This is a severe bacterial infection
It is caused by the bacterium called Clostridium tetani that lives in the soil and infects the horse via an open wound, it then produces the toxin tetanospasmin.
- The symptoms affect the horses muscles which go into spasm.
- The horse will show signs of stiffness and may be unable to move.
- They may lose their appetite and have difficulty in swallowing.
- The jaw may lock shut.
- The horse will be sensitive to touch.
- The horse will be sensitive to light.
- The horse may show signs of nervousness.
- The horse should be stabled in a quiet, stress free and darkened stable.
- Muscle relaxants will be given.
- Antibiotics will be administered.
- Tetanus anti toxin will be given.
- Sedative are given to calm the horse.
- The horse may need to be fed through a tube if the mouth and jaw have gone into spasm.
A vaccination is administered. Two injections are given at not less than 21 days and not more than 92 days apart. This is then followed by boosters every two years.