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Ageing draft and trotter horses by their dentition
  1. S. Muylle, DVM1,
  2. P. Simoens, DVM, PhD1,
  3. H. Lauwers, DVM, PhD1 and
  4. G. Van Loon, DVM, PhD2
  1. 1 Department of Morphology
  2. 2 Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium


The accuracy of ageing horses by their dentition was assessed by comparing the dental features with the known dates of birth of 212 trotter horses and 189 Belgian draft horses. The horses ranged in age from two to 25 years. In both breeds it was observed that the shedding of the incisors and the appearance of the dental stars were the most reliable features for age determination. In young animals, the dental configuration was similar in both breeds. With increasing age the incisor teeth of draft horses were more liable to abrasion than those of trotter horses. The sequential changes in appearance of the permanent incisors occurred earlier in draft horses than in trotters.

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