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Thermal Imaging in Canine Osteopathy

Dogs can be masters of disguising their pain, and it is the job of a Canine Osteopath to diagnose and treat areas of somatic dysfunction, restoring balance and wellness within the dog’s body. Thermal imaging can be a useful tool in analysing the body’s heat radiation; it helps us better understand where thermal abnormalities and asymmetries exist.

What is Canine Osteopathy?

Canine osteopathy is a field of therapeutic treatment for dogs that focuses on the whole being. Since the body is a series of interconnected systems, when one area of the body is compromised, other areas will need to compensate. By treating the whole patient, osteopathy for dogs is designed to improve the functioning of the whole body, helping to alleviate dysfunction from primary issues and secondary compensatory strain.

Fundamental to osteopathy is the concept of restoring natural fluid flow within the body by promoting optimal structural alignment and motion for the muscular-skeletal system. However, in recognising the interconnected of the body, animal osteopathy considers the body in five systems: biomechanical, neurological, respiratory - circulatory, metabolic - energetic, and biopsychosocial systems.

Since all these systems impact how fluid flows around the body and how heat is generated, there is a clear link between osteopathy and thermal expression. This connection is explored in depth in the thesis by Tori Acres, titled "An Analysis of Biofluids & Heat Transfer Mechanisms within the Canine Body to Determine the Usefulness of Thermal Imaging in Canine Osteopathy" which can be accessed through the link at the bottom of the page.

Learn more about Canine Osteopathy.

What is Thermal Imaging?

Thermal imaging uses a special camera to detect the thermal radiation emitted or reflected from a body. This thermal radiation is essentially invisible light energy as it falls within the infrared band of light, which we cannot see.

Since the living body is continuously generating and moving heat around and out into the environment, we can strategically use thermal imaging to analyse areas of the body for thermal abnormalities or asymmetries. This powerful tool helps us to visualise information that we otherwise couldn't see.

Although anyone can pick up a thermal camera and take images; understanding and analysing the images is a more specialised skill. You can learn more about our thermal imaging services at Canine Body Balance.

Applying Thermal Imaging to Canine Osteopathy

Thermal imaging can be incredibly useful within animal osteopathic practices because we are looking for areas of somatic dysfunction defined as having two symptoms: Tenderness, Asymmetry, Restriction of Motion, and Tissue texture changes.

There are, of course, limitations to the use of thermal imaging, and it does not offer a medical diagnosis. However, the images are often used to help guide further treatment or diagnostic analysis within the veterinarian medical field.

Your Canine osteopath should be able to work with your dog's health and wellness team to provide useful information that improves your dog's quality of life.

View a copy of the thesis by Tori Acres: "An Analysis of Biofluids & Heat Transfer Mechanisms within the Canine Body to Determine the Usefulness of Thermal Imaging in Canine Osteopathy"

NB: the author retains copywrite ownership of the material, which can only be reproduced with permission

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