Page images

enced by heat and cold, but it harbours fleas and other vermin so much as to be negatived on that account. A layer of felt under the tiles is a good addition, but by itself it is so liable to become rotten, that it is not to be recommended.



All shooting dogs are fed upon oatmeal more or less mixed with other kinds of meal-such as that of barley and Indian corn. It is found that the slightly aperient nature of the oat keeps the dogs in good health, and this meal therefore does not heat them when kept for a time in kennel, as is the case with barley-meal, or Indian corn meal, or wheat flour. If they are regularly exercised, which they ought to be, there is nothing better than a mixture of Indian corn and oatmeal, in such proportions as to keep the dog's bowels gently moved. The foreign meal is somewhat cheaper than oatmeal, and on that account it is used by many people; but unless the precaution is taken to exercise the dogs, it is almost sure to heat them, and produce eruptions of some kind or other. Green vegetables, such as cabbages, cauliflowers, &c., or potatoes, carrots, or turnips, should be added two or three times a week during the summer, dogs being ready enough to eat the mixture if it is flavoured by broth made either of flesh or greaves. Bones also are essential to health, for unless the dog has something to gnaw, he does not produce the amount of saliva which is required for his digestion. With these several eleinents he may be kept in good health, provided always that he is not exposed to infectious diseases, and is not infested with vermin. Throughout the months when shooting dogs are idle they require no flesh, and their meal need only be flavoured with broth. The materials generally employed for making this are greaves, which being always purchaseable at the chandler's, are on that account very convenient. They are the refuse membranes left after melting fat for candles, and contain some considerable nourishment of a mild nature, though from being stale the smell is strong, and not very appetizing to the stomach of man. The dog, however, is naturally fond of high flavours, and will ravenously devour flesh when it has


been kept till it is high. The usual method of preparation is to break up the greaves, and boil them in water till they are soft, then stir in the oatmeal, and boil for a quarter or half an hour, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Take off the pot, or if in a copper, rake the fire out, and let the whole cool, when it becomes stiff, and is known as “puddings.” The quantity of meal necessary for making this varies so much, according to the quality, that no directions can be given, and practice will soon show how much will suffice. Of the greaves a pound per week is plenty for dogs out of work; and of the puddings thus made somewhere about a pound and a half to two pounds will be the average consumption per head daily. I may mention that the puddings should be so stiff as to bear to be cut in masses without losing shape, or stioking to the knife or spade with which this is done. When dogs are hard at work, and indeed, while they are strongly exercised in preparation for it, a little flesh should be given to them; and for this purpose there is nothing better than sound horse-flesh, boiled, and the broth used for the puddings. The change, however, should be gradual, and it is well to give them an occasional meal of it during the summer, to avoid the chance of its disagreeing in the autumn, which it often does when given for the first time.


When dogs are kept long in kennel they are almost sure to contract some eruption of the skin, which is often caused by parasites of one kind or other. Many of these are so minute as to require the microscope to detect, but others are visible to the naked eye. Of the latter kind are fleas, ticks, and lice, which are great pests, and very difficult to exterminate. The usual method adoptod is to dress the dogs once or twice in every year, and the dressing adopted is very generally a mixture of train oil and brimstone, which is rubbed into the roots of the hair over the whole body. This answers well enough in killing the vermin above named, none of which can live when covered with oil, but it is very apt to chill the dogs themselves, as the oil has nearly as cooling an effect


It is quite

upon the skin as water, and we all know that a dog kept wet for days together would be sure to contract some kind of disease. There are several remedies which have no such illeffect, and for valuable dogs they are well worth the adoption, though attended with some little trouble and expense. But to please all parties, each shall be enumerated in the following list.

A good Dressing.Take of spirit of turpentine four ounces, train oil twelve ounces, brimstone two ounces ; mix.

To kill Fleas.—Take of soft soap two ounces, carbonate of soda one ounce; mix, and add a little water to form a paste ; rub this well in to the roots of the hair, let it remain an hour, then wash all out with warm water and dry.

For any Vermin.-Rub Keating's Persian insect destroying powder into the roots of the hair. innocent in its action on the dog, and kills the insects at once with which it comes in contact.

To kill Ticks or Lice.-- Take white precipitate in powder, rub it well into the roots of the hair ; let it remain for two or three hours, keeping the dog carefully muzzled; then brush all out, and keep the dog dry for some days.

