United States. Bureau of Animal Industry.

Special report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding online

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The following table after Tereg* gives the different conditions of the
urine, and especially the amount of urea and hippurie acid under dif-
ferent rations. The subjects were two oxen, weighing respectively (1),
1,2GO pounds, and (2), 1,060 pounds:







Food per day, pounds.












"Z *
3 ^













*j 5,3



z. A













Per. ct.




16.90 wheat straw, and 1 .30 bean

meal .........................

4C. 46










14. 70 oat straw, and 2.30 bean meal .











10.4 wheat straw, 10.4 clover nay,

0.6 bean meal, and 2.6 starch











10.4 wheat straw, 10.4 clover hay.

2.7 bean meal, 1.4 starch, and 0.8

i crjtr











10.4 wheat straw, 10.4 clover hay,

5 beau meal and 0.8 su^ar. .....











In xvln-at straw, 10 cloverlmy, 6.4

beau meal, 1.7 starch, 4 sugar,

and 4 rape oil ..'............. .

110. 12










U) wheat straw, 10 clover hay, 9.4

beau ineul, 3.1 sugar, ami 0.4

rape oil ........................











10 wheat straw, 10 clover hay, 11.7

bean- meal, 2.8 start- h, and 0.6

rape oil .....

110 00





4 06


1 69



17.88 bean straw, and 1.6 beau meal.











14.88 beanntraw











1 6 90 meadow hay


15. 14









The varying amount of urea (from 1.0 to lo.4 ounces) is most sugges-
tive as to the action of the more or less nitrogenous food and the
resulting concentration of the urine and blood. Hippurie tic id, on the
o!hT hand, is most abundant when the animal is fed on hay and straw.

The specific gravity of the urine of cattle varies from 1.030 to 1.0(10
in health, water being 1,000. It is transparent, with a yellowish tinge,
and has a characteristic musky smell. The chemical reaction is alkaline,
turning red litmus paper blue. The quantity passed in 24 hours varies
greatly, increasing not only with the amount of Avater drunk, but with
the amount of albuminoids taken within the food and the amount of
urea produced. If a solution of urea is injected into the veins the
secretion of urine is greatly augmented. Similarly the excess of salts
like carbonate of j>otash in the food, or of sugar, increases the action
of the kidneys. Only alxmt L'O percent of the water swallowed escapes
in the urine, the remaining 80 percent passing mostly from the lungs,
and to a slight extent by the bowels. The skin of the ox does not per-
spire- so readily nor so freely as that of the horse, hence the kidneys and
lungs are called upon for extra work. The influence of an excess of
water in the food is most remarkable in swill-fed distillery cattle, which
urinate profusely at frequent intervals and yet thrive and fatten

Among the other conditions that increase the tlow of urine is over-
* Kurxklop. tier ThuThnlk.. Vol. IV, j>. L'tw.


filling of (internal pressure in) the blood vessels of the kidneys.
Hence the contraction of the blood-vessels of the skin by cold drives
the blood inward, tends to dilate the blood-vessels of the kidneys,
and to increase the secretion of urine. Nervous disorders, such as
excitement, fear, congestions, or structural injuries to the back part
of the base of the brain, have a similar result. Hence, doubtless, the
action of certain fungi growing in musty hay or oats in producing pro-
fuse flow of urine, whereas other forms of musty fodder cause stupor,
delirium, or paralysis.

The amount of urine passed daily by an ox on dry feeding averages
7 to 12 pints, but this may be increased enormously on a watery diet.

