, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 217-224

Tetanus in a Camel (Camelus dromedarius) – A Case Report

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Abstract

Twenty days after an open castration, a 5-year-old dromedary was presented to the Dubai Camel Hospital with severe central nervous symptoms. The dromedary showed the following signs: off feed, stiff gait with extended neck, external swelling of the preputial sheath and groin region, and foamy saliva drooling from the mouth. The dromedary was unable to swallow. Three days after admission, the camel developed lockjaw, and on the fifth day it was unable to stand owing to paralysis of the hindquarters. Because of the severity of the disease and because it did not respond to treatment, the camel was euthanized 26 days after the operation and submitted to the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory for further investigation. Both castration wounds were closed and spermiducts were filled with necrotic masses from which Clostridium tetani was isolated. Two mice, which were injected with the filtrate of the thioglycolate broth, developed typical signs of tetanic spasm of the hind leg. Faecal samples from camel and horse paddocks that were only 50 metres apart were negative for C. tetani. However, C. tetani was isolated from two soil samples of the horse paddock. It is recommended that camels should be vaccinated against tetanus prior to castration.