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 16 of 17)
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The reader will perceive that I recommend the use of a gimlet for
perforating the walls of the hoof. It may be proper, however, for
me to remark, that in case the walls be thin, such an instrument can-
not be used ; therefore the smith must either use an awl or a brad-
awl, for if he drive the nail, or clinch, without first perforating the
hoof, the fibres of the latter are unnecessarily separated.

From what I have already written in reference to the ar^ of shoe-
ing, the reader will probably infer that there is no great difficulty in
shoeing a strong, well formed foot ; and all that is necessary in the
preparation of such a foot, is to level the crust and sole, and scrape
off any loose portions of horny substance that may be found on the
sole, frog, or bars. The nails — two on the inside and three on the
outside — should be placed as near the toe as is consistent with the
security of the shoe ; the heads of the nails should be " sunk, or
counter-sunk," so that when traveling on the road or on paved
streets, the nails remain immovable, and thus the shoe is not likely
to get loose ; and the same will be held firmer to the foot if torsion
be practiced. Torsion signifies twisting, and is performed in the
following manner: after the nail has been carefully driven Aome, and
before it is cut or broken off prior to clinching, it must be seized or
inclosed in the fangs of a pair of pincers, and then twisted several
times so as to give it a sort of cork-screw end ; the screw thus
formed is extended to the upper part of the nail, within the fibres of
the hoof, and of course requires much more force to draw it than
when a nail remains untwisted. The nail being thus twisted, it is
cut off and clinched. It appears to me that this method is far supe-
rior to that heretofore practiced.

The surface of the shoe which bears on the ground should be hol-
lowed — concave — for by this means the horse is enabled to get a
secure foothold ; and such a formation corresponds with the natural
form of well formed feet, which are, in the undomesticated state oi
the animal, always concave.

When the bottom or sole of a horse's foot is flat or convex, instead
of concave, it is at the same time much thinner and less capable of
bearing pressure. The shoe for such a foot should be broader than
the ordinary one, and must have a good flat seat at the region of the
junction of crust and sole. This form of foot being naturally weak,
in consequence, perhaps, of some hereditary predisposition, great
care is required in nailing the same, otherwise the nail is apt, it
driven too far in an upward direction, to enter the sensitive tissues,
and thus the horse is pricked, as the saying is.

Finally, the feet of horses are often variously deformed, in conse-
quence of predisposition lurking in breed, from bad management,


and accidental causes ; therefore, it is the business of all persons
engaged in the art of shoeing horses to make themselves acquainted
with the structure and function of a horse's foot; for in the present
progressive era, when improvements are treading on the heels of im-
provement, a blacksmith cannot afford to plead ignorance on such
important subjects, which are vital to his success as a practical shoe-
ing smith.

I cannot conscientiously close this article without ofiering a few
remarks in favor of that much-abused class of men known as " black-
smiths." It is my firm belief that they are often, very often, blamed
without any rational excuse for censure. For example, a horse is
recently shod, becomes suddenly lame, the lameness may be so ob-
scure and unaccountable that the owner and his advisers cannot, by
ordinary observation, determine the seat of lameness, and they come
to the conclusion that the mysterious lameness aas its origin in faulty
shoeing, which may not be tlie case, for very many horses are pre-
disposed to various diseases of the feet and lameness of limbs,
which, under the very bad system of shoeing, cannot be prevented.

In regard to bad shoeing, it is my opinion that many smiths do
not obtain a fair compensation for their services, in the prosecution
of their laborious and dangerous vocation ; hence, they cannot afford
to employ the best kind of help ; and if, under the circumstances, a
horse's shoes are merely tacked on to the feet, at the rate of the
prevalent bread-and-butter price, the owner of the horse is more
culpable than the smith.

If horse-owners have a desire to guard against the consequences
of faulty shoeing, and wish to see their horses shod in a satisfactory
manner, I advise them to pay the blacksmith a living price, so that
he can afford to employ "good help" — men who know how to per-
form work in a workmanlike manner.

Taking a rational view of the whole art of shoeing, the greatest
wonder is how so many horses used for draught purposes on our un-
yielding pavements, enjoy freedom from foot lameness.


