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Screening of febrile cows using a small handheld infrared thermography device


Bleul, U; Hässig, Michael; Kluser, Fabienne (2021). Screening of febrile cows using a small handheld infrared thermography device. Tierärztliche Praxis. Ausgabe G, Grosstiere/Nutztiere, 49(01):12-20.

Abstract

Objective: As dairy herds increase in size, close monitoring of health becomes a necessity, but this is expensive and labour-intensive. Early detection of febrile diseases is essential for economical and welfare reasons and to prevent the spread of disease. The goal of this study was therefore to evaluate a mobile, non-invasive technique for measuring the body temperature of cows that precludes the need for restraint of the animals.
Materials and methods: An infrared thermographic imaging camera installed on a smart phone was used to measure the surface temperature of cows. In experiment 1, a metal block heated to defined temperatures was used to obtain infrared thermographic measurements (THM). The accuracy of THM made at different distances from the block and at 2 different ambient temperatures was determined. In experiment 2, non-febrile cows underwent infrared thermographic imaging, and the body regions with the highest correlations between thermographic and rectal temperature were identified. In experiment 3, THM were made in febrile and neighbouring non-febrile cows.
Results: In experiment 1, the thermographic and true temperatures of the block had the strongest relationships at 0.5 and 1.0 m (r = 0.98). The ambient temperature had a significant effect on the THM, which had larger variations and greater deviations from the block temperature at 14.8 °C than at 23.8 °C. In experiment 2, the maximum temperature at the eye (r = 0.37), THM at the muzzle (r = 0.28) and the medial canthus (r = 0.27) showed the strongest relationships with the rectal temperature. After correcting the THM with the mean difference between thermographic and rectal temperatures of the non-febrile cows, sensitivities of 88, 90 and 82 %, respectively, were calculated for THM at the muzzle, eye and medial canthus in febrile cows in experiment 3. The corresponding specificities were 6, 23 and 32 %.
Conclusion and clinical relevance: Based on the low specificities of the infrared THM, the thermographic imaging camera has limited usefulness for the mass screening of dairy cows for febrile conditions. Cattle falsely identified as febrile need to be separated, caught and re-examined, which causes unnecessary stress to the animal and increases labour input.

Abstract

Objective: As dairy herds increase in size, close monitoring of health becomes a necessity, but this is expensive and labour-intensive. Early detection of febrile diseases is essential for economical and welfare reasons and to prevent the spread of disease. The goal of this study was therefore to evaluate a mobile, non-invasive technique for measuring the body temperature of cows that precludes the need for restraint of the animals.
Materials and methods: An infrared thermographic imaging camera installed on a smart phone was used to measure the surface temperature of cows. In experiment 1, a metal block heated to defined temperatures was used to obtain infrared thermographic measurements (THM). The accuracy of THM made at different distances from the block and at 2 different ambient temperatures was determined. In experiment 2, non-febrile cows underwent infrared thermographic imaging, and the body regions with the highest correlations between thermographic and rectal temperature were identified. In experiment 3, THM were made in febrile and neighbouring non-febrile cows.
Results: In experiment 1, the thermographic and true temperatures of the block had the strongest relationships at 0.5 and 1.0 m (r = 0.98). The ambient temperature had a significant effect on the THM, which had larger variations and greater deviations from the block temperature at 14.8 °C than at 23.8 °C. In experiment 2, the maximum temperature at the eye (r = 0.37), THM at the muzzle (r = 0.28) and the medial canthus (r = 0.27) showed the strongest relationships with the rectal temperature. After correcting the THM with the mean difference between thermographic and rectal temperatures of the non-febrile cows, sensitivities of 88, 90 and 82 %, respectively, were calculated for THM at the muzzle, eye and medial canthus in febrile cows in experiment 3. The corresponding specificities were 6, 23 and 32 %.
Conclusion and clinical relevance: Based on the low specificities of the infrared THM, the thermographic imaging camera has limited usefulness for the mass screening of dairy cows for febrile conditions. Cattle falsely identified as febrile need to be separated, caught and re-examined, which causes unnecessary stress to the animal and increases labour input.

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Additional indexing

Other titles:Anwendung einer kleinen tragbaren Wärmebildkamera zum Screening auf Kühe mit Fieber
Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Farm Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Food Animals
Health Sciences > General Veterinary
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Veterinary, Food Animals
Language:German
Date:1 February 2021
Deposited On:27 Oct 2021 10:56
Last Modified:27 Jan 2024 02:41
Publisher:Georg Thieme Verlag
ISSN:1434-1220
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1055/a-1307-9993