Document Detail

Use of thermography to screen for subclinical bumblefoot in poultry.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19439627     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Thermographic imaging is a noninvasive diagnostic tool used to document the inflammatory process in many species and may be useful in the detection of subclinical bumblefoot and other inflammatory diseases. Bumblefoot is a chronic inflammation of the plantar metatarsal or digital pads of the foot (pododermatitis), or both. It is one of the major health problems in birds including chickens and is responsible for significant economic losses in commercial poultry operations. Early diagnosis of bumblefoot is essential for the prevention of economical loss and the improvement of animal well-being. The object of this study was to determine the suitability of thermography for the identification of subclinical bumblefoot in chickens. Experiment 1 was designed to validate thermography as a tool for screening avian populations for bumblefoot. The plantar surface of the feet of 150 randomly selected hens was imaged using a thermal camera. The thermal images were identified as suspect, positive, or negative for bumblefoot based on thermal patterns of the plantar surface. Visual inspection of the feet identified as suspect followed 14 d later. A visual score of clinical, mildly clinical, or negative for bumblefoot was assigned, based on gross pathological changes in the plantar surface. A correlation between initial thermal images identified as suspect for bumblefoot and a visual score of positive 14 d later was 83% (P < 0.01). In experiment 2, hens whose feet were free of lesions were inoculated in the metatarsal foot pad with Staphylococcus aureus. Thermal images and visual clinical scores were taken, prechallenge and 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 d postchallenge. The correlation between thermal images classified as clinical and a visual score of clinical for bumblefoot was 86.7% (P < 0.001). However, the correlation between the thermal images classified as mild (subclinical) and a visual score of mild was only 26.7%, suggesting that thermography is a more sensitive indicator of subclinical infection than visual appraisal. Thermography may thus provide a useful tool for screening avian populations for signs of bumblefoot, early in the course of the disease, which will improve recovery percentages and bird well-being.
C S Wilcox; J Patterson; H W Cheng
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Poultry science     Volume:  88     ISSN:  0032-5791     ISO Abbreviation:  Poult. Sci.     Publication Date:  2009 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-05-14     Completed Date:  2009-08-04     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401150     Medline TA:  Poult Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1176-80     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Animal Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Foot Diseases / diagnosis,  microbiology,  veterinary*
Poultry Diseases / diagnosis*,  microbiology
Random Allocation
Staphylococcal Skin Infections / diagnosis,  microbiology,  veterinary*
Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification*
Thermography / veterinary*

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