The teeth in the severed heads of 501 cull cows, all over 30 months of age, were examined at an abattoir in the north of England in 1997/98; 80 per cent of them were Friesians or Holsteins. Seventy-three animals (14.6 per cent) had one or more missing incisors, most of which were acquired losses. Rotation and overlapping of rostral teeth were also common, as was attrition. Congenitally absent first lower premolars, other missing teeth, large and often multiple interdental spaces, and a few cases of macrodontia, cavitation, multiple defects and fractures were observed in the cheek tooth arcades. There were some unusual patterns of premolar and molar attrition, often attributable to malocclusion, one result of which was the formation of a hook at the posterior extremity of the third maxillary molar.
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