Nelson S. (Nelson Slater) Mayo.

The care of animals : a book of brief and popular advice on the diseases and ailments of farm animals online

. (page 15 of 28)
Online LibraryNelson S. (Nelson Slater) MayoThe care of animals : a book of brief and popular advice on the diseases and ailments of farm animals → online text (page 15 of 28)
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rest or gentle exercise, give the best results.

Disloc(dion of the Neck

A partial dislocation of the neck is sometimes caused
by the animal's becoming entangled in the tie -rope and
being thrown in such a manner as to double the neck
under the body. In rare cases the neck may be com-
pletely dislocated and the animal still live. In the
partial dislocation the head is twisted around to one
side and remains in that position, the animal being
unable to move it to any extent. Sometimes the
difficulty is purely muscular, caused by a paralysis of
the muscles from lying too long in a cramped position.
Bathing the affected muscles with hot water, and rub-
bing them well, is usually sufficient to enable the animal
to gradually recover the use of the muscles. The dis-
location of the vertebrae is difficult to treat.

238 The Care of Animals


A sprain is an injury to a joint caused by violence,
which produces more or less injury to the ligaments
binding the bones together and the soft tissues of
the joint. Sprains usually result from twisting or
bending of the joint in an unusual direction.

Severe lameness usually comes on suddenly soon
after the injury. The joint becomes inflamed, swollen
and tender, and is usually moved with much difficult3^
The animal should be kept quiet. If there is severe
pain, fomentations of hot water should be applied
to soften, soothe and relax the part. When the in-
flammation is severe and persistent, cold applications
in the form of water or bags of ice are beneficial.
After the inflammation subsides, if the lameness and
swelling persist, liniments well rubbed in or a light
blister will hasten recovery. A part that has been
severely sprained should have a long period of rest,
as complete recovery from a sprain is very slow.


Every true joint contains a lubricating liquid called
"joint -oil" or synovial fluid. When for any cause this
joint oil or synovial fluid is secreted in abnormal
amounts, it causes the soft tissues around the joint
to bulge outward. When this condition occurs on the
hock-joint, it is called a "bog-spavin."

The first symptom is a puffy enlargement on the front
of the hock-joint, toward the upper and inner part, due
to a distension of the capsular ligament of the joint by

Bog -spavin 239

the synovial fluid. It is fairly common in young large-
jointed colts, especially of the heary draft breeds. It
is usually caused by strains upon the joints, such as
heavy pulling, or any overwork when the animal is*
too young. It rareh- causes lameness; although when
the bog -spavin is caused by a severe strain there may
be lameness resulting from the injury. In colts, bog-
spavins often disappear by the time they are three
years old.

The treatment is to cause the synovial fluid to be
absorbed. This can usually be done by pressure and
cold, applied to the outside of the joint by means of
wet bandages. Before putting on the bandages, hand-
rubbing the part will often cause much of the fluid to
be absorbed. Tincture of iodine may be painted on
the part, or iodine ointment rubbed in once daily.
When the part begins to get sore this treatment should
be withheld for a few days. A small amount of red
blister rubbed over the spavin sometimes proves benefi-
cial, but severe blisters should be avoided. A spring
truss is made, to be applied to the spavin for an hour
or two twice daily. This truss, by exerting pressure,
causes the fluid to be absorbed. Bog -spavins should
never be opened with a knife. In cases of long stand-
ing or in aged horses treatment is unsatisfactory.


A wind-puff is a condition similar to bog-spavin,
except that it does not occur on a joint, but usually
between tendons where small sacks, containing synovial

240 The Care of Animals

fluid or joint-oil, are situated, to lubricate the tendons
as they play over each other. Wind- puffs are usually
located on either side of the leg, more particularly on
♦the outer side just above the fetlock- joint, between
the back tendons and the bone. They are noticed as
rounded or elongated puffy enlargements that feel as
if they might contain air. They are usually found on
horses that have been subjected to severe exertions,
especially to fast work. Wind -puffs seldom interfere
seriously with a horse's ordinary work, but they are a
serious blemish, and as an animal grows older they are
likely to become more marked. In rare cases, the joint-
oil which they contain may solidify into hard masses.
The treatment for wdnd- puffs is the same as for
bog- spavins, — iodine, either as a tincture or ointment,
hand -rubbing and pressure. Some cases can be suc-
cessfully treated by drawing off the synovial or joint-
oil, by means of a hypodermic syringe, and injecting
a solution of iodine. This should be attempted only
under the direction of a well -qualified person.


