TETANUS (Lockjaw, Tetany) – Tetanus is a toxemia caused by a specific neurotoxin from tissues infected by Clostridium tetani. This bacterium is present normally in the intestinal tract and it is transmitted to the soil through the feces. Animals become infected when the bacteria are introduced into tissue through wounds. Seven to fourteen days is required to develop tetany. The bacteria thrive in anaerobic (airless) conditions and find deep puncture wounds, fresh umbilical cords and recent castration sites suitable areas for infection. Tetanus is transmissible to humans. Be sure your vaccinations are up to date. All affected goats should be immediately culled and the rest vaccinated.
Symptoms – Tetanus causes generalized stiffness of the, body muscles, but it may be difficult to notice, especially in pasture conditions. General stiffness becomes more, pronounced as the disease progresses. Reflexes increase in intensity and affected animals become easily excited or spasmodic with any sudden movement or noise.
Treatment – There is no cure for advanced cases of tetanus. Antitoxin and penicillin can be effective in the early stages of tetany.
Prevention – Vaccinate when the kids are 10 weeks of age, At this time their immune systems are mature enough for the vaccine to provide lasting immunity. Maternal colostrum will provide protection for a maximum of 12 weeks. Treat deep wounds with penicillin to arrest the disease.