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HELP!!!! LOCKJAW..MY MARE CANT OPEN

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wishful

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WENT OUT TO FEED THIS MORNING AND DESCOVERED MY FAVORITE MARE HAVING TROUBLE EATING ON CLOSER INSPECTION I DISCOVERED SHE CANT OPEB HER JAWS...HAS ANYONE SEEN THIS BEFORE.. WHAT IS IT..., I HAVE A CALL INTO MY VET. O MY GOD , I HAVE HAD THIS MARE FOR NEARLY FIVE YEARS AND NOT SO MUCH AS A RUNNY NOSE. SHE HAS A 2 WEEK OLD COLT BY HER SIDE THAT BELONGS TO HEATHER AT MULLIGANS RUN, COULD THIS BE A NURSING COMPLICATION.
 

lyn_j

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[SIZE=14pt]Sounds like tetanus to me too... check for a wound somewhere or foul uterine odor.[/SIZE]

Lyn
 

justaboutgeese

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unfortunate as it might be the Tetanus shot is one of the primary shots all horses should receive. They can pick up the tetanus toxin from so many places and it can be so serious that even the local Mennonites who do not as rule vaccinate their horse give them tetanus shots.
 

Littleum

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Does she have any swelling? Bruising? Blood from anywhere? Anything that might suggest a kick or other injury to her jaw? Is she staggering? Uncordinated? Overreactive to light/sounds/stimulation? Convulsing? Twitching? Trembling? Standing in an odd way? Drooling? Nasty smell from her mouth? Head tilted? Eyes unfocused or otherwise "odd"? Trouble breathing? Drainage from her nostrils? Are the muscles of her jaw/neck rigid, stiff and hard?

If she's acting at all "spacy" or "odd" or uncordinated/stumbling/twitchy, upgrade the call to the the vet to an EMERGENCY (if you havdn't already). Hitch up the trailer and be ready to go.
 

wishful

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She has no cuts or scraps, bangs or bumps. She is kept on 2 acres by herself. I have had her for five years. She has had a WN vacination so I know its thats not that. i too am starting to lean towards tenus. Research I have done says other then the scraps and cuts it can come from the ground(i'll ask My vet when he gets here in about 20 miniutes) I did send her to another farm for 5 months to be foaled out, but she didnt get any visible scraps or bruises there either. She is drooling and stagering a bit, what ever it is , it is fast and aggressive. she was fine last night when i put her up, she ate all her food and a block of hay.
 

Littleum

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Since she's staggering, make sure she's somewhere where she can't get hurt if she goes down into convulsions.

Horses with tetanus can be very sensative to sound and light, so a quiet place where she can't hurt herself is best.

Are you hitched up and ready to roll out? If you decide to transport, consider that she might have seizures in the trailer on the way. Discuss with the vet how to make it as safe as possible for her, and if baby should go or not.

Jingles to you....
 

Mona

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This is what I found on Tetanus...

Tetanus in Horses

Horses are highly susceptible to tetanus, a condition caused by bacteria called Clostridium tetani. Humans receive vaccines to protect against this disease, and horses should receive an equine version of a tetanus vaccine also on a regular basis. Though many species can contract tetanus, next to horses, humans are the most susceptible. Another name used sometimes to describe this condition is "lockjaw" because frequently the muscles that control the ability to open and close the mouth are affected.

The bacteria live in soils and infection often follows a puncture wound or burn. A typical situation would be a horse that steps on a dirty nail in a barnyard, and the soil goes into the deep tissues of the foot along with the sharp object. These bacteria must be injected deep away from air (oxygen) to reproduce. Bacteria that need to be out of air to thrive are called anaerobic bacteria. This disease is much less common now because of modern, effective vaccines. Careful husbandry is still important to minimize exposure to dirty sources of this powerful bacterium because they are still in the farm environment.

The disease signs result from the liberation of powerful toxins from the infection site. This toxin affects the nervous system. Usually the first sign noted is that the eyes have a staring appearance and the third eyelid that normally sits inside the eyelids on the eyeball at the inner angle of the eye becomes partially drawn up over the eye. The horse will experience powerful muscle spasms that set the muscles in tight contraction leading to stiffness—but noises, movements, and light exposure will trigger very pronounced spasmodic movements. It can take a few weeks for these symptoms to appear after the wounding episode. Back and neck spasms tend to make the horse hold the head out forward. The combination of muscle spasms of legs, back and neck produces a typical posture referred to as a "sawhorse" or "rocking horse" stance. The tail also does not move normally because of muscle stiffness. Ears will be pricked up, mouth drawn back to appear to "grin" and nostrils dilate giving the horse a hyper-alert look.

