Record Details

Tjørnelund, Karen B.;Jonsson, Lena M.;Kortegaard, Hanne;Arnbjerg, Jens;Nielsen, Søren S.;Bertelsen, Mads F.
Dental Lesions in the Lowland Tapir (Tapirus Terrestris)
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Journal Article
Aging;Animals;Animals, Wild;Animals, Zoo;*Perissodactyla;Tooth/pathology;Tooth Diseases/pathology/*veterinary;Fracture;Tapirus terrestris;lowland tapir;periapical reaction;tooth
Dental ailments, mandibular swelling, and dentoalveolar abscesses are common in tapirs, but knowledge about prevalence or etiology of these lesions in the Tapiridae family in general, and in lowland tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) in particular, is scarce. A recent study identified resorptive lesions of unknown etiology as a common problem in the Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus). In order to investigate the type and prevalence of dental lesions occurring in lowland tapirs, and to compare these with findings with the Malayan tapir, skulls and teeth from 46 deceased lowland tapirs were visually and radiographically examined. The specimens were divided into subpopulations according to age (juveniles, young adults, adults) and origin (free-range or captive). Dental lesions were identified in 24% (11/46) of the study population. The most common pathologic findings were complicated dental fractures with associated periapical reaction (15%) and periapical reactions of various degrees without associated detectable dental pathology (13%). All these lesions likely originated from dental trauma. As in Malayan tapirs, juveniles had significantly fewer lesions than adults. This study shows that dental lesions present frequent problems for lowland tapirs, occurring both in captive and in free-ranging individuals, and indicates that increasing age should be considered a risk factor for the development of these lesions. Notably, the predominant dental problems in lowland tapirs and Malayan tapirs are not the same.