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Canine botulism is a condition that occurs when a dog ingests a toxin called botulinum, which is made by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Eating raw or contaminated meat or a dead animal is often the cause of this disease.
When a dog develops botulism, it can become paralyzed and in some cases the condition can be fatal.
If you see signs that your dog may have a case of botulism, then You need to consult your veterinarian for correct diagnosis and treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of botulism in dogs.
Symptoms of botulism in dogs
Symptoms of botulism in dogs can appear anywhere from a few hours to a few days after ingesting the toxin botulinum.
Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Weakness in the hind legs
- Inflamed eyes
- Can’t swallow
- Difficulty breathing
Causes of botulism in dogs
The cause of botulism in dogs is ingestion of a toxin called botulinum, which is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. This mainly happens when a dog eats either raw meat or a dead animal.
In some cases, certain plant material can also cause this disease.
Treatments for botulism in dogs
If you suspect your dog may have botulism, you should seek advice from your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian will likely do a full physical exam on your dog and ask a series of questions about your dog’s medical history.
They will also ask about current events or situations where your dog may have eaten raw meat or a dead animal. In some cases, your veterinarian may want to do blood and stool tests as well.
If your vet confirms their diagnosis, they can prescribe antitoxin medication. If your veterinarian prescribes medication for your dog, always follow their dosage and frequency instructions and go through all of the treatment.
Your veterinarian will likely suggest a number of supportive measures to help with your dog’s symptoms. In many cases, they will also need supportive care in a hospital. Dogs with this condition can take around two to three weeks to recover.
Has your dog ever suffered from botulism? How do you think your dog got the disease? Tell us all about it in the comments below!