Tetanus vaccine and banding

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Bright Raven
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Re: Tetanus vaccine and banding

Postby Bright Raven » Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:25 pm

This relates to human exposure but seems applicable.

The bacterium that causes tetanus, Clostridium tetani, lives in soil and commonly present in the environment. The more environmental exposure that you have (especially to soil), the greater your risk of exposure to C. tetani. Being around horses doesn't increase your risk any more than doing other things outside.

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Re: Tetanus vaccine and banding

Postby wbvs58 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:00 am

Ron, I may be wrong but my from my memory tetanus organisms live in the gut of many animals and this may be where the horses are incriminated. The faeces of animals contain the spores which contaminate the ground. Tetanus is an anaerobic bacteria so likes deep puncture wounds with surrounding tissue bruised hence minimal blood supply and low oxygen. In a situation with banding I do not think conditions are favourable for tetanus, the strangulated bit drops off and the torniquet effect will not allow tetanus toxins into the blood supply and when the scrotum falls off the small wound is fairly open with good oxygen and not conducive for tetanus to survive. Passive immunity from colostrum may also help with banding at birth.

I have said this several times on CT, tetanus spores can enter a body through a vascular wound which does not favour the spores to multiply and they just sit in the likes of muscle tissue for several months and then say a horse gets transported loose in a truck with other horses and bruising of that muscle occurs creating a lower oxygen environment for the spores then they multiply and you get full blown tetanus. I have seen this a couple of occaisions.

FWIW, my FIL had several horses with tetanus over a short period of time (he was a horse trader) and he always blamed the ducks he had swimming and walking around his dam. When he got rid of the ducks the tetanus cases disappeared.

Ken
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Re: Tetanus vaccine and banding

Postby Bright Raven » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:31 am

wbvs58 wrote:Ron, I may be wrong but my from my memory tetanus organisms live in the gut of many animals and this may be where the horses are incriminated. The faeces of animals contain the spores which contaminate the ground. Tetanus is an anaerobic bacteria so likes deep puncture wounds with surrounding tissue bruised hence minimal blood supply and low oxygen. In a situation with banding I do not think conditions are favourable for tetanus, the strangulated bit drops off and the torniquet effect will not allow tetanus toxins into the blood supply and when the scrotum falls off the small wound is fairly open with good oxygen and not conducive for tetanus to survive. Passive immunity from colostrum may also help with banding at birth.

I have said this several times on CT, tetanus spores can enter a body through a vascular wound which does not favour the spores to multiply and they just sit in the likes of muscle tissue for several months and then say a horse gets transported loose in a truck with other horses and bruising of that muscle occurs creating a lower oxygen environment for the spores then they multiply and you get full blown tetanus. I have seen this a couple of occaisions.

FWIW, my FIL had several horses with tetanus over a short period of time (he was a horse trader) and he always blamed the ducks he had swimming and walking around his dam. When he got rid of the ducks the tetanus cases disappeared.

Ken


Thanks Ken. I know cow manure is also a source. I remember a case study in which a woman was using her hand to furrow her garden to plant a vegetable. The garden was fertilized with cow manure. She punctured her hand with an object in the manure. She contracted tetanus and died.

The question I have: is the gut of horses a more conductive reservoir for the bacterium than the gut of a cow?

Edited to add: horses are more susceptible to tetanus. The question is: does that make them more of a risk of increasing the cases of tetanus in your cattle?

