Tetanus Antitoxin is prepared from the blood of healthy horses that have been hyperimmunized. It is recommended for use as an aid in the prevention and treatment of tetanus in animals. Each serial is tested for purity, safety, and antitoxin unitage in accordance with applicable standard requirements issued by USDA.
Tetanus is caused by a neurotoxin (poison) produced by the growth of Clostridium tetani, an anaerobic (lives without air) micro-organism, in necrotic tissue.
Affected animals become stiff, have great difficulty swallowing, and an increased pulse rate. Breathing is labored. Spasmodic contractions of the muscle system occurs, extending muscles of the jaw. Thus, the term “lockjaw” is frequently applied. Legs are often spread and the tail is stiff with abdominal muscles retracted. Tetanus stricken animals may be unusually sensitive to light and heat. Temperature of the animal generally remains normal, elevating only shortly before death.
Administration of Tetanus Antitoxin is recommended for use whenever a non-immunized animal, or one whose immune status is unknown, suffers a deep penetrating wound that has or may become contaminated with soil. It provides quick, short-term protection. Antitoxin may also be administered to animals following castration, docking, and other operations performed on premises upon which tetanus infection has been a problem.
Vaccination with tetanus toxoid is recommended for healthy domestic animals not infected with tetanus, to establish an active immunity for prevention against disease.
Dosage and Administration
Tetanus antitoxin confers immediate passive immunity lasting about 7 to 14 days. 1500 units administered subcutaneously or intramuscularly is the recommended dose for prevention. 5 ml equals 1500 units.
Large doses of Tetanus Antitoxin may provide a beneficial response in animals already infected with tetanus, but success of treatment is not assured. For treatment; administer 10,000 to 50,000 units to horses and cattle, 3,000 to 15,000 units to sheep and swine.
Animals that suffer slow healing puncture wounds or deep abrasions should be given a second dose of antitoxin in 7 days and additionally as considered necessary.
Anaphylactoid reaction may occur following administration of products of this nature. If noted, administer adrenalin or equivalent.
A condition referred to as “serum hepatitis” infrequently occurs in horses. The literature associates this partially with the injection of biologics containing equine serum or tissue. This connection is based, at the present time, upon supposition and not upon scientific evidence, as efforts to experimentally reproduce such a condition in horses have not been successful. It seems prudent, however, in view of the published implication, to make users aware of it. Some of the same publications, that refer to “serum hepatitis” continue to recommend the use of Tetanus Antitoxin in horses that have suffered wounds that may have been contaminated with Clostridium tetani and the immunization status is unknown. If user has any questions consult with a veterinarian.
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