A clinical survey evaluating the prevalence of incisor disorders in Zamorano-Leonés and Mirandês donkeys (equus asinus)

Recent clinical and post-mortem studies documented a high prevalence of dental disorders in donkeys, but less information appears to be available specifically about incisor disorders in donkeys. A study to investigate the prevalence of oral and dental disorders affecting incisor teeth was performed, in two endangered breeds of donkeys: the Mirandês Donkey and the Zamorano-Leonés Donkey, through a prospective cross-sectional study in 800 donkeys, divided in 7 age groups (ranging 0-34 years), in 86 villages inside their geographic area of distribution, thinking on welfare and genetic preservation issues. The 74% of donkeys suffer from incisors disorders, ranging from 56.8% in the youngest group to 90.3% in group 7. Craniofacial abnormalities (49.25%), abnormalities in the occlusal surface (21.63%), fractures (17%), periodontal disease (16.13%) and diastemata (14.38%) were the main disorders recorded. Incisors disorders are significant, presenting at a much higher prevalence when compared to other studies involving the incisor teeth of equids, affecting all ages but particularly in older animals. This study provide essential information in dentistry applied to donkeys but also highlighted the importance of regular dental care in endangered breeds, improving their welfare and preserving a unique genetic heritage.

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