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Can dogs get tetanus?

Species: Dog
Breed: siberian husky
Age: 1-2 years
My dog got her paw caught in an animal trap this evening. She is walking around without any problems, and doesn't seem to be in any pain. I cleaned her cuts as much as I could, but had a hard time getting a cut between her toes (is that what they're called?). The trap was very rusty. Do I have to worry about tetanus? There are no vets in Nunavut, otherwise I would bring her in to have her looked at. Thanks for your help!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh man, poor Tootoo!

It is rare for dogs to get tetanus. While it is, in theory possible, it is extremely uncommon. Dogs have a natural resistance to the bacteria Clostridium tetani which causes tetanus and lockjaw.

The biggest worry would be for infection. If this was my case I would definitely be prescribing antibiotics just to be sure.

If you don't have access to antibiotics then we need to do all we can to keep it clean. It would be great to do some epsom salt soaks three times a day. To do this you can either use a bucket, or fill up the bathtub with an inch or two of water and dissolve as much epsom salts as you can into it. Then, soak the foot for about 5 minutes three times daily.

And, if possible, keep the foot covered when she is outside. A good way to do this is to use a sock with some duct tape on the top to keep it on. If the sock gets wet then take it off, soak the foot again and replace the sock.

Hope she does ok!

Dr. Marie


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.