A thorough -pin is a puffy enlargement occurring
half-way between the point of the hock and the front of
the hock- joint. It is the same condition as a wind- puff,
— a soft puffy enlargement occurring both on the inside
and the outside of the leg, in the hollow just in front of
the large tendons which are inserted in the point of
the hock. By gentle pressure, the synovial fluid can
be pressed through from one side to the other; hence

Curbing in Houses 241

the name, " thorough -piii." The causes and treatment
are the same as for wind -puffs. A pad or truss is also
made that can be applied as for a bog -spavin.


A curb is a bulging or thickening of the ligaments
and other tissues on the back part of the hock, just
below the point, giving to that part a curved, bulging
outline instead of the straight line that is normally
presented when the hock is viewed from one side.

Some horses' hocks, because of their rough, weak
appearance, are called by horsemen "curby" hocks.
They seem to show predisposition to this disease. The
exciting causes are severe strains on the hock -joint,
such as may occur by heavy pulling, and especially
by rearing and jumping. Such movements are often
spoken of by horsemen as liable to "spring a curb."

There is usually lameness, associated with some
inflammation, at the back part of the hock, followed
by the appearance of a bunch, or thickening, of that
part. The lameness frequently disappears, but the
enlargement persists, leaving a blemish more or less
marked. An animal having a curb is always unsound,
being unfitted for fast work. But this lameness may
not seriously interfere with his usefulness as an ordinary
work -horse.

In treating curb, the horse should have rest and a
high -heeled shoe on the foot of the affected leg. Mild
counter-irritants, in the form of liniments, tincture of
iodine or iodine ointment, or light blisters applied to

242 The Care of Animals

the part, are of assistance in curing the lameness and
removing the enlargement. Should this treatment fail,
firing with a fine puncturing- iron must be resorted to.


This is most frequent in aged horses that have
been subject to severe work, especially upon the road.
It is a condition in which the knees are bent or sprung
slightly forward, owing to a contraction of the tendons
which pass down the back of the leg. It may occur
in young horses as a deformity or as the result of an
injury. When the trouble is very slight it can some-
times be remedied by using a thin heel -shoe, and em-
ploying hand -rubbing with a mild liniment to the back
tendons. Well-marked or chronic cases will require the
cutting of one or both of the back tendons. This
operation should be performed only by a skilled


In horses that are used for racing or are otherwise
subjected to severe exertion, the ligaments which pass
down over the fetlock-joints become ruptured, allowing
the joints to fall nearly to the ground as the horse
puts his weight upon them. If the rupture is severe
there is little hope of recovery, although the animal
can often get about fairly well and can be used for
breeding purposes. When the rupture of the ligaments
is slight, rest, a light blister to the part and a brace
attached to the shoe, will often enable the ruptured

Injured Tendons 243

parts to unite so that the horse can do light work;
but an animal that has suffered from a partial rupture
of the ligaments should never again be subjected to
severe work.


Owing to severe exertion, the tendons of the legs,
especially the back tendons, may be completely or par-
tially^ ruptured. There is usually severe lameness
in the injured tissues, associated with swelling and
inflammation. In treating the parts, the inflammation
should first be reduced by the application of hot or
cold water, wet bandages being applied lightly to re-
lieve the strain. After the swelling has subsided,
liniments or light blisters can be used. The parts
should not be subjected to severe strains afterward.



The digestive system includes the mouth, throat,
esophagus or gullet, stomach and intestines, with the
glands which pour their secretions into this tract, such
as the liver, salivary glands and pancreas.

The differences in the mouths of animals are very
marked. In the horse the soft palate, or curtain between
the mouth and the throat cavity, is long, and is so
constructed that it prevents the horse from breathing
through the mouth. Cattle and sheep have no incisors,
or front teeth, on the upper jaw, but, instead, a pad
of cartilage against which the lower incisor teeth close
in biting grass. In pigs the teeth are set in a con-
tinuous row in the upper and lower jaws. In horses
there is an interdental space between the incisors and
the molars or grinders. In male horses there is in
this space a single canine or "bridle" tooth. These
are also found occasionally in mares.

