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

. (page 8 of 17)
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 8 of 17)
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with the joassage of food into that organ, as the following case will
illustrate : I was requested sometime ago to see a horse, the subject
of a climatic affection, which manifested itself in a discharge from
both nostrils, accompanied by some soreness of throat. The animal
had been treated by its owner and appeared to be doing well, up to
the time when my services were sought. I found the patient be-
dewed with a cold, clammy sweat, small, thread-like pulse, and
hurried respirations ; his head was extended and the mouth open;
he appeared to be choking, and made efibrts to vomit. I explored
the esophagus, and found at the lower part a very perceptible tume-
faction, as if it were impacted with food. I had about determined
to cut down upon the esophagus and make an attempt to remove
whatever might be the cause of the obstruction, but suddenly the
animal fell down, went into convulsions, and in the course of a few
minutes died.

The autopsy revealed the presence of a large cluster of bots, num-
bering two hundred and seventy-five, located within and around the
lower part of the gullet, and just within the entrance of the stomach ;
and so completely had they obstructed the passage, that it was im-
possible for the food to pass. I found the gullet completely packed


with masticated hay, and about three inches above the stomach was
a rent in the gullet of about three inches in length ; this accounted
for the sudden death of the horse. There were no signs of any dis-
ease about the animal except the catarrhal affection ; hence, the bots
may be considered as the exciting cause of the death of this animal.

In the face of evidence of this character, and on the strength of
past experience, together with what Mr. Gamgee has written on the
subject, I do believe that bots are often injurious to horses, and I
feel it a duty I owe to those who have perused my former writings
on the subject, to own up and acknowledge my error. In the case
ajiluded to I found a very large number of perforations on the cu-
ticular coat of the stomach, which the bots had previously made and
occupied ; so it would appear that these creatures had suddenly left
their camping ground, and congregated together like a swarm of
bees to cause the death of the horse.

I am not acquainted with any remedy that would be likely to expel
the bots from the stomach ; a run at grass will probably have the
desired effect ; yet if the reader wishes to try the effect of medicine,
I should recommend the use of the following :

Powdered Poplar Bark, )
Sublimated Sulphur, I Equal parts.
Powdered Rock Salt, )
Mix a tablespoonful in the food twice or thrice weekly, and feed a
few carrots occasionally.


Horses the subjects of indigestion, usually have a capricious appe-
tite ; they will often devour their bedding rather than partake of the
food which is placed before them; they occasionally eructate gas
both from the mouth and anus, are usually afflicted with worms,
have a fcetid breath, are subject to colic, and are very apt to become

Treatment. — Give the animal a few doses of the followinor:


Powdered Gentian 2 ounces.

" Poplar Bark 4 "

Carbonate of Soda 2 "

Chlorate of Potass 1 "

Linseed Meal ^ pound.

Mix ; divide into nine parts ; administer one as a drench, or mix
it with the food.

The American Magnetic Powders can be used in lieu of the above,
and are equally well adapted for cattle and sheep.


The faithful servant of man — the horse — does not enjoy immunity
from the above distressing disease. The same causes which operate


on the system of man to develop an inflammatory disease of this
character, are, with unerring certainty, operative on the inferior

In plain language, rheumatism is rheumatism, in whatever system
you find it ; it is always characterized by pain in "joints" and mus-
cles ; action of the same generally augments pain, although our
patient, the horse, cannot always succeed in convincing his owner
of the fact. It occurs among men and horses at all seasons of the
year; yet, at the period of sudden transitions from heat to cold, it is
most prevalent, v^nimals that are heated by exercise and then suf-
fered to " cool off" without ordinary care, are very apt to become
the subjects of this malady ; so that prevention, to a certain extent,
is within the province of all rational beings, and in the exercise of
preventive measures, we may, in common parlance, "stave oiF," for
a time, an acute disease, although it be hereditary. Rheumatism,
like gout, is hereditary ; no educated physician ever opposes this
proposition ; it develops itself in the predisposed. The indirect
causes are, obstructed perspiration. Keep the animal comfortably
warm and avoid undue exposure, and then we have a remedy against
the development of hereditary rheumatism.

