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Goat Health Conditions and Tetanus

Tetanus is a common condition in goats and humans alike, and causes muscular rigidity, hyperesthesia, and convulsions. Livestock can contract tetanus through open wounds that become contaminated by tetanus microbes that can live in the soil or on metal or wood surfaces for years before becoming active. Routine tetanus vaccination is recommended for all livestock, including goats, cattle, and horses.

Early symptoms of tetanus include:

  • Stiffness in various parts of the body
  • "Sawhorse" stance in goats
  • Stiff ears and tail
  • Reluctance to move
  • Difficulty opening the mouth
  • Dramatic response to touch and loud noise by stiffening and collapsing to the ground
  • Seizures

If left untreated, tetanus in goats can result in permanent limb rigidity, convulsions, and eventually death within 24 - 36 hours.

How to Prevent Tetanus in Goats

The best way to prevent the onset of tetanus in goats and other livestock is to give routine tetanus vaccines. Also, pay close attention to animals and clean wounds thoroughly. If you think your livestock may have been injured and exposed to tetanus microbes, it may be a good idea to see about getting a booster tetanus vaccine as a preventative measure.