The VetTrue System
Why is the temperature recorded under the tail?
The VetTrue system uses the same principle as an axillary (armpit) temperature measurement for humans. Just as an axillary temperature is an accurate indicator of a person’s body temperature, the temperature recorded under the tail is an accurate measurement of the horse’s body temperature. It measures the cutaneous temperature of the tail skin which is directly next to the large coccygeal artery.
How accurate is the VetTrue System compared to taking my horse’s temperature with a rectal thermometer?
The temperature recorded by the VetTrue System is approximately 0.5°C to 1.0°C lower than the rectal temperature of a horse. As these temperatures are so closely correlated the VetTrue system is an accurate way of monitoring your horse’s body temperature.
The VetTrue App
When I first activate a TailTab a ‘pyramid shape’ of temperature data between 20°C and 50°C appears on the temperature chart in the App. What is this?
This is quality control temperature data that shows the TailTab has been factory tested.
After attaching a TailTab how long does it take until accurate temperature readings are recorded?
Once attached, the TailTab takes 10 minutes to ‘warm up’. After this period accurate temperature readings will be seen on the temperature chart in the App.
What do the colours of the temperature chart and temperature bubble indicate?
GREEN indicates the horse has a normal temperature (< 38.6°C or 101.5°F).
RED indicates the horse has a fever (> 38.6°C or 101.5°F).
BLUE generally indicates environmental temperature and is seen when the TailTab is first activated or when it has been removed from the horse. These default thresholds are adjustable in settings.
In the App the ‘Last Temperature’ bubble is sometimes solid green and sometimes has a green border. What is the difference
A solid green bubble indicates a current temperature recorded within the past 10 minutes. When the temperature bubble only has a green border, it indicates an older temperature. It will update to a current temperature (solid green bubble) once a connection is established again with the TailTab.
How quickly does the App update when reconnected with the TailTab?
After connecting to the TailTab, the App will generally update within 10 seconds. A confirmed connection will be evident as the temperature bubble will turn a solid green colour and the temperature chart will update.
Can I view the temperature in Fahrenheit (°F)?
Yes. Tap on ‘Account’ in the toolbar and an option is available to change the ‘Temperature Unit’ from Celsius (°C) to Fahrenheit (°F).
Can I use the VetTrue App on my iPad?
Yes. The App works on iPhones, and iPads with an internet connection. Please ensure you have the current iOS version (13.x) to ensure compatibility
Can I use the VetTrue App on my Android device?
The Android version of the App is under development and will be released shortly.
Can I monitor more than one horse at a time?
The free version of the App allows a single horse to be monitored. Multiple horses can be monitored simultaneously using the paid subscription version of the App.
If the TailTab is not communicating with the App – what should I do?
The most common reason for this is that your Bluetooth has been disabled. Please ensure that your Bluetooth connection is enabled on your phone.
Do I need to clean the tail before attaching the TailTab?
Yes. TailTab longevity is heavily dependent upon careful skin preparation. Using the alcohol pad supplied, carefully clean the underside of the tail to remove dirt and debris. Before applying the TailTab wait 30 seconds to allow the alcohol to evaporate. Please note if the underside of the horse’s tail is heavily soiled you may need to wash with warm soapy water first, then dry the area, clean again with the alcohol swab, and allow 30 seconds for any excess to evaporate and then finally apply the TailTab.
Will the TailTab work with a tail bandage?
Yes. The key is to have the antenna sticking out through the bandage as you wrap the tail. Please note, if using a bandage don’t stick the sensor too far forward on the tail. Two inches caudal to the rectum is best as it allows the bandage to be applied over the sensor more easily. Please note the temperature readings will be very slightly lower when using a tail bandage. Also take extra care when removing the bandage, ensuring it is unwrapped and not pulled off, as this may dislodge the TailTab. Any type of bandage is suitable for use with a TailTab.
When a horse defaecates/urinates will the temp reading fluctuate as tail is raised for a short time?
