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Sensors 2015, 15(6), 14513-14525;

The Role of Infrared Thermography as a Non-Invasive Tool for the Detection of Lameness in Cattle

Clinic for Ruminants, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Bern 3001, Switzerland
Agriculture Forestry Centre, Department of AFNS, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P5, Canada
Livestock Technology Section, Institute for Agricultural Engineering, University of Bonn, Nussallee 5, Bonn D-53115, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M.N. Passaro
Received: 11 May 2015 / Revised: 11 June 2015 / Accepted: 12 June 2015 / Published: 18 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [801 KB, uploaded 18 June 2015]   |  


The use of infrared thermography for the identification of lameness in cattle has increased in recent years largely because of its non-invasive properties, ease of automation and continued cost reductions. Thermography can be used to identify and determine thermal abnormalities in animals by characterizing an increase or decrease in the surface temperature of their skin. The variation in superficial thermal patterns resulting from changes in blood flow in particular can be used to detect inflammation or injury associated with conditions such as foot lesions. Thermography has been used not only as a diagnostic tool, but also to evaluate routine farm management. Since 2000, 14 peer reviewed papers which discuss the assessment of thermography to identify and manage lameness in cattle have been published. There was a large difference in thermography performance in these reported studies. However, thermography was demonstrated to have utility for the detection of contralateral temperature difference and maximum foot temperature on areas of interest. Also apparent in these publications was that a controlled environment is an important issue that should be considered before image scanning. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermography; cattle; foot lesion; skin temperature; lameness thermography; cattle; foot lesion; skin temperature; lameness

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Alsaaod, M.; Schaefer, A.L.; Büscher, W.; Steiner, A. The Role of Infrared Thermography as a Non-Invasive Tool for the Detection of Lameness in Cattle. Sensors 2015, 15, 14513-14525.

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