John Henry Steel.

A manual of the diseases of the camel and of his management and uses .. online

. (page 1 of 20)
Online LibraryJohn Henry SteelA manual of the diseases of the camel and of his management and uses .. → online text (page 1 of 20)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

'" yr^^^mvPT^'Y









A- m;"a.l





JOHN HENRY STEEL, v.s., a.v.d., v.k.c.v.<^., f z.s.,










[All righis reserved.']



J. H. B. HALLEN, f.r.c.s.e., f.r.s.e,,






Long and persistent efforts to promote




When I brought out tbe companion work to this, on

the Elephant, an ingenious critic rated me soundly because

I had not detailed information on diseases of the mighty

pachyderm comparable on even terras with our knowledge

of the surgery and medicine of the horse, ox, and man.

That critic will have lots of scope in scarifying me over

this book, for Cameline Pathology is sadly in arrears and

the English in India, the Russians in Central Asia, the

French in Algeria, and the Arabs in North Africa and

South-Western Asia are but slowly accumulating exact

knowledge of diseases of the Camel. Had I chosen to

bring pure theory to bear I might have posed as a grand

promoter, indeed as the originator, of Cameline Pathology

and have given a full and elaborate account for correction

hereafter b}'" practical observers. Such has not been my

object ; I have aimed at " holding a mirror up to nature,"

and have painted Cameline Pathology " with all its

warts ;" for I believe that by making the utmost of what

we d.o know, by systematic arrangement, and by scientific

expression I best prepare the subject for future advances.

It is no slight step forward when we learn our ignorance

of a science !

J. H. S.
Bombay, 1890.



Plate 1. Aden Camel Market,° ... ... ... Frontispiece.

„ 2. One and two-humped Camels in good condition To face p. 2
,, 3. The forehand of a Soudanese Baggage Camel° „ „ 6

,, 4. A Soudanese warrior on a Sowari Came]° „ ., 8

,, 5. The Stomachs of a Camel opened longitudinally* ,, ,, 60
„ 6. Histological diagrams of various structures* „ „ 67

„ 7. Gastric mass of a Camel (Colin) and some anatomi-
cal and histological details* ... ... „ „ 68

„ 8. Temporal glands and Female generative organs* ,, „ 83
„ 9. Sarcoptes Cameli* ... ... ... „ „ 92

„ 10. Various Surgical details : —

(a) Method of tying down the Camel (after Gil-


(b) Serwan's implements (after Leach).

(c) Ligature for bleeding, and splint for lower

jaw (after Gilchrist).

(d) Structure of the humps (after Lombardini).

(e) Histology of the humps (after Lombar-

dini) ... ... ... ... „ „ 103

„ 11. Heart bone and diaphragm bone of Camel* \ ,,.

Skeleton of the Camel* ... ... •'

,, 12 — 19. Diagrams illustrating dentition ... ... „ ,, 161

,, 20. Map of Camel distribution ... ... ... „ ,, 164

* After Lombardini. ^ From photographs casually obtained.


Introduction: Gciionil Essay on tlu; Suljji'ct ... ... pp. i\ — xvi

(^H.vrxER I : The Camel as an animal of Transpori. — Opinions on tlic
camel vary. Uses of tlio dilYcrcnt parts of a cainel after
death. He is the transport nninial for certain couiiti-ies.
Varieties ; Afghan, Pahari, J?actrian, Scindi, I'linjabi,
Beloochi, Bikanir, North-West Provinces and Oudli,
Taloocher, Persian, Asia Minor, and Mesopotamia. The
two-humped camel, Turkestani (Tuya). Kussian experi-
ences. Algerian varieties ; want of judgment in .selection
of varieties of camel for service. Enrojjcans do not
understand camels. Camel as an animal of Transport sel-
dom properly cared for. Qualities which affect his value
as an animal of Transport, effects of rutting or " must,"
hardihood — loads — pace — advantages of camel convoys.
"Want of versatility ; use for guns and in harness. Care
in management of camels, Arab and Turkoman experiences.
Effects of state of road on progress of camels. Crossing
rivers and nullahs. Food and feeding. 'I'he regulation
ration — grazing — fodders. General routine of camel man-
agement. Watering. How often should camels^ be watered?
Inspection, arrangement of lines, night guard. Care of
saddlery and other gear — loading — jhools — camping
grounds. Castration. Selection of camels for ])ublic service.
Dentition as denoting age. Method of examining a camel
as to fitness for Transport service. Age limits to efficiency.
Attendants — the gait of camels — procurabilit}'. JS'unn on
names applied to camels of different sizes. Breeding.
Natural history of the camel ... ... ... pj). 1 — 132