Mr. Finlay Dun thus discourses on rheumatism : " Rheumatism is
neither so common, nor are its symptoms so well marked in horses,
as in cattle. When, however, it does occur in the horse, it mani-
fests the same well-known appearances which characterize it in all
animals. It, affects the fibrous tissues of joints, the coverings of
muscles, tendons, valves about the heart, and larger vessels, and
manifests a peculiar tendency to shift from one part of the body to
another, often affecting, in succession, all the larger joints ; at one
time, chiefly in the neck, at another, in the back and loins, while in
many of its more acute attacks, it appears to involve almost every
portion of fibrous and fibro-serous tissues throughout the body. In
all its various types it exhibits a full, strong, hard, and unyielding
pulse, caused by the inflammation involving the serous and fibro-
serous tissues of the heart and circulating vessels. During its
existence various excrementitious matters accumulate in the blood,
and the fibrinous constituents of the same exceed their normal pro-
portions, as indicated by the production of the bufty coat on the
blood. In severe or badly treated cases, the inflammation is very
apt to be transformed from the joints and muscles, to the heart and
its investing: membranes, and it is the dansfer of this chansje in the
seat of the disease that renders rheumatism so formidable, and often
so fatal. It always leaves the parts affected so altered as to be
extremely predisposed to subsequent attacks, and it is more than
probable that this altered condition is reproduced in the progeny of
rheumatic subjects, and constitutes in them the inherent tendency
to the disease.

"Horses sometimes suffer from rheumutic inflammation in the
fibrous sheathing envelops of the muscles of the neck, constituting
what is popularly known as the cAorc4'. When thus aflccted, the
animal is very stiff, remains as much as possible in one position, and
is unwilling to bend his neck either one way or the other, or to ele-
vate or depress his head. There is always more or less fever, with
a strong, full pulse. Sometimes, as in lumbago, in the human sub-


ject, it affects the muscles of the back and loins, causing stiffness,
tenderness, and pain, which are especially evinced on moving or
turning the animal. These rheumatic affections are very readily
produced in predisposed subjects by exposure to rain and cold,
especially vi^hen accompanied by overheating or exhaustion.

" Rheumatism sometimes occurs in horses as a prominent symptom
of that epizootic affection which usually receives the much-abused
title of influenza. In such cases the rheumatism is of a somewhat
more sub-acute or chronic character than common, and is accompa-
nied by that low, debilitating fever so often the concomitant of epi-
zootic maladies. It usually affects all parts of the body susceptible
of the rheumatic inflammation, is attended particularly by those
symptoms which indicate disease of the heart and pericardium, as
an intermittent pulse, &c., and often terminates fatally by effusions
into the pleura or pericardium, thus causing death by arresting the
motions of the heart."

The reader has now before him some of the most im|>ortant
features of acute rheumatism, and I shall now allude to the

The remedies used by different practitioners are : Colchicum, cal-
omel, opium, Dovers powder, tartar emetic, cimicfuga racemosa,
hellebore, aconite, iodine, nitrate of potassa, acetate of ammonia ;
each article has its advocate, and at certain stages is indicated.
I have great faith in colchicum, yet have often succeeded in pro-
ducing a favorable termination in the use of guiacum, nitrate of
potassa, and liquor acetate of ammonia.

The theory of the treatment of acute rheumatism, contemplates an-
tiphlogistics, to be continued so long as inflammatory symptoms shall
be severe ; yet we must exercise ordinary discretion in the use of
antiphlogistic remedies, for should we continue them until all inflam-
matory symptoms have subsided, we may purge, nauseate, and bleed
our patients into the vicinity of death's door, without accomplishing
our object.

The old-fashioned method of combating an inflammatory diathe-
sis, in the use of lancet and drastic cathartics, is fast dying out, at
least a very marked change for the better is observed, and practi-
tioners, now, depend more on sedatives, diuretics, febrifuges, and
nauseants, than on the above. One of the principal objects in the
treatment of acute rheumatism is, to excite diaphoresis ; and in this
view we recommend a solution of acetate of ammonia, known as
Liquor Ammonice Acetatis; this is an excellent febrifuge, and dia-
phoretic, and may be given in broken doses to the amount of eight
ounces per day. One or two drachms of nitrate of jyotassa (com-
mon salt petre), may also be given in the form of bolus, yet in order
to insure diaphoresis, and prevent these agents from passing off by
the kidneys, the heat of the body must be augmented by clothing.

