Study: Dental Work Improves Feed Digestibility in Horses
In the study, researchers evaluated voluntary hay intake, fecal particle size, and nutrient digestibility of nine adult Warmbloods–that all chewed normally, but had mild to moderate enamel points of the molars and premolars–before and after dental correction.
Because the horses selected for the study were not having any apparent difficulty chewing, the researchers were not surprised to learn that voluntary feed consumption did not change after floating the horses’ teeth. The horses continued to ingest the same amount of food as before the procedure, indicating they were not any more or any less comfortable.
On the contrary, the team was surprised to find that fecal particle length did not change after treatment. Previous studies involving horses with more significant dental disease revealed that fiber length was shorter after flotation. Thus, fecal fiber length could be a good predictor of severe, but not subtle, dental
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