There are a number of bacteria that can make your dog ill, but Clostridium botulinum type C preformed neurotoxin is one that can be especially dangerous. Although it is rare, ingestion of this toxin causes Botulism in dogs, a paralytic disease that causes spreading weakness in the dog’s back legs, then trunk, front legs and neck, according to PetMD.com.
Dogs most commonly ingest the neurotoxin from eating raw meat, rotten food or dead animals, which our canine companions are unfortunately very drawn to for their rancid smell. Luckily, dogs that are mildly affected can recover over a few days if they are treated.
If you think your dog has been infected with this toxin, you may notice the symptoms of paralysis spreading. Within 12 to 24 hours of onset, the dog may be paralyzed in all four legs, the news source reports. When you bring your dog to the vet, you will need to give a history of your dog’s health as well as possible incidents that may have caused the condition – did your dog have contact with dead animals or spoiled meat? A blood test will show the botulinum toxin in the serum if your dog is in fact infected.
Dogs that have been mildly affected are usually hospitalized and treated with a urinary catheter and intravenous feeding, according to the news outlet. Sometimes the toxin can paralyze the respiratory muscles, making it difficult for the animal to breathe. If this is the case, your vet may want to closely monitor your pooch in an intensive care unit. The treatment for this disease is a type C antitoxin, which will neutralize the toxin and prevent it from spreading.
PetMD.com reports that it is important not to allow your dog to eat dead carcasses or spoiled meat. If you live in a rural area where your dog runs free, you need to be on guard to ensure that there are no carcasses on your land, and until you are sure, keep your dog secured on a Flexi Retractable Leash. Using a pet supplies like a One-Touch Pet Gate may keep your dog away from dangerous snacks. If you suspect your dog contracted the disease from spoiled meat that you fed it, try switching to a wet pet food like Petcurean Go! Natural Canned Dog Food or Halo Spot’s Stew Canned Dog Food. The consistency will be similar to raw dog food but will nourish your pooch without harming it.