Tetanus in Horses


Caused by the bacterium clostridium tetani which is an anaerobic organism (does not like oxygen) and is prevalent in soil.
Puncture wounds, dental wounds and foot penetrating wounds carry a significant risk.
The damaging factor is a neuro-toxin produced by the organism.


Protruding third eyelid (membrane at the inner corner of the eye)
Extension and stiffness of the limbs
Spasm of larynx, diaphragm and intercostal (rib) muscles
Enhanced reaction to loud sounds, bright light or touch
Arched back
Spasm of jaw muscles (lock jaw)
Death due to respiratory failure


Administration of large doses of tetanus antitoxin either intravenously or directly into cerebrospinal fluid (within the spinal canal).


Tetanus vaccination is a highly effective preventative measure.
Frequency depends on the vaccine used.

Primary vaccination course of 2
1st Vaccination
2nd Vaccination after 4-6 weeks
Booster vaccinations
Booster vaccinations given every 1-3 years, depending on the vaccine used

Duvaxyn - every year
Prequenza - every 2 years
Proteque - every year
Equip - every 3 years

Vaccination offers good protection

Scott Dunn’s Equine Clinic is part of CVS (UK) Limited, a company which owns over 300 veterinary practices in the UK. Company Registration Number 03777473. Registered Office CVS House, Owen Road, Diss, Norfolk, IP22 4ER