Behavioral Signs Associated With Equine Periapical Infection in Cheek Teeth

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Pehkonen , J , Karma , L & Raekallio , M 2019 , ' Behavioral Signs Associated With Equine Periapical Infection in Cheek Teeth ' , Journal of Equine Veterinary Science , vol. 77 , pp. 144-150 .

Title: Behavioral Signs Associated With Equine Periapical Infection in Cheek Teeth
Author: Pehkonen, Jaana; Karma, Leena; Raekallio, Marja
Contributor organization: Marja Raekallio / Principal Investigator
Equine and Small Animal Medicine
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Helsinki One Health (HOH)
Teachers' Academy
Date: 2019-06
Language: eng
Number of pages: 7
Belongs to series: Journal of Equine Veterinary Science
ISSN: 0737-0806
Abstract: No studies have focused on dental pain signs associated with periapical infection in cheek teeth (CT) of horses. Moreover, the ability of owners to recognize signs of dental pain in horses has not been reported. We hypothesized that periapical infection will usually induce pain that manifests in the behavior of the horse. Removing the infected tooth will reduce the expression of such behaviors. Owners of 47 horses whose CT had been removed because of periapical infection participated in this study. They filled an internet-based questionnaire including 23 questions about eating behavior, bit behavior, and general behavior observed before and after the operation. The number of signs exhibited by each horse before and after CT removal was compared using Wilcoxon signed-rank sum test. Values of P <.05 were considered significant. Before the operation, avoidance behaviors, such as evading the bit, difficulties in eating, and even asocial or aggressive behaviors were commonly reported by the owners. Removing the infected tooth significantly reduced the number of these behavioral patterns expressed by the horses (P <.001 for each group of behaviors), suggesting that they could be associated with dental pain. Half of the cases had been diagnosed during a routine dental examination, indicating that many owners did not realize that certain undesirable behavioral patterns of their horses might be associated with dental pain. These findings highlight the importance of training owners to recognize behavior potentially related to dental pain in horses and that routine dental examinations are essential for ensuring horses' well-being. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Subject: Horse
Periapical infection
Dental pain
Horse owner education
Riding behavior
413 Veterinary science
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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