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Special report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding online

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well rubbed in over the chest in the region of the heart, may have the
desired effect. In extreme cases tapping the pericardium with a trocar
and eanula, to draw off the fluid, is resorted to, but the operation re-
quires exact anatomical knowledge.

After death from pericarditis there is always more or less fluid found
in the pericardium ; the surfaces are rough and covered with a yellow-
colored exudate. There are also, in many cases, adhesions, to a greater
or less extent, between the heart and pericardium.


Inflammation of the muscular structure of the heart occurs in limited,
circumscribed areas, as evidenced by post-mortem examination, and it
is probably always somewhat involved in connection with pericarditis
and endocarditis. It may readily be inferred that if the whole organ
were inflamed death would ensue immediately. When it is complicated
there are no symptoms by which it may be distinguished from the other
affections. Examination after death has revealed abscesses in the walls
of the heart, and spots where inflammation had existed.


When the membrane which lines the cavities of the heart the endo-
cardium suffers inflammation the disease is called endocarditis. When
it exists it is usually a complication of rheumatism. The symptoms are


much the same as those of pericarditis, and it is difficult to discriminate
between the two affections. As in other heart troubles, there is a jug-
ular pulse, the legs may become dropsical, and there is a tendency to
faint if the head is elevated suddenly. It is said that the bellows-like
sound is much more distinct than it is in pericarditis. It is the most
fatal of heart diseases, because of the liability of the formation of clots,
which may adhere to the valves, change in the structure of the valves,
and often a complication with an abnormal condition of the blood.
Clots may be formed in the heart and, being carried to other parts,
prove fatal by interrupting the circulation in some vital organ.

The same treatment as advised for pericarditis may be followed in
tills disease. Especial precautions should be observed in the use of


The valves are subject to abnormal growths and structural changes.
Cases are also reported in which they have been found ruptured. The
want of diagnostic symptoms in cattle makes it useless to enumerate
signs of no practical value.


Post-mortem examinations have revealed tumors of various kinds
and shapes in the cavities of the heart of cattle. They may be attached
to the walls or valves, or exisjt in the structure of the wall. They have
also been found externally, of enormous size, attached to the apex. On
this subject Gamgee remarks:

It is evident tliat the importance of these organic disorders varies as much from
tin- position of the growth as from its size and tendency to interfere with the heart's
action. The presence of n small obstruction within the heart is calculated to en-
danger an animal's life far more than an external tumor. Thus, a polypus forming
within the auricle may drop on the corresponding auricnlo-veutricular opening and
tho blood's flow. It ia remarkable that, as shown by Case II, reported below.
u largo polypus may have its pedicle in the auricle, and continue growing in the
: :cle to the extent of tilling the latter, and yet the animal died suddenly without
has ing previously shown signs of ill health.

The polypus referred to in Case II was found in the heart of an ox,
and measured over five inches in its greatest length, and over nine
inches in its greatest circumference.


This is an enlargement of the heart, and may consist of the thicken
ing of the walls alone, or at the same time the cavities may be either
enlarged or diminished in size. Dilatation of the cavities has also been
noticed, as existing independently of thickened walls. It is said that
in hypertrophy the sounds of tho heart are loud and pronounced, and
may be heard on both sides of the chest very distinctly, and palpita-
tion to si greater or less extent is constant. Luckily both conditions
are very rare in cattle.



Atrophy is the technical term for wasting of the muscular tissue.
Atrophy of the heart is very rare among cattle, aud is usually a result
of other diseases.


This condition of the heart is met with in cattle, but it must be un-
derstood that the accumulation of fat around the heart is not referred
to by this designation. In fatty degeneration the elements of the mus-
cular tissue are replaced by fatty or oily granules.


Owing to the most prominent symptom, this condition is also called
" blue disease/' It is seen occasionally in new-born calves. It is rec-
ognized by the blue color of the mucus membrane (easily seen by look-
ing within the mouth and nostrils), the coldness of the surface of the
body, and rapid, labored breathing. It is due to nonclosure of the
foramen ovale (see description of the heart) and the consequent mixing
of the venous with the arterial blood. Calves so affected live but a
short time.


