New evidence suggests that Mongolian herders practiced equine dentistry more than 3,000 years ago, removing teeth that were an issue for young horses. Researchers analyzed equine skeletons from horse burials associated with the Deer Stone-Khirigsuur Culture and determined surgical procedures removed teeth that would have caused young horses pain or difficulty eating. This is the oldest known evidence of veterinary dental care.
Detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the new findings suggest the use of horses as mounts and as a base for the Mongolian pastoral economy were drivers of the invention of equine veterinary care. As their livelihood depended on their horses, they understood that their animals' comfort and health were key.
Additional findings showed equine dentistry changed relative to adjustments in how the horse was controlled, which included the incorporation of bits on bridles. Bits can cause painful interactions with wolf teeth in horses and necessitated their removal. It was determined that this was done nearly 3,000 years ago in the basically same manner they would be removed today.
Read more at Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
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