Practitioners of hinnan surgery are often in the habit of using
nitre, in much larger doses than we have dared to administer, yet,
in some cases, with marked benefit to the patient.*

* Nitrate of Potassa. — In a case of synovial rheumatism this remedy was given by a Boston
physician, in a single dose of one ounce, dissolved in a pint and a half of barley water. This was
followed by one grain of opium. In fifteen hours the pulse was found reduced, and the pain abso-
lutely gone ; and in a few days the tongue was clean, and the swelling entirely abated. The remedy


These agents will probably moderate the heart's action and re-
lieve the pain ; should they fail to do so, we must resort to nauseants
and sedatives. The most popular nauseant for horses, is white helle-
bore, yet it is an agent that can only with safety be used under the
direction of a qualified practitioner. Mr. Morton recommends it to
be given in " doses of from twenty to thirty grains, every four or
six hours, until its action becomes manifest. As soon as this takes
place, the repetition of the dose must be carefully avoided, lest
efforts to vomit are produced."

Should we fail in the use of one or more of the above remedies,
to lessen the heart's action, and the pulse be fifty or more per min-
ute, the breathing somewhat hurried, and the pain excruciating, then
a full dose of medicine must be given (about seven drachms of
aloes). It may be proper to administer a physic ball in the early
stage of the disease, and perhaps employ the lancet ; these are mat-
ters which may be left discretionary with the medical attendant.
If a mild diaphoresis can be brought about, it will do more good
than we can expect from the use of either lancet or cathartic. A
constipated state of the bowels, however, must be overcome either
by physic, mashes, clysters, or saline aperients. The bicarbonate of
soda is a very valuable adjunct in the treatment of acute rheuma-
tism, because, in seven cases out of ten, the whole system is in rn
acid condition, and if we can (in the language of the chemist) sat-
urate it with alkali, or in other words, establish an alkaline condition,
our patient is on the high road to health.

Now, in case a cathartic be indicated, we must consider the con-
dition of the patient ; he may be suffering excruciating torment,
from inflammation of the pleura, pericardium, or synovial mem-
branes, and if so, our object must be to mitigate pain in the use of
opium or some other narcotic ; should the patient, therefore, exhibit
lameness in one or more of the extremities, and the joints of the
bind or fore limbs become swollen and painful, a local application
may be of some service, and in this view we recommend the fol-

Sweet Oil 3 ounces.

Spirits of Ammonia 1 *'

Tincture of Aconite 2 "

Chloroform 2 "

Mix. Apply a portion to the affected limb or joint, twice, daily.
In an inflammatory state of the joints it is customary to apply

caused neither emesis nor catharsis, but passed off by the kidneys. In another case of acute syno-
vial attack, following chronic rheumatism, the same dose was prescribed without any good effect,
causing active catharsis. Again, half an ounce of nitrate of potassa, largely diluted, was given every
two to four hours, until the patient took three ounces in eighteen hours, with two doses of opium of
one grain each, with entire relief to the pain and fever. When the potash was reduced to drachm
floses, nausea and vomiting followed, which were relieved by vesication with aqua-ammonia, the blis-
ier being sprinkled with half a grain of morphine. The patient recovered. Another physician had
Vised the remedy to the extent of half an ounce in twenty-four hours, for three successive days. He
found that if tlie salt be given well diluted, it will purge, and vice versa. The physicians of the Mas-
sachusetts General Hospital had used the remedy, one ounce in twenty-four hours, without good
feffects, and its use was abandoned. It appears to be conceded, tliat it is sate to give the remedy in this
quantity, although symptoms of gastritis sometimes followed its use ; but it was always largely diluted,
and generally in demulcent liquids. "We are in the habit of giving it in rheumatism and other inflam-
matory affections, in doses of twenty or thirty grains, every two or three hours during the perind of
excitement or exacerbation, combined with tartar emetic ; but have been deterred from the exhibHion
of the larger doses above mentioned, from fear of its toxical effect. We have found this combinatioQ
particularly useful in pneumonia. — Memphis Medical Recorder.



cooling applications, yet the practice is open to the following objec-
tion ^az it may augment the acute symptoms m and around the
ioints while it lessens them on the surfaoe ; nevertheless, if action
of the cutaneous vessels can be maintained, refrigerating lotions can-

not do harm.

not ao narm. i •;! i ;i „n

As soon as the inflammatory, symptoms have subsided, and all
dano-er of internal disease seems to have disappeared, we must com-
men'ce a difi"erent plan of treatment ; we must give tonics, not only
to promote the convalesence of the patient, but also m order to
prevent the disease assuming a chronic type, which is very apt to be
the case when the prostrating plan of treatment has been too long
continued, or practiced with undue severity. From araong-^ the loi-
lowinff agents the practitioner can select a suitable tonic : bulphat^
of iron, cascarilla bark, gentian, quill bark, qmmne, golden seal,
chamomile flowers, to either of which a smaU portion of ginger may
be added, provided a stimulant be indicated.


