Fluoride Action Network


Susceptibility to fluoride toxicosis in the form of osteo-dental fluorosis was observed among 435 immature herbivorous domestic animals living in areas with less than 1.5 ppm fluoride in the drinking water. These animals included 78 buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis), 89 cattle (Bos taurus), 30 donkeys (Equus asinus), 21 horses (Equus caballus), 23 camels (Camelus dromedarius), 96 goats ( Capra hircus ), and 92 sheep (Ovis aries). Except for the bovines and equines, none of the other animals appeared to have dental fluorosis. The highest prevalence of dental fluorosis was found in calves of buffaloes (52.56%), followed by calves of cattle (49.44%), donkeys (16.67%), and horses (14.29%). Thus the teeth of bovines were the most severely affected, and moderate lameness and stiffness in hind legs, wasting of body muscles, and bony exostoses as pathognomic signs of osteal or skeletal fluorosis were also found only in the immature cattle and buffaloes. The prevalence rate of these conditions among these animals was 8.99% and 10.26%, respectively. Other signs of chronic fluoride intoxication including colic, intermittent diarrhoea, and excessive urination were also seen. In the absence of airborne F contamination, the restriction of dental and skeletal fluorosis to the immature bovines and equines appears to be related primarily to their greater need to drink water containing even a low-level F compared to the much smaller need for water intake by the immature camels, goats, and sheep.