All horses are at risk for developing tetanus, a potentially fatal bacterial disease caused by Clostridium tetani. Present in the intestinal tract and feces of horses, other animals and humans, the bacteria can be abundant in the soil. Bacterial spores can survive in the environment for years, creating a constant risk for horses and people.
TRANSMISSION: Invasion of the bacteria through puncture wounds, open lacerations, exposed tissues or surgical incisions
CLINICAL SIGNS: Begins with hyperresponsiveness to noise or movement and progresses to a horse having erect ears; third eyelid prolapse; flared nostrils; elevated head; stiff, erect tail; and a stiff-legged gait. It progresses further to muscle spasms, convulsions and death by asphyxia.
FATALITY: 50% to 75%1
PREVENTION: Initial vaccination series with CORE EQ INNOVATORTM followed by annual spring revaccination
1 MacKay R. Tetanus. In: Sellon DC, Long M, eds. Equine Infectious Diseases 2nd ed. St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier 2007:368-372.