Do dental abnormalities predispose horses to colic?
Journal of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Health
Evaluation of dental abnormalities were carried out on a group of 74 polo horses with history of colic (colicky group) and another group of 70 randomly selected polo horses with no history of colic (noncolicky group) under similar environmental and management condition at Lagos Polo Club, Lagos, Nigeria in order to investigate probable correlation between dental abnormalities, routine dental care and predisposition to colic. Visual examination of the horses' oral/dental status was carried out
... s was carried out after adequate physical and chemical restraint with intravenous administration of 2% xylazine hydrochloride at dose rate of 1.1 mg/kg body weight. Structured interview of handlers and review of dental health records where available were carried out to investigate routine dental care. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), Pearson correlation and linear multiple regression analysis were used to find out associations between dental abnormalities, routine dental care and colic. Thirty-eight (38) horses (51.4%) among the colicky group had dental abnormalities ranging from overjet (4.8%) to dental attrition (26.2%), while twenty-two (22) horses (29.7%) among the non-colicky group had dental abnormalities. Dental caries and sharp enamel point had significant difference (p < 0.05) on colic in horses and were positively correlated with colic. There were also positive significant correlation between fractured tooth and overjet (r = 0.908) and malposition and overjet (r = 0.944), respectively. Age and sex had no significant correlation with dental abnormalities and predisposition to colic, while local breeds were found to be more predisposed to colic due to dental abnormalities (p < 0.05). There was also a significant difference (p < 0.05) in horses that had no routine dental care and colic. In conclusion, this study indicates that dental caries and sharp enamel points are predisposing factors for colic in horses. Although not all forms of dental abnormalities predispose horses to colic, routine dental examination and care would be beneficial for early diagnosis and prevention of dental abnormalities that may predispose to colic.