Date of Award

8-9-2014

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Adam Hartstone-Rose

Abstract

The predominant diet fed to captive carnivores consists of ground meat formulated to provide full nutritional requirements. However, this ground meat diet completely lacks the mechanical properties such as toughness, hardness and stiffness of the foods the animals would eat in the wild. The goal of this research was to evaluate the effect of mechanical properties of diet on oral health by comparing prevalence of periodontal disease and calculus accumulation in wild and captive felids. One-way ANOVA analysis of variance indicated that these differences are statistically significant (P<.0001). The results of this study indicate that diet texture is a significant factor in oral health of felids. Also there is a significant correlation between oral health and overall health of lions and tigers.

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Biology Commons

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