dental disorders

Owner awareness of the importance of equine dentistry and its role in preventing welfare problems

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Date presented: 
Thursday 5 October 2017
Abstract

Recent clinical and post-mortem studies have documented dental disease as a major but often unrecognized, disorder of equids, including horses and donkeys. A study to investigate the prevalence of oral and dental disorders was performed, in two endangered breeds of donkeys: the Mirandês Donkey and the Zamorano-Leonés Donkey, through a prospective cross-sectional study of 800 donkeys, divided in to 7 age groups (ranging 0–34 years).
Cheek teeth disorders were present in 82.8% of study donkeys, ranging from a prevalence of 29.6% in the <2.5 years old group to 100% in the >25 years old group. In addition 74% of donkeys suffered from incisor disorders, ranging from 56.8% in the youngest group to 90.3% in donkeys >25 years.
The study evaluated socio-economic data from individual owners (n=341), owning 86% of the study population (n=688 donkeys), including age, profession, level of education and previous knowledge of dentistry. Results highlighted their advanced age (65.3 years), and the extremely high percentage of owners without previous knowledge of donkey dentistry (97.1%) (331/341). Previous knowledge of dentistry was mentioned only by 2.9% of owners (10/341), mainly by owners with a higher level of education, with 80% (8/10) having 12 years of education or more. However, only two owners had provided previous treatment to their donkeys. It is important to mention that even these two owners had other animals without treatment, meaning that animals were treated when presenting with clinical signs of oral and dental disease and were not treated on a prophylactic basis.
This study highlights the importance of educational programmes focused on the prophylactic importance of donkey dentistry, especially when comparing prevalence of dental disorders in working donkeys and previous knowledge on dentistry.

Focal gingival hyperplasia in a donkey

Citation

J. B. Rodrigues, J. F. Requicha, F. San Roman, C. Viegas, A. Gama. March 2015. Focal gingival hyperplasia in a donkey. Journal of Veterinary Dentistry. 32:1. 54-55.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
1 March 2015
Volume: 
32
Issue: 
1
Page numbers: 
54-55
DOI number: 
https://doi.org/10.1177/089875641503200106
Abstract

An 18-year old jenny was observed with a right maxillary tumefaction, presenting weight loss, quidding, dysphagia and halitosis. An external and intra oral examinations were performed. Both exams revealed a complete blockage of motion in the right mandible, due to the presence of severe shear mouth. A pedunculated mass was observed in the right maxillary vestibular space. It was speculated that the mass resulted from food debris acting as a source of gingival irritation, as a consequence of the shear mouth.
Gingival hyperplasia is a common histological feature in equids, due to close contact between an abrasive diet and oral tissues. However, on a macroscopic level, pathological proliferation of the gingival tissue is uncommon and seldom reaches significant dimensions, but still should be considered differential diagnoses when examining an equid with pertinent clinical signs, mainly when severe dental disorders are diagnosed.
This clinical case seems to be the first describing the occurrence of gingival fibrous hyperplasia apparently as a direct consequence of shear mouth in a donkey.

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A clinical survey on the prevalence and types of cheek teeth disorders present in 400 Zamorano-Leonés and 400 Mirandês donkeys (Equus asinus)

Citation

J. B. Rodrigues, Padraic M. Dixon, E. Bastos, F. San Roman, C. Viegas. November 2013. A clinical survey on the prevalence and types of cheek teeth disorders present in 400 Zamorano-Leonés and 400 Mirandês donkeys (Equus asinus). Veterinary Record. 173:23. 581.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
4 November 2013
Journal: 
Veterinary Record
Volume: 
173
Issue: 
23
Page numbers: 
581
Abstract

Dental disease is now recognised as a major but often unrecognised disorder of equids, including horses and donkeys. However, very few large clinical studies have documented the prevalence and type of dental disease present in different equid populations and no dental studies have been reported in Zamorano-Leonés or Mirandês donkeys, two endangered donkey breeds. Clinical and detailed oral examinations were performed in 400 Mirandês and 400 Zamorano-Leonés donkeys in Portugal and Spain. It was found that just 4.5 per cent had ever received any previous dental care. Cheek teeth (CT) disorders were present in 82.8 per cent of these donkeys, ranging from a prevalence of 29.6 per cent in the <2.5-year-old group to 100 per cent in the >25-year-old group. These CT disorders included enamel overgrowths (73.1 per cent prevalence but with just 6.3 per cent having associated soft tissue injuries), focal overgrowths (37.3 per cent), periodontal disease (23.5 per cent) and diastemata (19.9 per cent). Peripheral caries was present in 5.9 per cent of cases, but inexplicably, infundibular caries was very rare (1.3 per cent prevalence); this may have been due to their almost fully foraged diet. The high prevalence of enamel overgrowths in these donkeys, most which never received concentrates, also raises questions about the aetiology of this disorder. This very high prevalence of CT disorders, especially in older donkeys, was of great welfare concern in some cases and emphasises the need for routine dental care in these cases on welfare grounds and in order to help preserve these unique breeds.