Chaftek II : Clencral considerations on diseases of the Camel. — Special
fcatuies of cameline pathology. Information resulting
from Veterinary Science. General symptoms of ill health.
Fever. The pulse. Internal temperature. Ivespirations.
State of excreta — prognosis. Treatment ... pj). o2 — 38
CH\nER III : Cameline Tlierapeutics and. Materia Medica. — Mussauls.
Na'nass or snuff. Lapes or ointments. Unjuns or lachry-
mants. Firing. Bleeding ; general and local. Fomen-
tations. Laxatives and eal hartics. Fnemata. Sedatives.
Stimulants, Ac. I)os:;s. i\lethous of adniinisti-alion. MeaJis
ol restraint. ]\lisccllaucous considerations ... pp. '68 — i-j

CiiAi'TER IV : The Blood and Us diseases. — Anatomy and physiology of tho
blood. Anemia or debility. Surra (Khanhog and Doaia).
Anthrax (Chhalie). Fatal but obscure disorders of camels.
Haslam's record from Suez. Foot and mouth disease.
Rinderpest. Camel pox v. Variola cameli (Mata, cheechuk).
Glanders. Pinseekamurz. Pakdar. Strangles. Rabies
Tuberculosis. Rheumatism. Zerbad. Hydatid cysts.
Hasmatozoa. Poisoning. Problems to be solved concerning
blood diseases of camels. ... ... ... pp.45 — 59

Chapter V : The Digestioe system and its disorders. — Anatomical pecu-
liarities of the alimentary canal. The teeth, palu, stom-
achs. Colin on the dimensions of the Alimentary Canal,
(.rahasha or Inflammation of the Palu. Sore throat, three
forms. Parotiditis, glossitis, vomition ; Hoven or flatulent
colic ; Impaction of the Rumen. Enteritis (Bhao, one forml,
Ascites ; constipation or costiveness ; Diarrhoea, purging,
dysentery. Lombardini on the digestive system of the
camel. Teeth. Tonsilar concretions. On the functions of
the water sacs. Umbilical Hernia. Indigestion. Vahee
golah (Gilchrist). Intestinal parasites. Appendix. The
pancreas. The liver. Congestion of the liver. Hepatitis
Hydatid invasion of the liver ... ... pp.59 — 71

Chapter VI : Circulatory system. — The heart. Burke's rapid cirrhosis.
Anatomy. Venesection ... ... ... PP- 71 — 72

Chapter VII: The Respiratory apparatus. — Nasal catarrh (Khoorka).
Laryngitis, cough. Kapaulee and obscurity of its pathology.
Ulceration of the nostrils. Nose peg injuries. Maggot in
the nose. CEstrus cameli or the camel Bot. Diseases of the
chest. Pneumonia. Pleuropericarditis (Lombardini). Pul-
monary Apoplexy. Strongylus filaria. Chronic lung disease.

