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first outbreak of distemper should be removed away from the rest of the stud to a loose-box, if practicable; the stall he leaves should be cleansed, and all his utensils kept rigidly separate.
White-wash and chloride of lime are useful and simple as disinfectants.
This disease is more easily prevented than cured, and horse-owners do well to avoid leaving an animal when heated, or after exercise, standing unclothed in the cold or in a chilly draught. Also be careful about transferring a horse suddenly from total exposure at grass, or from a healthy airy stable to an ill-ventilated and crowded one.
Though influenza or distemper are often considered to be epidemic, contagion should be, as before observed, most carefully guarded against. Some professional men hold these two designations to represent distinct diseases. In influenza the animal becomes speedily attenuated, and the whole system appears disordered and debilitated, occasionally with lameness, as if from fever of the feet.
There is generally one mark which may be permitted to be peculiar as distinguishing some forms of influenza, particularly in certain seasons during its prevalence, which is that of the mucous surfaces assuming a yellow colour all over the body, and the white of the eye being also tinged with that hue.
When influenza assumes a serious character, the professional man must be left to deal with it; but pending the arrival of such assistance, the treatment here recommended can do no harm, the primary seat of the disease being that of the respiratory organ.
Laryngitis, Bronchitis, Pleurisy.— I will not at
tempt to enter into descriptions or prescribe separate modes of treatment for these and other diseases of the respiratory organs, such delicate distinctions belonging exclusively to the professional man; but while awaiting his advice, the treatment recommended for common cold and influenza can do no harm in any attacks of the upper air-passages; and when the lungs or cavity of the chest appear to be affected, that advised as follows for inflammation of the lungs is equally harmless :
Inflammation of the Lungs or Pneumonia is indicated by great prostration and high fever, heaving of the flanks (an evidence of great internal anguish); the legs are spread out to their fullest extent, as if to prop up the body and prevent it from falling; the breathing is difficult, and respiration quick; extremities cold; pulse quick and hard, like wire to the touch; a look of pain and wretchedness marks the countenance.*
Such symptoms can be safely treated by a professional man only; but if his services canrot possibly be procured, rub in a powerful mustard poultice over the lungs, the seat of which I cannot better describe to the uninitiated than as situated beneath that portion of a horse's surface which would be covered by a saddle if placed on his belly directly underneath the situation it would have occupied on his back, the pommel being close to the fore legs, omitting to blister the portion of the belly which would be covered by the cantel of the saddle when reversed, but continuing the blister between the fore legs to the front of the chest.
* The difference between this disease and attacks of the lower viscera is, that the animal does not kick about, but generally stands as if hopeless and helpless.
The hair need not be clipped off before the application of this poultice. Give every six hours, till the arrival of the veterinary surgeon, from 30 to 40 grains of ordinary grey powder mixed and administered in the form of a ball.* Or, in place of grey powder, give Fleming's tincture of aconite, eight drops every hour in half a pint of cold water, until the arrival of a veterinary surgeon.
Let the animal have an additional quantity of the purest air, with an increased supply of clothing, and in cold weather the temperature should be slightly moderated. The symptoms of recovery are denoted by gradual cessation of heaving at the flanks; the extremities getting warmer; the pulse less quick-softer to feel; and the animal appearing more lively.
His strength must be kept up after the first day or two by drenches of gruel, till mashes will be accepted.
Cough, as before observed, generally accompanies influenza, distemper, and common cold, but thero are instances where cough may be present with little or no fever or other derangement, in which case change of food from corn to bran or linseed mashes, with a limited allowance of wetted hay or chaff, may be sufficient to cure.
As a rule, grooms should understand that when coughing is heard, they are to give bran or linseed mashes till further orders ; nor should an animal suffering from
* Practical men will tell you that the readiest and best way to mix grey powder, as water will not make it adhere, is with saliva in the palm of the hand, from whence it is transferred by a blunt knife to the horse's tongue near the root, the tongue being drawn out for the purpose. I can vouch for the efficacy of this not very elegant proceeding where expedition is an object, having witnessed it myself.
cough be expected to do any but very light work or exercise (every care being taken to avoid his being chilled), bran mashes not affording sufficient sustenance to do heavy work upon.
No person or owner should be satisfied with the state of his horses' health while they cough. Linseed mashes daily (page 23) will be found excellent to ease and cure cough, also carrots and green food ; but when the cough is accompanied by fever, or other symptoms of ailment, treat as for influenza, distemper, cold, or sore throat, as the indications of derangement may direct you.
Nasal Gleet may possibly be occasioned by protracted irritation of diseased molar teeth ; but if persistent, especially of a thin, ichorous, glairy, or size-like character, and confined to one nostril, generally the left, the glands under the jaw being swollen and tender, the Schneiderian membrane or mucous lining of the nose having a dull, pale, or leaden hue, it should be looked on with suspicion, particularly if confined to one nostril, and more so if the discharge adhere round the rim of it. Cough is seldom present with glanders.
In such cases consult a veterinary surgeon without a moment's delay, and be careful to prevent any part of your own body, or that of any other person, coming in contact with such a discharge. It is very probably incipient glanders of the most insidious and dangerous character.
To more clearly distinguish the dangerous from the harmless gleet, it may be remarked that when the discharge is thick and purulent, yellow, and in full flow, and without a disposition to adhere to the nostril, though the most alarming in appearance, it is least to be apprehended, proceeding naturally from a heavy
cold in the head, which, however, should of course meet with immediate attention.—(See “ Cold, Influenza,” page 110.) For the prevention of nasal gleet, observe the same precautions as those recommended against cold, &c. (page 109), and keep your horses as much as possible to themselves.
In travelling, horses run great risks, and, of course, such diseases are less likely to be contracted in firstclass hostelries than in inferior and hack stabling.
Poll-Evil is generally occasioned by a bruise on the head, behind the ears, near the neck, by pressure of the head-stall, &c. (see " Haltering,” page 16), when, if great care be not exercised to cure the sore promptly, sinuses or cavities will form, eating away into the more important parts of the adjacent structure. Here, also, unless an immediate cure be effected by the means directed for the treatment of sores (see "Water-dressing,” page 160, and “ Zinc Lotion," page 158), accompanied with the removal of the head-stall or any aggravating pressure, the veterinary surgeon ought to be consulted at once.
Avoiding the causes will be the best preventive of this disease.
Shivering Fits in general precede or are the commencement of a feverish attack; therefore, in such cases, no heating food must be allowed. Substitute hot mashes, increase the clothing, and administer a febrifuge, as nitre, 2 drachms, repeated in two hours. Or, if nitre in the mash will not be accepted, give two ounces of sweet spirits of nitre in half a pint of cold water.
Shivers in the stable, proceeding from nervous sensibility, are frequently the result of recent excitement,
160, and "zment of sores (see cow the means direness