Clostridium botulinum type-C intoxication associated with consumption of processed alfalfa hay cubes in horses.

H. Kinde, R. L. Bettey, A. Ardans, F. D. Galey, B. M. Daft, R. L. Walker, M. W. Eklund, J. W. Byrd

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56 Scopus citations


An episode of nervous system dysfunction was observed in horses on 17 premises in 4 counties of southern California. Thirty-eight horses were affected, and 31 of those died. The common clinical signs of disease in the affected horses were: increased appetite; anxious attitude; rythmic, intermittent muscle tremors in the area of the tricep muscles; decreased palpebral tone; mydriasis; small hard fecal balls; and tendency to become sternally recumbent with the neck extended. The temporal distribution of cases on all 17 premises suggested a relationship between exposure to a common batch of alfalfa hay cubes and manifestations of similar clinical signs of disease in affected horses. Fifteen horses were submitted for necropsy. Diagnosis of botulism was established on the basis of detection of type-C1 toxin in the feed, in intestinal contents of 1 horse, and in the liver of the aforementioned horse and another horse. Toxigenic strains of Clostridium botulinum type-C were isolated from intestinal contents of 5 affected horses, one of which also contained type-C1 and type-C2 toxins. Seven of 10 horses treated with type-C antitoxin and plasma obtained from horses hyperimmunized with C botulinum type-C toxoids survived.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)742-746
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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