Hydatids. Tubercular Phthisis PP- 72 — 81

Chapter VIII: Urinary disorders. — Retention of urine. Dj'^suria. Haema-
turia (Soozark). Renal and urethi'al calculi. pp. 81 — 82
Chapter IX : Generative apparatus. — Temporal glands and their secre-
tion. Lai'rey's observations on genetic furor. Pendulovis
penis. Castration. The generative organs of the female and
their functions. Apfendix 1. On the diseases of young camels.
Ulcerative Stomatitis. Appendix 2. Analyses of milk of

female camels ... ... ... pp- 82 — 84

Chapter X : Tl/e Nervous apparatus. — General remarks. Megrims; Ver-
tigo. Tuj) Surga (Leach). Murghcc ka murz (Gilchrist),
rumaun ka murz 'Gilchrist) •'Cold Struck." Cerebritis.
Ahrcn bhao (Gilt). CiBuurus cerebralis. Paraplegia (Jolay.
Tetanus. He wa or Heat Apoplexy ... pp. 85 — 8S


Chaptek XI : Cutaneous system. — Miiiigcor itch ( Kliarisk). Its viirietins.
Kc-zoiua. tlir non-parasitic form. PrcvciiLivf ticutmont. ( 'inc.
The •* mange insect," Sarcoptcs cajucli. (\)mtniiiiiciil)lity of
Iruemangeto mankind. Causes. Symptoms. Ti-eutmeiit: pii;-
ventive and curative. Various metliods : Leach's, Haslam's,
Clayton's, Yaldwin's, Gilchrist's, Bennett's, Montgcmiery
plan (Nunn), Carbuccia's, Lombardini's. Major Elliot on the
problem of treatment of skin disease of camels on service.
Other diseases of the skin. Eczema, Agheen bhao.
Jehun (lice). The Seroot fly. The Debab fly ... pp. 88—102
Chapter XTI : Minor Snnjical condiiioiis. — Wounds in general ; bullet
wounds. Branding sores. Contusions. Galls. Of nose.
Injuries to tail. Ulceration of the tail. Crupper galls ; inju-
ries of the jaw and mouth. Elbow gall. Boss or pad galls.
Soreback or saddle gall, its causes and treatment. Hump
injuries and Cancerous disease. Abscess (phora) : of
neck glands, of chest, of groin (el magoub), outside
thigh, over eye, gomri or kapaulee, subcutaneous boils,
chandri or chhahliyan ... ... ... pp.102 — 113

Chaptkr XIII : The Locomotan/ system. — Description of the leading peculi-
arities of the skeleton. Fractures and dislocations. Anchy-
losis. Bone spavin. Anchylosis of Vertebrae. Sprains
(Lutchuk), levelled legs, swollen joints, sprained shoulder,
atrophy of limb muscles, laceration of the ham muscles.
I'umours rare. Fibroma ... ... ... pp. 113 — 115

Chapter XIV : The organs of the Special Sense. — Paucity of our knowledge.
The £'ar, canker of the ear. The i^ye, injuries. The pedal
apparatus. Postures of the camel, paces, structure of the
foot. Diseases of the foot : overgrown toe nails, inflam-
mation of the elastic pad, whitlow (riuittor, guzmah,
tahkne), sarpo, mooroos, pedal fibroma ... ... pp. 115

-Votes and Appendices. [These have been gradually collected while the
chapters of this book were passing through the press, and could not
well have been inserted Avithout interference with the simplicity of the
original work, which there are strong reasons for I'etaining].

Appendix I. — Notes on Camel Corps, after Burn ... 181

„ II. — Records of the Suakim Camel Corps ... ... ... 121-

,, III. — Camel notes at a Camp of Exercise (Steel) 125

I'ara. 4. The feeding of camels on grain. Camel attendants ; Ectozoa,
Musthi, wound treatment and complications. Illustrative
cases. Arguments for castration. List of more important
cases. Diarrhea duo to parasites. Xeod of Veterinary
supervision for camels.

Appendix IV. — Notes and additions ... ... ... 131

Note 1. Froducts of the camel and his uses in various farts of the iforld.
The wool, skin, bowels, and bones, as articles of trade. The
flesh as human food. Boisse's information on this subject.

„ 2. Different hinds of camels, their peculiarities and designation,
sources, and distribution : — Bactrian. Influence of marsh land.
Arabic names for camel. Dromedaries from Scinde, Bikanir,
Oman, Kathiawar, &c.

