Henry Stewart.

The shepherd's manual. A practical treatise on the sheep online

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ing should be given until a cure is effected. Copious demulcent
drinks should be given, such as infusions of linseed, oat-meal, or
gum arabic.


Water on tTie Brain, (Hydrocephalus).This is a constitutional
fault which is present in the ewe, or the ram, used in breeding. It
exists in the lamb at birth, and the head is generally so unnatur-
ally enlarged that it is killed as not worth raising, or it dies before
it has arrived at maturity. If there are many cases in a flock, the
ram should be changed ; if the ewes are at fault, they should be
disposed of by feeding for the butcher. There is no cure, and an
animal so deformed is a disagreeable object at the best, and it
should be destroyed at birth.

Apoplexy Staggers. Some of the high-bred sheep, the Leices-
ters more especially, as well as some native sheep that have been
poorly kept and fed, are subject to occasional attacks of giddiness
and blindness, in which they stagger about and run against walls,
fences, or other obstructions, evidently unable to see. The attack
comes on suddenly, the sheep stops and stands staggering, or still

moves on its former course
with eyes dilated and prom-
inent, but unconscious of
impediments. The appear-
ance of the eyes and mem-
branes shows that the vessels
of the head are full of blood,
and post-mortem examina-
tions have shown the brain to
be highly congested, and some-
times the vessels ruptured.
Fig. 76. THE FACIAL VEIN. Pressure of blood on the brain

is the cause of these symptoms. Plethora from continued high
feeding, or from indigestion or other disturbance of the condition
of the digestive organs, produces this determination of blood to
the head. Removal of the causes, depletion of high conditioned
animals, by saline purgatives, or the restoration of the tone of poor
conditioned ones by good food and tonics, tend to a cure. Bleed-
ing from the facial vein (a, fig. 76), is often useful in extreme cases.
Inflammation of the Brain (P7irenitis).The causes which pro-
duce apoplexy, if long continued, result in inflammation of the
brain, and this produces frenzy. The affected animals are very


violent, dashing hither and thijher regardless of danger or damage
to themselves. Lambs thus affected leap and throw themselves
about as if in violent play, until they fall and die in convulsions.
The only remedy is copious bleeding from the neck, and active
purging with salts. In this case no accompanying stimulant is
needed, and for a full-grown animal, the dose may be increased
one-half above the usual quantity. There is always congestion of
the brain accompanying this disease, and treatment must be in-
stant, lest in the muscular excitement the vessels of the brain be
ruptured and sudden death ensue.

Paralysis Trembles. This disease is a different manifestation
of the effects of pressure of blood upon the brain from the two
diseases previously described. In this disease, in addition to the
base of the brain, the spinal marrow and the nervous system con-
nected therewith are affected, the congestion occupying a consid-
erable portion of the vertebral canal. Its effects are varied. In
some cases the animal loses the power over some of its limbs ; the
hinder half of the bodies of some are lendered incapable of mo-
tion ; in others, the sheep stands, trembles violently, with ( the
head drawn back or to one side, the jaws are tightly closed, 'and
froth is forced through the teeth and lips ; the breathing is hur-
ried, and the fit which lasts for a short time, recurs at short inter-
vals. At other times the animal, which may appear perfectly
well, will suddenly spring from the ground, scream, and fall dead.
Others will fall deprived of motion, and remain sprawling, with
limbs stretched out, until they die of starvation. The power of
swallowing is gone, and there is generally very great difficulty of
breathing in consequence of the affection of the pneumo-gastric
nerve and the resulting paralysis or spasmodic condition of the
muscles of the throat and chest. Animals in poor condition sub-
jected to cold and exposure, suffer mostly from this peculiar form
of disease.

