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Tetanus is caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani which produces toxins that affect the central nervous system. The organism, which can form spores, lives in the large intestines and faeces of many mammals and in certain soils. This disease can be a problem in outdoor pigs. The incubation period is from 1 to 10 weeks. It would be uncommon to see disease in the sucking piglet under 2 weeks of age.


All Pigs
  • Hypersensitive.
  • Fits.
  • Shows stiffness of legs and muscles.
  • An erect tail.
  • Muscular spasms of the ears and face.
  • High mortality.

Causes / Contributing factors

  • The bacteria must enter through a dirty abrasion or a cut.
  • In the sucking pig the most common source is castration - unhygienic methods.


This is based on the clinical symptoms.

Further Reading

Click on the links below to find out more about this disease, including treatment, management control and prevention information. The top link is the main article on this disease.