donkey

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.

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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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Necropsy survey of gastric ulcers in a population of aged donkeys: Prevalence, lesion description and risk factors

Citation

Faith A. Burden, John Gallagher, Alexandra K. Thiemann, Andrew F. Trawford. September 2008. Necropsy survey of gastric ulcers in a population of aged donkeys: Prevalence, lesion description and risk factors. Animal. 3:2. 287-293.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
1 September 2008
Journal: 
Animal
Volume: 
3
Issue: 
2
Page numbers: 
287-293
Abstract

There is no information about the prevalence of gastric ulceration in donkeys or potential risk factors for its presence in donkeys. The donkey is a stoic, hardy animal that has not previously been thought to suffer from this disease. However, gastric ulceration was found to be a problem in a population of non-working UK donkeys resident at the Donkey Sanctuary and its prevalence was estimated by examining necropsy data over a 2-year period during 2005 to 2006. Associations with clinical and management factors were determined. In total, 426 donkeys were examined at necropsy to determine the presence of gastric ulceration. Lesions were described and scored according to a four-point scale. Management and clinical data from these donkeys were analysed to identify potential risk factors for the presence of gastric ulceration. Terminal blood samples were also studied to determine whether animals were exhibiting hyperlipaemia prior to death. Results showed that 41% (n = 174) of the donkeys studied had evidence of gastric ulceration at necropsy. Most (49%) of the ulcers were of a medium size (area of xs2A7E2 cm2 – <10 cm2) and the most common site for ulcers was the margo plicatus. Of the donkeys examined, 18% had hyperlipaemia prior to or death or euthanasia and this was a risk factor for donkeys developing gastric ulceration; 62% of hyperlipaemia cases also displayed gastric ulceration (P < 0.001). Kidney disease was a potential risk factor (P = 0.02), with 74% of these animals having gastric ulceration. Donkeys that died or were euthanased due to respiratory disease were at a decreased risk of developing ulceration (P = 0.01) Donkeys fed a carbohydrate-based diet were more likely (P < 0.001) to have gastric ulceration than those fed a fibre-only diet, with 55% having gastric ulceration compared with 33% in the fibre-only group. This study has shown that gastric ulceration is commonly observed in donkeys at necropsy and may be extensive.

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Clinical dental findings in 203 working donkeys in Mexico

Citation

Nicole du Toit, Faith A. Burden, Padraic M. Dixon. December 2008. Clinical dental findings in 203 working donkeys in Mexico. The Veterinary Journal. 178:3. 380-386.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 December 2008
Volume: 
178
Issue: 
3
Page numbers: 
380-386
Abstract

Clinical dental examinations of 203 unsedated working donkeys in tropical and temperate climatic areas in Mexico revealed a high prevalence (62%) of dental disease with sharp enamel points present in 98% of the animals. More significant dental disorders (diastemata, 4%; overgrown teeth, 18%; worn teeth, 16%; missing teeth, 0.5%; displaced teeth, 1.5%; fractured teeth, 2%) with welfare implications that required immediate treatment were also present in 18% of donkeys. The high prevalence of buccal ulcers (14.3%) and calluses (13.3%) present in this population was believed to be due to the high prevalence of sharp enamel points in conjunction with the use of tight nose bands and head collars. Dental disease was significantly associated with age groups, but not with body condition score or to the climatic area where the donkeys lived. As part of more general examinations, 81% of donkeys that had faecal egg counts performed, had parasite burdens which mainly showed a moderate level of infection. This study concluded that dental disease is a welfare concern in working donkeys in Mexico.