To remove the Ticks from the Walls and Benches.—Take of corrosive sublimate two drachms, sal ammoniac four drachms; rub together in a mortar, then dissolve in half a gallon of water, and brush the walls and benches over with it, saturating them well. Next day go over them with quicklime wash, to which is added a little size to prevent its coming off afterwards on the dogs' coats.

By adopting any of these measures, kennels may be cleared of all of these vermin, and their denizens also kept free from them. There is no doubt that, by keeping dogs scrupulously clean vermin will not collect at all, but they must be washed once a week in order to ensure this desirable object. During the summer fleas will collect upon dogs under any circumstances, especially if they are allowed plenty of litter and it is not frequently changed. There is no necessity for this, for dogs do not care to lie in straw when the weather is warm, but prefer the cool flags or a bare bench, on account of the heat of the litter. Shavings of red deal are also good preventives of fleas, all insects disliking the



turpentine which they contain. But, besides these visible

, parasites, as I before mentioned, there are other and smaller ones which attack the dog's skin, causing what is popularly called virulent mange.

For their removal a dressing is absolutely necessary, and in addition medicine will often be required. Here much depends upon the nature of the parasite, and the extent to which the mange produced by it has gone, but the following applications may be tried, and if one does not succeed the other probably will.

Dressing for Virulent Mange. --Take of compound sulphur ointment four ounces, spirit of turpentine two ounces; mix, and rub well into the skin twice a week. Or, take of iodide of mercury one drachm, lard one ounce; mix, and rub a very little into the roots of the hair every day.

Red mange is a constitutional malady, and can seldom be cured without internal medicine, as indeed is often the case with the virulent form. Arsenic in minute doses, continued for months together, is almost a specific against the foul condition of the blood which exists in either case. It should be given with the food, and not on an empty stomach. For an ordinary pointer, setter, or spaniel, proceed as follows :

Take of Fowler's solution of arsenic five to eight drops, add to the food, and give twice a day ; the dog being fed night and morning. If in a month the whites of the


do not become red, increase the dose gradually till they do; then diminish a drop per week till the redness disappears, when continue the dose till the eruption is gone.

Physic is given regularly in some kennels, but this can only be necessary when the dogs have been previously neglected. No care will prevent infectious diseases from entering a kennel, and distemper will revel in it in spite of every precaution. But the physic usually given is not for such diseases as these, but to counteract the effects of too much food, coupled with the omission to exercise the dogs. An occasional dose of castor-oil will certainly do no harm, and indeed the dog is by nature inclined to adopt some such irritating remedy, for the effect of the grass which he eats is nearly the same. If, therefore, a dog becomes dull and devoid of appetite, it is well at all times to give him a dose ; but as long as he keeps in health and spirits there is not the slightest occasion to interfere. An excellent kennel remedy is the

. following :- Take of castor-oil three parts, syrup of buckthorn two parts, syrup of poppies one part ; mix, and give two tablespoonfuls to a large dog, and in proportion to a smaller one.

Worms are the most troublesome pests of all in every large kennel, for though there are occasional exceptions, the rule is that they exist in every dog during most parts of his life. When in small numbers, and especially if they are only the variety called maw-worms, little injury is done, but tapeworms and round-worms interfere sadly with the health and strength. When, therefore, either of these kinds is found to exist, the remedies proper for their removal should be administered. It is impossible to find space here for a complete treatise on

worms and their removal," and, indeed, in reference to them as well as to other maladies, the reader should consult those books which are specially devoted to the subject, All that can here be done is to indicate the most simple treatment, preventive as well as curative.

The cause of the presence of worms is very mysterious, but of late many discoveries have been made, which tend to show that though only a limited number of species are found in the dog, they are produced from the ova of a greater variety of parasites infesting the sheep, the rabbit, and other animals upon the flesh of which the dog is fed. Hence it becomes doubly important that precautions should be taken against the introduction into the stomach of any flesh, paunch, trotters, &c., without boiling, which will destroy the life of these eggs, supposing them to exist. Practically it has long been found that such a proceeding was necessary, and butcher-fed dogs have been always supposed to be peculiarly liable to worms. The ova deposited in the bowels of the dog are likewise supposed to be retained in a state of vitality for months and even years, attached to the walls of the kennel, so that it is desirable as far as possible to destroy them in that position, or to avoid keeping dogs year after year in the same building. The latter precaution, however, is a most troublesome one, and few sportsmen will be inclined to build new kennels for their dogs every two or three years. But by using the wash ordered at page 162, for ticks, the

« PreviousContinue »