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USDA Rural Information Center

by Gary Pfalzbot
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Tetanus is an illness caused by Clostridium Tetany and is characterized by stiffening and a lack of coordination. The classic symptom is referred to as "lock jaw" (the old name for this disease). If the chin of the victim is tapped sharply, the eyes will roll up. Tetanus most often occurs due to wounds (deep or shallow) that have not been allowed to bleed properly. Fever accompanies this disease and quite often, loud noises will cause the goat to convulse. Vitamin C can act to detoxify the clostridia before this disease reaches critical stages. Tetanus is a very painful disease. Immunizations may stop tetanus from developing, but they will not stop it from occuring if conditions are right for it to develop. It is believed that adult goats build a natural immunity to tetanus - younger goats are more likely to contract tetanus. There are two types of tetanus shots available; tetanus toxoid (which is the immunization) and tetanus detoxoid (antitoxin). Tetanus toxoid SHOULD NOT be given within six weeks after a wound has been treated. Tetanus detoxoid is the injection given at the time the wound is initially treated.

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About the author: Gary Pfalzbot is a Service Connected Disabled Veteran and the web master of GoatWorld as well as some other web sites. He has raised goats over the years, been involved with 4-H (as a young boy) and currently resides in Colorado where he and his wife Pam raise a few breeds of goats and other animals, and primarily author the GoatWorld web site to continue to inform, educate, and promote the industry.


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