The con­di­tion

Your Horse (UK) - - Horsecare -

Tetanus is a bac­te­rial dis­ease caused by Clostrid­ium tetani. The bac­te­ria pro­duce spores that can sur­vive for many years, liv­ing in fae­ces, soil and the en­vi­ron­ment. When they en­ter the horse’s body, gen­er­ally via a wound, they wake up and be­come harm­ful bac­te­ria.

The bac­te­ria pro­lif­er­ate in tis­sue and this pro­duces the toxin tetanospas­min, which at­tacks the ner­vous sys­tem. In a nut­shell, it’s the spores, bac­te­ria and then the neu­ro­toxin which at­tack the ner­vous sys­tem in the body and cause the out­ward symp­toms that we can see. I’ve never seen a case of tetanus in an adult horse, but I have ex­pe­ri­enced it in foals, who are more sus­cep­ti­ble (see Facts panel, right).

Foals are par­tic­u­larly prone to tetanus

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