The impact of pelleted diets with different mineral compositions on the crown size of the mandibular cheek teeth, as well as the mandibular bone and cheek teeth density, in degus (Octodon degus) was investigated. A total of 28 animals were randomly divided into four groups and fed different calcium or phosphorous dietary content, in the presence or absence of UV light, for 14 months. Dental radiographs and CT images of the head were taken, and the crown size of premolar and molar teeth was recorded. Apical and coronal crown elongation of all cheek teeth and significantly smaller relative cheek teeth and mandibular densities were recorded in degus fed a high-phosphorus diet with an improper calcium:phosphorus ratio. A diet with a calcium:phosphorus ratio of 1:1 was also responsible for the rapid development of dental disease with subsequent severe health impairment.
- British Veterinary Association
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Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed