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diately so as to expel its contents. It therefore presses up the empty rectum and forms, as it were, a kind of tumour in it; and if the pipe is too short, it cannot reach beyond this rising in the rectum, which forms, as it were, a declivity back towards the anus; and hence the liquor flows back as soon as it is discharged from the pipe, instead of passing forward.
The smallness of the bag, or bladder, containing the clyster, which is generally proportioned to that of the pipe, is another very material objection to this small apparatus, as it seldom contains one quart of liquid, from which circumstance very little benefit can be derived from the use of clysters in such large intestines as those of a horse.
Bracken, in his first volume, has this very judi. cious remark on the use of clysters. He observes that the colon of a horse seems to be three guts, by reason of the two necks of about half a yard each drawn up into many cells, or purses, by means of two ligaments; one of which runs along the upper, and the other the under side of it; which, with the assistance of a valve or flap at its beginning, hinder the excrements either from returning back into the small guts, or falling too soon downward, before the chyle prepared from the food be taken into its proper vessels. And, indeed, the caccum or blind gut, which is the first of three larger guts, seems to be so contrived, in the manner of a valve, to hinder the aliment and chyle from passing too soon into the colon ; for if the aliment and chyle were not somewhat hindered in their passage through these large guts, the body could not be sufficiently supplied with nourishment.
The first of these colons is about a yard and a half long; the second about a yard; and the third, or that part which joins the rectum, near six yards in length,
so that the colon of a horse fourteen hands high, may be said to be nearly eight yards and a half long; and from it, along the rectum or straight gut to the anus, where the excrements are discharged, is not above half a yard; so that it is plain that clysters operate mostly in the colon, though generally they are given in too small quantities; for of what use are two quarts of liquor in a gut of nine yards long, and four or five inches in diameter in a natural state? but when in a colic, it is so distended with flatulencics that its diameter exceeds seven or eight inches, as Mr. Clark observed in those who have died of that distemper.
Large metal syringes are frequently used for the purpose of giving clysters; but of all the instruments ever invented, Mr. Clark thinks these are the most improper for horses.
The shortness and smallness of their ivory pipes are not only a material objection, as has been observed, but they are apt to tear and wound the gut; for if a horse should prove restless, either from pain, as in cases of the gripes, or from viciousness, the syringe and pipe being quite inflexible in the struggle to throw up the injection, the gut may be wounded, by which a discharge of blood and other bad consequences may follow,
But although there were not the least chance of either hurting the horse, or wounding the gut, yet the force with which they throw up the liquor always causes a surprise, and of course a resistance, attended with a vigorous effort to throw it back; which indeed frequently happens before the pipe of the syringe is withdrawn
The instrument which Mr. Clark prefers for the purpose of giving clysters, is a simple bag, or oxbladder, which will hold two or three quarts, tied to
the end of a wooden pipe about fourteen or fifteen inches long, one inch and a half diameter where the pipe is tied, and becoming gradually taper to the extremity, where the thickness should suddenly increase and be rounded off at the point as smooth as possible.
The hole through the pipe may be made sufficiently large so as to admit the end of a common funnel for pouring the liquor into the bag. By the flexibility of the bladder at the end of this instrument no danger can happen to the horse, whilst the clyster is conveyed so far up into the intestines that it will be retained. It causes no surprise (provided the liquor be neither too hot nor too cold, but of the same warmth as the intestines themselves,) as no other force is required to throw it up than the holding the bag a little higher than the level of the pipe, by which means the liquor flows gently into the gut without occasioning any surprise to the horse. After using the bag it may be blown full of wind, a cork put into the pipe, and hung up in some dry place to prevent it from rotting, by which means it will be fit for use on future occasions.
Clysters are distinguished by different names, which denominate the quality of the ingredients of which they are composed, as emollient, laxative, diuretic, anodyne, &c.
As the more general use of clysters in the practice of farriery would be attended with the most salutary effects, especially in acute diseases, where the speediest assistance is necessary, Mr. Clark subjoins the following forms for composing them, together with the cases in which they may be administered with advantage :
Take of thin Gruel
2 or 3 quarts. Olive Oil
6 ounces. Coarse Sugar
6 ounces. Dissolve the sugar in the water-gruel, and then add the olive oil.
Thin Water Gruel
2 or 3 quarts. Glauber's Salts
8 ounces. Olive Oil
6 ounces. When Glaubers salts are not at hand, common salt may be used in the stead.
A great variety of recipes might be added for making clysters, composed of the infusion of different herbs, seeds, &c.; but as the above ingredients are always easily got, they will be found to answer all the intentions under this head, which is to soften the hardened excrement, to lubricate the intestines, and by exciting a gentle stimulus, promote a free discharge of their contents, which, when once obtained, seldom fail of giving relief in inflammatory cases, spasms, &c.
2 ounces. Boiling Water
2 quarts. Infuse the Senna, and having strained off the liquor, add syrup of buckthorn and common oil, each four ounces.
This clyster will operate more briskly than the former, and on that account may be preferred when an immediate or speedy discharge is necessary.
Take of the jelly of common starch, or of an infusion of linseed, one pint.
Tincture of opium, one ounce, or about two tablespoonsful.
When there is reason to apprehend inflammation of the bowels, solid opium may be given instead of tincture, from twenty to thirty grains, in proportion to the urgency of the symptoms. It ought, however, to be well rubbed in a mortar, with a little of the liquid, until it is thoroughly dissolved. The smallness of the quantity of the liquid here recommended gives the better chance of being the longer retained, as the good effects derived from the opium depend entirely on this circumstance.
This clyster is proper to be given in violent gripings, attended with purging, in order to blunt the sharpness of the corroding humour, and to allay the pain usual in such cases.
The starch will also in some measure supply the deficiency of the natural mucus, or covering of the intestines, which has been carried off by violent purging. It may be repeated if the symptoms continue violent, only diminishing the quantity of laudanum, or
of the opium.