The hoof of a horse is considered as an epidermic appendage —
similar to nails and claws of other animals, and scales of fishes.
They are produced, in the first instance, by the growth of cells, the
contents of which gradually evaporate, so that the walls of the same
gradually approximate each other.

In the upper part of the hoof — near its matrix (mother) — these
cells are to be observed ; they are somewhat flattened against each
other, but still retain a rounded form.

The hoof, nails and scales, are not traversed by nutriment vessels
or absorbents, as is the case in regard to the sensitive tissues ; and
the Jlatte7ied cells, when fully developed, undergo but little change.
The chemical analysis of the constituents of the hoof are as follows :

Carbon 52 parts.

Hydrogen 7 "

Nitrogen 17 "

Oxygen and Sulphur 24 "

Total 100 "



Goodwin says, " It is an incontrovertible fact that unless the frog
receives a certain degree of pressure, it will degenerate and become
incapable of affording sufficient protection to the sensitive frog,
which it covers; that the heels will gradually contract; that the bars
alone are not sufficient to prevent the same, though they certainly
oppose it with considerable force. But it does not follow from this
that it is necessary for the pressure to be constant, nor is it believed
that a shoe which allows the frog to bear on the ground, when the
horse stands upon a plane, hard surface, can be always applied even to
sound feet without inconvenience. There is no doubt that a horse
in a state of nature has his frog almost always in contact with the
ground, and then of course he feels no inconvenience from it ; but
when burthens are placed upon his back, and he is driven about on
hard roads, he is certainly in very different circumstances, and if the
frog in such cases was constantly exposed to this severe pressure, it
would no doubt occasion lameness." Still, a certain amount of pres-
sure is absolutely necessary, for unless that be the case, descent of
the sole and disease of the laminae is apt to occur.


The following circular has just been issued by the Adjutant Gen-
eral, British army, from the Horse Guards :

Sie: — It being very desirable that a uniform system of shoeing
should be established in the cavalry, and the whole of that important
subject having been recently referred to the consideration of a Board
composed of officers of great experience in that branch of the ser-
vice, assisted by two old and experienced professional men, the Gen-
eral Commanding in Chief has been pleased to direct that the follow-
ing instructions, extracted from their Report, and which embody the
whole of their recommendations, be circulated throughout the cav-
alry, accompanied by dui3licates of the pattern shoes, which have
been sealed and deposited at the office of Military Boards for gen-
eral reference and guidance.

1. The shoe is to be beveled off, so as to leave a space and pre-
vent pressure to the sole.

2. It is not to be grooved or fettered ; but simply punched, and
the nails counter-sunk.

3. Calkin is to be applied to the hind shoe only, and is to be con-
fined to the outside heel. The inside heel is to be thickened in

4. The weight of the shoe is to be from twelve to fifteen ounces,
according to the size of the horse.

^ 5. As a general principle, horses are to be shod with not less than
six nails in the fore and seven in the hind shoe ; nor is the sole to be
attached with not fewer than three nails on either side.

6. In preparing the foot for the shoe, as little as possible should
be pared out, and the operation should be confined to the removal of
the exfoHating parts of the sole only.

7. Both the fore and hind shoes are to be made with a single
clip at the toes.


Viscount Hardinge is aware that peculiarities in the form and na-
ture of particular horses' feet will cause considerable deviations from
these instructions in isolated cases ; but, in making this communica-
tion, I am directed to express his Lordship's expectation, that in
general, the shoeing of the horses of the regiment under your com-
mand may be executed in accordance with the principles herein
recommended, without reference to previous regimental practice, or
to the preconceived opinions of individuals on the subject. I am
only further to desire that, at the end of three months, you will have
the goodness to transmit to this department, for the General Com-
manding in Chief's consideration, a report of your opinion as to the
advantages or inconveniences which may be found to attend the in-
troduction of the system now recommended.

To the officer commanding.

