Athletic horses often experience painful conditions of the musculoskeletal system, but their ability to compete can be prolonged using certain anesthetic agents. The present study investigated the ability of thermography to detect fetlock and middle carpal intrasynovial injections of bupivacaine hydrochloride in five mares. Saline injections were performed in the contralateral limbs. Thermographic evaluation was conducted at the dorsal and palmar aspects before (basal) and 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, and 1440 minutes after injection. The intrasynovial treatments resulted in increased limb temperature, with fetlock temperatures higher on the dorsal aspect at 15, 30, and 60 minutes and on the palmar aspect from 15 to 1440 minutes (P < .05) after the bupivacaine and saline injections. Increased carpal temperature was detected on the dorsal aspect at 60 and 90 minutes (P < .05). The present study demonstrates that thermography can be used to detect intrasynovial injections in horses.
Journal of Equine Veterinary Science