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purge, and next morning, after a mash and watering (always with warm water), two more hours of the same exercise in clothes; but be careful not to sweat the horse.—See page 155.
If the evacuations be fully free, less exercise is necessary; otherwise, in a couple of hours repeat the walking at a brisk pace. When the desired effect of the medicine has been satisfactorily produced, hay and corn may be gradually resorted to.
While an animal is under the operation of purgative medicine the water and mashes should be warmed, and the body well protected from cold by clothing and the exclusion of draughts.
The ordinary purge, consisting of Barbadoes aloes 4 drachms, extract gentian 2 drachms, is mixed into a mass by any chemist. With some delicate horses, subject to looseness, this purge may be too strong, and should be reduced by a drachm of aloes and half a drachm of gentian.
On the contrary, with large horses of a full habit, 5 drachms of Barbadoes aloes, or even more, may be necessary, with 2 drachms of gentian. In all cases where there is reason to suppose that the mucous surfaces of the alimentary canal may be in a state of irritation, it is much safer to give linseed-oil, say a pint at a time, to which may be added, if speedy purging be essential, twenty drops of croton oil.
The use of old dry hay will be found the most simple and ready primary resource to stop purging and steady the action of the bowels, and a very little bruised oats may also be given in such cases.
Should the purge appear to gripe, copious clysters of warm water will afford relief.
is easily found by placing the two forefingers under the middle of the horse's jowl or cheek-bone. The novice can feel about here till he discovers pulsation, and having once made himself acquainted with its seat, he will be the better able to judge of a horse when apparently out of sorts.
Inside the forearm, and in other spots, the pulse is equally superficial, but under the edge of the cheek-bone is the most convenient place to find it, or at the temple.
A horse's pulse in health beats from about 32 to 38 a minute—the smaller the animal the faster the circulation will be.
In brain affections the pulse is slower than natural; it is quickest in inflammation of the serous and fibrous membranes—much slower in the mucous ones.
DISEASES OF THE HEAD AND RESPIRATORY ORGANS.
Glanders.—As there is really no cure for this horrible disease, I will not attempt any dissertation upon it, but, merely referring to the remarks upon nasal gleet, page 116, advise all, whenever they have the least suspicion about the latter, to consult a veterinary surgeon immediately.
The only preventive against the disease is to keep and work your horses in a reasonable manner, give them plenty of pure air at all times, and to guard them as carefully as possible from contagion.
Sore Eyes should be treated mildly by stuping with tepid water, and the use of laxatives, as mashes, green food, or a mild purge, according to the severity of the case. Keep in darkness. If the affection is acute, consult a professional veterinary surgeon.
Common Cold and Influenza.—It should be remembered that cold air seldom gives cold, but rather its action upon the exhalent vessels of the skin when they are under the process of sweat, and when the exercise that produced the latter has ceased. The superficial action of a low temperature then proves an astringent, clogging the small exhalent and exuding vessels, and by the derangement of the whole animal system, immediately affects the respiratory organs, producing more or less fever.
When disease is thus contracted, it is self-evident that the best way to meet it is by forcing these small vessels into exudation (or sweat) as rapidly as possible, which may readily be done by exercise and clothing upon the very first suspicion that a chill has been taken, and before the animal is positively affected. Once, however, that the debility or feverish symptoms incidental to the disease are manifesting themselves, active but entirely different measures must be resorted to.
The premonitory symptoms of cold, and that scourge of the stud, influenza, are, refusal of corn, staring coat, dull eyes, at first a thin and soon a purulent discharge from one or both nostrils, with more or less cough; pulse wired, sometimes very weak, but if highly inflammatory symptoms be present, thin and rapid.
Under these circumstances, if a professional veterinary surgeon is procurable, the case should be referred to him; but rather than suffer an ordinary farrier to deal with the animal, I will take the liberty in this, as in other cases, to offer simple remedies that can do no harm, and have in my own experience been beneficial.
Bleeding is admissible only in extreme cases, and Tinder professional advice, at the commencement of an inflammatory attack, in affections of the brain, or serous and fibrous membranes—not in mucous ones. In cases, however, of sudden pulmonary congestion, or apoplexy of the lungs, general depletion is indicated. Blood-letting should never be had recourse to in distemper or influenza* neither should purging be thought of in such cases, as it lowers the system, which, on the contrary, requires all the sustaining power possible.
Give at once in the most inviting small mash of bran, or in the form of a ball,—
2 drachms of nitre;
giving little or no hay, and nothing but warm mashes of bran or linseed, if they will be taken. If the symptoms are urgent, give in a ball,—
3 drachms of nitre, with
Also well hand-rub, with a liniment composed of equal parts spirits of turpentine and oil mixed, all under the windpipe, the gullet, within three inches of the ear, by the parotid glands, and inside the jowls. Use the liniment twice the first day if the symptoms are severe, and once each day subsequently—abating its use according to the disappearance of the disease.
The horse should be placed if possible in a loose-box,
* A little work on Wood-letting, by Professor Hugh Ferguson of Dublin, is well worthy of consultation on the subject.
and being kept warm with plenty of sheets, hoods, and bandages, the door and window of his stable should be thrown open during a considerable portion of the warmer part of the daj) to give liim plenty of fresh pure air.
The head should be kept as pendant as possible, in order to induce the throwing of the nasal discharge, which will be further assisted by steaming the nostrils, using a very large nose-bag (if possible of haircloth), half-filled with common yellow deal sawdust, having an ounce of spirits of turpentine well mixed through it; or better, hot bran mashes, of which the poor beast may be tempted to pick a little when first applied.
Either application must be kept at a high temperature by the frequent addition of hot water.
The nose-bag must be used several times a-day— kept on for twenty minutes at a time, and never suffered to remain on the animal till its contents (which should of course be frequently changed) become cold or offensive. Or the nostrils may be steamed as well, in a more simple way, thus:—Fill a bucket full of hay, stamp it down with the foot, pour boiling water upon it, renew the boiling water every ten minutes. Let a man hold the horse's head in the bucket over the steam for about half an hour at a time, three or four times a-day.
As recovery progresses, gradually resume ordinary feeding—remembering that in this, as in all cases of illness where the constitution has been debilitated, ithas to be carefully rebuilt by food and suitable exercise to fit the animal for work. It should be borne in mind that respiratory diseases appear to be very contagious, for which reason, if for no other, the patient on the