„ 3. Camels employed along the Nile (Burn). Range of the Camel
in Africa, Europe, America, and Australia.

,, 4. Camel losses on service.

„ 5. Procurability of camels.

,, 6. Walters on camels in the Soudan Campaign (1885).

,, 7. Fentoh on camels of the Suakim Expeditionary Force.

„ 8. Camel loads of the world (Lord and Hsbines).

„ 9. Camel guns.

„ 10. Camels as a means of Transport for the sicJc.

„ 11. Transport of ca')nels by rail and sea.

„ 12. Opinions as to the value, relative and absolute, of camels for trans.
port on service : — Queriple, Pringle, Po^^ser ; outcome of ex-
periences up the Nile.

,, 13. Watering of Military camels.

„ 14. Saddles by Burt and other Veterinary observers.

„ 15. Camel Management on service, swimming across the Nile.

,, 16. Average rations.

„ 17. Sample rations for service,

,, 18. Camel grazing at Suakim (Smyth).

„ 19. List of plants eaten by camels (Watt).

„ 20. Precautions against skin disease.

,, 21. Clothing and bedding.

,, 22. Weight and dimensions of camels.

„ 23. Examination as to soundness : — According to Burn and " Snipe."

„ 24. Minor notes on camel sickness.

„ 25. Poyser on an outbreak of disease.

„ 26. Danakil Equine Typhus fever or African Glanders (Hallen).

„ 27. Soudan Catarrhal Fever.

,, 28. Rheumatism.

„ 29. Farasites : Filaria Evansi (Lewis).

„ 30. Cobbold and Colin on camel parasites.

„ 31. Poisoning.

,, 32. Formad and Vedernikoff on enzootic disease,

,, 33. Lady Anne Blunt on camels in Arabia.
Appendix V. — Dentition as indicating age ... ... ... ... 161

„ VI. — A few notes on the History and Literature of the

camel, principally after Lombardini ... ... 164

„ VII. — Megnin on Sarcoptes Cameli ... ... ... ... 166

„ VIII. — Materia Medica and Therapeutics 167

1. List of Medicinal Agents (Pharmacopoeial).

2. Do. do. do. (extra Pharmacopoeial).

3. Samples of prescriptions for cnmel treatment.

4. Forraularium.


(The following elemcntaiy paper on the Cauioi, as I'oud before
the Bombay Natui-al History Society, on 10th July 1889, will lead
up to our subject by giving a sketchy outline of its popular bear-
ings. It has been reprinted by kind permission of the Society.)

In dealing with a subject so largo and so interesting as the
camel one hardly knows where to begin and where to leave ofF.
It is extraordinary how various estimates have been formed of
his value. Mahomed says of him that he is the greatest of all
the blessings given by Allali to mankind ; recent writers have
represented him as ugly, spiteful, unreliable at work, stupidly
pblegmatic, malodorous, and endowed with all the bad qualities;
under the sun ; his very virtues, especially steady endurance of
excessive toil, being attributed to want of sensibility and of
even the faintest gleams of intelligence. .The songs of the
Arab of the desert are about the camel, as one of the most
beautiful of created beings; the remarks of the British soldier
and transport regimental officer about his baggage camels are
not suited to cars polite ! Who is right and who is wrong ?

We can have no hesitation in taking tho side of the Arab.
Still there is some excuse for the recent military opinion on this
subject, because undoubtedly in the Soudan, along the Nile, and
in Afghanistan, camel transport has not been a success, and tho
poor beasts have died wholesale as a rule. The Russians in
Central Asia, tho French in Algeria, and, recently, the Italians
in Massowah, have been cpiito as unsuccessful as we in our

various campaigns as regards keeping camels in health and
eflSciency. Individual officers have solved the problem of how to
keep camels at work and to prove them valuable on a campaign;
but our troops hare most certainly not been successful ; how-
ever;, sureljj if overladen animals have not their saddles removed
for a fortnight, we cannot wonder to find horrible sores on their
backs ; if animals remain ungroomed and tied up in lines or on
the march for months together, we cannot wonder if they get
mange in an aggravated form ; and if animals get no food nor
water for a week, we cannot wonder that they at last fall and
die under their heavy burdens. To sum the matter up in a few
words. If men have in war emergency suddenly to deal with
an animal about which they know nothing whatsoever, the
animal must not be blamed that the results are not altogether