In view of giving the reader some idea of the theory and art of
shoeing horses in Scotland, I here introduce a selection from the
" Scottish Farmer:"

" In preparing the horse's foot to be shod, the requirement in the
skill of the operator above all is, that he shall know the right form
and required bearing surface of that particular foot ; he has, in fact,
as much to give the bearing surface to the foot, as he will afterwards
have to adapt the shoe to it ; the foot-surface and that of the iron
shoe to be applied are entirely dependent on the skill and under-
standing of the shoer, and on these mainly depends the success
of the whole process. We will go a little further in explanation:
when we have adjusted the foot, whether it be a sound or an
unsound one, we proceed to adapt our shoe accordingly, and if the
understanding and manual skill are efficient, the shoe will be brought
to the foot in every way moulded to its requirements. In approx-
imating the two surfaces, which is always done once or twice, and,
if necessary, more frequently, till the adaptation is complete, we
just as much review the foot as we do the shoe, and may in the crit-
ical process with as much propriety file away a little hoof as we may
in another case bend the iron under the hammer. In either case, it
is necessarily an adaptation of surfaces ; the foot in the first part of
the preparation being approximately finished, as the shoe when first
tried is the same. In answer to the question, what parts of the hoof
are to be removed ? we should say noiie^ only so far as is necessary to
give the circumference and due proportion to the whole hoof This
we may say cannot always be effected ; unfortunately, as horses'
feet come to our hands, we find such deficiency, through destruction
of parts, and not unfrequently a general debility throughout the
whole hoof, that we can only make the best use of what remains.

"Among the most common deteriorations in form, under the pres-
ent custom of shoeing, is a low, weak state of the hoof across the
quarters — that is, taking a transverse line across the centre of the
foot, immediately under the line of bearing. This low and weak
state proceeds from two causes — first, from the method of preparing
the feet ; secondly, from the way they are shod, so that the iron
gravitates, nay, is often converted into a lever, the fulcrum of which
is in that centre, alike in both branches of the shoe, and the hoof is
worn, or, as is said, ridden down by the pressure. Another com-


men defect is the foot being higher on one side than the other, and
thus every part of the foot and limb is thrown out of its natural line
of bearing. Then we have many disturbances in the line of obli-
quity which the foot in its natural state should bear to the limb ; we
find variations of half an inch or an inch' in the depth of the heels,
under different modes of preparing the foot, and a similar extreme
at the point constituting what is called length or shortening of the
toe ; all these, which nature has ordained to be exact, are I'ound to
vary by the inch, and the defects are variously complicated in the
same foot. To know how to prepare the foot implies an understand-
ing of all these deviations. We may be asked, are there no parts
of the foot to be removed and others to be conserved besides that
which comes under the general meaning of proportion in depth,
breadth, and length of the whole? We say, no. In adjusting the
foot we have to deal with the wall, and if that part is well done and
the foot well shod, the other parts — viz., the sole and frog — are ne-
cessarily taken care of; though the horn is secreted constantly on
those parts like that of the wall, to meet the wear, the process of
detaching is different ; the sole and frog detach their outer layers as
they become superabundant. When, however, as is commonly the
case, the foot is badly prepared and badly shod, the sole may be-
come, as it does, imprisoned by an overlapping of the wall, and want
of the general natural functions of the foot ; then the process of ex-
foliation may be interrupted ; the proper remedy in which case is not
to hack and sink holes into the sole, but restore the balance in the
whole foot by removal of disturbing causes. The instruments at
present in use with us, for preparing the horse's foot, are of the
most ill- adapted kind; and here we are prepared to be met by the
observation that a good workman will effect his object with any
tool ; it would, perhaps, however, be more correct to say that an
able artist will generally devise a proper instrument to effect his ob-
ject. Two instruments are used for the reduction of the hoof, the
drawing-knife and rasp ; these are both of modern introduction for
that purpose, and, as applies to the old world, they are confined to
our country. These instruments are coeval with a doctrine of shoe-
ing which has prevailed for between sixty and seventy years ; pre-
vious to that time, an instrument similar to that in use up to the
present time all over the Continent, called a butteris, was adopted in
Great Britain. To the late Professor Coleman is mainly due the ab-
olition of the butteris and substitution of the drawing-knife. The
reason assigned was, that the old one was an ungainly, clumsy tool,
and certainly, to perform what the new doctrine in shoeing was re-
quiring, it was not the instrument. It was laid down as a rule that
the sole was to be cut away ; that it was to be pared thm every time
the horse was shod ; that there were certain parts called bars that
were to be preserved, which consisted in neither more nor less than
a carving away of the sole almost to the blood, and leaving a small
ridge at each angle, between which the hook of the drawing-knife
was freely used to scoop out what was called the seat of corn. The
little drawing-knife, bent so as to reach to every crevice and angle
of the foot, was just the destructive instrument to do such work,
but was in no way adapted to adjust a foot for the shoe ; indeed no
jne ever used it, or does so now, for that purpose. The rasp is used


