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Vet J. 2008 Dec;178(3):380-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2008.09.013. Epub 2008 Nov 1.

Clinical dental findings in 203 working donkeys in Mexico.

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  • 1Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Department of Clinical Science, University of Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH25 9RG, UK. Nicole.dutoit@ed.ac.uk


Clinical dental examinations of 203 unsedated working donkeys in tropical and temperate climatic areas in Mexico revealed a high prevalence (62%) of dental disease with sharp enamel points present in 98% of the animals. More significant dental disorders (diastemata, 4%; overgrown teeth, 18%; worn teeth, 16%; missing teeth, 0.5%; displaced teeth, 1.5%; fractured teeth, 2%) with welfare implications that required immediate treatment were also present in 18% of donkeys. The high prevalence of buccal ulcers (14.3%) and calluses (13.3%) present in this population was believed to be due to the high prevalence of sharp enamel points in conjunction with the use of tight nose bands and head collars. Dental disease was significantly associated with age groups, but not with body condition score or to the climatic area where the donkeys lived. As part of more general examinations, 81% of donkeys that had faecal egg counts performed, had parasite burdens which mainly showed a moderate level of infection. This study concluded that dental disease is a welfare concern in working donkeys in Mexico.

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