Nutritional Articles

Effect of premolar and molar occlusal angle on feed digestibility, water balance, and fecal particle size in horses.

Published: 2005-10-05

Brief content of the article
The objective of the authors of this study was 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. For that, 40 pregnant mares ranging from 3 to 19 years old were used in an observational study. 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. The authors concluded that the results indicate that molar occlusal angles between 6 degrees and 19 degrees do not adversely affect feed digestibility, water balance, or fecal particle size in adult horses. Additionally, they did not observe an association between age and molar occlusal angle.
Keywords: jaw; mastication; occlusal angle

Reference
Carmalt, J.L., Cymbaluk N.F., and Townsend, H.G. 2005. Effect of premolar and molar occlusal angle on feed digestibility, water balance, and fecal particle size in horses. JAVMA 227: 110-113.

Website and publisher
http://www.avma.org/