George H. Dadd.

A practical treatise on the most obvious diseases peculiar to horses, together with direction for their most rational treatment; containing, also, some valuable information on the art of shoeing horses online

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Online LibraryGeorge H. DaddA practical treatise on the most obvious diseases peculiar to horses, together with direction for their most rational treatment; containing, also, some valuable information on the art of shoeing horses → online text (page 1 of 17)
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PRACTICAL Tl^EATI^E , \-V :;./;>/

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Author of "Anatomy and Physiology of the Horse," "Modern Horse Doctor," etc., etc., and
Principal of*the Veterinary School of Chicago.



S. C. GUilO-CB^S Sc CO.





Entered according to thb Act of Congress, in the year 1803, bt


Is THE Clerk's Office of the Disteict Court of the United States, for the
Northern District of Illinois.

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Ltmam & Zbesk, Stereotypers, 47 Claik street, Chicago.








The object of the author in preparing this work, is to meet a great
emergency, which all persons interested in the welfare of the Horse,
acknowledge to exist.

For example, many works on the treatment of equine affections
are too voluminous for practical use among those, who, from sheer
necessity, are compelled to try their skill as amateur physicians, in
view of restoring to usefulness a sick or disabled animal.

I find that in the hour of need, or when a horse is suddenly at-
tacked with a dangerous malady, and appears to suffer tormenting
N^ pains, and no surgeon at hand, humanity prompts the owner to seek

>ih^. for some information that may enable him to prevent the destruction
of his property ; under such circumstances he cannot spare the time
to sit down and read a lengthy article; his object is to ascertain,
without delay ^ the nature of the disease and its treatment.

Since the commencement of our present national troubles, the
spread of disease is alarmingly on the increase, from the fact that
thousands of diseased animals have been disposed of and distributed
all over the country, carrying with them the propagating germs of
infection ; and many of these animals have proved a sore pest, and
dear purchases, although they may have cost but a trifle. In the
same ratio, therefore, as disease multiplies, so also will be the desire


for practical information on the naturo of the same. For these, and
other reasons which might be alluded to, there exists a necessity for
a work of this kind.

In the composition of the work I have endeavored to be as brief
and practical as possible. I have also, for the reader's instruction,
introduced a number of cases which have occurred in my own
practice, which may aid the practitioner in treating others.


