The main objective of this study was to evaluate, whether the fecal particle size
reduces significantly after dental correction of mild as well as severe dental
Fecal samples were collected from 12 horses of various breeds and sex divided in
two groups (6 horses each). Animals of group 1 (4-8 years old) displayed mild to
moderate dental pathologies (sharp enamel edges, focal dental overgrowths) typical
for this respective age group. Group 2 consisted of clinical patients (9-35 years old)
with severe dental abnormalities leading to difficulties in feed ingestion. 6 fecal
samples were collected from horses in group 1 one before and the others at day 2,
3, 9, 10 and 30 after dental correction. From group 2, only 3 samples were collected
one before and the others at day 10 and 30 after dental correction.
Mean fecal particle size was measured using a wet sieving technique. All horses
were sedated and an oral examination was performed using a full mouth speculum.
Dental correction, including removal of sharp edges, flattening of stepped teeth and
wave mouth and dental extractions were performed if necessary.
Within both groups there were no significant changes in fecal particle size between
the day before dental correction and those after. In group 2 fecal particle size before
dental treatment was significantly larger (36,9% ± 18,8) than in group 1 (32,8% ± 6,2;
p = 0.02), while there was no significant difference in mean particle size the days
Results of the present study verify findings of previous studies, that dental correction
of mild to moderate dental lesions doesn`t influence fecal particle size significantly.
Correction of severe dental lesions reduces fecal particle size by trend when horses
were fed equivalent structured forage (and also ingest it) before as well as the days after treatment.
The sieving method with wet samples seams to be the best method for measuring
fecal particle size in horses.