Infrared Training Center

Monday, February 8, 2010

Equine Thermography - A tail of two horses' courses

I am often asked the question, "I am interested in equine thermography. Where can I get training?" We at the Infrared Training Center, do not offer an equine course. I used to recommend one training organization but now, I can recommend two. Which one you choose depends on what you want to do with your equine thermography practice. I will review the Vetel Diagnostics training and the new EquineIR training.

The Vetel training provides more detailed clinical discussion of case histories and diagnosis. The course is taught by several veterinarians, several of whom are well published. The course is accredited for CEUS toward receiving a thermology technician certification from the Academy of American Thermology. The course includes approximately one half to 3/4 of a day of hands on practice actually inspecting horses. Additionally, thermography applications for animals other than horses are often reviewed. If you are in the veterinary health field and want training on positioning, interpretation, and certification, this course is for you; especially if you have access to a qualified veterinarian for image interpretation. For more information visit Vetel Diagnostics.

The EquineIR course focuses more on the practical and business side of this field for equine "picture takers". This course covers thermography only as applied to horses. Primary emphasis is placed on understanding and practicing inspection protocols on live horses, the wet lab time occupies about 40% of the course time. There is more information on saddle fitting than is presented at the Vetel course. There is also substantial information and templates on how to produce a report, what to charge, and how to market your services at the local and national levels. If the horse owner/trainer wants a complete evaluation, this is available from a qualified veterinarian for an extra fee, through a website. For more information see EquineIR.

12 comments:

  1. Is there any feedback from the people that have taken a course from these companies? Is one preferred over the other?

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  2. on EquineIR.

    Here is feedback from October 2009 course: http://www.youtube.com/unitedinfrared#p/u/30/7PPoTJYVEJ8

    Here is some feedback from Jan 2010 course: http://vodpod.com/watch/2847683-equineir-maitland-emilie-vallee

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  3. I'm a little concerned that the EquineIR course is promoted through a marketing agency. It's great that they provide info on how to build you business but to have to pay $500 to join their marketing group BEFORE I can access training for thermal imagining is twisted. Am I missing something? The training looks excellent!

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    1. Seriously they are more a franchise, I went on the course and it was very poor. Great marketing poor content and totally deceptive. Vettel better but try Equitherm they are very good and no pressure to buy into anything just good solid training with structure, by the end of the week I was imaging, transferring images and reporting but Not diagnosing. I spent a week with them in the Uk, cost me more to travel but I know they are coming to the states next year and I have a very good business now and am confident with myself as a technician.

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  4. Lisa P,

    You are quite correct as the business model for the EquineIR course is very similar to a franchise.

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  5. I attended Vetel in 2012. Instruction it's geared torward veterinarians so as a tech the information is limited. They are missing the structure for new techs to operate successfully. They need better support for techs to go out and be successful. Conclusion: they are more valuable to you than you are to them.

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  6. As a practicing and thermaling veterinarian, I am familiar with both courses. Although I can understand the frustration of the technicians, they do need to realize that state veterinary practice acts state that only veterinarians can diagnose and prescribe. The EquineIR course treads very closely to encouraging non-medical folks to do just that (at least when I took it). While the Vetel course is a little more technical, I found it much more helpful in helping me actually use the thermal camera more appropriately (better and closer views - EquineIR almost seemed scared of the horses so images were less valuable from further away) on animals in a clinical setting. It also had a lot more information in helping me use my camera in other species besides horses (there were canine as well as exotic sessions) which EquineIR did not have. The techs that were attending in my session didn't seem to mind (and in fact commented how much they liked) the greater emphasis on medical diagnosis. It really encouraged a team approach between veterinarian and technician.

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  7. Hi I have done the Vettel diagnostics course and found it limiting and also slightly inconsistent. Although the trainers were good Dr Tracy Turner and Dr Jim Waldsmith were really good and helpful. It is geared towards vets and for anyone going on the course they have to have a very good knowledge of veterinary medicine to begin with. it was a great starting point and allows the thermographer to go elsewhere to train. I advise anyone to do 18 months of imagaing before they think they are qualified. VetTel is the best in the states.
    Ref Equine IR its taught by none equine people no vets involved and does not following protocols and standardisation. It's very much a marketing programme and sold on the promise it will offer thorough training but it was really hit and miss, I found it a total waste of money.
    I decided to go further a field and train with an English company called Equitherm Training. They are specific to Equine and Veterinary but do two courses one for vets and one for the technician. it was five days hard work and once I'd done the course there were no grey areas I learnt more on that five days than putting VetTel and equineIR together. I hear they are going to Canada in April and Florida in June, so worth a check out www.equithermtraining.com if anyone wants to properly train and thoroughly understand the application. Hope this helps people to choose.

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    1. I am currently looking at starting my own business doing this. Looking at the start up costs through equitherm I would like some more information on how much you can make/charge for these services? I would be getting the technician certificate but have no other equine degrees or certificates so I'm not a vet, farrier, or anything else...

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    2. From a survey I conducted in 2006, the average charge per patient is about $200 in the United States, $155 per hour.

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