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Tetanus in dogs: infection and symptoms


Dog tetanus is a rare but dangerous disease. Once the dog is infected with it, it is important that the disease is discovered and treated as soon as possible. Read here how your four-legged friend can become infected with the disease and what the symptoms look like. Tetanus in dogs is a rare but dangerous disease - Image: Shutterstock / Martina Osmy

Tetanus is an acute infectious disease that can result from a wound contaminated with bacteria. It occurs very rarely in dogs, which is why a preventive vaccination is usually not given. It is all the more important to be sensitized to the symptoms of the disease after an injury, which can only appear weeks later and require immediate action.

Tetanus in dogs: This is how your four-legged friend can become infected

Infection with tetanus in dogs is very similar to that in humans. Potential sources of danger are wounds that your dog has inflicted on broken glass or other sharp and pointed objects. It becomes particularly dangerous if soil, manure and other types of dirt get into the wound.

When infected with tetanus, the bacterium Clostridium tetani settles and produces a dangerous nerve poison that gets into the spinal cord and brain of the animal and attacks the functions of the nerve cells. The symptoms of the disease usually become visible nine days after infection.

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Symptoms of tetanus infection

Rigid seizure symptoms are similar to poisoning and may vary depending on the severity of the disease. Sick animals are sensitive to noise and terrifying. They look weak and uncoordinated.

Your hind quarters can become stiff, the passage stilted and seem insecure. They stand in a cramped position when standing. The facial muscles are also cramped in severe cases, there are twitching of the facial muscles and conspicuous forehead wrinkles.

Tetanus in dogs is also shown by frequent swallowing and re-choking of the food. There is an acute risk of suffocation. Difficulty breathing and cramps can occur, and as soon as the respiratory muscles are affected, breathing stops.

Since the disease is fatal in many cases if left untreated, a veterinarian should be consulted immediately if tetanus is suspected.