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Computed tomographic findings of dental disease in domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus): 100 cases (2009–2017)

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  • 1 1William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616
  • | 2 2Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616
  • | 3 3Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616
  • | 4 4Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To characterize the CT findings and epidemiological features of acquired dental disease in rabbits.

ANIMALS

100 client-owned rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus).

PROCEDURES

Medical records were searched to identify rabbits that underwent skull CT for any reason from 2009 to 2017. History, signalment, and physical examination findings were recorded. The CT images were reevaluated retrospectively for evidence of dental disease and graded according to a previously described system (from 1 [no evidence of disease] to 5 [severe dental disease]) for acquired dental disease in rabbits, and an overall (mean) grade was assigned. Descriptive analyses were performed. Factors were assessed for associations between dental disease grade and malocclusion stage.

RESULTS

Common findings included premolar or molar tooth curvature in transverse (n = 100 rabbits) and sagittal (95) planes, apical elongation of premolar or molar teeth (99), sharp dental points (93), deformation of the mandibular canal (82), and periodontal ligament space widening (76). Acquired dental disease was classified as grade 1 (n = 2 rabbits), 2 (60), 3 (14), 4 (4), or 5 (20). Most CT findings were significantly correlated with each other. Agreement of grades was fair between left- and right-sided quadrants and between maxillary and mandibular quadrants. Age was associated with increasing dental disease grade and malocclusion stage (proportional ORs, 1.21 and 1.32/y, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Fair agreement in disease grades between dental quadrant pairs indicated a degree of asynchrony in the development of dental disease. Findings suggested premolar or molar tooth curvature in a sagittal plane, subtle elongation at premolar or molar tooth apices, and mandibular canal deformation should be added to the grading system.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To characterize the CT findings and epidemiological features of acquired dental disease in rabbits.

ANIMALS

100 client-owned rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus).

PROCEDURES

Medical records were searched to identify rabbits that underwent skull CT for any reason from 2009 to 2017. History, signalment, and physical examination findings were recorded. The CT images were reevaluated retrospectively for evidence of dental disease and graded according to a previously described system (from 1 [no evidence of disease] to 5 [severe dental disease]) for acquired dental disease in rabbits, and an overall (mean) grade was assigned. Descriptive analyses were performed. Factors were assessed for associations between dental disease grade and malocclusion stage.

RESULTS

Common findings included premolar or molar tooth curvature in transverse (n = 100 rabbits) and sagittal (95) planes, apical elongation of premolar or molar teeth (99), sharp dental points (93), deformation of the mandibular canal (82), and periodontal ligament space widening (76). Acquired dental disease was classified as grade 1 (n = 2 rabbits), 2 (60), 3 (14), 4 (4), or 5 (20). Most CT findings were significantly correlated with each other. Agreement of grades was fair between left- and right-sided quadrants and between maxillary and mandibular quadrants. Age was associated with increasing dental disease grade and malocclusion stage (proportional ORs, 1.21 and 1.32/y, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Fair agreement in disease grades between dental quadrant pairs indicated a degree of asynchrony in the development of dental disease. Findings suggested premolar or molar tooth curvature in a sagittal plane, subtle elongation at premolar or molar tooth apices, and mandibular canal deformation should be added to the grading system.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Figure S1 (PDF 167 kb)

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Sanchez-Migallon Guzman (guzman@ucdavis.edu).