Infrared skin temperature measurements for monitoring health in pigs: A review

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Infrared temperature measurement equipment (IRTME) is gaining popularity as a diagnostic tool for evaluating human and animal health. It has the prospect of reducing subject stress and disease spread by being implemented as an automatic surveillance system and by a quick assessment of skin temperatures without need for restraint or contact. This review evaluates studies and applications where IRTME has been used on pigs. These include investigations of relationships between skin, ambient and body temperatures and applications for detecting fever, inflammation, lesions, ovulation, and stress as well as for meat quality assessment. The best skin locations for high correlation between skin temperature and rectal temperature are most likely thermal windows such as ear base, eye region and udder. However, this may change with age, stressors, and biological state changes, for example, farrowing. The studies performed on pigs using IRTME have presented somewhat discrepant results, which could be caused by inadequate equipment, varying knowledge about reliable equipment operation, and site-specific factors not included in the assessment. Future focus areas in the field of IRTME are suggested for further development of new application areas and increased diagnostic value in the porcine and animal setting in general.




Soerensen, D. D., & Pedersen, L. J. (2015, February 3). Infrared skin temperature measurements for monitoring health in pigs: A review. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica. BioMed Central Ltd.

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