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  • Author or Editor: Nadia F. Cymbaluk x
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Abstract

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.

Design—Observational study.

Animals—40 pregnant mares ranging from 3 to 19 years old.

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)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

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 feed digestibility.

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 2004;225:1889–1893)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association