those thermography cameras are not nearly as helpful as we like to think, so you probably aren’t missing much.
My personal favorite was using it on a horse with a mystery lameness (conveniently after stalls were paid for in FL for the winter). Day 1 was a 3 legged lame horse who fell over if you touched his slightly but not too swollen ankle, x-ray was clean, but swelling can “hide” condyler fractures so that wasn’t a real comfort. We did stall rest, abx and nsaids. About 5 days later we did an ultrasound, but before that one of the vets wanted to try the new toy (thermographic camera) to see what lit up so we would know where to ultrasound. Sounds like a good idea right?
You know what lit up? The whole damn leg. Like a christmas tree. In fact the thing that was the problem was the least lit up thing on that leg LOL (he had a splinter floating between the collateral ligament and sesamoid joint that had probably traveled down from higher on the leg, so off to UGA to remove that little adorable winter show killing piece of wood… anything to get out of the 2nd years apparently).
Since then I’ve learned they really aren’t that useful as a dx tool so if it makes you feel better the chances are high you wouldn’t see or learn anything particularly useful.
Just out of curiosity, have you tried icing plus a different leg protection? Is it possibly the icing? The analgesic effect of icing is fairly significant… (Not to mess with you, but that is another time honored treatment that is now being called into question!)
But I totally feel you on the "I’m not sure why it is working but I’m not messing with it no matter what)