Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Tetanus

Contributor(s): Michael Herrtage, Kim Willoughby

Introduction

  • Cause: toxin produced by Clostridium tetani  Clostridium tetani.
  • Signs: generalized or localized muscle spasms.
  • Diagnosis: clinical signs and history.
  • Treatment: supportive.
  • Prognosis: good provided animal is supported through critical period.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Toxin produced by Clostridium tetani.

Pathophysiology

  • Bacteria enters body   →   toxin production   →   enters motor nerves   →   extensor rigidity of all muscles.
  • Cats are relatively resistant to effects of toxin (as compared to man and horses).
  • Clostridium tetani enters body usually via penetrating wound.
  • Three different toxins produced:
    • Tetanospasmin: enters motor nerves and travels in a retrograde fashion to spinal cord along nerve axons.
    • Reduced inhibiton of motor nerve function   →   muscle extensor rigidity.
    • Hemolysin: promotes anaerobic conditions for multiplication of Clostridium tetani by causing local tissue necrosis.
    • Nonspasmogen: which has poorly defined role.

Timecourse

  • Signs within 1 week of bacterial infection of wound.
  • Occasionally signs delayed up to 3 weeks.
  • Recovery usually over weeks to months.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Polizopoulou Z S, Kazakos G, Georgiadis G et al (2002) Presumed localized tetanus in two cats. J Feline Med Surg (4), 209-212 PubMed.
  • Lee E A & Jones B R (1996) Localised tetanus in two cats after ovariohysterectomy. N Z Vet J 44 (3), 105-8 PubMed.
  • Baker J L, Waters D J & DeLahunta A (1988) Tetanus in two cats. JAAHA 24 (2), 159-164 VetMedResource.
  • Godwin R L (1985) Tetanus in a cat. Vet Rec 116 (21), 574 PubMed.
  • Killingsworth C, Chiapella A, Veralli P et al (1977) Feline tetanus. JAAHA 13 (2), 209-215 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Greene CE (1998) Tetanus. In:Infectious diseases of the Dog and Cat. 2nd Edn. Ed. Greene CE. WB Saunders Co. pp 267-273.


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