• / * ♦



AMominal Dropsy 13

Anatomy of the Tail 27

Aphthsa 88

Epizootic SB

Apoplexy, Cerebral 43

Splenic 55

Acute Rheumatism 71

Albuminous Urine 97

Antidote for the Bite or Sting of Venomous Reptiles 99

Arsenic, Poisoning by .• Ill

Age of Horses 124

" American Magnetic Equine Powders " 142

" American Magnetic Equine Liniment " , , 142

" American Magnetic Equine Lotion " 142

Brain, Inflammation of 21

Blindness 35

Bronchocele , 41

Bruise of the Sole 41

Big Head and Big Jaw 46

Brain, Dropsy of 64

Breach Presentation 57

Bots 69

Chronic Founder 14

Capped Hock 15

Elbow 15

Cramp or Spasm 20

Cough, Chronic 28

Colic, Spasmodic 39

Flatulent 40

Corns 42

Cribbing or Crib-Biting 43

Cerebral Apoplexy 43

Canker in the Feet 58

Chronic Rheumatism 75

Carrots, Value of 100

Castration, Mode of Performing 104

Cholera 110

Cut of Patent Horse Shoe 125

Cracks, Quarter 1 34

Cavalry Horses, Shoeing of 137

Dropsy, Abdominal 13

Distemper 16

Dilatation of the Pupil 32

Dropsy of the Brain 64

Disease of the Skin — Mange — Lousiness — Remedy for same 68

Derangement of the Stomach . .• 71

Diabetes, or Profuse Discharge of Urine 97

Disease, Navicular 98

of the Liver 101



Remarks on the Application of Hot Shoes 131

Stables, Importance of Ventilating 9

Social Science, its Relation to Veterinary Science 11

Stomach, Inflammation of , . . . . 13

Swelled Legs 16

Scrotal Hernia, Reduction of 18

Spasm, or Cramp 20

String Halt 20

Scratches 22

Staggers 22

Stifle out 33

Sore Mouth 37

Spasmodic Colic 39

Sole, Bruise of „ 41

Spleen, Enlargement of. ... - , 45

Splenic Apoplexy 65

Stomach, Over-Distension of 62

Sweeney, or Wasting of Muscles 63

Stomach, Derangement of , 71

Stables, Light in 82

Splent, its Nature, &c 92

Spavin, its Nature, kc 93

Suppression of Urine 9^

Sprain of the Fetlock 99

Structure and Function of the Liver. 101

Surfeit 120

Shoeing Horses, Rules for 128

Cavalry Horses 137

Horses in Scotland , 138

Tail, Anatomy of , 27

Thrush in the Mouth ■ 38

Tetanus, or Locked Jaw 61

Typhoid Pneumonia 63

Teething 81

Thick and Turbid Urine 97

Tracheotomy 105

The Bite or Sting of Venomous Reptiles. 117

Thumps 118

Theory and Practice of Shoeing Horses in Scotland 138

Umbilical Hernia 68

Urine, Bloody 96

Suppression of 97

Profuse Discharge of 97

Albuminous • 97

Thick and Turbid 97

Use of the hard Palate, or Bars 109

Veterinary Science, Remarks on 11

Veterinary Midwifery, Case of 67

Value of Carrots 100

Veterinary Science, How to Inaugurate it in the U. S. Army 115

Withers, Fistulous 29

Watering Horses 79

Worms 113

WarblcB 118




" Prevention is better than Cure."

It was the intention of the Creator, that all animals, so long as
they were permitted to exercise their natural instincts, and thus
comply' with the requirements of physiology — the science of life —
should enjoy health and long life. Hence a great amount of disease
and death results from the evils of domestication.

One of the conditions which physiology imposes, in order that
a horse shall enjoy health, is, that the atmosphere at all times, and
under all circumstances, shall be uncontaminated, so that the blood
shall be decarbonized and purified of the defiling elements acquired
in the course of circulation.

Let the reader understand that the lungs are something like a
sponge, elastic, composed of a myriad of cells. ^.Tn the former, how-
ever, these cells have a vast internal surface, communicating with
each other up to their common origin, the bronchial tubes and wind-
pipe. On their internal surface we find a delicate yet highly impor-
tant membrane permeable to the atmosphere ; in extent, it is supposed
to occupy a square surface equal to that of the external body. In
contact with this membrane comes the atmosphere. If j3ure, zephyr-
like, it fans into healthful blaze the flame of life, upheaving from the
living Vesuvius arid lava, in the form of corbonic acid gas, almost
as destructive to animality as that issuing from its great prototype
proves to vegetation. The stable atmosphere being pure, and the
lungs in working order, the blood is well arterialized, capable of
supplying the waste of the animal machine, and renovating its

On the other hand, should the atmosphere be impure, it fails to
vitalize the blood ; the latter is unfit for the purpose of nutrition, and
may be considered a non-supporter of vitality. Hence the need of
pure air, the breath of life.

But are horses always furnished with pure air ? Let the owners
of unventilated, crowded, filthy, down-cellar and low-roofed stables

Let those who have stables in the region of swamps, sewers, and
stagnant pools of water answer.

In such locations disease and death run riot, and the noble com-
panion of man, instead of being within the ramparts of the science
of life, is on the margin of death's domain. He may exist for seve-


the glandered matter, coming in contact with an abraded, or absorb-
ing spot, on any part of a man's body, will surely cause him to die
the most horrible of all deaths ; and the same remarks apply to the
disease known as ^'"malignant farcy.''''

I might enumerate many other fbrmf» of disease which are com-
municable from the superior order of animality to the inferior, and
vice versa, but the above must suffice, in view of attracting attention
to the value and importance of the subject. In regard to the origin
of diseases, it is known to the profession that the diseases of men
and animals are often due to similar causes ; that the evils of domes-
tication which operate to develop disease in animals, are as notorious
as the evils of civilization, which induce unnecessary disease and
premature death among members of the human family ; therefore,
our science does bear an intimate relation to social science, and it
appears to me that no scientific mind can fail to appreciate the
advantages to be derived from a more extended knowledge of the-
fundamental principles of veterinary science.

