ISSN 2398-2985      

Botulism

6guinea pig

Introduction

  • Cause: ingestion of preformed toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. Rarely seen and this topic is scarce in the literature for botulism in exotics species.
  • Signs: symmetrical ascending weakness/paralysis. Death due to respiratory paralysis.
  • Diagnosis: clinical signs, history, presence of toxin in ingested food or body fluids.
  • Treatment: supportive therapy. Antitoxin not always available and off license for exotics species.
  • Prognosis: depends on the amount of toxin ingested and the speed of treatment. Prognosis is fair to poor.  

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Ingestion of spoiled food containing the preformed Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin.
  • Bacteria survive in aquatic environments and neutral or alkaline soil.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Exposure of carcasses.

Specific

  • Ingestion of spoiled foodstuff, eg raw meat, carrion, rotting vegetation.

Pathophysiology

  • Ingestion of carrion or spoiled food containing the neurotoxin.
  • Toxin is absorbed from the stomach and upper small intestine into the lymphatic system.
  • Acetylcholine release at neuromuscular junctions and autonomic cholinergic synapses is inhibited by the botulinal neurotoxin.
  • Diffuse neuromuscular blockade and dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, resulting in neuromuscular paralysis, generalized motor neuron disease and parasympathetic dysfunction.
  • Sensory nerves are not affected.
  • Contamination by Clostridium botulinum in wounds is possible.

Timecourse

  • Onset of clinical signs is related to the dose of the toxin ingested.
  • Muscle atrophy will occur from disuse within 5-7 days.
  • In experimentally infected guinea pigs, there is an early onset of clinical signs of intoxication, specifically muscular weakness and respiratory distress, then a slow progression as these conditions worsens, eventually resulting in paralysis Paresis/paralysis and death, although the time course of progression varies by serotype.

Epidemiology

  • Clostridium botulinum are present in aquatic environments and the soil.
  • Spores may be present in the gastrointestinal tract and tissues of mammals and birds.
  • Spores can germinate upon the death of the animal and generate a toxin. The carcass is then potentially ingested by another animal.
  • Spores can also germinate in rotting vegetation.
  • Botulism can result from both spore ingestion and wound contamination of Clostridium botulinum.

Diagnosis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to start a free trial to access all Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds and videos, or Login

Treatment

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to start a free trial to access all Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds and videos, or Login

Prevention

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to start a free trial to access all Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds and videos, or Login

Outcomes

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to start a free trial to access all Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds and videos, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Emanuel A, Qiu H, Barker D et al (2019) Efficacy of equine botulism antitoxin in botulism poisoning in a guinea pig model. PLoS One. 1 4(1), e0209019 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Antinoff N (2011) Paresis and Paralysis Guinea Pigs. In: Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult. Ed: Oglesbee B L. Wiley-Blackwell, UK. pp 303-305.
  • Quesnel A D (2004) Botulism In: The 5-Minute Veterinary Consult. Canine and Feline. 3rd edn. Eds: Tilley L P & Smith F W K Jr. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, USA. pp 164.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!

 
 
 
 

To show you are not a Bot please can you enter the number showing adjacent to this field