Ear Thermometer Troubleshooting

Causes of Low Readings

1) Dirty Probe Window

As this window acts like the lens of a camera, it must always be clean. Open the sensor arm and check to be sure the probe window is spotless. Even a fingerprint will make the thermometer read low. Clean DAILY with alcohol and a Q-Tip and dry with a new Q-Tip. Allow the thermometer to air dry for at least 5 minutes before using.

2) Probe tip is pointed in the wrong direction

The ear thermometer gives the temperature of what it is pointed towards; therefore, it must be pointed at the eardrum to get an accurate “core” body temperature. This is achieved by pointing in the direction of the angle of the animal’s opposite jaw.

3) Probe tip not inserted in the ear canal deep enough

If the probe is not inserted deep enough, the ear thermometer will give the temperature of the vertical ear canal. Because the vertical ear canal is under the influence of the ambient temperature, the ear thermometer will register a low reading. It must be inserted as deep as possible pointing down the horizontal canal at the eardrum.

Causes of High Readings

1) The Ear Thermometer is being used without a probe cover or with a broken probe cover

The ear thermometer is calibrated with a probe cover intact. If the cover is missing or broken, the thermometer will register a high reading.

2) The probe is being left in the ear for longer than 3 seconds

As the infrared sensor is extremely sensitive to conductive heat forces, it can be affected by the heat from the ear canal walls. Once you have properly inserted the Pet-Temp into the ear, quickly push the activation button and remove the thermometer as soon as you hear the beep. This process should take no more then 1 –2 seconds.

Lo and Hi can occur when the measured patient temperature is out of range: either too low or too high. The patient temperature range is 93.0° – 109.0° F (34.0° – 43.0° C ).

Error Messages

The ear thermometer automatically detects a variety of possible errors  to prevent displaying an incorrect temperature. The error messages that may appear on  a display are as follows:

Er1 is indicated when temperature of the ear thermometer is outside the specified operating ambient temperature range. The thermometer itself is either too cold or too warm for normal functioning. If the Er1 message is displayed, move the thermometer to an environment that is within the normal operating ambient temperature range (see Specifications) and wait until the Er1 message disappears. Depending on ambient conditions, this may take up to 15 minutes.

Lo and Hi can occur when the measured patient temperature is out of range: either too low or too high.

Er3 is indicated whenever temperature of infrared probe is not stable. Wait a few seconds until Er3 disappears before taking temperature.

Er4 indicated the inability of the ear thermometer to compute a correct temperature. The most probably causes are:

  • patient movement
  • incorrect placement of the probe in the ear or
  • removing the probe  from the ear canal before hearing the beep.

If you get Er4, wait until the READY sign appears on the display and retake the temperature.

ErO indicates an internal malfunction and is usually the result of physical damage to the instrument. The device will need to be sent to Advanced Monitors for repair.