The treatment proper to these varied cases, depends upon
whether the patient is in the active or collapsed condition. On
the first attack, bleeding from the facial vein is the proper remedy,
and generally gives immediate relief. But after the animal has
passed through this stage, a condition of collapse follows, and in-
stead of depletion, the opposite course is necessary to be taken.
Tonics and stimulants are then needed. Warm milk or gruel,
sweetened and mixed with ginger, followed by a teaspoonful of
aromatic spirits of ammonia, or one scruple of carbonate of ammo-
nia, mixed with gum water of cold linseed tea, should be given.
If the bowels are constipated, a dose of linseed-oil (but no salts),



should be given. The body may be swathed in a rag dipped in
hot water, to which an ounce of ammonia water has been added.
On recovery, the food should be generally improved in character,
and a daily dose of one scruple of sulphate of copper may be
given with some meal, or mixed with molasses and placed on the
tongue. This disease is the most frequent one of the kind from
which our flocks suffer.

is a very similar disease to the preceding. It occurs
chiefly in young or poor sheep which are turned out to feed early
in the morning when the herbage is covered with hoar-frost or
snow. The rumen being chilled, causes the blood to determine to
the brain, and the animal becomes convulsed. No treatment can
avail anything, but prevention is everything.

Lockjaw, which is a violent excitement of the nervous system,
sometimes occurs in consequence of exposure to wet and cold, and
sometimes in consequence of injury to the nerves through the vio-
lent twisting of the spermatic cord and vessels in the operation of
castration. The jaws are closed, but can be moved laterally, and
there is grinding of the teeth ; the head is bent round, the neck
twisted, and one or more of the limbs are rigid. In this condition
the sheep may remain a day and then die, or if it remain longer it
may recover. A warm bath, if the sheep is not too large, is use-
ful ; and the animal should be kept warm and in a quiet place. A
dose of two ounces of Epsom salts should be given, followed by
two drams of laudanum after two hours. Warm gruel, with a
quarter of an ounce of ginger, should be given two or three times
a day. Quiet and warmth are indispensable to a cure.

Palsy. This disease consists in a total suspension of action in
the nervous system, generally in consequence of exposure to se-
vere cold and wet. Lambs that are thoroughly chilled by cold
rain and winds, or newly shorn sheep similarly exposed, are the
most frequent subjects. Ewes having been exhausted by pro-
tracted labor, or by abortion ; or newly dropped winter lambs, that
have been neglected, also suffer from it. Heavy feeding on man-
gels or watery roots has been known to produce it, and it has
been stated recently that roots grown upon land that has been
heavily dressed with superphosphate of lime, have produced this
complaint in several English flocks. It is very questionable if the
phosphate has any direct agency in producing it. The sheep suf-
fering from it lie totally helpless, the whole body being incapable
of movement, the respiration is almost stopped, and the eye is
dead looking and lifeless, the eyelids quivering occasionally.


The treatment consists in the application of warmth, and a
stimulant such as mustard or ammonia and sweet-oil rubbed on
the brisket and the spine. The following dose may be given twice
a day, viz :

Spirits of Nitrous Ether 2 drams.

Powdered Ginger 1 "

" Gentian 1 "

Warm drinks should be given at short intervals. If the animal is
purged, the chalk mixture prescribed for diarrhea should be given.
If the palsy is not relieved by this treatment, the following may
be given :

Tincture of Nux Vomica 4 drops.


Strychnine / 4 grain.

diffused in a quarter of a pint of linseed gruel, and the dose slightly
increased, afterwards repeated. In the case of a valuable animal,
this potent medicine should be given with great care, or only by a
veterinary surgeon.


Parasites which infest animals are divided into two classes, in-
ternal parasites called entozoa, and external ones which are called
epizoa. Since the natural history of microscopic animals and
those which undergo changes only to be discovered by the use of
the microscope, has become better known, much in regard to some
peculiar diseases of animals, is now understood. Formerly it was
believed that spontaneous generation of minute animalcule could
occur, and that parasites were " bred " by diseased matter. What
was then supposed to be the consequence of certain diseased con-
ditions is now known to be the cause of them, and the whole subject
of parasitical disease is in course of satisfactory explanation. But
as yet there is much to learn, and the investigation of the subject
is surrounded with difficulties. The most important of all the in-
ternal parasites which injuriously affect the sheep is undoubtedly
that known as

The Liver Fluke, the distoma hepaticum of Rudolphi, or the
fasciola hepatica of Linnaeus, which inhabits the gall bladder and
ducts, and penetrates the substance of the liver. Its presence
in this organ produces disorder of its functions and a diseased con-
dition of the animal known as