The stomach of the horse is rather small and the
bowels are capacious. In ruminants — those animals
which chew the cud, such as the cow and sheep — there
are four stomachs. The first is the rumen or paunch,
which lies on the left side. In adult cattle it has a


The Alimentary Tract 245

capacity of about fiftj' gallons. Opening from the
rumen at its anterior extremity is a small cavity,
the reticulum, commonly called the 'Mioneycomb " on
account of the peculiar structure of the lining mem-
brane. It is very common to find foreign bodies,
nails, etc., in this cavity after death. The next stomach
is the omasum, or "manyplies," or "manifolds," situ-
ated to the rigiit of the rumen and well forward.
The omasum is made up of a large number of folds,
like the leaves of a book, and between these leaves the
food lodges, and is partly digested. In this stoniach
the food is always rather dry and firm. The next and
true stomach is the abomasum. This is situated just
behind the manifolds and to the right of the rumen.
The lining membrane of the stomach is arranged in
loose folds, which run lengthwise. In examining ani-
mals a few hours after death, it is usual to find the
lining membrane of the rumen and omasum peeling off
readily over large areas. This is due to the action
of the digestive juices, which begin after death to digest
the stomachs themselves. In the horse there is no
bile -cyst or gall-bladder in the liver, as there is in
cattle and pigs. Other differences in structure of
the alimentary canal are of comparatively small im-

In dealing with diseases of the digestive sj-stem, it
should always be remembered that most of them are
caused by improper food or feeding, and these sources
of trouble should be carefullv scrutinized.

246 The Care of Animals


Sore mouth in domestic animals usually results from
injuries, irritating foods, or germs of disease which
gain entrance, grow, and cause canker sores on the
membranes or tongue. Among other causes may be
mentioned irritating medicines that burn the mouth,
harsh bits, projecting molars, or diseased teeth.

The first symptom of sore mouth is usually a dis-
inclination, or inability, to eat properlj', especially of
coarse food. The horse may "gaunt up," and in some
cases there is a discharge of saliva, either watery or
frothy, and sometimes the tongue is swollen so that it
protrudes from the mouth.

The first thing to be done is to remove the cause,
if it can be determined. The animal should have soft
food, gruels, milk and mashes. The mouth should
be thoroughly washed out with warm water and a mild
healing lotion applied with a sponge or soft cloth: a
strong solution of alum, or tincture chlorid of iron,
two teaspoonfuls to one -half pint of water. These
can be applied three times daily. Allowing the animal
to lick a little salt three times daily is also excellent.
Corrosive sublimate or other poisonous remedies should
not be used, except under competent advice, as there
is danger of poisoning.

Infectious Sore Mouth of Cattle

This disease attacks cattle of all ages, and appears
to be contagious, although it does not spread rapidly;
often only one or two cases will occur in a large herd.

Infectious Sore Mouth 247

In some instances a dozen young cattle running together
will all be attacked by the disease.

The first symptom usually noticed is inability or
disinclination to eat. There is also a profuse discharge
of saliva that drips from the mouth, often frothy, due
to the working of the jaws and tongue. Raw, depressed
sores appear on the inside of the lips and cheeks, as
well as on the tongue, gums and pad of the upper jaw.
In most cases the tissue seems to slough out, and
the sores are covered in the center with dark -colored
dead tissues, whence the popular term, "black -tongue."
The edges of the sore are raw and inflamed and often
contain a little pus. In some cases the sores are re-
ported to be so extensive that the teeth drop out; in
others, the tongue is swollen so severel}- that it pro-
trudes from the mouth. Associated with the soreness
of the mouth there is inflammation of the front feet.
The feet are hot to the touch, and tender to walk upon,
and the animal appears so stiff in the fore legs that
it can move only with difficulty. There is a fever
accompanying the disease, the temperature rising, in
most cases, to 105° F. All animals fall away rapidly
in flesh because of their inability to eat, and in cows
the milk flow is lessened.

Sick animals should be isolated from the herd and
fed on soft, nutritious foods, such as mashes, gruel,
and the like. If left in pastures they may starve, be-
cause they cannot eat.

The mouth should be swabbed out two or three
times daily with a saturated (all that water will dis-
solve) solution of borax, applied with a sponge or soft

248 The Care of Animah

cloth. The solution of a tablespoonful of alum dis-
solved in a pint of water is also excellent."