Let husbandmen and stock raisers of this country put their
shoulders to the wheel, in view of establishing veterinary schools
and colleges throughout the length and breadth of our immense
agricultural domain ; and soon we can boast of having a class of
Veterinary Surgeons, educated on A'merican soil, conversant with
the diseases incidental to the live stock of America / in that event,
we can do our own " Doctoring,'''' without foreign interference.

I am not disposed to find fault, nor scold about the itinerant vet-
erinary practice which prevails in this locality, for I am aware that
all try to do the best they can for the relief of the inferior orders of
creation ; the fault is not with the practitioners, but with the people
who have failed to .furnish the means, of. education.

istj^txire of




Caitse. — Improper food, and poisons which irritate the vascular
coat of the stomach ; the disease often runs into the gastro- enteritis,
which signifies inflammation of the stomach and bowels.

Symptoms. — The animal is very restless and ungovernable, and
appears to be in excessive pain, the pulse is wiry, and the patient
refuses both food and water, knowing, probably, that if anything
be taken into the stomach it will only add to the torment.

Treatment. — Give the animal, every four hours, one pint of lin-
seed tea, into which stir one drachm of nitrate of potass. Should
it be discovered that the animal has been poisoned, give half a pint
of linseed oil, and the same quantity of lime-water; mix, and give
as a drench every four hours, until the animal is better, or the
bowels respond to the medicine. The patient should be lightly fed,
and during convalescence should have a few doses of an infusion of


Cause. — ^Effusion of serum into the abdominal cavity. It often
is the result of an acute disease of the peritoneum.

Symptoms. — Dropsical swellings in the sheath and limbs ; the
abdomen is enlarged ; the appetite is not good, and the animal is
thirsty. Let one person strike the walls of the abdomen with his
hand, while another rests his hand on the opposite side ; at the^mo-
ment of striking, the person on the opposite side will feel a fluctu-
ating movement, demonstrating the presence of water within the
abdomen. The external symptoms show unthriftiness and debility.

Treatment. — The disease being of a prostrating character, the
patient's strength must be sustained ; give one drachm of ginger,
and the same quantity of golden seal, and twenty grains of iodide
of potass, night and morning, in a few oats or shorts, and rub the
external swellings once, daily, with oil of cedar.


FOUNDER, (acute laminitis.)

The terra founder signifies " ruin ;" because a horse in a foun-
dered condition is, while the disease lasts, a ruined animal. The
diseuse is known to professional men as Laminitis^ (inflaramation of
the vascular parts of the foot.) During the progress of the disease,
ATKOPHY, or wasting of the muscles of the shoulders, occurs, and
some persons are then disposed to call the malady *' chest founder,"
but the original seat of the malady was in the foot; the wasting of
the muscles occurs in consequence of a want of physiological action
of the same.

This disease, in its acute form, comes on very suddenly, and may
be occasioned by severe work, overfeeamg, or imbibing cold water
when the animal is in a state of perspiration ; it often has a metasta-
tic origin, that is, translation of disease from the lungs to the feet.

Symptoms. — The most reliable symptoms are, a hard, strong and
wiry pulse, unnatural heat about the feet ; the animal appears to
suffer much pain, and is continually shifting his position and sending
his foot forwards ; sometimes, in view of obtaining relief, he lies
down, but is uneasy and breathes quick. The position which the
animal assumes, and the unnatural heat of the hoofs, point out clear-
ly the true character of the affection.

Treatment of Acttte Founder. — The feet should be kept con-
stantly moist with cold water, and four drachms of nitrate of potass
may be given, twice, daily, in a little water ; but should the animal
labor under a gorged state of the stomach, administer tonics and
stimulants in view of arousing the digestive function, so that the
food may be digested, and thus pass out of the stomach.

A few doses of nitrate of potass will soon decrease the action of
the heart, and lessen the inflammatory action of the feet.


Chronic Founder is usually the result of organic foot disease, and
a permanent cure is almost a matter of impossibility; the only thing
we can do, is to mitigate the sufferings of the animal, by applying
lubricating and counter-irritating liniments to the feet and limbs,
and by having the feet properly prepared and shod, and allowing
the subject to spend his time in the pasture. (See article ''^Sweeney.'")
Some persons contend there are many kinds of founder, but the facts
are, founder is not the disease; the wiry shoulders and hollowness
in front of the chest, are mere effects arising from protracted dis-
ea.8e aud pain in the fore feet — chronic foot lameness.