The mutual influence of the kidneys and other important organs tends
to explain the way in which disease in one part supervenes on pre-ex-
isting disorder in another. The introduction of albuminoids in excess
into the blood means the formation of an excess of urea, and a more
profuse secretion of urine, of a higher specific gravity, and with a greater
tendency to deposit its solid constituents, as gravel, in the kidneys or
bladder. A torpid action of the liver having the albuminoids in transi-
tion forms, less soluble than the urea into which they should have been
changed, favors the onset of rheumatism or nervous disorder, the de-
posit of such albuminoid products in the kidneys, the formation of a
deep brown or reddish urine, and congestion of the kidneys. Any ab-
normal activity of the liver in the production of sugar more than can
be burned up in the circulation overstimulates the kidneys and pro-
duces increased flow of a heavy urine with a sweetish taste. This in-
creased production of sugar may be primarily due to disease of the
brain, which, in its turn, determines the disorder of the liver. Disease
of the right side of the heart or of the lungs, by obstructing the onward
flow of blood from the veins, increases the blood pressure in the kidneys
and produces disorder and excessive secretion. Inactivity of the kid-
neys determines an increase in the blood of waste products, which become
irritating to different parts, producing skin eruptions, itching, dropsies,
and nervous disorders. Sprains of the loins will produce bleeding from
the kidneys and disease of the spinal cord, and determine sometimes
albuminous or milky-looking urine.

The kidney of the ox (Plate ix, Fig. 1) is a compound organ made up
of fifteen to twenty-five separate lobules like so many separate kidneys,
but all pouring their secretion into one common pouch (pelvis) situated
in an excavation in the center of the lower surface. While the ox is
the only domesticated quadruped which maintains this divided con-
dition of the kidney after birth, this condition is common to all while
at an early stage of development in the Avomb. The cluster of lobules
making up a single kidney forms an ovoid mass flattened from above
downward, and extending from the last rib backward beneath the loins
and to one side of the solid chain of the backbone. The right is more
firmly attached to ohe loins and extends further backward than the left.


Deeply covered in a mass of suet, each kidney has a strong outer white,
fibrous covering, and inside this two successive layers of kidney sub-
stance, of which the outer is that in which the urine is mainly separated
from the blood and poured into the fine microscopic urinary ducts.
( Plate x, Fig. 1. ) These latter, together with blood vessels, lymph vessels,
and nerves, make up the second or internal layer. The outer layer is
mainly composed of minute globular clusters of microscopic intercom-
municating blood-vessels (Malphigian bodies), each of which is furnished
with a fibrous capsule that is nothing else than the dilated commence-
ment of a urine tube. These practically microscopic tubes follow at first
a winding course through the outer layer (Ferrein's tubes), then form a
long loop (doubling on itself) in the inner layer (Henle's loop), and finally
pass back through the inner layer (Bellini's tubes) to open through a
conical process into the common pouch (pelvis) on the lower surface of
the organ. (Plate x, Figs. 1, 2, 3).

The tube that conveys the urine from the kidney to the bladder is like
a white round cord about the size of a goose-quill, prolonged from the
pouch on the lower surface of the kidney backward beneath the loins,
then inward, supported by a fold of thin membrane, to open into the
bladder just in front of its neck. The canal passes first through the
middle (muscular) coat of the bladder, and then advances perceptibly
between that and the internal coat (mucus), through which it finally
opens. By this arrangement in overfilling of the bladder this opening
is closed like a valve by the pressure of the urine, and the return of
liquid to the kidney is prevented. The bladder (Plate ix, Fig. 2) is a
dilatable egg-shaped pouch, closed behind by a strong ring of muscular
fibers encircling its neck, and enveloped by looped muscular fibers ex-
tending on all sides round its body and closed anterior end. Stimu-
lated by the presence of urine, these last contract and expel the con-
tents through the neck into the urethra. This last is the tube leading
backward along the floor of the pelvic bones and downward through
the penis. In the bull this canal of the urethra is remarkable for its
small caliber and for the S-shaped bend which it describes in the inter-
val between the thighs and just above the scrotum. This bend is due
to the fact that the retractor muscles are attached to the penis at this
point, and in withdrawing that organ within its sheath they double it
upon itself. The small size, of the canal and this S-shaped bend are
serious obstacles to the passing of a catheter to draw oft' the urine, yet
by extending the penis out of its sheath the bend is effaced, and a small
gum-elastic catheter, not over one-quarter of an inch in diameter, may
with care be passed into the bladder. In the cow the urethra is very
short, opening in the median line on the floor of the vulva about four
inches in front of its external orifice. Even in the cow, however, the
passing of a catheter is a matter of no little difticulty, the opening of
the uretha being very narrow and encircled by their projecting mem-
branous and ritfiu mar-ins, and on each side of the opening is a blind


