Objective: To evaluate the suitability of infrared thermography in assessing healing of surgically created wounds that are managed by primary closure or second intention in neonatal dairy calves during a 3-week period. Study design: Randomized clinical trial. Animals: Six Jersey bull calves. Methods: Two skin patches approximately 10 cm 2 were shaved on each hind limb of all calves. The dorsal patch was designated the wound creation site, and the ventral patch was the control. The wound creation sites were randomly assigned for either primary closure or healing by second intention. Wounds were created by using an 8-mm biopsy punch. Thermographic imaging was performed prior to wound creation and at 0 minutes; 15 minutes; 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 hours; and 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 14, and 21 days postwounding. Results: There were no differences in skin temperature changes observed between wounds that were managed by primary closure or second intention (P =.9934) at any time. Time after wound creation had an effect on the skin temperature (P <.0001), with skin temperature consistently warmer (P <.05) 2, 4, and 8 hours after creation of wounds compared with subsequent times. Conclusion: Infrared thermography was unable to detect differences in wound healing by primary closure or second intention in this model. Clinical significance: Thermographic monitoring to detect differences in wound healing was not evident in this model. This model might be useful in monitoring temporal changes during early wound repair.
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