- Cases are recorded in which the heart has been found out of its
natural position, sometimes located outside of the chest. This is a con-
genital condition, for which there is no remedy.


When a blood-vessel is opened it may be told at a glance whether
it is an artery or a vein by simply bearing in mind that bright red blood
comes from arteries and dark red from veins. When a vein or a very
small artery is severed the blood flows from the vessel in a continuous
aisd even stream, but when one of the larger arteries is severed the
blood comes from it in intermitting jets or spurts, corresponding to the
beats of the heart. It is well to call attention to the fact that the dark
red blood which flows or oozes from a wound soon becomes bright red,
because it gives up its carbonic acid gas to the air, and absorbs oxygen
gas from the air, which is exactly the change it undergoes in the cap-
illaries of the lungs.

The general treatment of wounds will be found in another section ;
here it is only necessary to refer briefly to some of the most practical
methods used to arrest hemorrhages, as instances occur where an
animal may lose much strength from the loss of blood, or even bleed to
death unless action is prompt.



The severity of a hemorrhage depends upon the size of the vessel
from which the blood escapes, though it may be stated that it is more
serious when arteries are severed; however, a groat deal depends on
the manner in which the vessel is wounded. If the wound in an artery
is in the direction of its length, the blood escapes more freely than
if the vessel is completely severed, because in the latter instance the
severed ends retract, and may aid very much in arresting the flow.
When the blood merely oo/esirom the wound, and even in cases where
it flows in a small stream, the forming of the clot, as explained in the
description of the blood, arrests the hemorrhage in a comparatively
short time.

Slight hemorrhages may be checked by the continuous application to
the wound of cold water, ice, or snow, as they cause a contraction of the
small vessels. The water may be thrown on a wound from a hose, or
dashed on it from the hand or a cup, or folds of cotton cloths may be
held on the wound and kept wet. Ice or snow may be held against the
wound, or they may be put in a bag and conveniently secured in posi-

Hot water of an average temperature of 115 to 120 F. injected into
the vagina or womb is often efficient in arresting hemorrhages from
ih'txe organs. Tow, raw cotton, lint, or sponges may be forced into a
wound and held or bound there with bandages. This is an excellent
method in checking the flow of blood until the arrival of an expert. If
the flow persists these articles may be saturated with tincture of iron,
but it is not advisable to use the tincture of iron if it can be avoided,
as it is a caustic, and retards healing by causing a slough. The arti-
may be saturated with vinegar in cases of necessity, or tannic acid,
or alum, dissolved in water may be used instead. The article (which-
ever is used) should be left in the wound sufficiently long to make sure its removal will not be followed by a renewal of the hemorrhage.
1 1 should remain there one or two days in some instances, unless removed
by the veterinarian.

An iron heated until it is white and then pressed on the bleeding
VHtel for three or fotir seconds is occasionally used. It should ! at
whitv heat anil applied for a moment only, or else the charred tissue
will come away with the iron and thus defeat the purpose of its appli-

The best of all means is compression. This may be applied in different
ways, but only the most convenient will be mentioned. In most wounds
bandages may easily be applied. The bandages may "be made of linen,
muslin, etc., sufficiently wide and long, according to the nature of the
wound and the region to be bandaged. I ted sheets torn in strips the
full length make excellent bandages for this pur]M>se.. Cotton batting
tow, or H piece of sponge may be placed on the wound and firmly bound
there with the bandages.


In many instances ligating the vessel is necessary. A ligature is a
piece of thread or string tied around the vessel. Ligating is almost
entirely confined to arteries. Veins are not ligated unless very large
(and even then only when other means are not available) on account of
the danger of phlebitis or inflammation of a vein. The ligature is tied
around the end of the artery, but in some instances this is difficult, and
it is necessary to include some of the adjacent tissue, although care
should be taken that a nerve is not included. To apply a ligature it is
necessary to have artery forceps (tweezers or small pincers may suffice)
by which to draw out the artery in order to tie the string around it.
To grasp the vessel it may be necessary to sponge the blood from the
wound so that the end will be exposed. In case the end of the bleeding
artery has retracted, a sharp-pointed hook called a teiiaculum is used
to draw it out far enough to tie. The ligature should be drawn tightly
so that the middle" and internal coats will be cut through.

