Anderson, J., Kaplan-Stein, S., Adolph, S. et al. 2020. Assessment of non-contact infrared thermometer measurement sites in birds. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 23(2), 131-139.
The standard method of obtaining body temperature in a bird can be a stressful event, making routine evaluations challenging. Twenty-eight privately owned birds in good health were enrolled in the study to compare digital and infrared (IR) temperature readings. Digital thermometer readings in the cloaca were compared with two different IR thermometers, Ototemp (OT) and VetTemp (VT), used at the skin of the cloaca, breast, axillary area and tympanic membrane. The majority of the IR temperature readings were not significantly different from the cloacal digital reading. Additionally, the different IR thermometers read close to each other at individual reading sites. The IR measurements at the axilla (OT, mean = 40.35°C, SD = 1.24°C; VT, mean = 40.20°C, SD = 1.38°C) were most similar to the standard cloacal measurement (mean = 40.83°C, SD = 0.88°C). For veterinarians who currently avoid measuring cloacal body temperatures to prevent unnecessary stress on avian patients utilizing IR thermometers in the axillary region provide a less invasive and reasonable measurement of core body temperature in birds to allow for a more comprehensive assessment of health status.