pouch (canal of Gartner) into which the catheter -will almost invari-
ably find its way. In both male and female, therefore, the passage of
a catheter is an operation which demands special skill.

General symptoms of urinary disorders. These are not so prominent
in cattle as in horses, yet when present they are of a similar kind.
There is a stiff or straddling gait with the hind limbs and some diffi-
culty in turning, or in lying down and rising the act drawing forth a
groan. The frequent passage of urine in dribblets, the continuous
escape of the urine in drops, the sudden arrest of the flow when in
full stream, the rhythmic contraction of the muscles under the anus
without any flow resulting, the swelling of the sheath, the collection of
hard gritty masses on the hair surrounding the orifice of the sheath,
the occurrence of dropsies in the limbs, under the chest or belly, or in
either of these cavities, and finally the appearance of nervous stupor,
may indicate serious disorder of the urinary organs. The condition of
the urine passed may likewise lead to suspicion. It may be white, from,
crystallized carbonate of lime; brown, red, or even black, from the
presence of blood or blood-coloring matter; yellow, from biliary color-
ing matter; it may be frothy, from contained albumen; cloudy, from
phosphates ; glairy, from pus ; or it may show gritty masses, from
gravel. In many cases of urinary disorder in the ox, however, the
symptoms are by no means prominent, and unless special examination
is made of the loins, the bladder, and the urine, the true nature of the
malady may be overlooked.



A secretion of urine in excess of the normal amount may be looked
on as disease, even if the result does not lead to immediate loss of con-
dition. Cattle fed on distillery swill are striking examples of such
excess caused by the enormous consumption of a liquid food, which
nourishes and fattens in spite of the diuresis. But the condition is un-
wholesome, and cattle that have passed four or five months in a swill
stable have fatty livers and kidneys, and never again do well on ordi-
nary food. Diuresis may further occur from increase of blood pressure
in the kidneys (diseases of the heart or lungs which hinder the onward
passage of the blood, the eating of digitalis, English broom, the con-
traction of the blood vessels on the surface of the body in cold weather,
etc.); also from acrid or diuretic plants taken with the food (dandelion,
burdock, colchicum, digitalis, savin, resinous shoots, etc.) ; from excess
of sugar in the food (beets, turnips, ripe sorghum) ; also from the use of
frozen food (frosted turnip- tops and other vegetables); and from the
growths of certain molds in fodder (musty hay, mow-burnt hay, moldy
oats, moldy bread, etc.). Finally, alkaline waters and alkaline incrusta-
tions on the soil may be active causes. In some of these cases the
result is beneficial rather than injurious, as when cattle affected with


gravel ill the kidneys are entirely freed from this condition by a run at
grass, or by an exclusive diet of roots or swill. In other cases, how-
ever, the health and condition suffer, and even inflammation of the kid-
neys may occur.

The treatment is mainly in the change of diet to a more solid aliment
destitute of the special offensive ingredient. Boiled flaxseed is often
the best diet or addition to the wholesome dry food, and by way of
medicine, doses of 2 drams each of sulphate of iron and iodide of potas-
sium may be given twice daily. In obstinate cases, 2 drams ergot of
rye or of catechu may be added.



