dental

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

Reason for 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 2005-2006. 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.

Volume
40
Issue
3
Start page
209
End page
213
Publication date
Country

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

Reason for 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.

Volume
40
Issue
3
Start page
204
End page
208
Publication date
Country

Nutrition and dental care of donkeys

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.

Journal
Volume
35
Start page
405
End page
410
Publication date
Country

Donkey dental anatomy. Part 2: histological and scanning electron microscopic examinations

Ten normal cheek teeth (CT) were extracted at post mortem from donkeys that died or were euthanased for humane reasons. Decalcified histology was performed on three sections (sub-occlusal, mid-tooth and pre-apical) of each tooth, and undecalcified histology undertaken on sub-occlusal sections of the same teeth. The normal histological anatomy of primary, regular and irregular secondary dentine was found to be similar to that of the horse, with no tertiary dentine present. Undecalcified histology demonstrated the normal enamel histology, including the presence of enamel spindles. Scanning electron microscopy was performed on mid-tooth sections of five maxillary CT, five mandibular CT and two incisors. The ultrastructural anatomy of primary and secondary dentine, and equine enamel types-1, -2 and -3 (as described in horses) were identified in donkey teeth. Histological and ultrastructural donkey dental anatomy was found to be very similar to equine dental anatomy with only a few quantitative differences observed.

Volume
176
Issue
3
Start page
345
End page
353
Publication date
Country

Donkey dental anatomy. Part 1: gross and computed axial tomography examinations

Post-mortem examination of 19 donkey skulls showed that donkeys have a greater degree of anisognathia (27% width difference between upper and lower jaws) compared to horses (23%). Teeth (n = 108) were collected from 14 skulls and examined grossly and by computed axial tomography (CAT). A greater degree of peripheral enamel infolding was found in mandibular cheek teeth (CT) compared to maxillary CT (P < 0.001). A significant increase in peripheral cementum from the apical region to the clinical crown was demonstrated in all CT (P < 0.0001). All donkey CT had at least five pulp cavities with six pulp cavities present in the 06s and 11s. A new endodontic numbering system for equid CT has been proposed. A greater occlusal depth of secondary dentine (mm) was present in older donkeys (>16 years) than in the younger (<15 years) donkeys studied. Based on gross and CAT examinations, donkey dental anatomy was shown to be largely similar to that described in horses.

Volume
176
Issue
3
Start page
338
End page
344
Publication date
Country

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

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.

Volume
26
Issue
1
Publication date
Country

Comparison of the microhardness of enamel, primary and regular secondary dentine of the incisors of donkeys and horses

The microhardness of the enamel, primary dentine and regular secondary dentine of seven donkey and six horse incisors was determined with a Knoop indenter at the subocclusal and mid-tooth level. The mean microhardnesses of the donkey incisor enamel, primary dentine and secondary dentine were 264·6 63·00 and 53·6 Knoop Hardness Number, respectively. There was no significant difference between the microhardness of the enamel and primary dentine on the incisors of the donkeys and horses, but the microhardness of the regular secondary dentine of the donkeys' incisors at the mid-tooth level was slightly but significantly less than that of the horses. There was also a difference in the microhardness of the secondary dentine between the subocclusal and mid-tooth levels in both donkey and horse incisors.

Because most donkeys live well beyond 30 years of age (Crane 1997), it has been proposed that their teeth may be harder than the teeth of horses, wear more slowly, and thus remain functional for longer (Misk and Seilem 1999). There have been studies of dental microhardness in human beings (Craig and Peyton 1958, Collys and others 1992), sheep (Suckling 1979), cattle (Attin and others 1997) and horses (Muylle and others 1999b). In horses, there are differences between breeds in the rate of dental wear caused by attrition (Muylle and others 1997, 1998) and in the microhardness of enamel and secondary dentine (Muylle and others 1999b), which could account for these differences. It is proposed that there may be a similar difference between the microhardness of the teeth of donkeys and horses that may contribute to the less rapid attrition of donkey teeth.

The aim of this study was to compare the microhardness of the enamel and primary and secondary dentine of the incisor teeth of donkeys and horses, to determine whether there was a significant difference between them.

Volume
162
Issue
9
Start page
272
End page
275
Publication date

Clinical dental findings in 203 working donkeys in Mexico

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.

Volume
178
Issue
3
Start page
380
End page
386
Publication date
Country

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

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.

Volume
173
Issue
23
Start page
581
Publication date
Country

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

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.

Volume
33
Issue
9
Start page
710
End page
718
Publication date
Country
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