Tetanus, or lockjaw, is an often fatal disease caused by the anaerobic bacteria (grows in low oxygen conditions), Clostridium tetani. The spores of Cl. tetani are commonly present in the soil and can contaminate puncture wounds, crushing wounds, open lacerations, surgical incisions and the umbilici of foals. Upon gaining entrance to the body, they produce a powerful neurotoxin that blocks neurotransmission, resulting in unopposed muscle contraction and spasm (tetany). Horses often adopt a "saw horse" posture. The incubation period is approximately 8 days (range 3 to 21 days) (1). Spores can also remain dormant in muscles and begin to grow when trauma occurs, making tissue oxygen level low. Horses of all ages can be affected. Horses are the most susceptible of all of the animal species. Tetanus can also affect humans. The disease is not contagious between horses or between horses and humans. The number of horses affected with tetanus annually in Ontario is unknown but would appear to be low (less than 5).
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Re: Tetanus vaccine and banding

Postby elkwc » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:47 pm

elkwc wrote:
Dempster wrote:
elkwc wrote:The question I have is I can get a single tetanus shot for myself and I’ve been told it is good for several years. Why is 2 necessary for a calf. I’ve had vets tell me that in their opinion one shot is enough as long as you don’t slit the bag. The bands we use the calf needs to be at least 300 lbs. Some of our pastures don’t have pens so if a calf is born after we turn out they won’t be worked until we gather in the fall. Everyone has different situations and some don’t allow for penning.[/quote



You can get a bag of green doughnut bands and a tool to put them on for less then $15, will handle any of your calves too small for your other banded. I don't think not having the proper equipment is a good reason to wait and put calves through the stress of being banded at 600 pounds.

I don't know your operation but from your comments I would guess you run your cattle in traps instead of leased pastures of several thousand acres where the owners don't allow pens to be set up. Again we each have to manage our operation how it works best for us. Recently we banded some 500 lb plus bulls. Waited five weeks and sold them. They weighed 636 and was the second top selling group that day in their weight class and there were 300-400 in that class. They never stressed and kept right on gaining weight. Never went off feed. So until I see it is costing me money I will castrate when I can.

I won’t use the green doughnuts. Have seen too many issues. I’ll knife cut before then. I worked for a vet for several years when I was young and helped straighten out too many issues associated with them. The last sale I set at they cut off one that had been banded with them because he was what I call a stag. The owner said he was going to quit using them.

Your vet is misinformed if he thinks a dose of toxoid at banding time helps. It has long been industry standard to just do the one dose at banding, and I would give it if I had one that I had to band without the opportunity to do an earlier dose, but it will provide no benefit.


Are you a vet? Or someone that thinks they know more than a vet? There have been 3 cattle vets tell me that and they are all well respected and have large practices and so far what they have said has worked and I’m not going too change unless something happens. T
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Re: Tetanus vaccine and banding

Postby wbvs58 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:12 pm

Ron, I suspect the reasoning of horses as carriers is the fact that they are more susceptible to the toxin. Also the way they are kept in yards and stables, a lot of manure around. People who have horses it is recommended they be up to date on tetanus shots as I guess they are in an environment high in horse faeces. Sheep are also reputed to carry a lot of tetanus but again shearing sheds and yards have a lot of sheep $hit around them and this is where a lot of castration, taildocking and previously muelsing takes place.

My view on giving the first TT at time of castration is that it is better than nothing and in particular with banding the tetanus risk may not be for a week or two after application of the band and active immunity may be starting to kick in by then.

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Re: Tetanus vaccine and banding

Postby Bright Raven » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:20 pm

wbvs58 wrote:Ron, I suspect the reasoning of horses as carriers is the fact that they are more susceptible to the toxin. Also the way they are kept in yards and stables, a lot of manure around. People who have horses it is recommended they be up to date on tetanus shots as I guess they are in an environment high in horse faeces. Sheep are also reputed to carry a lot of tetanus but again shearing sheds and yards have a lot of sheep $hit around them and this is where a lot of castration, taildocking and previously muelsing takes place.

My view on giving the first TT at time of castration is that it is better than nothing and in particular with banding the tetanus risk may not be for a week or two after application of the band and active immunity may be starting to kick in by then.

