Botulism in Dogs

Botulism in dogs, a condition characterized by the paralysis of motor muscles, result from ingesting food stuffs that contain a highly potent toxin. The bacteria that produces it is called Clostridium botulinum. Mostly found in meat and occasionally in plant parts, these bacteria multiply very fast as the food stuffs decompose, resulting in increasingly higher concentrations of the toxin.

Botulism cannot be considered a bacterial infection. It is rather a case of acute food poisoning resulting from the ingestion of the toxin that has accumulated in the food. As muscle paralysis affects the vital organs, death occurs.

Among the seven different types of Clostridium botulinum, C1 is the most prevalent in animals like dogs. Eating decomposed carcasses or vegetables is the main source of this toxin, but it is not a very common occurrence in dogs.

Botulism rapidly progresses from paralysis of muscles, which causes difficulty in eating and problems with vision, to eventual shutting down of motor system. It results in death when the muscles of the heart or the lungs get paralyzed. Treatment is usually unsuccessful in spite of the several new therapies that are being tested.

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