Practicall}' all cases make a good recovery if they
are cared for and carefully fed. The greatest loss is
due to the falling away in flesh. Milk from affected
cows should not be used for human food, nor fed to
calves. This disorder is not the contagious foot-and-
mouth disease of Europe, an account of which will be
found in Chapter XVI.


All domestic animals are subject to diseases of the
teeth, but horses are most frequently affected. Com-
mon difficulties are decayed and ulcerated teeth ; while
split or broken, and irregular or projecting teeth cause
much trouble. In horses and cattle, there is a constant
wearing away of the molars, or "grinders." This keeps
the edges sharp so the food can be ground properly.
If, for any reason, a tooth does not come into proper
contact with its opposite, there is nothing to wear it
away. As a result, it grows out long, and often strikes
and lacerates the soft tissues of the opposite jaw (Fig.
48) . This causes severe pain and interferes seriously with
the animal's eating. When the front teeth, or incisors,
of horses do not come evenly together, it will be found
that the lower jaw is drawn too far back. This causes
the back parts of the upper incisors to be worn away
and the front edges to shut over the lower ones, like
a parrot's bill; hence the term, "parrot-mouth." Fig. 47.
The symptoms of diseased teeth are: difficulty in chew-

Diseased Teeth 249

Ing the food, which is shown by holding the head on
one side; "quidding" the food, that is, chewing up
quids and spitting them out; and "driving on one line."
Frequently an animal will stop eating
suddenly ; or, when drinking cold
water, will stop and slobber the water,
evincing pain. In many cases of dis-
eased molars, the saliva has a disagree-
able, fetid odor.

When there is much difficulty and
pain in eating, the animal falls away
in flesh. In horses that are subject ^'^■'^'^- Parrot-mouth.
to attacks of colic or indigestion the teeth should
always be examined, as the trouble may be due to
improper mastication of the food. When the roots
of molars are ulcerated, the swelling often breaks
and discharges pus from an opening on the side of
the face or the bottom of the lower jaw; these open-
ings rarely heal permanently until the ulcerated tooth
is removed.

Ulcerated, decayed, split and badly broken teeth
should be extracted with forceps, never punched out,
as the latter method is likely to break the tooth, leaving
pieces of the roots in the jaw, where they cannot be
removed and are a source of much trouble. It is
sometimes necessary, however, to trephine or cut a
hole through the jaw-bone, and then punch the
tooth out. After such an operation, only milk and
gruels should be allowed for ten days, as solid food is
liable to get into the wound and keep it from healing.
In all cases of removal of a tcoth, the opposite tooth


The Care of Animals

should be filed off at least once a j-ear. A parrot-mouth
should be kept filed off level. Irregular and projecting
teeth should be cut off or filed off with a "float," until
even with the rest of the set.

Tn horses and cattle, however, the ''table," or grind-

Fig. 48. Projecting molars of horse.

ing surface of the teeth, is naturally rough and sharp.
It should not be filed except to remove prominent

Horses' teeth should be carefully examined and
attended to at least once a j-ear. The practice of itin-
erant "veterinary dentists," of "fixing" them whether
they need it or not, is bad. These fellows often do
horses more harm than good.

Wolf- teeth and CrihUng 251


" Wolf - teeth " are small extra molars, frequently
found in front of the first grinders on the upper, and
rarely on the lower, jaw of horses. They are believed
to be rudimentary^ molars, pointing us back to pre-
historic horses, fossil remains of which are found with
teeth extending in an unbroken row around the jaws.
Probably one -half the horses under seven years of age
have them. There is a popular idea that wolf -teeth
make a horse go blind, but this is not true. They
have no more connection with a horse's eyes than any
other teeth do.

It is a good plan to have wolf -teeth drawn (not
punched out), as they are of no use to the animal and
a bit may draw against them and make the mouth sore.
When these teeth are punched out, the roots are likelj'
to break off and remain in the jaw, and become a source
of irritation.