The Rot, oi' tfw Liver Rot. This disease has been the most
dreaded by the shepherd for centuries past. It has carried off




millions of sheep in a single year, in Australia and South America,
and is very prevalent in Europe. In 1830 two million sheep died
in England of this disease. It exists in America both in imported
sheep and the native flocks, and thousands die every year of it
without their owners having knowledge of the cause. The symp-
toms of the disease are, however, very marked and significant. In

the healthy sheep the conjunc-
tiva, or the membrane which
covers the eyeball in front, and
lines the eyelid, is brilliantly
red ; so much so, that those un-
used to observe these things
closely, would suppose the eye
to be highly inflamed. When
affected with the rot, the con-
junctiva is pale and eyeball
yellowish. When this sign ap-
pears, and the sheep is found to
be ailing, it is certainly infested with flukes. There are other
symptoms which indicate less certainly this disease, because they
are found present in other ailments also, but this symptom is pe-
culiar to this parasite. As the
disease progresses, dropsy is
always present, and a wa-
tery tumor or bag appears
beneath the lower jaw. The
skin is pale and bloodless,
and the wool is dry, harsh,
ragged, and readily parts
from the skin. The skin is
drawn tightly, and the spine
is arched and prominent, as
seen in figure 77. The ap-
petite is irregular, and de-
praved, and the thirst excessive. These symptoms increase until
the sheep dies completely emaciated.

The fluke is a member of a family of sucking worms (similar to
the leeches), known as distomaB. It is a flat, oval shaped animal
more thickly conical in front, and has a sucker or mouth. Where
the thicker part joins the flatter hinder part, there is a second
sucker upon the underside. In figure 78 are shown the full grown
flukes as taken from the gall ducts of a sheep, and in figure 79 are
represented immature flukes from the same animal. The fluke is



a highly organized animal. It possesses a branched intestinal
canal arid digestive organs, seen at figure 80, and a fully devel-
oped circulatory system seen at figure 81. These figures are life-
size. The fluke possesses the power of self-impreg-
nation should a second individual not be present
for copulation. It propagates by means of eggs,
which are produced in great numbers, and which
pass with the bile into the intestinal caDal, from
whence they are voided with the dung of the sheep.
Fig. 79. rp^ 6 gg S nee( j to k e -Cashed by ra i n O r flood into

stagnant water to become developed. The embryo, covered with
ciliae or arms the locomotive organs leaves the shell and swims
in the water. It is then believed, from our present knowledge of
its habits, to penetrate the bodies of snails or other amphibious
molluscs, and thus pass a stage of its existence. These soft-bodied
molluscs being swallowed by the sheep which graze in low, moist
pastures, along with the herbage ; the parasites contained in them
are introduced into the stomach,
from which they pass by the
gall ducts, into the liver, and
thus complete the round of their
existence. They collect hi
masses, sometimes closely pack-
ed in the gall ducts, obstruct the
flow of the gall, and set up
irritation, and thus produce
jaundice, by which the mem-
branes are colored yellow. At
this first outset of the disease
the sheep seems to thrive and
make fat rapidly, but the fat is
highly colored, especially that of the kidneys and brisket. Some
English feeders have purposely exposed their sheep to the flukes
to hasten the fattening. But this stage passed, the structure of
the liver becomes changed from the irritation and pressure ; the
gall ducts become enlarged into extensive cavities, which are filled
with flukes and their eggs. The pain thus caused makes the ani-
mal restless and thin. The partial destruction of the liver, and
stoppage of its functions, causes diarrhea, dropsy, and the disor-
ganization of the blood, which constitute the fatal rot. The
course of this disease is rapid. At the latter end the whole system
is deranged. The breath is offensive, a deep distressing cough with
fever racks the animal, the skin is covered with yellowish and

Fig. 80.

Fig. 81.


black patches ; the abdomen enlarges from the accumulated fluid ;
the animal is very weak, and lies with its head thrust out, solitary
and separate from its fellows until it dies. On opening the sheep,
the whole carcass is literally rotten. Yellow serum follows the
knife everywhere, the abdomen being filled with it. The liver is
found full of hard spots and ulcers, and the ducts filled with flukes.
The treatment consists wholly in prevention or in attention at
the first stages. When the rot has become developed, no medi-
cine avails anything. It is wholly and surely prevented by keep-
ing the sheep on dry pastures and away from stagnant water. The
fluke there can find no development. Low pastures should be
drained, ponds fenced off, and well water used for drinking pur-
poses. Hay from low grounds may even communicate this dis-
ease. When these preventive measures cannot be wholly carried
out, the sheep should be abundantly supplied with salt, and on
the first appearance of suspicious symptoms, the following mixture
should be administered, viz:

Saltpeter I 1 /? ounce.

