Lactation tetany in mare
Profuse sweating

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Eclampsia, Transit tetany

• Common occurrence in draft horse breeding, the mortality rate is high i.e.> 60%

• Occurs in lactating mares- at about the 10th day of foaling or 1-2 days after weaning

• Mares grazing on lush pasture – the heavy flow of milk – more susceptible

• Hard physical work, housing wild ponies, and prolonged transport are precipitating factors

• Sometimes- no apparent cause.

Clinical signs

• Severe cases -sweat profusely, difficulty in moving because of tetany and in-coordination, stiff gait, the tail is slightly raised, rapid violent respiration, wide dilatation of nostrils, distinct thumping sound from the chest(due to spasm of the diaphragm), muscular fibrillation-masseter trismus, no prolapse of membrane nictitans.

• Hypersensitive to sound.

• Handling precipitates tetany.

• Temperature is average or increased slightly.

• Pulse rate-normal early, later elevated, and irregular.

• Attempts to eat and drink, but unable to swallow.

• Urination and defecation kept in abeyance.

• Peristalsis is reduced.

• Recumbency within 24 hrs-convulsions- die after 48 hrs of illness.

• Serum Ca: > 8mg% – excitability; 5-8 mg% -spasm; <5 mg % – recumbency and stupor

Differential diagnosis

• Tetanus

  • prolapse of membrane nictitans,
  • no relationship to recent foaling or weaning or physical exertion.

• Laminitis – anxiety, muscle tremor, pain in the foot.


• Inj. Calcium solutions- complete recovery.

• Main sign of recovery-voiding large volumes of urine.