Epidemiological survey on equine cheek tooth infundibular caries in the United Kingdom

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Abstract

Infundibular caries (IC) is an important equine dental disorder that can cause premature wear, fractures and apical infection of affected maxillary cheek teeth. No accurate prevalence values for IC are available for UK horses. The feeding of high levels of concentrates is believed to increase its prevalence, but no objective information is available on such possible environmental risk factors. The aims of the study were to document the prevalence of IC in UK horses, assess its distribution and severity between infundibulae and teeth in affected horses and examine for potential risk factors for its development. Using well-defined criteria for grading and recording IC, 25 experienced personnel across the UK completed a questionnaire on their patients. Frequency of IC occurrence was compared between individual teeth and infundibulae using McNemar’s tests. Potential risk factors for IC presence were examined using univariable logistic regression prior to building a multilevel multivariable model. Of 706 horses examined, 45.5 per cent had IC, which was most commonly present and most severe in the Triadan 09s (>10>08>06>07>11), with 13.4 per cent of all rostral and 10 per cent of all caudal infundibulae affected. The prevalence of IC was significantly associated with increasing age; the lowest IC prevalence was found in South West England.

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