This is a common affection among cattle in certain localities, above
all on damp, undrained lands, and under a backward agriculture. It
is simple bloody urine or hrematuria when the blood is found in clots,
or when under the microscope the blood globules can be detected as
distinctly rounded flattened discs. It is smoky urine hamiaglobinu-
ria when no such distinct clots nor blood discs can be found, but
merely a general browning, reddening or blackening of the urine by
the presence of dissolved blood- coloring matter. The bloody urine is
the more direct result of structural disease of the kidneys or urinary
;iges (inflammation, stone, gravel, tumors, hydatids, kidney worms,
sprains of the loins), while the stained urine (ha>maglobinuria) is usually
the result of some general or more distant disorder in which the glob-
uli-s are destroyed in the circulating blood and the coloring matter
dissolved in and diffused through the whole mass of the blood and of
the urine secreted from it. As in the two forms, blood, and the ele-
ments of blood, escape into the urine, albumen is always present, HO that
there is allmminuria with blood-coloring matter superadded. If due to
stone -or gravel, gritty particles are usually passed, and may be detected
in the bottom of a dish in which the liquid is caught. If due to frac-
ture or severe sprain of the loins it is likely to be associated not only
with some loss of control over the hind limbs, and with staggering
l>ehind, but also with a more or less perfect paralysis of the tail. The
blood- stained urine without rod globules results from specific diseases,
Texas fever (Plate XLIII, Fig. 3), anthrax, and from eating irritant plants
(broom, savin, mercury, hellebore, ranunculus, convolvulus, colchicum,
oak shoots, ash, privet, hazel, hornbeam, and other astringent, acrid, or
resinous plants, etc.). The Maybug or Spanish fly taken with the food
or spread over a great extent of skin :is a blister has a similar action.
Frosted turnips or other roots will bring on the affection in some sub
jects. Among conditions which art by the direct destruction of the
globules in the circulating blood, may be named an excess of water in
that fluid; the use of water from soils rich in clcconi]>osmg vegetable
matter, and containing alkaline salts, particularly nitrites, and the


presence in the water and food of the ptomaines of bacteria growth
hence the prevalence of " red- water " in marshy districts and on clayey
and other impervious soils ; hence, too, the occurrence of bloody urine
in the advanced stages of several contagious diseases. Some mineral
poisons, such as iodine, arsenic, and phosphorus taken to excess, may
cause hrematuria, and finally the symptoms may be the mere result of
a constitutional predisposition of the individual or family to bleeding.
Exposure of the body to cold or wet will cause the affection in some pre-
disposed subjects.

The specific symptom of bloody or smoky water is a very patent one.
It may be associated with fever or not, with the presence or absence of
abdominal tenderness on pressure, with a very frothy state of the milk
or even a reddish tinge, with or without marked paleness of the mu-
cous membranes and general weakness. When direct injury to the
kidneys is the immediate cause of the disease the urine will be passed
often, in small quantity at a time, and with much straining. When
there is bloodlessness (a watery blood) from insufficient nourishment,
fever is absent and the red water is at first the only symptom. When
the active cause has been irritant plants, abdominal tenderness, colics,
and other signs of bowel inflammation are marked features.

Treatment will vary according as the cause has been a direct irritant
operating on a subject in vigorous health or a malarious poison acting
on an animal deficient in blood and vigor. In the first form of red-
water a smart purgative (1 pound to 1 pounds Glauber salts) will
clear away the irritants from the bowels and allay the coexistent high
fever. It will also serve to divert to the bowels much of the irritant
products already absorbed into the blood, and will thus protect the
kidneys. In many such cases a liberal supply of wholesome, easily
digestible food will be all the additional treatment required. In this
connection demulcent food (boiled flaxseed, wheat bran) is especially
good. If much" blood has been lost, bitters (gentian, one-half ounce)
and iron (sulphate of iron, 2 drams) should be given for a week.

