dental disorders

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.

Authors
Publication details
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.

Online references

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.

Authors
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.

Online references

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.

Authors
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.

Authors
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.

Online references

Post mortem survey of dental disease in donkeys

Citation

Nicole du Toit, Susan A. Kempson, Padraic M. Dixon. Post mortem survey of dental disease in donkeys. Presented at British Equine Veterinary Association Congress 2007. (12 September - 15 September 2007). Edinburgh, Scotland.

Authors
Presentation details
Date presented: 
Wednesday 12 September 2007

Post mortem survey of dental disorders in 349 donkeys from an aged population (2005-2006). Part 2: Epidemiological studies

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 2: Epidemiological studies. Equine Veterinary Journal. 40:3. 209-213.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 May 2008
Volume: 
40
Issue: 
3
Page numbers: 
209-213
Abstract

Reason for performing study

Dental disorders have recently been recognised as having major clinical and welfare implications in donkeys. However, no investigation appears to have examined the association of dental disorders with managemental factors and any intercurrent illness.

Objectives

To determine the association of dental disorders observed in a post mortem study with age group, body condition score, time since last dental treatment, feeding and the illness that necessitated euthanasia or caused death.

Methods

A prospective study documented the type and prevalence of dental disorders in 349 mainly aged donkeys (median estimated age of 31 years) that were subjected to euthanasia over an 18 month period in 2005'Aì2006. The estimated age, body condition score, supplemental feed status, time since last dental treatment and nature of the intercurrent disease that necessitated euthanasia or caused death were also recorded. Multivariable analysis was performed to examine associations of these factors with specific dental disorders and between specific dental disorders.

Results

There was a high prevalence (93.4%) of significant dental disease. Age group was significantly associated with the presence of dental disorders and an older age range was a high risk factor for the presence of cheek teeth (CT) diastemata. There was a significant association between the presence of CT diastemata and the concurrent presence of displaced, missing and worn CT. There was also a significant association between the presence of diastemata and colic.

Conclusions and potential relevance

Aged donkeys have a high prevalence of dental disorders especially of CT diastemata. Dental disorders and, in particular, the presence of CT diastemata were significantly associated with colic. Routine, prophylactic dental treatments should be performed, especially in aged donkeys.

Dimensions of diastemata and associated periodontal food pockets in donkey cheek teeth

Citation

Nicole du Toit, Faith A. Burden, Lee Gosden, Padraic M. Dixon. April 2008. Dimensions of diastemata and associated periodontal food pockets in donkey cheek teeth. Journal of Veterinary Dentistry. 26:1.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 April 2008
Volume: 
26
Issue: 
1
Abstract

Equine cheek teeth (CT) diastemata often cause deep periodontal food pocketing and are therefore regarded as a painful dental disorder of equidae. However there appears to be no information available on the size or shape of these diastemata. This post mortem study examined 16 donkey skulls (mean age = 32-years) containing 45 CT diastemata to define the anatomical shape and dimensions of these diastemata, and of the associated periodontal food pockets that occur with this disorder. Diastemata were found to more commonly involve mandibular (56.0%) compared with maxillary CT (44.0%), and 71.0% of these diastemata had adjacent intercurrent dental disorders that may have predisposed donkeys to the diastemata. The median widths of all diastemata were 2.0-mm at the occlusal surface and 3.1-mm at the gingival margin, with no diferences in widths between the lateral or medial aspects of diastemata. Diastemata were defined as open (60.00%) or valve (40.00%) based on their gross appearance. This classification was confirmed to be accurate by measurements that showed valve diastemata to have an occlusal to gingival width ratio of 0.4, in contrast to open diastemata where this ratio was 1.07. Food was impacted in 89.0% of diastemata, but all diastemata had adjacent periodontal disease. Periodontal food pocketing was present adjacent to 76.0% of diastemata, more commonly on the lateral aspect (73.0% prevalence; mean pocket depth = 4.1-mm) than the medial aspect (47.0% prevalence; mean pocket depth = 2.4-mm). The depth of periodontal pockets of diastemata was not associated with the height of the erupted crowns of adjacent CT.

Clinical dental examinations of 357 donkeys in the UK. Part 2: Epidemiological studies on the potential relationships between different dental disorders, and between dental disease and systemic disorders

Citation
Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 April 2009
Volume: 
41
Issue: 
4
Page numbers: 
395-400
Abstract

Reasons for performing study

Dental disease has been shown to be a risk factor for weight loss and colic in horses. No extensive clinical studies in donkeys have investigated the potential relationship between different dental disorders, or between dental disease and systemic disorders.

Objectives

To determine possible associations between dental disease and body condition score, weight loss, the need for supplemental feeding and prevalence of colic in donkeys of all ages, and to gain a better understanding of the pathogenesis of dental disease by the determination of associations between different dental disorders.

Methods

A prospective cross-sectional analysis of clinical dental examinations of 357 donkeys in The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth was performed. Other epidemiological factors such as estimated age group, body condition score, weight loss, medical history and supplemental feeding were also recorded, and multiple regression analyses were performed to determine possible associations.

Results

Donkeys from older age groups were more likely to have dental disease, poor body condition score and suffered previous colic episodes. The presence of dental disease was also significantly associated with weight loss, colic, low body condition score and the need for supplemental feeding. The presence of diastemata, periodontal disease, wave mouth, smooth mouth and step mouth are frequently associated with the presence of other dental disorders.

Conclusions

In addition to oral-related pain, dental disease can cause significant systemic disorders and so has increased welfare implications in donkeys. Some dental disorders promote the development of other types of dental abnormalities and thus increase the severity of dental disease in individual animals. POTENTIAL SIGNIFICANCE: Effective treatment of dental disorders slows down the progression of dental disease and decreases the risk of developing some medical disorders such as colic and weight loss that are associated with dental disease.

Online references

Clinical dental examinations of 357 donkeys in the UK: Part 1: Prevalence of dental disorders

Citation

Nicole du Toit, Faith A. Burden, Padraic M. Dixon. April 2009. Clinical dental examinations of 357 donkeys in the UK: Part 1: Prevalence of dental disorders. Equine Veterinary Journal. 41:4. 390-394.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 April 2009
Volume: 
41
Issue: 
4
Page numbers: 
390-394
DOI number: 
10.2746/042516409X368912
Abstract

Reasons for performing the study

Dental disorders have a high prevalence in older donkeys and horses, but the nature and pathogenesis of many of these disorders have yet to be established.

Objectives

The identification and determination of the prevalence of important dental disorders in different age groups in a large single population of donkeys, to establish a better understanding of the nature and pathogenesis of these disorders.

Methods

A prospective cross-sectional study was performed on the donkey population at The Donkey Sanctuary with detailed oral examinations of 357 donkeys within 7 different age groups (age range 2-53 years) recorded.

Results

The prevalence of dental disease in all donkeys was 73%, increasing in prevalence from 28% in the youngest to 98% in the oldest age group. There was an increase in prevalence of commonly recognised dental disorders with increasing age, such as: diastemata (3.8% in youngest to 86% in oldest group); missing teeth (0-56%); overgrown teeth (15-86%); worn teeth (8-84%); displaced teeth (0-38%); and periodontal disease (0-28%).

Conclusions

There was a significant increase in the prevalence of dental disorders with increasing age with the largest significant increase for most dental disorders occurring in the 15-20 year age group. POTENTIAL SIGNIFICANCE: Most dental disorders significantly increase in prevalence in the 15-20 year age group and, therefore, prophylactic geriatric dental treatment in donkeys should be commenced from age 15 years.

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