for lowering the wall. There is a point where the work of these two
instruments meets ; the little crooked knife clears away and destroys
the sole, leaving a thin edge of the wall, which the rasp sweeps
away. A rasp or file was long in use with us, as it is now on the
Continent ; but little use Is made of it there, since the butteris, a
broad, cutting instrument, gives a much better bearing surface to the
foot, and the file is used to a small extent only in finishing the woik.
We may give some notion of the adaptation of the old instrument,
the butteris, and the thorough unfitness of the drawing-knife for the
same office, by a few comparisons.

*' Every one knows that if he wants to form an exact surface or line,
tie does not choose a very small instrument, but one of breadth and
length; a joiner does not use his chisel, but his long plane, to strike
i plane, smooth surface ; a man who carves handsomely and econom-
.cally a joint of meat does not take his pocket-knife, but one with a
Droad, well-adapted blade ; a man who cuts leather uses a broad in-
strument, and he can do it with exactness. We may go further,
ind adduce the tailor's large shears as he divides his broadcloth.
The fact is, the little instrument makes notches and holes, destroys
ind weakens; and this has been pre-eminently the case, in the ap-
plication of the drawing-knife to the destruction of horses' feet.

" We will, in conclusion, say a few words as to how this change was
affected. To abolish an instrument from the land, which was well-
adapted for the requirement, and to introduce into general applica-
tion one which we hold to be ill-adapted, seems difticult to account
for. The fact is, at the time the London Veterinary College was
first established, nearly seventy years ago, and subsequently, its
Principal was able to carry any point, almost at command ; the
power was displayed in the army, through which changes in the plan
of shoeing were rapidly carried, and there the butteris was at once
abohshed and the drawing-knife substituted; the same thing followed
through all the principal forges, and since the scooping out of the
foot was pronounced to be a requirement, and insisted on, compli-
ance on the part of the workmen to use the drawing-knife was the
more readily exacted. Subsequently, the rasp manufacturer adapted
that instrument, so that instead of the little fine-cut rasp and file of
the former times, a sharper, rougher, and bigger instrument was in-
troduced, with which a strong man could reduce the hoof, and even
destroy it with a very few sweeping strokes. How we are to get
back to a more rational system than now prevails, is the work to
which we have put our shoulders."


kademi of Velefinaff Medicine and Surjerj,


[an incorporated institution.]

The object in establishing an Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery
in this city, is to educate pers-ons by practical and clinical teaching for the practice
of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery on all the inferior orders of creation, which are
the subjects of derangements, maladies, and accidents.

The necessity for an institution of this kind is evident from the fact, that the
husbandmen of this and other States are the owners of live stock to an immense
amount of money ; hence have great interests at stake in the welfare and treatment
of diseases incidental to the same.

Hitherto the means for education in Veterinary art and science, have been very
limited, and a vast number of the finest stock in the country die prematurely ; many
of them of unnecessary diseases, which might be prevented by proper attention to
the laws of physiology, and the rational practice of Veterinary science.

The Veterinary schools of Europe are quite numerous, and rank high in public
estimation ; they are fostered by governments, associations of husbandmen, and pri-
vate individuals ; and the professional attainments of the graduates of such schools
command the respect and confidence of the world.

