Can Microchips Accurately Assess Equine Temperature?

Taking a horse’s temperature is helpful to identify early signs of sickness, but it can be time consuming and risky for a person to take the temperature of every horse on a farm every day. A new study shows that some microchips can aacurately measure body temperature, in addition to providing unique identification.

The study, completed by Drs. Juliette Auclair-Ronzauda, Stéphanie Benoista, Cédric Duboisa, Marie Frejavillea, Tristan Jousseta, Florence Jaffrézicb, Laurence Wimela and Pascale Chavatte-Palmer used microchip readers to assess the accuracy of temperature readings from chips implanted in 43 Anglo-Arabian foals over two years during winter months. The researchers also monitored the temperatures of the foals that were castrated in March.

The study began when the horses were between 4 and 6 months old and ran from December to February. The horses were housed on straw with access to outdoor paddocks. Their temperatures were also assed via rectal thermometer.

Over 100,000 readings were taken. The researchers found that time of day significantly affected body temperature; temperatures were lowest just before dawn. Males had slightly higher average temperatures than females.

The researchers concluded that using microchips to determine a horse’s temperature is non-invasive and requires no extra handling of the horses, allowing for a more accurate read of the horse’s body temperature.

Read more at Equine Science Update.

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