• autonomic dysfunction;
  • Clostridium tetani;
  • mechanical ventilation;
  • tetanic convulsions;
  • tetanus antitoxin


Objective: To describe the clinical course and successful outcome of severe generalized tetanus in 2 dogs.

Case series summary: Two dogs presenting with severe muscle rigidity, opisthotonus, and trismus were diagnosed with tetanus. In both cases, generalized convulsions, respiratory compromise, and autonomic dysfunction necessitated emergent interventions followed by intensive treatment and monitoring. In the second case, transient mechanical ventilation was required. Both dogs survived and were discharged after 19 days (first case) and 18 days (second case) of hospitalization. Although costly and time-consuming, treatment for severe generalized tetanus was successful in these 2 dogs.

New information provided: Severe generalized tetanus with convulsions, respiratory compromise, and autonomic dysfunction can have a successful outcome with intensive care and appropriate treatment.