Chronic Rheumatism is generally a sequel to the acute, yet it the
subiect be closely watched, a train of phenomena may be observed,
very siraijar to those attending the acute stage, yet difi"ermg in its
gradual accession, obscure state of the phenomena, and less lunc-
tional and structural changes.

At times, chronic rheumatism is nothing more than a modifaed
and protracted state of the acute stage ; it is migratory like the
former, attacking this, that, or other tissues, without reference to its
original locality. For example, a horse may, after a brisk driving
and subsequent exposure, become lame in the region of the fore ex-
tremities This lameness may, perhaps, be defined as sub-acute, or
chronic rheumatism, from the fact that there is no increase in arte-
rial ■ or respiratory actions ; but the first thing we observe is, that
the subiect is laboring under hypertrophy of the heart, perhaps car-
ditis, or endo-carditis, and this is proof positive of the migratory
character of rheumatism. , , , q mi • •

But lohy should rheumatism attach the heart? This is quite an
interestincr question, and thus we answer it. The physiology of the
heart instmcts us that its motions are governed by the impression
made upon the susceptible nervous tissues. Its responses are physi-
ological when the whole system is unembarrassed. It is the centre
not only of circulation, but of sympathy, and responds to the im-
pressions made upon the general system; so that if any disturbance
shall occur in the animal economy, in the form of fever, spasm, ifcc,
or the horse be afi-righted, punished, or exposed to sudden variations
in temperature, the heart is one of the organs first deranged.
Rheumatism, therefore, being migratory, is apt, m traveling Irom
tissue to tissue, to locate on a deranged organ, especiaUy when that
organ is one so easily excited as the heart.

Causes of Rheumatism.— The especial cause of rheumatism is,
hereditary [predisposition. In certain families, morbid tendencies


are transmitted from parent to offspri g, and display themselves in
the development of parental defect and deformity. There are,
also, general exciting causes, such as exposure after perspiring
freely, damp and cold stables, errors in diet, or stable management,
over-work, &c. '^

Principal symptoms of chronic rheumatism. — The subject is gen-
erally observed to travel a limited, or stiffened gait at first, when
taken out of the stable. He appears ^''stiffened up^'^ as the saying
is, yet '-''limbers up''"' as he proceeds. This depends, however, some-
what on the temperature of the atmosphere, for the animal is noth-
ing less than a walking barometer, and the slightest alteration in the
weather affects him very sensibly.

The disease may manifest itself in the diffuse form, affecting the
body as well as the limbs and feet, which gives to the animal a sort
of wiry, spare appearance; yet otherwise, he appears well, and can
play his part at the game of food as well as any horse. In the ab-
sence of all inflammatory symptoms, this peculiar and almost ruined
condition is designated by some as general founder ; and as no one
has ever drawn a line of demarcation between what is known to
medical men as chronic rheumatism, and what the rest of the
world denominate chronic founder, we shall consider that chronic
rheumatism is founder, and vice versa.

Passing from the diffuse form, this chronic affection may locate in
the muscles of the trunk; then it gets the name of " hodyfoimder.'''*
The animal is then unable to move the body in lateral directions,
without showing an awkward stiffness ; and on being made to turn
a corner, when going at a smart gait, a stiffness, apparently in the
spinal regions, is generally perceived.

At times it locates in the pectoral region, and in consequence of
either long continued pain (which is known to exhaust muscular ro-
tundity), or innutrition, the parts present a shrunken or hollow
aspect. In the absence of acute symptoms, this is the veritable
" chest founder.''''

