« PreviousContinue »
others have assigned bad and unwholesome food as the cause of the rot. A sudden fall in condition may accompany the disease without having induced it. A sheep may continue to fill its belly, and yet fall off. It is the cause of the transition from fatness to leanness, and not the transition itself that ought to be looked to. If that cause be hunger, rot will not be the consequence, but the usual effects of starvation will follow, It is well known that on healthy pastures, whether so rich as to keep sheep fat, or so poor as only to bring them into ordinary condition, the rot is not known. Soft rank grasses, whether abundant or scarce, invariably occasion the disease. Indeed it is now so well understood that rank grasses act as a sort of poison on the stomachs of sheep, that the rot is very easily avoided.
Cure.—The cure, in the first stage of the disease, does not present many difficulties. The first object is to free the stomach and intestines from their pernicious contents by means of a purgative, such as common or Glauber's salt; and when that is accomplished, wholesome food will most probably complete the cure,
The medicine to which we may look with greatest confidence in the advanced stages of rot, appears to be mercury. It would, perhaps, be improper to administer this internally. The safest, and most effective method of applying it, is in the form of the common blue ointment, and a trial of this is strongly recommended to those whose flocks are liable to rot. plied to the bare skin, on the region of the liver, and the size of a nut rubbed on it till it is all dried up twice a day for a week or ten days. This, in conjunction with wholesome food, will in all probability prove to be the most effectual treatment. Mercury is well known to be a specific for the diseased liver of the
It should be aphuman body, and on that account we may presume that it will be efficacious in the cure of the same organ in sheep; and it is also recommended as the most effectual means of destroying the fluke-worm.
Symptoms.-Red Water commonly makes its appear. ance about the beginning or end of winter, and first affects about the breast and belly. It consists of an inflammation of the skin, that raises it into blisters, which contain a thin, reddish, and watery fluid. These continue for a short time, break, discharge this matter, and are followed by a blackish scab.
Red Water is a disease that but seldom appears in this country, and it is almost never fatal.
Causes. When the sheep are exposed to cold or wetness, the skin being fretted makes the blisters rise or they often arise from cold affecting the animal, thus producing a slight fever, which throws out these vesicles on the body, similar to the scabby eruptions which appear about the face, and more particularly the mouth, of those persons affected with cold. The blood in this diseare is but little affected, although a little of it oozes into the vesicles on the skin, and communicates to them that reddish tinge which gives origin to the name.
Cure.-In cases where the disease is violent, a little blood should be taken. The sheep should be placed in a fold by itself, the blisters slit up, and a little in
fusion of tobacco put into them; and the following medicine may be given for three or four mornings successively :Flour of Sulphur
2 ounces. Honey, Treacle, or Syrup
3 ounces. Mix them, and divide them into six doses, of which one may be given every morning in half a pint of warm water. If this is found successful, half an ounce of nitre mixed with the foregoing recipe, will be attended with good effect; after which a dose of salts may be given, and the body washed with lime water.
Another kind of Red Water has been described, said to be caused by feeding on turnips and succulent grasses. It attacks sheep that are in good condition, and often destroys them in twenty-four hours. This, however, is a different disease, and consists in an inflammatory state of the system, affecting particularly the internal parts. Here bleeding is essentially necessary; after which the bowels should be emptied, by giving from one ounce to one ounce and a half of Epsom salts. When the animal recovers, he should not be too hastily turned into the pasture with the other sheep
ERYSIPELAS, OR WILD-FIRE.
Symptoms.This, like the last mentioned disease, also affects the skin, and is apt, if not attended to, to spread very quickly among the flock. It is attended with more inflammation than the last, and but seldom with blisters over the body. It commonly appears in
August and September, and does not continue above eight days at a time, although those sheep affected with it are liable to relapse. In former times it was a practice with shepherds to bury those sheep affected with this disease at the door of the fold, with their feet upwards, which they believed acted as a charm to drive it from the flock.
Cure.—“ It is necessary,” says Mr. Stephenson, “ for the cure of this disease, to follow the same method recommended in the Red Water.
An ounce of salts dissolved in warm water, given every morning for three or four days, answers remarkably well to begin the cure, when the last mentioned recipe, with the addition of the nitre, may be continued till the disease disappears. But Sir G. Mackenzie thinks, that giving salts in warm water is liable to objection. The effect of the medicine, he says, ' will be more powerful, and more beneficial, when the solution is administered cold. For washing the body, Goulard water is the best application.'"
SCAB, OR ITCH.
Symptoms.—This infectious, troublesome, destruc. tive disease, is well known. A sheep is never even slightly affected but it proceeds to scratch itself, and rub its sides and buttocks against every thing it meets.
As soon as the disease is discovered, the whole flock among which the scabbed animal has been pasturing, should be carefully examined, and every one
which has an appearance of being fretted on the skin, should be taken away to be cured.
Causes.—This is a very infectious disease. It seldom appears among sheep which have been smeared, and when it does, it probably proceeds from the touch of a diseased animal, of a stone, or a tree, or paling, on which scabbed sheep have rubbed themselves.
Cure.-Several ointments have been proposed for the cure of this disease, and that of Sir Joseph Banks seems to have been most approved of. His prescriptions, however, can only be made by an apothecary, a personage not always at hand, and who may not always have sheep ointment ready when wanted. Every apothecary has abundance of mercurial ointment at all times, and if a shepherd purchases a quantity of it to keep by him, and with a little oil of turpentine, he may always have it in his power to make up ointment when required, and of such a degree of strength as he may judge proper.
The following directions may be found useful :take Strong Mercurial Ointment
4 pounds. Oil of Turpentine
half a pint. Hog's Lard, Tallow, or Butter - 4 pounds. Melt the hog's lard, or butter, allow them to settle, and pour off the clear liquid ; then add the mercurial ointment; stirring the whole well till it be melted and incorporated, and then add the oil of turpentine. Keep stirring the mixture for a minute or two, that the mercury may be completely mixed, and then pour the whole into some shallow vessels, that the ointment may cool quickly. If the mercury should appear to have sunk when the ointment is cold, it may be