It’s Everywhere: Why Tetanus Vaccination is Imperative

A trip to the doctor or emergency room may prompt the question “When was the last time you had a tetanus shot?” Though some will have to think back to their last injury for that answer, when asked about a horse’s last tetanus booster, the answer should be immediate: annually. 

Tetanus is caused by a spore-forming bacterium that is present in the intestinal tract of horses, humans and other animals. It also lives in the soil, where it can be viable for multiple years, posing an ongoing threat to people and horses, which are the most susceptible animal to tetanus.

The bacteria can enter a body through even small open wounds, cuts or incisions, but puncture wounds are particularly susceptible, especially to the sole of the hoof. Infection can also occur through gastric or intestinal ulcers after eating contaminated soil or feces. Foals can also become infected through their naval as the umbilicus heals. The fatality rate for horses who contract tetanus is 75 percent, so vaccination is imperative. 

A horse with tetanus will be overly sensitive to noise and movement. As the disease progresses, the horse’s third eyelid will prolapse, his nostrils will flare and he will adopt a “sawhorse” stance, with rigid muscles and a tail held away from the body. Most affected horses will eventually have respiratory failure and die. 

Tetanus is completely preventable through vaccination, which is considered an AAEP core vaccine.

Read more at AQHA. 

The post It’s Everywhere: Why Tetanus Vaccination is Imperative appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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