Preclinical Institute, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Latvia University of Agriculture, Jelgava, Latvia
Chinchilla lanigera is a rodent of South American origin, mostly being bred for fur or kept as a pet. Similarly as other rodents chinchillas are stressful and therefore difficult to examine. Thermography is a method of a detection of infrared light emission.
The aim of this study was to verify the use of thermography in the external temperature measurements and clinical assessment of a chinchilla.
A group of 20 clinically healthy 9–24 months old female chinchillas was formed. A thermal imaging camera Flir i3 was used to measure the perivaginal temperature at 10:00 a.m. and 18:00 p.m. every day for 42 days, as well as examine each animal from a distance for abnormalities. In total 153 thermograms were analysed.
The average perivaginal temperature of a chinchilla was found to be 34.3±0.85°C, the evening temperature being 0.7°C higher than in the mornings throughout all research. At one point during this study a trauma-based contusion of a foot and an ear shell (Figure 1), as well as a ringworm patch was shortly noted - at first with the thermal imaging camera and afterwards clinically confirmed by a certified veterinarian.
Thermography can be used for quick daily inspections and the external temperature measurements in perivaginal area, but not estrus detection. Chinchillas have daily temperature fluctuations, with temperature being 0.7°C higher during evenings. Furless regions can be easily detected and verified for their external temperature.