The TailTab records the horse’s temperature every 5 minutes, ideally the horse is at rest with the tail down. On the rare occasion that the temperature recording is happening at the exact moment that the tail is raised then a very brief temperature drop may be evident when the data is uploaded.
If device is removed from a horse before battery life is exhausted, can it be re-used and how is it attached the second time?
The TailTab has been designed for single use purposes only.
How long will the TailTab remain attached to my horse?
The VetTrue System is designed for accurate short-term monitoring of a horse’s body temperature. Once properly applied, the TailTab is expected to remain in place for up to 5 days. However, in a stabled or hospitalised horse, the TailTab has remained attached for over 7 days.
Can I set my phone to message me if temperature rises above a certain limit?
This is something the tech team at Epona Biotech are working on currently
How close does my mobile device need to be to establish a Bluetooth connection with the TailTab on a horse?
In a normal stable, veterinary hospital, or transport environment a Bluetooth connection will easily be established within 20m of a horse, depending on any material obstructions and other radio frequency interference. Outdoors, Bluetooth connections have been established at line-of-sight distances of up to 150m.
Is the TailTab waterproof?
Yes. The TailTab is waterproof and will continue to work even when completely submerged such as when horses are swimming. It has also been tested on horses with profuse diarrhoea and functions normally.
Can I exercise my horse if it has a TailTab attached?
Yes. The TailTab will remain attached even when a horse is exercised. Please note that accurate temperature readings are only recorded when the horse is at rest and the tail is down. When a horse exercises the tail tends to rise, and a corresponding drop in temperature will be recorded.
I have turned the TailTab on by pressing the button on top three times. How do I know that it’s working?
When you press the button three times the LED will flash red three times to indicate that the TailTab is now active and transmitting a Bluetooth signal.
Can I turn the TailTab off?
The TailTab can be turned off by pressing the button three times. The red LED will light continuously for 3 seconds then turn off indicating that it has stopped transmitting. Please note that once activated, and attached to a horse, there will rarely be a reason to deactivate the TailTab as they are designed as single use devices.
How long does the battery in the TailTab last?
The TailTab contains a small lithium battery that will for up to 20 days.
Will the TailTab irritate the skin of my horse?
The TailTab adheres to the hairless underside of the tail with 3M Surgical Tape. This skin-friendly tape incorporates a hypoallergenic acrylic adhesive. Skin irritation following use is uncommon.
Is the TailTab comfortable for my horse to wear?
Yes. As the TailTab resembles a small sticking plaster most horses don’t sense its presence.
If a TailTab falls off, can I stick it back on my horse?
TailTabs are disposable and for biosecurity reasons are designed for single use only. In the highly unlikely event that a TailTab falls off, it should be replaced with another one. In most situations, TailTabs are expected to remain attached for up to 5 days.
Are TailTabs safe for users to place on a horse?
Placing a TailTab on a horse is a process similar to taking the rectal temperature of a horse, so similar safety precautions should be followed. Safety around horses, especially those you don’t know well, is always of importance.
In particular, never stand directly behind a horse when applying a TailTab, and if you suspect the temperament of a horse is not amenable to the placement of a TailTab you should not proceed. Please watch the video demonstrating the safe application of a TailTab
Can I use a TailTab on a foal?
The TailTab is designed to fit perfectly beneath the tail on large breeds of adult horses. Although a version designed specifically for foals and miniature horses is currently under development, if required the TailTab tape can be trimmed to fit a narrower tail.
How do I dispose of a TailTab once it’s removed from my horse?
As a TailTab contains a small lithium battery they must be disposed of in the correct manner. We recommend contacting your local recycling centre for advice on disposal of electronic waste.
If I drop a TailTab before I apply it will it be damaged?
TailTabs are very robust and it is highly unlikely that one would be damaged by dropping it before application.
Is there anything involved in the device that could contravene FEI regulations?
These have been extensively used on horses that have been drug tested by the Hong Kong Jockey Club and have never had a positive. In the end, these are just like a thermometer and there is no reason they can’t be used leading up to an event or after an event. It is highly unlikely that the adhesive would cause a positive on testing.