It is a serious condition and up to three quarters of horses will succumb once the infection has become established and advanced clinical signs develop. This is why your veterinarian will emphasize yearly protection against this disease using tetanus toxoid vaccine. If your horse should get a puncture wound anywhere on the body, even a very small one, call your veterinarian promptly because they may recommend a booster for the patient to help bolster immunity. Sometimes an unprotected horse is exposed, and an antitoxin will be given also because vaccines do not provide protection immediately. It is very important to keep the horse's boosters up-to-date. Mares should be vaccinated to ensure that their foals are protected until they are old enough to be vaccinated.

During clinical illness, veterinary care may include sedation, pain therapy, antibiotics, wound care, nursing care (dark, quiet stall, elevated or nasogastric tube feeding) and direct antitoxin injections.
 

swd

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Have vet check her calcium levels. Sounds like calcium deficiency to me. Had a mare last year with similar symptons. Turned out to be milk fever. She also had a colt on her and her calcium level dropped really low. Recovered completely when calcium levels were brought up.
 
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Marty

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Yes I have seen lockjaw (tetnus) and this can also be rabies that comes in many strains as well as a lot of things that will manifest itself in lack of motor skills as well as things you have described in the mouth too. Could also be choke. If you have a halter on the horse remove it and check inside the mouth best you can to see if she has "storred up" grass/hay/grain way in the back there and under her tongue.

Whatever is wrong, you do need to hitch up now and move as fast as you can on this one. Do you have a good vet or hospital nearby? Be sure they know it's a real

emergency.

This doesn't really fit the profile of milk fever very well (eclampsia) but this could be anything from needing dental care to TMJ (temperal mandibular dysfunction) which is where the jaw does get stuck from time to time and snaps and pops ( I have a slight case)
 
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HGFarm

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Tetanus usually has other symptoms with it... is she resting quietly? Anything different with her eye area? Is she being easily startled by noises, etc.. ??
 

Minimor

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How is she doing, and what did the vet say?

My first thought, especially since she has a young foal at side, was eclampsia--calcium deficiency. When our mare had it in March she too had the clamped jaw & could not eat; she'd go to the feeder like she wanted to eat, but couldn't work her mouth so she would give up. There were other symptoms--she had 'thumps', then those quit & muscle twitches started in her hindquarters, shoulder & jaw. When the vet first saw her she said tetanus. However, our mare was up to date on her tetanus shot (by the way, tetanus vaccines are VERY effective, and with horses being so very susceptible to tetanus, I consider that to be one of the absolute MUST HAVE vaccines) so the vet said we could pretty much rule that out. It had to be the calcium deficiency.

Calcium deficiency is most likely to occur in the last two weeks of pregnancy, in the first month after foaling, or at weaning.

I hope it is a calcium problem and not tetanus--eclampsia is very treatable, and the horse usually recovers instantly when given calcium IV.

Good luck, and please let us know what's happening!
 

txminipinto

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I've really tried to stay away from these posts since very few tend to listen.

My first guess would be tetnaus and my second eclampsia. I would also consider Rabies depending on her last rabies vaccination. One thing I would like to point out - IF RABIES IS EVER A POSSIBLITY, NEVER STICK YOUR HAND IN THEIR MOUTH OR COME IN CONTACT WITH SECRETIONS! You don't have to be bit to get rabies, simply having fluids from an infected animal come in contact with your mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouths) or an open cut can transmit it.

Hope everything turns out ok!
 

Marty

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Good call Carin.

I did some research on eclampsia which would make sense to me but I can't find anything that is saying anything about a lockjaw type situation. Could be though because the other things besides that seem to fit. There is so much out there that this can be anything and seems like a million strains of everything too that it all boggels the mind. I'm very anxious to see what the diagnosis will be. Hopefully she will be home from the vet soon with some very good news.
 

wishful

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I just got back from Auburn, Autumn is on Iv's, she was given antitoxin as soon as I walked her in. The vet will call me in the morning to let me know how she is doing. Every one is leaning towards tetnus. I dont understand how this happened, she doesnt even have a hair out of place, lettalone a scratch or cut anywhere. She always had 2 acres to herself. I checked all her hooves to see if maybe she had stepped on a nail, but no, all were clean. She will have to stay at least 7 to 10 days, if she lives. The doctor said her prognosis was very poor that most all horses die BUT she has seen two or three make it. Please keep her in your thoughts and prays... she was my "if you could choose just one to keep" horse.
 

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