• 1

    Baker GJ. Dental physiology. In:Baker GJ, Easley J, ed.Equine dentistry. 2nd ed.Philadelphia: WB Saunders Co, 2005;4954.

  • 2

    Bonin SJ, Clayton HM, Lanovaz JL, et al. Kinematics of the equine temporomandibular joint. Am J Vet Res 2006;67:423428.

  • 3

    Rucker BA. Incisor procedures for field use, in Proceedings. 42nd Annu Meet Am Assoc Equine Pract 1996;2225.

  • 4

    Carmalt JL, Townsend HGG, Allen AL. Effect of dental floating on the rostrocaudal mobility of the mandible of horses. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:666669.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5

    Carmalt JL, Townsend HGG, Janzen ED, et al. Effect of dental floating on weight gain, body condition score, feed digestibility, and fecal particle size in pregnant mares. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:18891893.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6

    Lowder MQ. Current nomenclature for the equine dental arcade. Vet Med 1998;93:754755.

  • 7

    Carmalt KP, Carmalt JL. Equine dentistry: what do we really know? J Vet Dent 2004;21:134135.

  • 8

    ASAE S319.3. Method of determining and expressing fineness of feed materials by sieving. In:ASAE standards. 45th ed.St Joseph, Mich: American Society of Agricultural Engineers, 1998;547550.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9

    Carmalt JL, Cymbaluk NF, Townsend HGG. Effect of premolar and molar occlusal angle on feed digestibility, water balance, and fecal particle size in horses. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:110113.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10

    Dixon PM, Tremaine WH, Pickles K, et al. Equine dental disease. Part 2. A long-term study of 400 cases: disorders of development and eruption and variations in position of the cheek teeth. Equine Vet J 1999;31:519528.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11

    Carmalt JL, Wilson DG. Treatment of a valve diastema in two horses. Equine Vet Educ 2004;16:188193.

  • 12

    Greene SK, Basile TP. Recognition and treatment of equine periodontal disease, in Proceedings. 48th Annu Meet Am Assoc Equine Pract 2002;463466.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13

    Carmalt JL, Rucker BA, Rach D. Treatment of periodontitis associated with diastema formation in the horse—an alternative approach, in Proceedings. 50th Annu Meet Am Assoc Equine Pract 2004;3740.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14

    Dixon PM, Gerard MP. Oral cavity and salivary glands. In:Auer JA, Stick J, ed.Equine surgery. 3rd ed.St Louis: Saunders-Elsevier, 2006;321335.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Advertisement

Effect of rostrocaudal mobility of the mandible on feed digestibility and fecal particle size in horses

James L. CarmaltDepartment of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.

Search for other papers by James L. Carmalt in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 MA, VetMB, MVetSc, DABVP, DACVS
and
Andrew L. AllenDepartment of Veterinary Pathology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.

Search for other papers by Andrew L. Allen in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, MVetSc, PhD

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of rostrocaudal mobility (RCM) of the mandible during extension and flexion of the atlanto-occipital joint on weight gain, feed digestibility, and fecal particle size in horses.

Design—Randomized controlled trial.

Animals—34 pregnant mares housed in 1 barn.

Procedures—Horses were randomized into a treatment (n = 17) or control (17) group. All horses were sedated, and the distance between the rostral portions of the upper and lower incisor arcades was determined during extension and flexion of the atlanto-occipital joint; mandibular RCM was calculated as the difference between these values. In the treatment group, measurements were made after dental floating. Body weight was recorded 1 day before dental floating and at intervals after mandibular RCM determination for a period of 24 weeks. Feces were collected from each horse during two 5-day periods. Samples of feed and feces were analyzed to determine feed digestibility; particle size analysis was performed on dried fecal samples.

Results—Data obtained from each group of horses revealed that RCM of the mandible did not affect weight gain, feed digestibility, or particle size in feces; there were no differences among breeds. Controlling for age and number of dental lesions did not significantly affect results.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In horses, RCM of the mandible did not appear to affect weight gain, feed digestibility, or fecal particle size. On the basis of these and other published data, the assumption that dental abnormalities affect digestion detrimentally in horses needs to be reevaluated.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of rostrocaudal mobility (RCM) of the mandible during extension and flexion of the atlanto-occipital joint on weight gain, feed digestibility, and fecal particle size in horses.

Design—Randomized controlled trial.

Animals—34 pregnant mares housed in 1 barn.

Procedures—Horses were randomized into a treatment (n = 17) or control (17) group. All horses were sedated, and the distance between the rostral portions of the upper and lower incisor arcades was determined during extension and flexion of the atlanto-occipital joint; mandibular RCM was calculated as the difference between these values. In the treatment group, measurements were made after dental floating. Body weight was recorded 1 day before dental floating and at intervals after mandibular RCM determination for a period of 24 weeks. Feces were collected from each horse during two 5-day periods. Samples of feed and feces were analyzed to determine feed digestibility; particle size analysis was performed on dried fecal samples.

Results—Data obtained from each group of horses revealed that RCM of the mandible did not affect weight gain, feed digestibility, or particle size in feces; there were no differences among breeds. Controlling for age and number of dental lesions did not significantly affect results.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In horses, RCM of the mandible did not appear to affect weight gain, feed digestibility, or fecal particle size. On the basis of these and other published data, the assumption that dental abnormalities affect digestion detrimentally in horses needs to be reevaluated.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Carmalt's present address is Scone Veterinary Hospital, Scone, NSW 2337, Australia.

Supported by the Western College of Veterinary Medicine-Equine Health Research Fund.

The authors thank Jane Fitzpatrick for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Carmalt.