Another method of checking hemorrhage is called torsion. It consists
in catching the end of the bleeding vessel, drawing it out a little, and
then twisting it around a few times with the forceps, which lacerates
the internal coats so that a check is effected. It is very effectual in
small vessels, and is to be preferred to ligatures, because it leaves no
foreign body in the wound. A needle or pin may be stuck through
the edges of a wound, and a string passed round between the free ends
and the skin (Plate xxvui, Fig. 10), or it may be passed round in the form
of the figure 8, as is often done in the operation of bleeding from the jug-
ular vein.


Inflammation of arteries is of rare occurrence in cattle, and requires
no more than mention here.


Three kinds are recognized: (1) Calcareous degeneration, in which
phosphate and carbonate of lime are deposited in the middle coat of an
artery; the calcification may extend to the external and internal coats;
it is associated with old age; (2) cartilaginous degeneration, affecting
small arteries; (3) fatty degeneration, usually met with in cases of fatty
degeneration of other parts.


A circumscribed dilatation of an artery, constituting a tumor which
pulsates synchronously with the beats of the heart, is called aneurism.
It is due to disease and rupture of one or two of the arterial coats. The
true aneurism communicates with the interior of the artery, and con-
tains coagulated blood. They are so deeply seated in cattle that treat-
ment is out of the question. Death is sudden when due to the rupture


of an aneurism of a large artery, owing to internal hemorrhage. A false
aneurism results from blood escaping from a wounded artery into the
adjacent tissue, where it clots, and the wound, remaining open in the
artery, causes pulsation in the tumor.


When bleeding is performed without proper care, or with unclean
fleam or lancet, inflammation of the vein may result. It may be caused
by the animal rubbing the wound against some object. When inflamma-
tion follows the operation the coats of the vein Jbecome enlarged, so
much so that the vessel may be felt hard and knotted beneath the
skin, and when pressed on pain is evinced. A thin, watery discharge,
tinged with blood, is&ies from the wound. When the pin is ta&en out
it is found that the wound has not healed. The blood becomes coagu-
lated in the vessel. In inflammation of the jugular the coagulation
extends from the wound upward to the first large branch. Abscesses
may form along the course of the veiii. The inflammation is followed
by obliteration of that part in which coagulation exists. This is of
small import, as cattle have an accessory jugular vein which gradually
enlarges and accommodates itself to the increased quantity of blood
it must carry. (The existence of this accessory jugular vein is the rea-
son why only a small stream of blood is obtained in certain instances;
when the large jugular vein is opened, the blood flows through the
deeper seated collateral vessel.) The treatment for inflammation of
the vein is to clip the hair from along the course of the affected vessel
ami apply a blister, the cerate of cantharides. Abscesses should be
opened as soon as they form, because there is a possibility of the pus
grtting into the circulation.

In the operation of bleeding the instruments should be clean and free
from rust. If the skin is not sufficiently opened, or when closing the
wound the skin is drawn out too much, blood may accumulate in the
ti-^ue, and if it does it should be removed by pressing absorbent cotton
or a sponge on the part. Care should also be used in opening the vein,
so that the instrument does not pass entirely through both sides of the
vein, and open the artery beneath it. (See Bleeding or Blood-letting,
p. 307.)


