Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

A comparison of the occurrence of common dental abnormalities in stabled and free-grazing horses

  • H. V. Masey O’Neill (a1), J. Keen (a1) and L. Dumbell (a1)

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gain evidence on the prevalence of dental abnormalities in stable-kept horses in comparison with free-living horses. It is expected that free-living horses that graze for as much as 16 h/day will have fewer dental abnormalities than stable-kept horses. In this study, the latter group was fed a diet that was based on a relatively high-energy, cereal-based feed. This was thought to be a representative of common practice in domesticated, stable-kept horses. Compound diets such as this have previously been shown to increase the frequency of chewing cycles and decrease mediolateral excursion. The occurrence of 10 named dental abnormalities present in the dentition of 60 Thoroughbred-type horses was recorded. Half of the population was at grass all year round in New South Wales, Australia. The remainder were stabled for 24 h/day in Gloucestershire, UK. All horses were between 5 and 15 years of age. The same, experienced, equine dental technician examined all horses using a full-mouth speculum and produced a routine dental chart. Stable-kept horses had a significantly higher total occurrence of abnormalities (P < 0.001) than free-living horses. The stable-kept group had a significantly higher prevalence of exaggerated transverse ridging across the occlusal surface of the cheek teeth, focal or ramped overgrowths of the cheek teeth and periodontal disease (P < 0.01 in all cases). All horses in both groups had some occurrence of sharp edges of the buccal and lingual edges of the cheek teeth. The results are in agreement with anecdotal evidence that a fibre-based, grazed diet results in fewer dental abnormalities. However, sharp edges may occur even with what is perceived as a ‘natural’ diet.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Arnold, GW 1984. Comparison of the time budgets and circadian patterns of maintenance activities in sheep, cattle and horses grouped together. Applied Animal Behavioural Science 13, 1930.
Baker, G 1979. Dental disease in horses. In Practice 1, 1926.
Carmalt, JL, Allen, AL 2006. Effect of rostrocaudal mobility of the mandible on feed digestibility and fecal particale size in horses. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 12751278.
Carmalt, JL, Allen, AL 2008. The relationship between cheek tooth occlusal morphology, apparent digestibility, and ingesta particle size reduction in horses. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 233, 452455.
Carmalt, JL, Townsend, HGG, Allen, AL 2003. Effect of dental floating on the rostrocaudal mobility of the mandible of horses. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 223, 666669.
Carmalt, JL, Carmalt, KR, Barber, SM 2006. The effect of occlusal equilibration on sport horse performance. Journal of Veterinary Dentistry 23, 226230.
Carmalt, JL, Townsend, HGG, Janzen, ED, Cymbaluk, NF 2004. Effect of dental floating on weight gain body condition score, feed digestibility and fecal particle size in pregnant mares. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 225, 18891893.
Cuddeford, D 2005. Feeding, management and equine dentistry. The Veterinary Record 156, 751.
Dixon, PM 2002. The gross, histological and ultrastructural anatomy of equine teeth and their relationship to disease. Proceedings of the American Association of Equine Practitioners 48, 421437.
Dixon, PM, Dacre, I 2005. A review of equine dental disorders. The Veterinary Journal 169, 165187.
Dixon, PM, Tremaine, WH, Pickles, K, Kuhns, L, Hawe, C, McCann, J, McGorum, BC, Railton, DI, Brammer, S 2000. Equine dental disease Part 3: a long term study of 400 cases: disorders of wear, traumatic damage and idiopathic fractures, tumours and miscellaneous disorders of the cheek teeth. Equine Veterinary Journal 32, 918.
Dixon, PM, Andrew, R, Brannon, H, Burgess, R, Gibson, A, Little, JC, Orange, B, Ross, L, Rudolph, T, Shaw, DJ 2004. Survey of the provision of prophylactic dental care for horses in Great Britain and Ireland between 1999 and 2002. Veterinary Record 155, 693.
Du Toit, N, Gallagher, J, Burden, FA, Dixon, PM 2008a. Post Mortem survey of dental disorders in 349 donkeys from an aged population (2005–2006). Part 1: Prevalence of specific dental disorders. Equine Veterinary Journal 40, 204208.
Du Toit, N, Burden, FA, Dixon, PM 2008b. Clinical dental findings in 203 working donkeys in Mexico. The Veterinary Journal 178, 380386.
Du Toit, N, Burden, FA, Dixon, PM 2009. Clinical dental examination of 357 donkeys in the UK. Part 1: Prevalence of dental disorders. Equine Veterinary Journal 41, 390394.
Evans, KE, McGreevy, PD 2006. Conformation of the Equine Skull: A Morphometric Study. Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia 35, 221227.
Floyd, MR 1991. The modified Triadan system; nomenclature for veterinary dentistry. Journal of Veterinary Dentistry 8, 1819.
Friker, J, Dias, DP, Zeiler, E 2006. Breeds-based differences in age determination in Thoroughbred, Arab, Trotter and Belgian Draft. Wiener Tierarztliche Monatsschrift 93, 218225.
Galloway, SS, Easley, J 2008. Establishing a scientific basis for equine clinical dentistry. The Veterinary Journal 178, 307310.
Kempson, SA, Davidson, MEB, Kacre, IT 2003. The effect of three types of rasps on the occlusal surface of equine cheek teeth: a scanning electron microscopic study. Journal of Veterinary Dentistry 20, 1927.
Lane, JG 1994. A review of dental disorders of the horse, their treatment and possible fresh approaches to management. Equine Veterinary Education 6, 1321.
Linkous, MB 2005. Performance Dentistry and Equilibration. Clinical Techniques in Equine Practice 4, 124134.
Lowder, MQ 1997. Who is teaching equine dentistry? The Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian 19, 624626.
Muylle, S, Simoens, P, Lauuwers, H 1999. Age-related morphometry of equine incisors. Journal of Veterinary Medecine 46, 633643.
Penzhorn, BL 1984. Dental abnormalities in free-ranging Cape Mountain Zebras (Equus zebra zebra). Journal of Wildlife Diseases 20, 161166.
Ralston, SL, Foster, DL, Divers, T, Hintz, HF 2001. Effects of dental correction on feed digestibility in horses. Equine Veterinary Journal 33, 390393.
Schumacher, J 2001. The present state of equine dentistry. Equine Veterinary Journal 33, 23.
Simhofer, H, Griss, R, Zetner, K 2008. The use of oral endoscopy for detection of cheek teeth abnormalities in 300 horses. The Veterinary Journal 178, 396404.
Tell, A, Egenvall, A, Lungstrom, T, Wattle, O 2008. The prevalence of oral ulceration in Swedish horses when ridden with bit and bridle and when unridden. The Veterinary Journal 178, 405410.
Tremaine, WH 2005. Dental endoscopy in the horse. Clinical Techniques in Equine Practice 4, 181187.
Wilson, GJ, Walsh, LG 2005. Temperature changes in dental pulp associated with use of power grinding equipment on equine teeth. Australian Veterinary Journal 83, 7577.

Keywords

A comparison of the occurrence of common dental abnormalities in stabled and free-grazing horses

  • H. V. Masey O’Neill (a1), J. Keen (a1) and L. Dumbell (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed