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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Microscopic evaluation of the margins of excised cutaneous neoplasms is of paramount importance for determining that neoplastic tissue does not extend to the excision borders. Dyes or pigments that indelibly mark the tissue should be more reliable than sectioning techniques or suture markers for identifying the surgical margins before and after tissue processing. We evaluated 5 pigments to select a material that could be rapidly applied by surgeons, and readily identified on histologic section by the pathologists.

Twenty normal canine skin specimens were assigned to each of 5 groups. Each group was treated with artists’ pigments in acetone, India ink in acetone, alcian blue, typists’ correction fluid, or a commercially available marking kit. Ten specimens within each group were marked before formalin fixation, and 10 were marked after fixation. Application properties, fixation and processing properties, and microscopic characteristics were evaluated for each material.

Application properties were acceptable for all marking materials on unfixed specimens, and for alcian blue, India ink in acetone, and correction fluid on fixed specimens. Fixation and processing properties were acceptable for all materials except correction fluid. All marking materials survived fixation and processing, and colors were readily visualized under the microscope. Microscopic characteristics were acceptable for alcian blue, India ink in acetone, and the commercial kit.

Overall, alcian blue was the best marking material, with India ink in acetone and the commercial kit also acceptable. Correction fluid and artist’ pigments in acetone were not acceptable because pigment fragmentation and incomplete tissue coverage hindered microscopic evaluation of resection margins.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To document age-related changes in the morphology of the endodontic system, reserve crown, and roots of equine mandibular cheek teeth.


Equine mandibular cheek teeth from horses of various ages were compared, using radiography, x-ray computed tomography, and histologic examinations.

Sample Population

48 right hemi-mandibles from horses 2 to 9 years old.


Hemi-mandibles were radiographed, imaged by computed tomographic reconstruction, and reformatted. Histologic examination was used to identify and correlate tissue types.


Permanent mandibular cheek teeth of the horse, at the time of eruption, consisted of an exposed crown and a reserve crown with a widely dilated apex. The endodontic system consisted of 5 or 6 pulp horns that connected to an expansive pulp in the reserve crown, which was confluent with the primordial pulp bulb surrounding the tooth’s apex.

At the time of eruption, mandibular cheek teeth did not have a distinct pulp chamber, roots, or evidence of root formation. However, within 2 years after eruption, mesial and distal roots and a pulp chamber were present. A distinct pulp chamber, communicating with the pulp horns and both root pulp canals, was identifiable for 4 to 5 years from the time of root formation. The endodontic system of cheek teeth, 6 to 8 years after eruption, consisted of 2 unattached compartments, made up of a root canal, pulp chamber, and 2 or 3 pulp horns.

Clinical Relevance

The age-related morphologic changes in equine mandibular cheek teeth have important implications for application of endodontic therapy in horses. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:31-38)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To measure the amount of heat generated during 3 methods of equine dental reduction with power instruments.

Design—In vitro study.

Sample Population—30 premolar and molar teeth removed from mandibles of 8 equine heads collected at an abbatoir.

Procedure—38-gauge copper-constantan thermocouples were inserted into the lingual side of each tooth 15 mm (proximal) and 25 mm (distal) from the occlusal surface, at a depth of 5 mm, which placed the tip close to the pulp chamber. Group-NC1 (n = 10) teeth were ground for 1 minute without coolant, group-NC2 (10) teeth were ground for 2 minutes without coolant, and group-C2 (10) teeth were ground for 2 minutes with water for coolant.

Results—Mean temperature increase was 1.2°C at the distal thermocouple and 6.6°C at the proximal thermocouple for group-NC1 teeth, 4.1°C at the distal thermocouple and 24.3°C at the proximal thermocouple for group-NC2 teeth, and 0.8°C at the distal thermocouple and –0.1°C at the proximal thermocouple for group-C2 teeth.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In general, an increase of 5°C in human teeth is considered the maximum increase before there is permanent damage to tooth pulp. In group-NC2 teeth, temperature increased above this limit by several degrees, whereas in group-C2 teeth, there was little or no temperature increase. Our results suggest that major reduction of equine teeth by use of power instruments causes thermal changes that may cause irreversible pulp damage unless water cooling is used. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:1128–1132)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


This article describes the core competencies recommended for inclusion in the veterinary curriculum for all veterinary graduates based on the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges Competency-Based Veterinary Education document. General practice companion animal veterinarians are frequently presented with patients having dental, oral, or maxillofacial pathology, and veterinary graduates will be relied upon for recommendations for the maintenance of oral health, including the prevention of periodontal disease, identification of endodontic disease, and knowledge of developmental defects. These recommendations should be made for all veterinary patients starting at a young age. These core competencies can apply to many companion species, but mainly are focused on the dog and cat.

Because periodontal disease is the most common abnormality observed in dogs and cats, the first key step is taking a few seconds during examination of every patient of any age presented for any reason to examine the oral cavity. Although dental, oral, and maxillofacial pathology is often diagnosed after imaging and evaluation under anesthesia, the first step is observation of dentition and gingivae during the conscious exam to assess periodontal health status. The physical exam of the oral cavity may reveal oral behavior (eg, observation of uncomplicated crown fractures due to chewing on hard objects), which will permit recommendations for enhanced prevention by daily oral hygiene or professional treatment.

There are now many involved dental and surgical treatments available, some of which require specialist-level instrumentation and expertise. General practitioners should be able to competently perform the following immediately upon graduation from veterinary school:

  • For patients for whom the owner’s reason for the veterinary visit is not dental, oral, or maxillofacial disease, obtain a brief (1 or 2 questions) history of the oral health of the patient.

  • On lifting the lip of every patient, recognize presence or absence of accumulated dental plaque or calculus on the crowns of the teeth, presence or absence of gingival inflammation or ulceration, and presence or absence of other dental, oral, and maxillofacial pathology.

  • On anesthetized patients that have dental, oral, and maxillofacial pathology for which professional treatment is indicated, be able to obtain and interpret appropriately positioned and exposed dental radiographs.

  • When the presence of dental, oral, and maxillofacial pathology is recognized, determine whether each tooth present in the mouth does or does not require professional treatment beyond dental subgingival and supragingival scaling and polishing.

  • List the indications for tooth extraction, know indications for potential oral/dental treatments beyond subgingival and supragingival scaling and polishing or extraction, and determine whether the professional treatment that may be indicated, such as root canal treatment or mass resection of oral tissues, requires referral for specialist-level expertise and instrumentation.

  • Complete a thorough periodontal evaluation and therapy with periodontal probing, including professional subgingival and supragingival ultrasonic scaling with polishing under anesthesia.

  • Demonstrate the ability to extract teeth indicated for extraction, using gentle and appropriate techniques that will risk minimal injury to the jaws and oral soft tissues and reduce postoperative patient pain.

  • Provide appropriate postoperative care, including recognition of when postoperative analgesia and possibly antibiotic administration are indicated.

Open access