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Botulism in horses

Dr. Hicks wanted to alert his clients about recent cases of botulism. Here are some helpful hints and reminders to help keep your horses safe and healthy.
Botulism is caused by a neurotoxin released from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. (an anaerobic bacteria which grows in areas with no oxygen) Common areas where this bacteria thrives is spoiled moldy or wet hay. Round bales of hay being fed in the same place repeatedly is a prime breeding ground for this bacteria. For this reason, it is very important to move the placement of round bales frequently.
Clinical signs include:
Droopy eye, inability to swallow, sitting like a dog, weak tongue, recumbency, and muscle trembling
If your horse is exhibiting these symptoms they should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Treatment options include botulism antiserum, high doses of penicillin, metronidazole, anti-inflammatories, DMSO and supportive care as necessary.

For more information see below AAEP link:

Thank you,
Equine Vet Service

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