Cribbing, or "crib -biting," is a habit that some
horses have of grasping some object, biting it lightly,
and at the same time contracting the muscles of the
neck and emitting a peculiar grunt, frequenth' sucking
in air at the same time. Such horses are called "wind-
suckers." Sometimes the horse will simply press the
incisor teeth against the object; and, in rare cases, he
will arch the neck and suck air without biting anything.
Cribbing is a habit or vice. In chronic cases, the front

252 The Care of Animals

edges of the incisor teeth become beveled by repeated
biting. Fig. 49

It is seldom that a horse will crib on iron. By
covering mangers and other stable fittings with iron,
the horse will cease cribbing in the stall.
A box -stall withont manger or projecting
wood will prevent the horse cribbing in the
stable. In ordinary cases, a broad strap,
buckled firmly about the neck, will stop
cribbing. The strap should be carefully
adjusted, so it will be just tight enough to
inoisor teeth of a prevent the coutractiou of the muscles of
bad cribber. f.|^g ncck. The Strap should be removed
when the horse is in use. Sawing or wedging the
incisor teeth is a bad practice, as it stops the habit
only while the teeth are sore. The membrane attach-
ing the tongue to the floor of the mouth is frequently
cut to stop cribbing, but its effects are usually tem-


This is an inflammation of the parotid gland. There
are two of these glands, one on either side of the neck,
just below the ear. A contagious disease of similar
glands in man is known as mumps.

Parotiditis may be produced by injuries to the
glands. In some ceases, it may be caused by the throat-
strap being too tight, or from pulling on the halter
or tie-strap. A sudden change of food, especially of
pasture, may be the cause.

Hot fomentations should be used, to reduce the in-

Diseases of Salivary Glands 253

flammatiou. These should be followed b}' applicatioDS
of iodine ointment, tincture of iodine, or a good, stimu-
lating liniment, well rubbed in. If there is difficulty in
swallowing, soft foods, gruels and milk should be given.
In rare cases, the gland suppurates, or ''gathers." As
soon as pus can be felt, an opening should be made, —
ver}' carefully, as there are important blood-vessels in
this region. The pus should be washed out, and mild
antiseptics injected, such as a solution of bichlorid of
mercury (one part to 1,000 parts of water), or a three
per cent solution of carbolic acid.


The duct that carries the saliva from the gland to
the mouth passes under the jaw, winds outward over
the lower jaw-bone and empties opposite the third
molar. Sometimes a hard mass, or concretion, com-
posed of salts of lime, called a "calculus," forms in the
duct, and stops the saliva from passing into the mouth.

The calculus may be removed by working it out into
the mouth, or a surgical operation may be required.
Great care must be taken in the latter case to prevent a
fistula forming, which will allow the saliva to escape on
the outside, instead of into the mouth. When such
fistulas do form, it is often necessary to destroy the
gland by injecting iodine or nitric acid into it through
the duct.


This is an excessive discharge of saliva from the
mouth. It is frequently seen in horses, cattle and

254 The Care of Animals

dogs. It is usually associated with nausea and vomiting.
In dogs, it is one symptom of dumb rabies. Salivation
may be caused by bad food, drugs, sore mouth, fre-
quently by bad teeth, or by choking and paralysis of
some parts of the head or throat.

In all cases the cause of the difficulty should be
carefully sought and removed. When the gland is dis-
eased iodine should be applied, either as the tincture,
painted on, or as the ointment, rubbed in. Iodide of
potassium in one -dram doses, once daily, is excellent
for horses and cattle when there is paralysis. It should
not be given longer than four days.


Sore throat is an irritation or inflammation of the
pharynx or the larynx. It may result from irritating
substances swallowed, or it may be caused by bacteria
growing on the surface or within the mucous membrane
which lines these cavities. Sore throat is often asso-
ciated with some acute disease, such as distemper or
influenza in colts and horses.

The most prominent and common symptoms of sore
throat are inability to swallow, especially coarse foods,
except with difficulty. In drinking, more or less water
will run out through the nose. The animal carries the
head with the nose protruded, and there is frequently
a cough, either dry or moist. The throat is frequently
swollen oil the outside and is tender under manipula-

Give soft foods and gruels, as for sore mouth; apply

Sore Throat 255

hot fomentations to the throat, and after drying rub with
a stimulating liniment twice daily. When the throat
begins to get sore on the outside, withhold the treat-
ment for a few days. Two tablespoonfuls of the solu-
tion of tincture of iron, recommended for sore mouth
(page 2-16), is good for sore throat, and it may be given

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Online LibraryNelson S. (Nelson Slater) MayoThe care of animals : a book of brief and popular advice on the diseases and ailments of farm animals → online text (page 15 of 28)