Normal donkey dental anatomy

Nicole du Toit
Susan A. Kempson
Padraic M. Dixon
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This study examined normal donkey teeth using gross anatomical inspection, computed axial tomography (CAT), radiography, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and, decalcified and undecalcified histology to determine their normal gross anatomy, histology and ultrastructure. CAT findings have shown donkey endodontic anatomy and the density (in Hounslow units) of donkey calcified dental tissues, i.e. enamel, dentine and cementum to be similar to values recorded in horses. Decalcified and undecalcified histology has identified donkey cheek teeth to have a similar histological appearance to that which has been described in the horse. SEM of donkey dental tissue has demonstrated minor differences to normal horse dental ultrastructure. Now that normal donkey dental anatomy has been clearly defined, pathological changes can be identified in diseased teeth and supporting structures and will allow a better understanding of the pathophysiology of common donkey dental disorders. Ultimately the results of this project will enable better dental care specifically developed for donkeys, promoting welfare in the donkey.

Published as conference proceedings
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