The knowledge of the camel possessed by the untravelled
Briton is easily summed up. Firstly, he is certain that the
animal is the ''ship of the desert.'^ Secondly, that it has some-
thing to do with the eye of a needle. Thirdly (and most posi-
tively) it is a sort of travelling reservoir, consisting of inexhaus-
tible water tanks and never needs to drink. Fourthly, it has a
hump and long legs and neck. Finally, it is an uncanny brute
of strange habits, suited only to the wandering Bedouin of the
desert and the inimitable Barnum. When called on in the
emergencies of service to take charge of camels, the principle
an Englishman works on is to treat them as much as possible
like the beast of burden with which he is most familiar, the
horse. Where this has been carried out thoroughly the results
have been not unsatisfactory, for when groomed regularly the
camel does not get mange, when properly saddled and loaded
he does not get sore back, and when properly fed and watered
he remains serviceable and does good work. It is when one
soldier is given several camels to take care of, and is aided only
by a lot of lazy, cowardly coolies, who know as little about a
camel as he does and have no intention of trying to do anything
whatsoever for their pay, that the poor camels fail.

The water*tank theory is an unfortunate one. Certainly a


cainol can 'g"o for seven days without water wlien properly cared
for, but ho ou^ht to be watered ouce a day whouevcr possiblo
and stinted in this respect only in extreme emergency. There
are jioneiies in his stomach, and they aro frequently, after death,
found to contain fluid ; but that they aro reservoirs pure and
simple is doubtful ; and it is very certain that the parched tra-
veller who das to cut open his dying camel and obtain its accumu-
lated stores of water, will thus procure onl}'- a very little fluid,
of a temperature of about 90° Fahr., a mawkish sub-acid flavour,
and an unpleasant odour. It is evident that the time-honoured
water-tank theory needs much modification, and is a danger-
ous one to insist on as a guide to practice during campaigns.

As a matter of fact, the active and special services of camels
in war and peace have been most extensive and valuable. That
they have been associated with enormous losses is due to our
ignorance and mismanagement, and is decidedly not the camel's
fault. In Afghanistan, the Punjab, Sind, and Beluc"histan; in
Abyssinia, Egypt, and the Soudan, the camel has been essential
to success of the operations ; and it is certain that when we
need to fight in China, Central Asia, Western Asia, Arabia, and
North Africa, the. services of this extremely valuable baggage
aninuil will be again called for. The camel is, I believe, under a
cloud now in official estimation, but, like the Royal Marines, he
has done good service on many an occasion, and is always ready
to do it again and sure to turn up when there is hard work
going. Although the camel spits and grumbles when beino-
loaded, though he makes unpleasant noises in the camp at night,
and though he is generally considered unlovely in the extreme —
and certainly no European nose can appreciate his odour — these
unpleasant habits and conditions are to my mind more than
redeemed by the undaunted and plucky manner in which he
plods on with his load until he actually falls dead, by the stolid
manner in which he remains quiet after a mortal wound until he
rolls over on his side to die, and by tin; ^vay in which he steadily
plods on mile after mile under his heavy load until the halt is
called, even for a march of considerably more than regulation

The peace services of tiie camel are not less meritorious tlian
his war services. His function as ship of the desert is gradu-
ally being taken away from him by the spread of railways,
as in Rajputana, Scind, Central Asia^ and Egypt, and we have
historical evidence that his range has been limited to an extent
since the iime when the westward and eastward waves of the
Mussulman invasion extended from Spain in the West to Southern
India and China in the East. A few representatives remain in
Spain, very few in Mysore, and in Europe practically the only
camels are the stunted race of Pisa, which seems to have been
introduced somewhat recently from Tripoli. I believe there are
camels in Constantinople and European Turkey ; I observe that
General Gordon writes of them in Turkey. I noticed recently in
the Royal Dublin Society's Museum a sowari camel on a real and
antique Irish harp as its prominent decoration : how it came
there I cannot surmise !