Powdered Ginger 1

Carbonate of Iron (colcothar of vitriol) y a "

Salt 1 pound.

Boiling water 3 quarts.

The above to be mixed, and when nearly cool, 9 ounces of spirits
of turpentine are to be added. The whole is bottled in quart bot-
tles for use, and when administered should be well shaken to mix
the ingredients thoroughly.

Infected sheep should be kept from food all night, and on the
following morning, before feeding, each should receive two ounces
(a wine-glass full) of the mixture by means of a horn. No food
should be given for three hours. The medicine is repeated every
fourth day for two weeks.

Sheep may live and thrive, and yet carry flukes. How many
they can tolerate without serious injury, is a question that will
probably never be satisfactorily answered. It is proper that the
shepherd should be always on his guard against them, for the
reason that this animal is now known to be native in this country
as well as in almost the whole world. Deer, antelopes, and hares
have been found infested by them. A careful and trustworthy
naturalist, Mr. Joseph Batty, a member of Prof. Hayden's explor-
ing expeditions, has discovered over a hundred flukes in the liver
of one hare in Minnesota. A fluke, of which figure 82 is a draw-
ing from nature, reduced one-half, was taken by Mr. Batty from
the liver of a deer in the winter of 1874-5. The liver in question


was filled with them, and a number of them are now preserved
in the museum of the Smithsonian Institute at Washington. The
author found them (along with numerous specimens of atrongylus
filaria, in the lungs), in the flock of South-
downs belonging to Royal Phelps, Esq., of
Babylon, L. I., and also in his own Cotswold,
Leicester, and native sheep, which had been
allowed to pasture occasionally along the banks
of a stream, and to drink for a whole summer
at a running spring in which many watercresses
and other aquatic plants grew. In these cases
the medicine above prescribed brought about
an entire cure.

As the course of the disease is rapidly ex-
haustive, sheep that are affected should be well
fed with nutritious and easily digested food ;
Fig. 82. FLUKE a pint per dav ^ for each gheep^ o f Hnseed-oil-

5EB ' cake-meal mixed with bran, will be of the
greatest service on their recovery, or as soon as the appetite returns.
The Lung Strangle. The "lung thread-worm," (strongylus
filaria], lives in the wind-pipe, the bronchial tubes, and the tissues
of the sheep's lungs. It is a white, thread-like worm, from one
inch to three inches in length. Its natural history is supposed to
be as follows. The worms present in the lungs breed and produce
eggs, which contain fully developed young, wound up in a spiral
form in a thin shell. These embryos soon leave the shell and
move about in the tubes, causing great irritation and a secretion of
mucus, upon which they feed and grow. It is not certainly known
as yet if the sheep in the violent coughing caused by the irritation
expels any of the eggs or young worms, and that they then pass a
portion of their existence in the open air, finding their way into
the lungs of fresh bearers by the trachea in the passage of the
food through the mouth or gullet, or from the stomach in the act
of rumination ; or if the worm completes its whole existence in
the lungs of its bearer. It is most probable that the former sup-
position is the true one, as it explains the fact that the worms are
often found in young lambs in such quantities as to cause suffoca-
tion. Besides, it is known that flocks which follow other sheep
upon pastures, or which feed upon fields that have been manured
with sheeps' dung, have been attacked with this disease. An in-
teresting case in point is stated by a Pennsylvania correspondent
of the Country Gentleman of March 25th, 1875. Some ram lambs
were pastured in a field upon which their dams had been kept the