A disease of this character long confined to one or both shoulders
Js often followed by a similar wasting of the spinatus muscles, and
is often termed " sweeney." The same condition of parts, however,
may be the consequence of diseased feet, for we often observe an
atrophy, or wasting of the above muscles in animals that have long
been the subjects of chronic laminitis, and altered structures about
the feet. The term founder is often applied to a ruined state of
these parts. Chronic rheumatism is more apt to localize itself than
the acute kind, and once located, it is not so easily removed, although
the animal may receive benefit from the ordinary means, such as
warm clothing, and stimulating embrocations ; yet, when exposed to
wet or cold, he again relapes into his former condition, traveling
stiff and lame as ever. The stiffness and lameness, if there be any,
attending chronic rheumatism, disappears to a certain extent after a
brisk trot, whereas acute rheumatism is generally aggravated by

Chronic rheumatism may, however, appear in one spot to-day,
and to-morrow manifest itself in another, yet the affected parts ex-
hibit none ot the heat or tenderness, difficult respiration, wiry
pulse, or functional disturbance which attend the acute sta^e^ so


that the difference between the acute and chronic conditions of this
affection is very marked.

Treatment of Chronic Rheumatism. -Xoca^ treatment con-

• f a fn tTp aDDlication of vapor, warm blankets and leggmgs, and

^lilTaS u'nSrthe pienl to be located in a warm, yet ven-

'^The foUowing is probably one of the best local applications:

Sulphuric Ether 2 ounces.

Oil of Cedar -^ ^,

Camphor. .

Proof Spirit \V^f

Soft Soap ^ f^^' ^. . ^,

Dissolve the oil of cedar in the sulphuric ether; then dissolve the

mornino', so long as the case may seem to require it.

Constitutional TRKATMENT.-The constitutional remedies are
various Those entitled to our greatest confidence are :

Xsi-Medicines which act upon the cutaneous vessels.

sZoncm-UedicimB recognized as pure tonics which impart

beconmy me" o „,;n,„„t. inHnn.inir subseauent pros-


and activity to organs^ without inducing subsequent pros-

MZy-Medicines known as general stimulants, that excite

"t'anS^of the above, we give the following formula:

Thaver's Fluid Extract of Black Cohosh, diaphoretic 2 ounces.

\, u <i Gentian, pure tonic ^ ^^

„ « « Jamaica Ginger, stimulant 1 ^^

Syrup of Garlic, anti-spasmodic

Mix. . , , • „ :„

One-fourth of this mixture may be given night and mormng, m

^OtheTmedttnes are in high repute, such, for example, as hydrio-
date of potassa, nitrate of pitassa, phosphate of ammonia, camphor,
aconite, capsicum, &c., &c.


Theterm " Jlerpes" is derived from the Greek, which signifies
« J>!*»™ ecfusTthe disease creeps and spreads about the skin

S United States, I believe, this cutaneous affection has never
ricroA in an enizootio form. I have seen and treated a few isolatea
cafes and the subiects of the same were of a lymphatic and scrofu-

oin'emfera;:r In these cases it appeared as an e™pUon m tte
form of vesicles and scurvy roughness of the skm, the vesicles or

ruptl:, af tot, were inf egular clusters but m the -urse of a
fpw<lqv<ithev became confluent, or ran together, ineie exifteu
some heat and tenderness in the'vioinity of the diseased loca^ities-
head,neck, shoulders and limbs-and the general health of the am-


mals was more or less impaired. After a period of from ten to
twenty days, some of the clusters of vesicles were ruptured, leaving
a rough furfur aceous scale.

Treatment of Non-cutaneous Herpes. — The surface of the
body is to be thoroughly sponged with a tepid alkaline wash, which

' tsists of —

Warm Water 1 gallon.

Carbonate of Soda 4 ounces.

This will remove all extraneous and morbid matter from the sur
See. The animal must be rubbed perfectly dry before the " herpes
lotion''' is applied.

Herpes Lotion. Glycerine, two ounces ; Oil of Turpentine, fom
ounces ; Cod Liver Oil, one pint. Mix.

Sponge the affected parts every night, prior to the reapplication
of the lotion. The parts to which it has been applied, are to be
rubbed dry by means of a piece of coarse crash. During the period
of the local treatment, the patient should get a few doses of altera-
tive medicine. The following is a good example :

Fluid Extract of Sassafras 7 ounces.

Hydriodate of Potass 1 drachm.

Dose : one ounce daily.

The most alarming form of Herpes is the epizootic, and as the
husbandmen of this country have great interests at stake, yet know
very little about its nature and symptoms, I here introduce some

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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 8 of 17)