The following quotation is from Prof. Williams's Veterinary Surgery:

Tho veins of tho extremities of horned cattlo present varieoso dilatations along
their course in the form of Hacciil.itcd or knotty protuberances on various parts of the
Vf.Mx-N; tho contained bloo<l is at first in n fluid Btato, hut nu alteration not unfro-
quently occurs, tho blood coagulates, and thn vessel become-* obstructed. The for-
mation of those congula is an effect of inflammation in thn coats of the vein; this
inflammation may bo alight or it may run on to suppuration, giving rise to Hinall
*<<. I liavo repeatedly met with this form of phlebitis in cattle underfed nnd



kept in wet, cold situations. It seems to arise from debility of the circulation and
relaxation or \vant of tone in the coats of the vessels. The treatment for dilatation
without inflammation: Better food, warmth, and comfort; tonics and pressure by
bandages; and, in addition, when suppuration is established, the abscesses are to be
opened and blisters applied, but no pressure.


Owing to the suction action in the chest (referred to in the descrip-
tion of the blood-vessels), when a large vein is opened in the vicinity of
the chest air may be sucked in, which, if in great quantity, will cause
death, as the air bubbles are carried by the blood to the capillaries of
the lungs, where they impede the circulation by occluding the small



Diagram illustrating the circulation of the blood. The arrows indicate the direc-
tion in which the blood flows. The valves of the heart, situated between the
right auricle and ventricle, and left auricle and ventricle, and between the
ventricles and large arteries, are represented by curved lines. These valves
are intended to prevent the flow of blood in a direction contrary to that indi-
cated by the arrows.



Superintendent of the Untied States Neat Cattle Quarantine Station for the Port of X

York, Garfield, N. J.

In the determination of disease in the human being the physician is
aided by both subjective and objective symptoms in making his diag-
nosis; but the veterinary physician, in a very large majority of cases,
is obliged to rely almost solely upon objective symptoms, and perhaps
in no class of diseases is this more true than in the exploration of those
under consideration. This condition of affairs has a strong tendency to
<lc vdop observation and discernment in the veterinarian, and not infre-
quently do we tind that the successful veterinary practitioner is a very
accurate diagnostician. But in order to make a differential diagnosis
it is not only necessary to have a knowledge of the structure and func-
tions of the organs in health, but to adopt a rigid system of details ot
examination, without which successful results can not be reached. The-
utical treatment is worse than useless until the nature and seat of
the diseased process have been determined. The history of the case
should always be ascertained as far as possible and duly weighed. True,
this is often unreliable, but even when this is the case it is advisable to
weigh the evidence pro and cOn.

As above indicated, it is only the careful and constant examination of
animals in health that will enable one to properly appreciate abnormal
conditions. One must become familiar with the frequency and charac-
ter of the pulfie and of the respiration must know the temperature of
the animal in health, before changes in abnormal conditions can be prop-
erly appreciated.

The pulse in tin* healthy ox is more frequent than in the horse, beat-
ing from forty-five to fifty times per minute, while in the latter it only
beats thirty-six to forty. The pulse may be felt wherever an artory
passes over a bone close to t he skin. Exercise, overfeeding, pregnancy,
and other things may affect the frequency and character of the pulse.
It assumes various characters according to its rapidity of beat, fro
queiicy of occurrence, resistance to pressure, regularity, and pcrcepti-



bility. Thus we liave the quick and slow, frequent and infrequent, hard
and soft, full and imperceptible, large and small pulses, the characters
of which may be determined from their names j also that form known
as the intermittent, either regular or irregular. We may have a di-
crotic or double pulse ; a thready pulse, which is extremely small and
scarcely perceptible; the venous pulse, the "running down" pulse,
and so on. (See p. 84.)

In making an examination of an animal observe the depth, frequency,
quickness, facility, and the nature of the respiratory movements. They
may be quick or slow, frequent or infrequent, deep or imperfect, la-
bored, unequal, irregular, etc., each of which has its significance to the
educated and experienced veterinarian.

Sleep, rumination, pregnancy in cows, etc., modify the respiratory
movements even in health. Respiration consists of two acts, inspira-
tion and expiration. The function of respiration is to take in oxygen
from the atmospheric air, which is essential for the maintenance of life,
and to exhale the deleterious gas known as carbon dioxide.

