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Tetanus is a highly fatal disease of all species of farm livestock. It is characterized by hyperaesthesia, tetany and convulsions.


Clostridium tetani is a spore-bearing, fastidious

Spores are extremely resistant to environmental conditions

The organism has two main habitats, namely the soil and gastrointestinal tracts of animals and humans



  • Incubation period may vary
  • Stiffness and reluctance to move
  • Muscle tremors
  • In some cattle, prolapse of the third eyelid
  • Ruminal tympany
  • Elevation of the tail
  • Unsteady gait of the hindlimbs
  • Trismus with saliva drooling from the mouth
  • Urine is retained
  • Generalized muscular tremors
  • Attempts at walking lead to lateral recumbency and an inability to rise.
  • Tetanic convulsions and opisthotonus
  • The duration of fatal disease in young cattle is four to five days, but older cattle may survive for up to 10 days



Differential Diagnosis with following diseases:


Cerebrocortical necrosis (CCN)

Lead poisoning

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy

Strychnine poisoning


Treatment and prevention


Large doses of penicillin administered parenterally for at least seven days


Administration of antitoxin


Muscle relaxant:

  • Chlorpromazine (0.4mg/kg body weight IM, 1.0mg/kg body weight IM) three to four times daily
  • Acetyl promazine (0.05mg/kg body weight), administered twice daily for eight to ten days





This comprises a group of infections caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Theileria and transmitted by ixodial ticks. They occur in a variety of ruminants and wild animals. Both members of the genus Babesia and the genus Theileria occur within red blood cells. They are collectively called piroplasms and the infections caused by the two are thus sometimes known as ‘piroplasmosis’


Babesiosis is caused by an intra-erythrocytic protozoan of the genus Babesia transmitted by hard ticks of the family Ixodidae

Unlike many other parasitic diseases, it affects adults more severely than young cattle in which infection is frequently subclinical. It causes fever, haemoglobinaemia, haemoglobinuria, anaemia and death.

Tetanus is a fatal disease. Goat are more susceptible to tetanus

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