A survey of seasonal patterns in strongyle faecal worm egg counts of working equids of the Central Midlands and Lowlands, Ethiopia

Citation

Mulugeta Getachew, Feseha Gebreab, Andrew F. Trawford, Stuart W. Reid. December 2008. A survey of seasonal patterns in strongyle faecal worm egg counts of working equids of the Central Midlands and Lowlands, Ethiopia. Tropical Animal Health and Production. 40:8. 637-642.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 December 2008
Volume: 
40
Issue: 
8
Page numbers: 
637-642
DOI number: 
10.1007/s11250-008-9142-5
Abstract

A study was conducted for two consecutive years (1998-1999) to determine the seasonal patterns of strongyle infection in working donkeys of Ethiopia. For the purpose 2385 donkeys from midland and lowland areas were examined for the presence of parasitic ova. A hundred percent prevalence of strongyle infection with similar seasonal pattern of strongyle faecal worm egg output was obtained in all study areas. However, seasonal variations in the number of strongyle faecal worm egg output were observed in all areas. The highest mean faecal worm egg outputs were recorded during the main rainy season (June to October) in both years in all areas. Although an increase in the mean strongyle faecal egg output was obtained in the short rainy season (March-April) followed by a drop in the short dry season (May), there was no statistically significant difference between the short rainy season and long dry season (Nov-Feb) (P > 0.05). A statistically significant difference however, was obtained between the main rainy season and short rainy season, and between the main rainy season and dry season (P < 0.05). Based on the results obtained it is suggested that the most economical and effective control of strongyles can be achieved by strategic deworming programme during the hot dry pre-main rainy season (May), when the herbage coverage is scarce and helminthologically 'sterile', and the arrested development of the parasites is suppose to be terminating. This could insure the greatest proportion of the existing worm population to be exposed to anthelmintic and also reduces pasture contamination and further infection in the subsequent wet season.

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Pathological investigation of caries and occlusal pulpar exposure in donkey cheek teeth using Computerised Axial Tomography with Histological and ultrastructural examinations

Citation

Nicole du Toit, Faith A. Burden, Susan A. Kempson, Padraic M. Dixon. December 2008. Pathological investigation of caries and occlusal pulpar exposure in donkey cheek teeth using Computerised Axial Tomography with Histological and ultrastructural examinations. The Veterinary Journal. 178:3. 387-395.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 December 2008
Volume: 
178
Issue: 
3
Page numbers: 
387-395
Abstract

Post-mortem examination of 16 donkey cheek teeth (CT) with caries (both peripheral and infundibular) and pulpar exposure were performed using computerised axial tomography (CAT), histology and scanning electron microscopy. CAT imaging was found to be useful to assess the presence and extent of caries and pulp exposure in individual donkey CT. Histology identified the loss of occlusal secondary dentine, and showed pulp necrosis in teeth with pulpar exposure. Viable pulp was present more apically in one exposed pulp horn, with its occlusal aspect sealed off from the exposed aspect of the pulp horn by a false pulp stone. Scanning electron microscopy showed the amelo-cemental junction to be a possible route of bacterial infection in infundibular cemental caries. The basic pathogenesis of dental caries in donkeys appears very similar to its description in other species.

Demographics, management and health of donkeys in the UK

Citation

Ruth Cox, Faith A. Burden, Christopher Proudman, Andrew F. Trawford, Gina L. Pinchbeck. May 2010. Demographics, management and health of donkeys in the UK. Veterinary Record. 166:18. 552-556.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 May 2010
Journal: 
Veterinary Record
Volume: 
166
Issue: 
18
Page numbers: 
552-556
DOI number: 
10.1136/vr.b4800
Abstract

In this paper, the management and health problems of donkeys on loan to independent carers from The Donkey Sanctuary are characterised, and the demographics of the UK's donkey population are described using data from a variety of sources. All carers that fostered a donkey from The Donkey Sanctuary between September 2004 and August 2005 (1432 donkeys) were surveyed using a postal questionnaire requesting information about the donkey, its premises, daily care, health and preventive medicine. The response rate was 77.8 percent. The mean (sd) age of the donkeys was 20.8 (7.4) years. The majority (92 percent) of the donkeys were kept as pets. Approximately one-third (33.6 percent) of the donkeys were overweight. The most common medical problems were hoof, dermal and oral problems. A total of 86 percent of the donkeys had a dental examination at least every 12 months, and at least 45 percent had at least one dental problem.