The study and pursuit of Veterinary science offers a new professional field of use-
fulness and emolument for the young men of this country, and it is probable that
educated Veterinarians will soon find remunerative employment in the service of the

Anatomy and Physiology.— The Lectures on Anatomy and Physiology will be
demonstrated and illustrated by Dissection, and by means of diagrams, skeletons, and
prepared anaotmical specimens.

Theory and Practice of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. — Ample means for
acquiring a thorough knowledge of the Theory and Practice of Veterinary Medicine
and Surgery, occurs in the practice of the Principal of the Academy, and the same
is also taught through the medium of daily Lectures and Recitations.

Text Books. — The Text Books used in the Academy are as follows : Anatomy
AND Physiology : Percival, Blaine, Dadd, Carpenter. Chemistry and Pharmacy :
Morton's Manual of Pharmacy, and the ordinaryT ext Books of the Schools of Medi-
cine. Materia Medica: Findlay, Dunn, Eclectic and United States Dispensatories.
Theory and Practice : Blaine's Outlines of the Veterinary Art, Dadd on the Treat-
ment of the Diseases of Horses and Cattle, Youatt on the same subjects, and Perci-
val's Hippopathology. Veterinary Jurisprudence; Oliphant, and the Revised
Statutes of Illinois.

REGULATIONS.— The Regular Session of this Academy lasts during a period of
one year ; each student is required to attend a full Session ere he can present himself
befoie the Board of Examiners for a Diploma of Qualification.


Chicago, 111.



THE Subscribers, believing that a great necessity exists for eome reliable arti-
cles for the treatment of diseases peculiar to domesiic animals, after many years of
investigation and much expense, are now prepared to offer to the public a class of

[email protected] AlB (SATTLI MIBIGIIIS

that may be relied upon as superior to any similar preparations ever before offered.
They are prepared from


that many years of scientific research and practical experience have found to be
most efficient and curative for the diseases and complaints for which they are recom-

Whenever a Horse is out of condition, which may be known by the presence of
worms, chronic cough, unthriftiness, loss of appetite, unhealthy appearance of the
skin and hair, turbid urine, debility, and various other symptoms well known to
horse men, the


are a sure and certain remedy ; and as an alterative in the treatment of the diseases
of HORSES and CATTLE, 'these Powders stand unrivalled. The


is an infallible remedy for the treatment of the various forms of lameness incidental
to man and beast. It has been used a long time in view of mitigating the lameness
accompanying Splint, Spavin, Ringbone, and other affections of like character to
which domestic animals are liable, and in the treatment of rheumatic affections it has
given universal satisfaction. It is also equally applicable to the treatment of all the
vaxious forms of lameness occurring among Cattle. The


is a sovereign remedy for the treatment of all the various diseases of the Skin, Heels^
and Hoofs, occurring among Horses or Cattle ; also for Itch^ Mange, Ringbone, Foot-
Rot, Grease, and various other affections of like character. It is also very useful in
the treatment of wounds and galls.

In confirmation of the above facts, we would subjoin the following certificate of
Doctor G. H. Dadd, whose well-earned reputation and skill in his profession makes
his opinion entitled to the confidence of horse owners, and those who have the care
of Horses and Cattle.


Chicago, Jan. 1st, 1863.

I hereby certify that I have examined and thoroughly tested in my practice

the articles known as ^'' American Magnetic Equine Powders,'''' '■'■American Magnetic
Eqxdne Liniment,^'' and ^'■American Magnetic Equine Lotion,''^ prepared by Lord &
Smith, of Chicago, 111. I regard them as preparations of great merit, and would
cordially recommend them as being prepared with special care, from reliable reme-
dies, and more eflScacious for the treatment of the various diseases for which they
are designed, than any remedies of which I have knowledge.

GEO. H. DADD, Veterinary Surgeon,
Author of " Anatomy and Physiology of the Horse,^'' " Modern Morse Doctor f''* d;c.

Principal of the Chicago Veterinary School.
We would ask a fair trial for these remedies, believing them to be the best prep-
arations of the kind ever before offered to the public.

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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 16 of 17)