« PreviousContinue »
This disease seldowa prevails among horses ; in most cases it is incurable, as the animal drops down and soon expires, being somewhat similar to apoplexy in the human being.
Causes. These are different in many cases. Generally, over-exertion, producing congestion in the chest, terminates in the brain.
Symptoms.—Some time before apoplexy comes on, the animal gives warning of its approach by bearing the head very low, the eyes appearing sleepy, with an occasional superabundance of saliva ; the hearing is also affected, and a general weakness of the limbs. After remaining in this state any period from two to ten hours, the crisis arrives, and he falls, sometimes dying immediately; at other times, exhibiting symptoms of violent convulsions.
Treatment.-Bleeding should take place immediately, and that copiously. The jugular, or common neckvein, is the best for the operation, as that will sooner relieve the brain, from the impossibility of getting near any artery which supplies the brain with blood : this may be followed by gentle purges.
DYSPEPSIA, OR LOSS OF APPETITE.
Causes.-Loss of appetite is usually the forerunner of all diseases ; and when other symptoms show themselves, should be treated accordingly. When it comes alone, it arises from the irregularities to which the horse is subject when changing its hair ; or from the use of indigestible food, fatigue, too sudden exposure to cold, and various other causes. Worms invariably produce loss of appetite, and should be treated accordingly.
Symptoms. This disease is usually accompanied with a rough and shaggy state of the hair, the appetite very irregular, and the food passes away undigested,
Cure.—This must be effected according to the symptoms: when solely arising from the improper use of food, and causes such as would naturally lead to loss of appetite, and unattended with fever, a gentle stimulant would be found efficacious: at the same time, care should be taken that the complaint does not arise again from similar circumstances. Ginger, Powdered
3 ounces, Carraway Seeds, ditto
8 ounces, Gentian, ditto
6 ounces, Oil of Cloves, or Anniseed 5 drachms, mixed with honey, molasses, or lard, and made into a dozen balls, will strengthen the stomach. Some persons employ the following Carraway Seeds
4 drachms, Grains of Paradise
3 drachms, Ginger
1 drachm, Oil of Mint
- 24 drops, made into a ball with syrup or honey.
During the process of either of these medicines, gentle exercise is recommended daily. This disease is commonly called Chronic Indigestion.
HERNIA, OR RUPTURE.
This is when a portion of the intestines protrudes from some cavity in the belly, which is either natural or artificial. But there is yet another kind of hernia, and one more common among horses than the former; this is Strangulated Hernia, and is found on the scotom of the stallion, and on the groin of the gelding; this is very seldom known among mares.
Causes.--Violence produces hernia more frequently than any other cause, horses being urged to perform more than their powers will admit of. When restive, careless grooms, when in haste, will kick the animal in the abdomen ; rearing and kicking, struggling during the performance of an operation, all these causes will produce hernia. The rowel of a spur is stated by Gibson to have caused it when pressed too hard against the side.
Symptoms.-A general uneasiness, a rolling from side to side, lying down for a few moments, and then rising, as if to procure a relaxation of pain ; tumours on the groin, sometimes soft, sometimes hard.
Treatment.—Unless the case is very slight. from the impossibility of tying bandages round the parts affected, it is incurable ; if it is recent, some relief may be given by bleeding, and giving oily clysters : fomentation of the part frequently during the day with vinegar and camphorated spirits warmed. Poultices are also used with effect. Girard gives some lengthened advice on this disease; and Blaine may be consulted with advantage by those who wish to study the subject deeply. Ordinary practitioners are unfit to treat hernia properly: horses, when afflicted, ought to be put under the care of some experienced veterinarian, when more hopes may be entertained of a cure, than the unskilful could effect.
Many opinions were entertained on this disorder; some doubting its existence in the horse ; but who, at the same time, could not account for “some anomalous symptoms on any other pathological view.” It is now, however, universally allowed to prevail, and consists of two kinds, acute and chronic. Gibson has written on acute rheumatism, under the name of external pleurisy; it was so called from the intercostal muscles being looked upon as the parts affected, and not unfrequently attended with a couch. Farriers have known it as the Founders, from the stumbling gait not unusual when afflicted with rheumatism in any part.
Causes.—Horses that have been accustomed to warm stables are subject to it when exposed too suddenly to cold or rain ; atmospheric transitions of all kinds ought to be carefully avoided, as they are apt not only to produce rheumatism, but may possibly lead to some other disorder.
Symptoms.—The first kind, viz., acute rheumatism, is sometimes forerun with a slight fever, alternate cold and shivering sensations followed by heat ; the forequarters and extremities are most commonly attacked. The limb affected is moved carefully, and bent with great reluctance. Chronic rheumatism is the consequence of the former ; especially when it has been seated in the loins and fore-quarters. Sometimes both are affected together, and the animal is unwilling to lie down, from the pain attending his rising.
Cure. -Purges are often administered; and the application of strong camphorated, ammonia embrocations or ointments; gentle exercise, and a moderate degree of warmth kept up in the system. When the purge has taken effect, the following may be given for three nights : Sulphur
2 drachms, Assafoetida
1] drachms, Ginger
1 drachm, Soap
2 drachms, mixed into a ball with treacle or honey. Ammonia
5 drachms, Camphor
6 drachms, Oil of Turpentine
1 ounce, Hog's Lard
6 ounces, will give relief to the parts affected, by rubbing it well in frequently. A brush may be used very properly, as friction is found beneficial at times
This disorder afflicts many horses on the slightest exertion, which proceeds from their bowels not having a sufficient space to perform the functions of nature, in consequence of their bodies being formed narrow and