Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Willard, Scott

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Animal Physiology (Program)

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences


The objectives of this study were (1) to evaluate the use of digital infrared thermal imaging as a diagnostic tool for early detection of mastitis, (2) to test the usefulness of thermography in the quantative evaluation of mammary function in high and low milk producing cows and (3) to establish base-line measurements of thermographic patterns of the bovine claw. To investigate these objectives, three experiments were conducted to determine the link between thermal temperature gradients of the bovine mammary gland to level of milk production (high milk producers vs. low milk producers), early diagnosis of mastitis and lameness evaluation in dairy cattle. The first study investigated the relationship between level of milk production to udder conformation and thermal signatures of the udder gradients. The second study (case study) involved the use of DITI for diagnosis of mastitis in dairy cows under a heatstressed environment. Lastly, the third study was to establish base-line measurements in temperature gradients of regions of the bovine claw.