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Thermography Study Validates Efficacy of Ice Horse Cold Therapy Wraps

The thermographic imaging study was used to help determine product coverage, patterning and the long lasting temperature exchange/cooling effect of IceHorse® products.

Why Thermography

Diagnostic imaging modalities are divided into two basic camps: anatomic and physiologic. Thermal imaging is a physiologic imaging modality; meaning it detects changes in blood flow and metabolism. This means that instead of looking at anatomy, like radiograph (X-ray) and ultrasound images, we are looking at the surface of the skin and the heat and cold that is radiating off the skin. The thermography camera measures these temperatures and displays them in a rainbow palette. In radiographs and ultrasounds, we are looking at the anatomical structures of the horse – the bones, tendons & ligaments.

Thermography measures the metabolic and circulatory activity taking place in the horse. Short of inserting probes into a horse’s legs it is the best measure of effective and lasting cold therapy treatments.

The Protocol

Thermographic images were taken pre and post-exercise of the legs of a 6-year-old Quarter Horse. The pre-ride images were captured just prior to exercise and the post-ride images were taken immediately after 1 hour of moderate-hard work. Both pre-ride and post-ride images were taken with the boot removed and no water applied to the subjects legs.

Although extensive ranges of images were captured, for this study only images of the front legs were analyzed. Additionally, Not all images were used. Poor quality images and images with thermographic artifacts are not reliable and were discarded.


Straight from the stall
Subject’s legs prior to exercise

Lateral View: Right
Subject’s legs after 1 hour of exercise

Lateral View: Left
Subject’s legs after 1 hour of exercise

Rear View
Subject’s legs 1 hour post exercise

Lateral View: Right Leg
Right leg after 40 Minutes in IceHorse wrap. Left leg is the control leg – no ice boot or water applied.

Lateral View: Left
Right leg after 40 Minutes in IceHorse wrap. Shows excellent cooling of tendons at back and medial aspects of leg. Left (control) leg remains quite hot.

Rear View
Right leg after 40 minutes in IceHorse Wrap. Demonstrates excellent contact at area of tendons at back of limb. Left (control) leg remains quite hot.

Thermal Imaging 

Joanna L. Robson, DVM, Inspiritus Equine, Inc.

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