What is Botulism and How Can it Affect my Pet?

May 28, 2015 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

Botulism is a rare but potentially fatal type of poisoning caused by the Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin. Pets can acquire the poisoning from eating spoiled raw meat, dead animals, or decaying vegetable matter. The symptoms of botulism can take a few hours, or even a few days, to surface. The bacteria attacks the back legs and moves forward into the trunk, neck and front legs and can ultimately cause paralysis. Other signs include difficulty chewing and swallowing, drooling, vomiting, abdominal pain, and dry eyes.


The disease is uncommon in cats, and dogs are generally resistant to the more severe effects of botulism. However, it is good know the potential causes and symptoms so your vet can make a proper diagnosis. Even though healthy dogs and cats are capable of handling a higher bacterial load from their food than humans, they can still get food poisoning. Do not allow your pet to eat dead animal carcasses. In addition, it is not a good idea to feed your pet something that is spoiled, rotten, or has been left in the fridge for several weeks.

Botulism Spoiled Meat

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