An investigation into the use of infrared thermography as a tool to assess the physiological stress response in the horse

Yarnell, K., 2011. An investigation into the use of infrared thermography as a tool to assess the physiological stress response in the horse. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.


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The experiments reported in this thesis investigated the use of temperature measurement using infrared thermography (IRT) as an objective, non-invasive method to identify the physiological stress response in the horse. The primary area of investigation was the eye area within the medial posterior palpebral border of the lower eyelid and the lacrimal caruncle as in existing work in other species. The application of these findings to horse management and welfare was discussed. Horses were exposed to potentially stressful situations that were acute (<20 seconds), short term (ten minutes) and long term or repetitive (one week) in duration. Temperature was measured using IRT in addition to measurement of salivary cortisol, faecal corticosterone and behavioural assessment, all of which are currently accepted measures of the stress response. IRT was shown to be an unsuitable method to assess acute stress in the horse due to the species specific behavioural response of flight. Rapid evasive movement of the horse meant that recording temperature using a thermal camera was difficult. A modified experimental design may have made it possible to capture the thermal response to acute stress however restraint of the horse would have been stressful in itself and confounded results.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Yarnell, K.
Date: 2011
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of Kelly Yarnell. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:35
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2015 09:35

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