Capped Hock consists of a soft enlargement at the point of the
hock or bone, known as the os calcis ; the enlargement is usually
occasioned by a bruise or some injury done to the parts.

Treatment. — Rub the parts twice daily with some stimulating
liniment,* and let the animal have regular daily exercise.


Capped Elbow is similar to Capped Hock; it arises from the same
cause and requires the same treatment.


Symptoms. — Convex sole and descent of sole ; he travels as
though he was afraid to put his foot fairly on the ground.
Treatment. — A run at grass.


Horses' feet very often get punctured in consequence of picking
up a nail when traveling on the road ; at other times horses' feet get
punctured in consequence of the smith accidentally driving a nail in
a wrong direction ; sometimes very little injury results, but often
locked jaw ensues.

Treatment. — Enlarge the orifice so as to allow of the escape of
any matter that may form within the hoof; then apply a plaster com-
posed of equal parts of brown sugar and soap — or dress with Lord
&i Smith's Magnetic Lotion, and apply leather under the foot, be-
tween the shoe and sole. When all symptoms of lameness have
subsided, the leather may be removed. It is important that the
orifice, made by the puncturing nail, should be enlarged, otherwise
the matter will burrow and form a quittor.


Swelled legs are occasioned by what is known as local dropsy ;
some horses seem to possess a peculiar predisposition, and whenever
they get sick, or stand a few days in the stable, their hind legs swell.

* The Magnetic Liniment manufactured by Messrs. Lord & Smith, No. 23 Lake street, Chicago, I
have found very efficacious.


The swelling arises from the presence of serum or water witliin the
cellular tissue of the parts.

Treatment. — Should the swelled legs be the result of a prostrat-
ing disease, tonics and diuretics are indicated ; give two drachms of
powdered goldenseal every morning, and three drachms of nitrate
of potass every night, to be mixed with the food, and let the animal
have daily exercise.

In obstinate cases it will be necessary to apply daily a p.-tion of
the following :

Spirits of Camphor. . '. 6 ounces.

Vinegar ♦....! quart.


Or use Lord & Smith's Magnetic Liniment.


Such affections as the above named, are apt to make their appear-
ance in the spring, and are most prevalt.nt in stables that are not
ventilated ; such affections are very apt to extend from the mucous
surfaces of the nostrils, to the throat and interior of the air cells of
the lungs ; usually, however, the throat is the seat of sorent-ss and
exudation ; while in some cases that have lately occurred in this city,
a very profuse discharge from both nostrils was observed, which
ended in a critical outburst of an abscess between the angles of the
lower jaw. In two cases that have lately come under my observa-
tion, the disease ended in pleurisy, and effusion of serum into the
cavity of the chest, which was attended with dropsical swellings of
the legs and external parts of the chest.

When distemper occurs in the system of an animal debilitated
by previous disease, or one of a morbid or scrofulous diathesis, a
profuse and protracted nasal gleet remains, and this is accompanied
by tumefaction of the thyroid glands in the region of the throat.
The purulent discharge from the nostrils, need not occasion any
anxiety on the part of the owner of the horse or the medical attend-
ant, for, as it increases in quantity, the other observable symptoms of
the malady grow milder ; in fact, the discharge may be considered
an effort, on the part of nature, to rid the system of morbific mat-
ter, and any attempts by injudicious treatment to arrest this salutary
discharge may effect a translation of disease, which often ends in
death. Death may, however, be occasioned by the re-absorption of
the morbid nasal discharge; imder such circumstances, the nasal
membrane takes on a livid aspect, and streaks or spots of extrava-
sated blood are observed; the membranes of the eyes assume a dark
red color, the pulse becomes indistinct; cold sweats bedcAv the body;
the patient becomes emaciated, loses his appetite, and, soon after, his
life. In a few solitary cases a partial recovery takes place — death
refuses to receive a victim — the animal lives to be the subject of con-
firmed heaves or broken wind.



TEMPER. — Should I contend that "Distemper" was contagions and
infectious, probably the bulk of evidence would be on my side ; in
fact, I was formerly led to believe that, either by infection or conta-
gion, distemper was propagated from the system of one animal to
that of another ; but experience, which is generally the only true
guide, has of late years led me to think differently, yet I am well
aware that even at the present day, in spite of the ever accumulative
knowledge of pathology, both the negative and afl&i'mative of this
proposition may be logically maintained.

