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Digital rectal or infrared thermometer in cats?
Infrared thermometers are frequently used in human medicine, especially in children. They would be much easier to use also in cats, but do the results correlate with the results of the digital rectal method? Unfortunately not!

The purpose of this study was to determine if the temperatures obtained using a veterinary infrared (IR) thermometer agreed with a digital rectal thermometer in a group of research cats, half of which had transient fevers.

The thermometers were weakly correlated (r=0.62).

The mean difference was 0.13°F (0.07°C), and the limits of agreement were 2.6°F (1.43°C) and -2.5°F (-1.36°C), which were unacceptable for clinical purposes.

The results of this study indicate that, while the IR thermometer was easy to use, it cannot be used interchangeably with the rectal thermometer.


Source: GA Kunkle, CF Nicklin, DL Sullivan-Tamboe (2004): Comparison of Body Temperature in Cats Using a Veterinary Infrared Thermometer and a Digital Rectal ThermometerIn: Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 40:42-46 (2004)







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