Ken


I knew horses were carriers as are all ungulates. I agree with you on the TT issue. There is some immune response, at least better than nothing, but as Lucky has stated many times regarding achieving an acceptable immune response - there is a reason that Clostridial toxoid vaccines require 2 shots spaced at about 4 to 5 weeks.
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Re: Tetanus vaccine and banding

Postby wbvs58 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:19 am

Bright Raven wrote:
wbvs58 wrote:Ron, I suspect the reasoning of horses as carriers is the fact that they are more susceptible to the toxin. Also the way they are kept in yards and stables, a lot of manure around. People who have horses it is recommended they be up to date on tetanus shots as I guess they are in an environment high in horse faeces. Sheep are also reputed to carry a lot of tetanus but again shearing sheds and yards have a lot of sheep $hit around them and this is where a lot of castration, taildocking and previously muelsing takes place.

My view on giving the first TT at time of castration is that it is better than nothing and in particular with banding the tetanus risk may not be for a week or two after application of the band and active immunity may be starting to kick in by then.

Ken


I knew horses were carriers as are all ungulates. I agree with you on the TT issue. There is some immune response, at least better than nothing, but as Lucky has stated many times regarding achieving an acceptable immune response - there is a reason that Clostridial toxoid vaccines require 2 shots spaced at about 4 to 5 weeks.

Ron, most vaccines and toxoids will give protective levels of antibodies after the first injection after about 10 days however this protective level is only short lived and by 6-8 weeks may drop below protective levels and this is why the 2nd dose is required, it will give an immune response much quicker 24-48 hrs and then give the longer level of protection. The 1st dose primes the system and 2nd dose immediately recognises the challenge from prior exposure and jumps on it.

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Re: Tetanus vaccine and banding

Postby Bright Raven » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:41 am

wbvs58 wrote:Ron, I suspect the reasoning of horses as carriers is the fact that they are more susceptible to the toxin. Also the way they are kept in yards and stables, a lot of manure around. People who have horses it is recommended they be up to date on tetanus shots as I guess they are in an environment high in horse faeces. Sheep are also reputed to carry a lot of tetanus but again shearing sheds and yards have a lot of sheep $hit around them and this is where a lot of castration, taildocking and previously muelsing takes place.
Ken


Thanks for the information on the role horses play in the epidemiology of tetanus. I knew they were carriers, I didn't know they were any greater source of tetani bacteria than a cow, pig, goat, etc.
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Re: Tetanus vaccine and banding

Postby bball » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:20 am

Bright Raven wrote:
Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:Since my husband died, we have been banding 90% of our bull calves at birth using the little green bands. Zero problems with them. Always keep my fingers crossed not problem with tetanus since there is no way of doing it at birth and having protection. We give nothing for it at that time. We do give an 8-way later on.
If Lucky_P gets back on, I am interested to know if I was told right. I was always told the rubber band is the problem that causes/lets the tetanus get started (moisture). Also, I was told that if you have horses on your farm, there is a higher chance of tetanus being on your land.


The band restricts blood flow to the tissues of the scrotum and testes. Including stopping flow of the testicular artery. That causes necrosis and leads to breaks in the skin's defenses. Tetani bacteria are ubiquitous. Especially in manure, soil, dirt, debris, etc. So the rubber band is the cause - it leads to strangulation at the top of the scrotum which puts the whole process in motion. I have never heard the moisture being a factor. Lucky can address that. I don't see any connection to horses being a factor.

If everything goes well, what I often see is a mummified scrotum without any significant necrosis.


The tetani bacteria are anerobic. The strangulation of the tissue creates a perfect anaerobic environment for the bacteria. This is the risk for tetanus with banding or the twist tools you put on a drill. Anything that causes a tourniquet effect (no blood flow = anaerobic environment) creates the habitat for tetanus bacteria to thrive if they are present. Any wound (or open umbilical stump on calfs)can provide the opportunity for the bacteria to enter the animal, especially if wound contacts manure, soil, etc.

When I lived in upstate NY, the farmer i labored for had a dairy heifer with tetanus. We kept her alive for weeks feeding her, watering, passive ROM exercises 3x daily. The vet was shocked and amazed she lasted as long as she did. Said there was very little research info about survivability in dairy cattle because no one was foolish enough to waste the time to mess with it. After a couple weeks, we could see why.
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