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Percutaneous approach for sialolith removal in a donkey

Citation

J. B. Rodrigues, S. Mora, E. Bastos, C. Viegas, F. San Roman. March 2013. Percutaneous approach for sialolith removal in a donkey. Journal of Veterinary Dentistry. 30:1. 32-35.

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Publication date: 
1 March 2013
Volume: 
30
Issue: 
1
Page numbers: 
32-35
Abstract

Salivary duct lithiasis is a condition characterized by the partial or total obstruction of a salivary gland or its excretory duct due to the formation of sialoliths. A 9-year-old female donkey, belonging to the unique and endangered indigenous breed of donkey in Portugal, was diagnosed with a sialolith in the rostral portion of the right parotid duct based on clinical, oral, dental, and radiographic examination results. Surgical removal of the sialolith was done through a percutaneous approach.

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A clinical survey evaluating the prevalence of incisor disorders in Zamorano-Leonés and Mirandês donkeys (Equus asinus)

Citation

J. B. Rodrigues, S. Araujo, F. Sanroman-Llorens, E. Bastos, F. San Roman, C. Viegas. September 2013. A clinical survey evaluating the prevalence of incisor disorders in Zamorano-Leonés and Mirandês donkeys (Equus asinus). Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. 33:9. 710-718.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
1 September 2013
Volume: 
33
Issue: 
9
Page numbers: 
710-718
Abstract

Recent clinical and post-mortem studies documented a high prevalence of dental disorders in donkeys, but less information appears to be available specifically about incisor disorders in donkeys. A study to investigate the prevalence of oral and dental disorders affecting incisor teeth was performed, in two endangered breeds of donkeys: the Mirandês Donkey and the Zamorano-Leonés Donkey, through a prospective cross-sectional study in 800 donkeys, divided in 7 age groups (ranging 0-34 years), in 86 villages inside their geographic area of distribution, thinking on welfare and genetic preservation issues. The 74% of donkeys suffer from incisors disorders, ranging from 56.8% in the youngest group to 90.3% in group 7. Craniofacial abnormalities (49.25%), abnormalities in the occlusal surface (21.63%), fractures (17%), periodontal disease (16.13%) and diastemata (14.38%) were the main disorders recorded. Incisors disorders are significant, presenting at a much higher prevalence when compared to other studies involving the incisor teeth of equids, affecting all ages but particularly in older animals. This study provide essential information in dentistry applied to donkeys but also highlighted the importance of regular dental care in endangered breeds, improving their welfare and preserving a unique genetic heritage.

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Nutrition and dental care of donkeys

Citation

Faith A. Burden, Nicole du Toit, Alexandra K. Thiemann. August 2013. Nutrition and dental care of donkeys. In Practice. 35. 405-410.

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Publication date: 
1 August 2013
Journal: 
In Practice
Volume: 
35
Page numbers: 
405-410
DOI number: 
doi:10.1136/inp.f4367
Abstract

The domestic donkey is descended from wild asses and has evolved to live in some of the most inhospitable places on earth. Little research has been carried out to address the specific needs of the donkey, which has traditionally been viewed as a small horse. The donkey is different from the horse in many ways; of particular note is its ability to thrive on highly fibrous feeds. This article discusses the nutritional requirements of donkeys and how dental disease may play a role in determining their nutritional requirements.

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Post mortem survey of dental disorders in 349 donkeys from an aged population (2005-2006). Part 1: prevalence of specific dental disorders.

Citation

Nicole du Toit, John Gallagher, Faith A. Burden, Padraic M. Dixon. May 2008. 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. 40:3. 204 - 208.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
1 May 2008
Volume: 
40
Issue: 
3
Page numbers: 
204 - 208
Abstract

Abstract

REASON FOR PERFORMING STUDY:

Donkey dental disorders are being recognised with increased frequency worldwide and have important welfare implications; however, no detailed investigations of dental disorders in donkeys appear to have been published.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the prevalence of specified dental disorders in donkeys by performing a prospective post mortem study on donkeys that were subjected to euthanasia or died for other reasons at the Donkey Sanctuary, UK.

