Infrared Methodologies for the Assessment of Skin Temperature Daily Rhythm in Two Domestic Mammalians

Abstract: To assess the accuracy of infrared methodologies for daily rhythm monitoring of skin temperature, five clinically healthy Italian Saddle gelding horses, and five not pregnant and not lactating Camosciata goats, were monitored every 4 hours over a 48 hour period.

The horses were housed in individual boxes, while the goats in two indoor pens, under natural photoperiod and natural environmental temperature. In each animal, skin temperature was recorded with the use of a digital infrared camera and a non-contact infrared thermometer, in five regions: neck, shoulder, ribs, flank and croup. Recorded values were compared with the well-established daily rhythm of rectal temperature. Rectal temperature was recorded at the same time by means of a digital thermometer.

In horses, a lower value of skin temperature was recorded using the infrared thermometer for the croup region compared to shoulder and flank; a lower value of skin temperature was recorded using thermography for the croup region compared to the shoulder. In goats, a lower value of skin temperature was recorded using the infrared thermometer for the croup region compared to the flank. In both species, higher values of rectal temperature were observed, compared to the temperature recorded at the skin regions using the other two methodologies.

Cosinor rhythmometry showed a daily rhythm of rectal and skin temperature recorded using both methodologies in all the examined regions. General linear model (GLM) showed statistically significant effect of breed on all rhythmic parameters; of day of monitoring on amplitude; of site of recording (rectal vs skin regions) on mesor, amplitude and acrophase; and no effect of methodologies used. The results of this study show the differences in rhythmicity of various body regions temperature and their differences in comparison with daily rhythm rectal temperature. The use of infrared methodologies was inaccurate in assessing body core temperature, but its use could be considered for the evaluation of inflammation in the different body sites.

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Reference: Claudia Giannetto, Francesca Arfuso, Elisabetta Giudice, Matteo Gianesella, Francesco Fazio, Michele Panzera, Giuseppe Piccione. (2020) J Therm Biol. Aug;92:102677

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