Botulism is an acute feed toxicosis of animals and humans, manifested in the form of paralysis of the pharynx, tongue, lower jaw, a sharp weakening of the skeletal muscle tone and an upset gastrointestinal tract.
The causative agent of the disease is the spore-forming anaerobic microbe Clostridium botulinum. Of the seven available types of pathogen, the most virulent are Type A and C. Spores are located subterminally and give the microbe the appearance of a tennis racket. Spores are highly stable in the external environment.
Most often, botulism affects minks, ferrets, and, less commonly, arctic foxes, foxes, dogs, and cats, regardless of age. The natural habitat of the causative agent of botulism is the gastrointestinal tract of cattle and some species of carnivores, from where it enters the external environment with feces, where the spores continue to retain their biological properties for a long time. The causative agent transmission factors are inferior, poor-quality feed, especially the meat of dead animals, the carcasses of which have lain for several hours unbroken; the corpses of small rodents where the accumulation of toxins occurred; infected meat and fish products.
Infection occurs when the infected feed is eaten raw. Botulism can occur at any time of the year. Enzootia lasts from 3 to 5 days. Mortality can be 70–95%.
The incubation period of botulism lasts from 8-10 to 24 hours, less often up to 2-3 days. The disease, as a rule, proceeds over-construction, less often acutely, which is determined by the amount of toxin received in the body.
Sick dogs refuse to feed, sluggish, experiencing increased thirst, normal body temperature. The bowel movement is frequent, feces are semi-liquid, fetid, sometimes contain pieces of undigested food, as well as bloody mucus. The disease develops intensively, frequent vomiting appears. In the future, hind limb paralysis may develop, neck muscles become relaxed, animals can hardly move, a shaky gait is noted. By the end of the disease, pulse and breathing become more frequent, urination and defecation slow down, peristalsis becomes weakened. Botulism in foxes and foxes is manifested by depression, impaired coordination of movement, paralysis of the hind limbs, abdominal breathing, and sometimes vomiting.
It is not possible to provide medical assistance in view of the super-acute and acute course of the disease.
In the event of botulism, suspicious meat and fish food is excluded from the diet of animals or they are fed after careful heat treatment. Similarly, with vegetable feed, subjected to self-heating and mold. Particular attention must be paid to the quality of the feed after the puppies are deposited and in the first days after vaccination.