BOT­U­LISM SUR­VIVAL RATES

EQUUS - - Eq Medical front -

Horses with bot­u­lism who lose the abil­ity to stand are far less likely to sur­vive than those who re­main on their feet, ac­cord­ing to a ret­ro­spec­tive study from the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia’s New Bolton Cen­ter.

Caused by the in­ges­tion of tox­ins pro­duced by Clostrid­ium bo­tulinum bac­te­ria, bot­u­lism is char­ac­ter­ized by pro­gres­sive paral­y­sis that even­tu­ally causes death as the horse loses the abil­ity to swallow or breathe. Most equine

In bot­u­lism, pro­gres­sive paral­y­sis even­tu­ally causes a horse to lose the abil­ity to swallow or breathe. cases of bot­u­lism oc­cur af­ter horses in­gest tainted hay or other for­age.

The re­searchers ex­am­ined the records of 92 horses with bot­u­lism ad­mit­ted to the uni­ver­sity hos­pi­tal over a 24-year pe­riod. The data re­vealed that while the over­all sur­vival rate was 48 per­cent, it was sig­nif­i­cantly higher—67 per­cent— for horses who were still able to stand when they ar­rived at the hos­pi­tal. Among horses who were un­able to stand when they ar­rived, only 18 per­cent sur­vived. The prog­no­sis was best for horses who stayed on their feet through­out their hos­pi­tal­iza­tion; they had a 95 per­cent sur­vival rate.

The re­searchers also note that com­pli­ca­tions, such as pres­sure sores or colic, were com­mon but did not in­flu­ence sur­vival rates.

Ref­er­ence: “Out­come of adult horses with bot­u­lism treated at a ve­teri­nary hos­pi­tal: 92 cases (1989-2013),” Jour­nal of Ve­teri­nary In­ter­nal Medicine, Novem­ber 2014

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