previous year, and which had been top-dressed with manure from
the sheep sheds. Nineteen out of forty of the lambs died. The
f ollowing year twenty-three lambs died, and the post-mortem of the
physician showed the fact that the larynx and trachea were cov-
ered on their inner surface " with a frothy mucus, generally white,
but here and there of a yellowish hue," also in this mucus were
"several worm-like bodies about one-half a line in diameter, and
from one to two inches in length." Under the microscope these
proved to be articulates, some of which contained what seemed
to be ova. A microscopic examination of the mucus showed these
ova in various stages of development. The worm -like bodies were
undoubtedly the lung thread-worms under consideration. For
several years afterwards the lambs which pastured on the top-
dressed meadows took the disease and died. The symptoms which
indicate the presence of this worm are a loss of condition, a con-
stant and severe cough, a dropsical condition, as shown by the
watery tumor beneath the throat, and a pining and wasting away.
The skin is pale, and the eyes pearly, and bloodless. After death
there is no sign of disease, except the presence of the worms in the
lungs and windpipe, and complete emaciation. The means of
prevention are obvious. Pastures or meadows should not be top-
dressed with sheeps' manure unless they are to be plowed and
sown to grain crops, and if a pasture is found to be infected, it
should be plowed up and re-sown. All sheep having the charac-
teristic cough should be fattened and killed.

The treatment proper in this case is the same as that recom-
mended for the liver fluke, and the mixture mentioned on page
222, should be administered as there stated. Turpentine and salt
are found to be almost sure remedies for internal parasites of all
kinds, and extra feeding to resist the draft upon the system will be

Hydatids or Bladder -Worms. The association of the dog with
the sheep upon farms, is productive of much mischief in addition
to the vast annual slaughter of the latter occasioned thereby. The
great majority of dogs are infested with tape-worms. The eggs
of the tape-worms discharged in the dung of the dog upon fields
and pastures are swallowed by the sheep with the herbage, and the
larval state of the worms is developed within their bodies, either in
the lungs, the abdomen, or the brain, causing disease which is
often fatal. The larvae of the tape-worm exist in the shape of
watery bladders, or sacs, which contain the undeveloped worms.
These peculiar creatures are known as bladder- worms or hydatids.



Ffe. 83.

One of these occupies the abdominal cavity of the sheep, and is
called the

Diving Bladder-worm, Cysticercus fcnuicollis or C. tcsnia margina-
ta. These bladders are often free in the
abdomen, are sometimes enclosed in the
fat, and sometimes are attached to the
liver and intestines. They are pear-
shaped, and in size from that of a walnut
to that of a hen's or even a goose's egg.
These bladders or cysts, when fed to a
dog, have produced the mature tcenia
marginata upwards of three feet in length
in the course of three months. The eggs
of this tape-worm have been fed to lambs, and have produced the
hydatid, or bladder-worm, of which hundreds were found hi the
abdomen of some of the lambs, which died soon after receiving
the eggs.

Figure 83 is a representation of the Cysticercus tenuicollis, with
the head turned out-
wards, and with the
head contained within
the neck of the blad-
der. Another of these
hydatids is the

Many-headed Blad-
der-worm, or Cysticer-
cus tcenia echinococcus.
This finds a home
in the lungs and liver
of the sheep and other
ruminants, and also
infests mankind. Fig-
ure 84 is an illustra-
tion of the liver and
lungs of an infected
sheep. As many as
several hundred cysts
have been taken from
one sheep. This is a
most dangerous para-
site, for if taken into the human stomach, it may produce " bladders"
in the brain, as it actually has done in well authenticated cases,
which are certainly fatal. The cysts reproduce themselves by a




species of budding, and thus rapidly increase and spread through
the bodies of their bearers. The most common of these hydatids is
The Brain Bladder-worm, or Ccenurus cerebralis. This produces
the common disease known as turnside, or giddiness, in which the
sheep turns its head to the left or right, and walks round and
round in a circle in the direction in which the head is turned,
until it falls giddy and exhausted. The presence of this parasite
has been discovered in the liver of our gray squirrel, and in rab-
bits, as well as in numerous sheep in this country. In the sheep
it is generally found hi the brain, although it is not peculiar
to that organ. It is only there, however, that it produces the
usual disastrous effects upon the sheep. Figure 85 represents the


brain infested with but one hydatid (a) ; in figure 86 it has four of
them (a, b, c y d). In size they are from that of a pea up to that of a
hen's egg. The hydatid is a bladder filled with a viscid fluid, and
covered on its outside surface with marks or oval slits. These
slits are the spots to which flask-shaped appendages are affixed
within, and are the openings which lead to the interior of these
appendages. On examination with a common pocket lens, a por-

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Online LibraryHenry StewartThe shepherd's manual. A practical treatise on the sheep → online text (page 20 of 23)