Because a number of horses are attacked with distemper, in this
or that stable, is not positive proof in evidence of its contagious or
infectious element, because the season of the year may have more to
do with its production than some people are aware of It is well
known that influenza or distemper is more frequently encountered
in spring, than in autumn; more in autumn, in some countries, than
•in summer, and in winter more rarely than in either of the other
quarters of the year.

Then again, influenza may make its appearance at a certain stable,
and rapidly spread, so that a great proportion of its occupants are
affected with unmistakable symptoms of the malady ; but this
proves nothing in favor of the theory of the contagionists, for the
same cause which operated to develop the malady in the system
of one animal, was operative (if operative at all) in the systems of
the others.

In view of maintaining my argument, I offer the following perti-
nent case: Mr. Harbin, an extensive dealer in horses, informs me
that he once purchased a number of horses for a southern market,
and knowing that all horses at some period of their existence ought,
or must, have an attack of distemper, he was desirous of getting his
animals through' the scrape ere he delivered them to his friends;
and in view of delivering them in good condition, he purposely ex-
posed them, by purchasing a horse affected with distemper ; and not-
withstanding his efforts to communicate the disease, the animals
improved in condition, and not one of them appeared sick until a long
time afterwards when they were landed in a southern port, and even
then he disposed of the whole lot, having but one sick patient on his
hands; the sickness being contracted after arriving south.

Treatment of Distemper. — The animal should be placed in a
comfortable location, where he can breathe pure air, and be free
from annoyance of every kind ; should the weather be chilly, the
body may be lightly clothed, and the lower part of the limbs band-
aged with flannel. It is very important that the surface of the body
be kept warm, for when cold, the equilibrinm of the circulation is
disturbed, the blood then localizes itself about the internal organs,
and produces congestion ; a condition very unfavorable, in view of
the speedy restoration of the sick creature.

It should be understood by every husbandman that this affection
is of a prostrating nature, that the object of the treatment of the
malady is to husband the animal powers — Tzeep the horse alive while
the disease runs its course — and preserve the tone of the system by
administering tonics and diffusive stimulants ; a few doses of golden
seal and ginger, accompanied by a rational allowance of scalded o^ts,


small quantities of hay, and water enough, are generally all that is
needed by way of treatment. And if this course be pursued, the
animal will recover, very little the worse for having had the distem-
per. A mild form of this disease is often made to assume a typhoid
or putrid type simply from meddlesome medication and overdosing,
with agents which depress the vital powers, and by bleeding.

No matter what may be the stage in which we find the disease, the
treatment must be life-sustaining; no kind of treatment which con-
templates a depression of vitality is at all admissible. This is my
experience after a practice of very many years — and the most intel-
ligent and liberal-minded physicians of the present day depend more
on nature than art, in the treatment of distemper.

Should swellings appear under the chest and limbs, the proposed
plan of treatment is not to be materially altered, only add to the
golden seal and ginger a little iodide of potass ; this agent is a gland-
ular stimulant, and augments the function of the absorbents which
take up the fluid and thus reduce the swellings, which are of a
dropsical character. The proportions of the above agents are as
follows :

Golden Seal, powdered ^ . .^ . . , 2 ounces.

Ginger, " 1 ounce.

Iodide of Potass " 3 drachms.

Mix, and divide into twelve parts, and give one night and morning
in food or gruel.

It may happen that the animal is unable to swallow, in conse-
quence of soreness of throat, as the saying is ; in such case we mere-
ly apply some stimulating application to the region of the throat,
and wait awhile; soon the soreness subsides, and the patient can
then swallow all he needs and as much as nature requires.

The best stimulating application for the throat is

Cod Liver Oil 4 ounces.

Tincture of Capsicum ._ , . , ^^» . 1 ounce.

Another perhaps equally as good :

Olive Oil 6 ounces.

Spirits of Hartshorn 2 ounces.

A portion of either of the above preparations may be rubbed into

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Online LibraryGeorge H. DaddA practical treatise on the most obvious diseases peculiar to horses, together with direction for their most rational treatment; containing, also, some valuable information on the art of shoeing horses → online text (page 1 of 17)