Cough is a very important symptom, often being diagnostic in diseases
of the respiratory organs, but which can be more satisfactorily treated
in connection with the special diseases of the organs in question.

The temperature should be taken in all cases of sickness. Expe-
rienced practitioners can approximate the patient's temperature with
remarkable accuracy, but I would strongly recommend the use of the
self-registering clinical thermometer, which is a most valuable instru-
ment in diagnosing diseases. (See Plate in, Fig. 1). It is important that
a tested instrument be secured, as some thermometers in the market are
inaccurate and are worse than useless. The best place to insert the
thermometer in the bovine is in the rectum, although it may be inserted
in the mouth, or in the vagina of the cow. The instrument should be
rested against the walls of the cavity for about three minutes. The
normal temperature of the bovine is 101 J F. to 102 F., which is higher
than that of the horse. A cow breathes faster, her heart beats faster,
and her internal temperature is higher than that of the horse. Ordi-
nary physiological influences, such as exercise, digestion, etc., give rise
to slight variations of internal temperature, but if the temperature
rises two or three degrees above the standard some diseased condition
is indicated.

Auscultation and percussion are the chief methods employed to de-
termine the various pathological changes that occur in the respiratory
organs. Auscultation is the act of listening, and may be either mediate or
immediate. Mediate auscultation is accomplished by aid of an instru-
ment known as the stethoscope, one extremity of which is applied to
the ear and the other to the chest of the animal. In immediate aus-
cultation the ear is applied directly to the part. Immediate ausculta-
tion will answer in a large majority of cases. Auscultation is resorted
to in cardiac and certain abdominal diseases, but it is mainly employed


for determining the condition of the lungs and air passages. Animals
can not give the various phases of respiration on demand, as can the
patients of the human practitioner. The organs themselves are less
accessible than in man, owing to the greater bulk of tissue surrounding
them and the pectoral position of the fore extremities, all of which
render it more difficult in determining pathological conditions. (See
1'late vin.)

If the ear bo applied to the throat of a healthy bovine the air will be
heard passing through the windpipe with a regular, steady, blowing
sound: it' applied to the chest, a soft, rustling murmur will be heard,
caused by the air passing in and out of the fine tubes and air cells of
the lungs, whieh has been likened to a gentle breeze in the tree tops.
But when the lungs or throat are diseased the sounds are very much
eli an;;e<l. a point which will be dealt with in connection with the treat-
ment of the special diseases of the organs of respiration.

Percussion is that mode of examination by which we elicit sounds by
striking or tapping over the part. It may be direct or indirect. If the
ends of the fingers of the left hand are placed firmly on the chest and
smartly tupped with the ends of the first three fingers of the right hand
the .sound will be noticed to be more resonant and clear than when the
same procedure is practiced ou a solid part of the body. This is be-
eause the lungs are not solid, but are always in health, well expanded
with air. But in certain pulmonary diseases they fill up and become
.solid, when the sound given out by percussing them is like that on any
other solid part of the animal. By practice on healthy animals the
character and boundaries of the sounds can be so well determined that
any variations i'rom them will be at once detected, and will sometimes the presence of a diseased condition, when, nothing else will.


Nasal eatarrh is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the
nostrils and upper air passages. Simple catarrh is not a serious disease
in itself, but if neglected is liable to be complicated with laryngitis,
bronehitis, pneumonia, pleurisy, and other diseases of the respiratory
organs, which are of a serious nature, and sometimes fatal. Catarrh is
a eoinmon disease among cattle. It is often due to sudden exposure,
to wet and cold after they have been accustomed to shelter. It may
from inhalation of irritating gases. It is sometimes due to certain
specific atmospheric conditions, and may assume ancnzootic form: it is
ver\ debilitating, and requires prompt and judicious treatment.

Symptom*. Kedness of the mucous membranes of the nose, redness
ami watering of the eyes. The mucous membrane first becomes dry;

Online LibraryUnited States. Bureau of Animal IndustrySpecial report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding → online text (page 11 of 56)