METHODS:

Post mortem examinations were performed on 349 donkeys over an 18 month period, 2005-2006. The presence and extent of specified dental disorders were recorded and these data analysed to determine their prevalence and common locations.

RESULTS:

A high prevalence (93%) of disorders was noted in the population with a median age of 31 years. In particular, cheek teeth diastemata (85% prevalence) were very common, often associated with advanced periodontal disease. Other disorders observed included missing teeth (in 55.6% of donkeys), displaced teeth (43%), worn teeth (34%), local overgrowths (15%), focal sharp overgrowths (3%) and dental-related soft tissue injuries (8%).

CONCLUSIONS AND POTENTIAL RELEVANCE:

Aged donkeys have a high prevalence of significant dental disease, especially cheek teeth diastemata. These findings highlight the importance of routine dental examinations and prophylactic dental treatments to improve the dental health and welfare of donkeys.

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Prevalence of dental disorders in rural working equines of Mexico

Citation

J. A. Fernando-Martinez, Mariano Hernandez-Gil, Aline S. de Aluja, A. Herrera-Leon, J. L. Velazquez-Ramirez. October 2006. Prevalence of dental disorders in rural working equines of Mexico. Presented at 5th International Colloquium on Working Equines. (30 October - 2 November 2006). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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Presentation details
Date presented: 
Monday 30 October 2006
Abstract

Nutritional status, measured as body condition, has been used to assess welfare in working equines. Dental abnormalities have a substantial impact on the nutritional status of equines because they limit digestibility of foods and then nutrient utilisation. In Mexico, most of the working equines show body condition scores below 2.5 throughout the year and teeth problems may have a role in this. The purpose of this work was to investigate the prevalence of dental disorders in a population of working equines in Mexico. The study was run within with the work of the mobile clinics of DS-ILPH-UNAM programme. A total of 3,838 equines in 47 rural villages were assessed. Data were collected by surveys and by recording dental disorders in a complete oral examination. Species (donkey, horse or mule), sex (male or female), age and body condition score of every animal was recorded. The prevalence of animals with dental disorders and the frequency of each dental pathology in the affected animals were calculated. Body condition and age of affected animals were recorded. The average prevalence of serious dental disorder was low in all the cases (13%) and did not differ among species and sexes. The most frequent condition affecting incisor line of occlusion was ventral curvature. Enamel points, hooks, ramps, accentuated transverse ridges and steps were the most frequent abnormalities of cheek teeth rows. The average age of affected animals was 10.4±5.8 years, ranging from two to 40 years. Age did not differ among species or sexes. Mules showed higher average age, but the range was narrower than in other species. With regards to the body condition, more than 60% of the affected equines were in the lowest range (<2.5). These results are the first to describe the prevalence of serious dental abnormalities in working equines in Mexico and suggest the subject deserves further investigation. The data would allow strategies aimed at improving equine welfare via nutritional status.

Proceedings
Publisher: 
The Donkey Sanctuary
Publication date: 
30 October 2006

When is dental treatment required in working equids? A survey of Mexican donkeys

Citation

Nicole du Toit, Faith A. Burden, Andrew F. Trawford. December 2010. When is dental treatment required in working equids? A survey of Mexican donkeys. Presented at 6th International Colloquium on Working Equids. (29 November - 2 December 2010). New Delhi, India.

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Presentation details
Date presented: 
Monday 29 November 2010
Abstract

A small survey of working donkeys in Mexico illustrated a high prevalence of dental disease (62%). However, only 18% of cases were severe enough to have an apparent impact on the a donkey's welfare and required dental treatment. Many donkeys manage well with some degree of dental disease and owner education about agerelated dental disease and the need for supplemental feeding will alleviate some of the welfare implications of dental disease, particularly where resources for dental treatment are limited.

Proceedings
Publisher: 
The Brooke
Publication date: 
31 December 2010

Common dental disorders in the donkey

Citation

Nicole du Toit, Padraic M. Dixon. May 2011. Common dental disorders in the donkey. Equine Veterinary Education.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 May 2011
DOI number: 
10.1111/j.2042-3292.2011.00236.x
Abstract

Normal dental anatomy and the range of dental disorders found in donkeys are largely similar to those described in horses. Recent studies have shown dental disease to have a high prevalence in donkeys. Some dental disorders, such as diastemata, displaced teeth and wave mouth can have serious clinical consequences by causing oral pain and weight loss and even predispose to colic. Many of these signs can be prevented by regular dental treatment that can slow down or even prevent the progression of these disorders.

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