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Question
Posted by: Vee | 2005/07/04

tetanus

What are the symptoms of tetanus and how long does it take to develope after say a infected dog bite?

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Our expert says:
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Vee, the incubation period ranges from 2 to 50 days (average, 5 to 10 days). The most frequent symptom is jaw stiffness. Other symptoms include difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia); restlessness; irritability; stiff neck, arms, or legs; headache; fever; sore throat; chills; and tonic spasms. Later, the patient has difficulty opening his jaws (trismus); facial muscle spasm produces a characteristic expression with a fixed smile and elevated eyebrows (risus sardonicus). Rigidity or spasm of abdominal, neck, and back muscles--even opisthotonos--may occur. Sphincteral spasm causes urinary retention or constipation. Dysphagia may interfere with nutrition. Characteristic painful, generalized tonic spasms with profuse sweating are precipitated by minor disturbances such as a draft or noise or by jarring the bed. The patient's mental status is usually clear, but coma may follow repeated spasms. During generalized spasms, the patient is unable to speak or cry out because of chest wall rigidity or glottal spasm. This also interferes with respiration, causing cyanosis or fatal asphyxia. The immediate cause of death may not be apparent. Let me know as a new question is you have more questions. Good luck.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Jelly | 2005/07/04

I am not sure of the symptoms but you should get a tetenus Shot asap if the skin was broken. If you had a Shot in less than 5 years you should be ok.

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