr med vet

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Objectives: To investigate whether measurement of core body temperature by rectal thermometer can be replaced by infrared techniques and to determine whether it is possible to record changes in body temperature at eight anatomical sites in sows using an infrared camera (IRC) or an infrared thermometer (IRT).

Materials and methods: The study was conducted in a farrow-to-finish farm using 45 multiparous Large White × German Landrace sows of first to ninth parity. Sows were between 3 days ante partum and 7 days post partum. In Phase 1 of the study, body temperatures of 15 sows were measured by IRC and IRT at eight anatomical sites twice daily for 4 days. In Phase 2, body temperatures of 30 sows were measured once daily for 4 days at four of the previously selected sites. Infrared and rectal temperatures (RT) were measured simultaneously.

Results: The eye (areas near the medial and lateral canthus) and back of the ear (between the transition of the pinna and the dorsal margo of the M cutaneous colli) were promising locations in terms of practicability for IRC and IRT measurement of body temperature. Vulva and mammary gland generated acceptable results, but are less practical. The mean range of the difference between infrared and rectal thermometer temperatures was 4.21 for IRT and 6.67 for IRC.

Implication: Infrared techniques appear promising for continuous temperature monitoring where changes in temperature are more important than individual temperature values.

Keywords: infrared thermography, temperature, non-invasive

RIS citationCite as: Schmidt M, Lahrmann KH, Ammon C, et al. Assessment of body temperature in sows by two infrared thermography methods at various body surface locations. J Swine Health Prod 2013;21(4):203-209.

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