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Comparison of three methods of temperature measurement in hypothermic, euthermic, and hyperthermic dogs

Rebecca J. Greer DVM1, Leah A. Cohn DVM, PHD, DACVIM2, John R. Dodam DVM, PHD, DACVA3, Colette C. Wagner-Mann DVM, PHD4, and F. A. Mann DVM, MS, DACVS, DAVECC5
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
  • | 4 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
  • | 5 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.

Abstract

Objective—To assess the reliability and accuracy of a predictive rectal thermometer, an infrared auricular thermometer designed for veterinary use, and a subcutaneous temperature-sensing microchip for measurement of core body temperature over various temperature conditions in dogs.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—8 purpose-bred dogs.

Procedures—A minimum of 7 days prior to study commencement, a subcutaneous temperature-sensing microchip was implanted in 1 of 3 locations (interscapular, lateral aspect of shoulder, or sacral region) in each dog. For comparison with temperatures measured via rectal thermometer, infrared auricular thermometer, and microchip, core body temperature was measured via a thermistor-tipped pulmonary artery (TTPA) catheter. Hypothermia was induced during anesthesia at the time of TTPA catheter placement; on 3 occasions after placement of the catheter, hyperthermia was induced via administration of a low dose of endotoxin. Near-simultaneous duplicate temperature measurements were recorded from the TTPA catheter, the rectal thermometer, auricular thermometer, and subcutaneous microchips during hypothermia, euthermia, and hyperthermia. Reliability (variability) of temperature measurement for each device and agreement between each device measurement and core body temperature were assessed.

Results—Variability between duplicate near-simultaneous temperature measurements was greatest for the auricular thermometer and least for the TTPA catheter. Measurements obtained by use of the rectal thermometer were in closest agreement with core body temperature; for all other devices, temperature readings typically underestimated core body temperature.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Among the 3 methods of temperature measurement, rectal thermometry provided the most accurate estimation of core body temperature in dogs.

Contributor Notes

Supported by Schering-Plough Animal Health Corporation.

The authors thank Drs. Emily Southward, Michael Karagiannis, and Efrat Kelmer for technical assistance and Dr. Richard Madsen for statistical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Cohn.