Description    Botulism is caused by the potent toxin of CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM. The diagnosis is difficult to confirm. The incubation period for clinical signs after ingestion of preformed toxin is three to seven days. Botulism has been seen in foals and adults; might be the cause of 'shaker foals'. Diffuse weakness including the head is an important diagnostic clue.
Species   Equine
Signs   Abdominal distention, Abnormal anal, perineal, tail reflexes, Abnormal proprioceptive positioning, Abnormal pupillary response to light, Abnormal upper airway breathing sounds, Anorexia, Ataxia, Change in voice, Colic, Congestion oral mucous membranes, Cyanosis, Decreased amount of stools, absent feces, constipation, Decreased borborygmi, Decreased or absent menace response but not blind, Decreased respiratory rate, Dehydration, Diarrhea, Difficulty in prehending or chewing food, Dullness, Dysmetria, Dysphagia, Dyspnea, Dysuria, Enlarged, distended, urinary bladder, Excessive salivation, Exercise intolerance, Fever, Forelimb weakness, Generalized lameness or stiffness, Generalized weakness, Head, face, ears, jaw weakness, droop, Hypothermia, Inability to stand, Increased frequency of urination, Increased respiratory rate, Ingesta in nasal passage, Mucoid nasal discharge, Mucous, mucoid stools, feces, Muscle hypotonia, Mydriasis, Neck weakness, Oliguria or anuria, Paraparesis, Paraphimosis or priapism, Prolonged capillary refill time, Ptosis, Purulent nasal discharge, Reluctant to move, Sudden death, Sweating, Tachycardia, Tail weakness, Tetraparesis, Tongue protrusion, Tongue weakness, Trembling, Tremor, Underweight, poor condition, thin, emaciated, unthriftiness, ill thrift, Urinary incontinence, Weakness of one hindlimb, Weight loss
References   Hinton S. Prevalence of complications associated with use of the Henderson equine castrating instrument. Equine Vet J 2018;Jun [Web Reference]
Johnson AL. Accuracy of a Mouse Bioassay for the Diagnosis of Botulism in Horses. J Vet Intern Med 2016;30:1293 [Web Reference]
Prutton JSW. Survival of a Foal with Type A Botulism. J Vet Intern Med 2016;30:675 [Web Reference]
Rech R. Neurologic Diseases in Horses. Vet Clin N A Eq Pract 2015;31:281 [Web Reference]
Johnson AL. Outcome of Adult Horses with Botulism Treated at a Veterinary Hospital: 92 Cases (19892013). J Vet Intern Med 2015;29:311 [Web Reference]
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