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Selected health and management issues facing working donkeys presented for veterinary treatment in Rural Mexico: Some possible risk factors and potential intervention strategies

Citation

Faith A. Burden, Nicole du Toit, Mariano Hernandez-Gil, Omar Prado-Ortiz, Andrew F. Trawford. April 2010. Selected health and management issues facing working donkeys presented for veterinary treatment in Rural Mexico: Some possible risk factors and potential intervention strategies. Tropical Animal Health and Production. 42:4. 597-605.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 April 2010
Volume: 
42
Issue: 
4
Page numbers: 
597-605
DOI number: 
10.1007/s11250-009-9462-0
Abstract

The examination of 216 donkeys presented for treatment at the Donkey Sanctuary-World Horse Welfare-Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico mobile clinics revealed a number of health and welfare problems. A general overview of the donkeys' health was made and showed that the median body condition score (BCS) in this population was 2.5. Underweight animals only accounted for 26% of the population. Females, 0-5-year-olds and >21-year-olds, were more likely to be underweight. When analysed, there was no correlation between faecal worm egg count (FEC) and BCS. The prevalence of strongyle infection as assessed by FEC was shown to be 80% with a median FEC of 600 eggs per gramme. Donkeys were assessed for body lesions and showed a high prevalence (71%), particularly in the facial region (54%). Analysis showed that mature animals (6-15 years old) were at increased risk of body lesions compared to older animals (16+ years old) as were donkeys with dental disease and those in particular villages. Risk factor analysis for lesions of the face showed that stallions and geldings are at increased risk as were donkeys wearing halters made from nylon rope. This study has identified areas for further investigation and potential areas where targeted interventions may be made to improve the health and welfare of working donkeys in Mexico.

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A study of the interstitial cells of Cajal in aged donkeys with and without intestinal disease

Citation

Constance Fintl, Neil Hudson, G.T. Pearson, John Gallagher, I.G. Mayhew. February 2010. A study of the interstitial cells of Cajal in aged donkeys with and without intestinal disease. Journal of Comparative Pathology. 142:2-3. 242-247.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 February 2010
Volume: 
142
Issue: 
2-3
Page numbers: 
242-247
DOI number: 
10.1016/j.jcpa.2009.08.157
Abstract

Intestinal tissue samples were collected during routine post-mortem examinations from 12 aged donkeys. Six animals were euthanised due to impaction of the pelvic flexure of the large colon, while the remaining six were euthanised for non-enteric reasons such as dental or orthopaedic disease. Immunohistochemical labelling was performed to demonstrate the gastrointestinal pacemaker cells, the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC), with polyclonal c-Kit antibodies. The distribution and density of the cellular networks were assessed qualitatively and semi-quantitatively. ICC networks are present in the donkey, with distribution similar to that of the horse, and they remain strongly immunoreactive in the older animal. There was no difference in the density and distribution of ICC in animals with or without intestinal disease.

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Idiopathic typhlocolitis in 40 aged donkeys

Citation

Nicole du Toit, Faith A. Burden, Mulugeta Getachew, Andrew F. Trawford. February 2010. Idiopathic typhlocolitis in 40 aged donkeys. Equine Veterinary Education. 22:2. 53-57.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 February 2010
Volume: 
22
Issue: 
2
Page numbers: 
53-57
DOI number: 
10.2746/095777309X480894
Abstract

Typhlocolitis was diagnosed in 40 aged donkeys at routine post mortem examinations subjected to euthanasia for colic-related clinical signs at The Donkey Sanctuary. Gross pathological changes included oedema, ulceration and haemorrhage involving the caecum and ventral colon. Histopathology indicated endoparasite and bacterial associated inflammation in 20 and 11 cases, respectively. Bacterial culture in 18 cases did not yield a definite aetiological agent. Other management and stress related factors were looked at to identify obvious risk factors. This report describes the clinical, biochemical and haematological parameters and pathological changes observed in 40 donkeys diagnosed with typhlocolitis.

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