Objective—To determine whether occlusal angle of
the premolar and molar teeth (ie, molar occlusal
angle) was associated with feed digestibility, water
balance, or fecal particle size in adult horses.
Animals—40 pregnant mares ranging from 3 to 19
Procedure—The horses were randomly allocated to 1
of 5 feeding groups with 8 horses/group. Horses
were sedated, and molar occlusal angle was measured
with 2 methods. An oral examination was performed,
and total number of dental abnormalities was
recorded. Feed digestibility, water balance, and fecal
particle size were measured 7 and 16 weeks later.
Results—Molar occlusal angle ranged from 6.3° to
19.3° and was not significantly associated with feed
digestibility, water balance, or fecal particle size. The
number of dental abnormalities was not associated
with feed digestibility. Molar occlusal angle did not
vary significantly with horse age.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate
that molar occlusal angles between 6° and 19° do
not adversely affect feed digestibility, water balance,
or fecal particle size in adult horses. Additionally, there
was no association between age and molar occlusal
angle. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:110–113)
Objective—To investigate the effect of routine dental
floating on weight gain, body condition score, feed
digestibility, and fecal particle size in pregnant mares
fed various diets.
Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.
Animals—56 pregnant mares.
Procedure—Mares were randomly allocated to 1 of 4
feed groups (n = 14 mares/group). All horses were
sedated and an oral examination was performed, after
which dental floating was performed on 7 horses in
each group. Body weight was measured, and a body
condition score was assigned before and at various
times for 24 weeks after dental floating. Feed
digestibility and fecal particle size were analyzed 7
and 19 weeks after dental floating.
Results—Weight gain, change in body condition
score, feed digestibility, and fecal particle size were
not significantly different between horses that underwent
dental floating and untreated control horses. In
contrast, weight gain was significantly associated
with feed group. In the control horses, neither the
number of dental lesions nor the presence of any particular
type of lesion at the time of the initial oral
examination was significantly associated with subsequent
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest
that dental floating does not result in significant
short-term changes in body weight, body condition
score, feed digestibility, or fecal particle size in healthy
pregnant mares. Further studies are necessary to
determine the clinical utility of regular dental floating
in apparently healthy horses. (J Am Vet Med Assoc