I have somehow arrived at the impression that in Asiatic
Russia, and iu the Caspian region and Crimea especially, of
European Russia, the range of the two-humped camel is
becoming restricted by railway development. Expansion of
range is taking place in the Southern States of America, where
imported camels have done well and are multiplying rapidlj^,
and in Australia, whither they have been imported from India,
and where have been established breeding stations. It is con-
sidered that the camel will prove specially valuable in opening
up Central Australia. In Mongolia, Western China, the Central
Asian Desert, the Khanates, Afghanistan, Beluchistan, Persia,
Asia Minor, Arabia, and the whole desert area of Northern and
Central Africa the camel reigns supreme as a means of transport
for goods and travellers. Tradition has it that the camel iu-
vn.ded Africa by way of the Isthmus of Suez ; he has invaded
America and Australia by sea.

It is reasonably surmised that the camel is decreasing in
numbers ; one of the Caliphs, for example, is credited with
assembling 120,000 camels for a journey to Mecca. Here we
are face to face with one of those difficulties constantly appear-
luo- before naturalists. Some allowance must be made for oriental

cxagg-onitioii in tlio actiuil statomt«ut ol" nuinbers, aud for luiin-
teiitional multiplication in quality and quantity hy Uiudtdorcs
temporis acti, jieoplo wlu) systematically run down tho ])rcscMit in
comparison Avitb tho past. The t\vo-lunn))od or ]5actrian camel
is muck less frequent than tho true dromedary or cine-humj)ed
species. I'nlgravo, the celebrated traveller, is responsible for
introducing serious confusion between the terms dromedary and
camel. Ho has tried to restrict the former to the hygeen or
running camel, known to us as sowari, and to make it out to bo
a distinct breed. This is not correct. The fact of the case is,
that wheresoever camels are freely used and bred there arc found
well-bred light animals suited for sowari, and heavier, coarser-
bred individuals suited for baggage duties. According to the
requirements of tho locality the former or the latter predominate.
There arc very many local varieties of the camel, but only two
species faj the Southern, Arabian, one-humped camel, or true
dromedary, and fbj the Northern, Bactrian, two-humped, or
" true " camel. Where the two meet is the line of the Euphrates
aud Tigris ; a few Bactriaus have passed into Arabia, and I
believe tho two-humped camel is the one which has been im-
ported into North America by the United States Government.
In Northern Persia and Afghan-Turkestan the two species are
found, and sometimes they cross and produce a hybrid. It is
the one-humped camel which has invaded Australia, that of
Bikanir in Rajputana, which shares wath Jessalmir the honour
of being the best places in India for camels. Tho Bactrian
camel is very tolerant of cold, he works across snow on the
Steppes, aud is said to eat snow when he becomes thirsty ; the
dromedary is intolerant of cold, but will stand a remarkable
amount of heat. JMoisture in the air is probably the condition of
climate of which the camel is least tolerant. No animal will
travel better over sand, for Avhich the peculiar structure of the
foot, the deliberate action, and the length of limb well suit him ;
mountainous passes are trying only to plain camels ; even deep
rivers with sandy bottoms can be forded by this animal, but a
.clay bottom and slippery soil proves very trying to him,
especially under a heavy load ; and deep ditches or cracks in the

soil prove serious impediments, because camels cannot do much
in the way of jumping, except occasionally performing some
awkward and grotesque gambols.

One great desideratum in a ti'ansport animal is that he be
capable of use in various ways ; the camel can hardly be con-
sidered very inferior in this respect. Besides sowari and pack
work he carries small guns or will drag larger ones ; he is used
in high, peculiar, double-storey carriages (in the Punjab for

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Online LibraryJohn Henry SteelA manual of the diseases of the camel and of his management and uses .. → online text (page 1 of 20)