For cases in which excess of diuretic plants have been taken, it may
be well to replace the salts by 1 to 2 pints olive oil, adding 1 ounce
laudanum and 2 drams gum camphor. Also to apply fomentations or a
fresh sheepskin over the loins. Buttermilk or vinegar, one-half pint, or
sulphuric acid, 60 drops in a pint of water, may also be employed at
intervals as injections. In cases due to sprained or fractured loins, to
inflamed kidneys, or to stone or gravel, the treatment will be as for the
particular disease in question.

In hfematuria from anemia (watery blood), whether from insufficient
or badly-adjusted rations, or from the poisonous products of fermenta-
tions in impervious or marshy soils, the treatment must be essentially
tonic and stimulating. Rich, abundant, and easily digestible food must
be furnished. The different grains (oats, barley, wheat, bran, rye) and
seeds (rape, linseed, cotton-seed) are especially called for, and may be


given either ground or boiled. As a bitter, sulphate of quinia one-half
dram, and tincture of muriate of iron 2 drams, may be given in a pint
of water thrice a day. In some cases one or two teaspoonfuls of oil of
turpentine twice daily in milk will act favorably.

But in this anaemic variety prevention is the great need. The drain-
age and cultivation of the dangerous soils is the main object. Until
this can be accomplished young and newly-purchased cattle, not yet
inured to the poisons, must be kept from the dangerous fields and
turned only on those which are already drained naturally or artificially.
Further, they should have an abundant ration in which the local pro-
duct of grass, hay, etc., is supplemented by grain or other seeds. An-
other point to be guarded against is the supply of water that has
drained from marshes or impervious soils, rich in organic matter, as
such is charged with nitrites, ptomaines, etc., which directly conduce
to the disorder. Fence out from all such waters, and supply from living

springs or deep wells only.


Ill bloody urine albumen is always present as an important constitu-
ent of the blood, and in congested and inflamed kidneys it is present
as a part of the inflammatory exudate. Apart from these albumen in
the urine represents in different cases a variety of diseased conditions
of the kidneys or of distant organs. Among the additional causes of
albuminuria may be named : (1) An excess of albumen in the blood
(after easy calving with little loss of blood and before the secretion of
milk has been established, or in cases of sudden suppression of the
secretion of milk); (2) under increase of blood pressure (after deep
drinking, after doses of digitalis or broom, after transfusion of blood
from one animal to another, or in disease of the heart or lungs causing
obstruction to the flow of blood from the veins); (3) after cutting (or
disease) of the motor nerves of the vessels going to the kidneys, causing
congestion of these organs; (4) violent exertion, hence long drives by
road; the same happens with violent muscular spasms as from strychnia
poisoning, lockjaw, epilepsy, and convulsions; (.">) in most fevers and
extensive inflammations important organs, like the lungs', or liver, the
escape of the albumen bring variously attributed to the high tempera-
ture of the body and disorder of the nerves, and to resulting congestion
and disorder of the secreting cells of the kidneys; (0) in burns and some
other congested states of the skin; (7) under the, action of certain poi.
sons (strong acids, phosphorus, arsenic, Spanish flies, carbolic acid, ami
those inducing bloody urine); (S) in certain conditions of weakness or
congestion of the secreting cells of the kidneys, so that they allow this
element of the blood to escape; (0) when the food is entirely wanting
in common salt, albumen may appear in the urine temporarily after a
full meal containing an excess of albumen. It can also be produced
experimentally by puncturing the back part of the base <>t 'the hrain
J46U7 10


(the floor of the fourth ventricle close to the point the injury to which
causes sugary urine). In abscess, tumor, or inflammation of the blad-
der, ureter or urethra, the urine is albuminous.

It follows, therefore, that albumen in the urine does not indicate the
existence of any one specific disease, and excepting when due to weak-
ness or loss of function of the kidney cells, it must be looked on as an
attendant on another disease, the true nature of which we must try to
find out. These affections we must exclude one by one until we are left
to assume the non-inflammatory disorder of the secreting cells of the
kidney. It is especially important to exclude inflammation of the kid-
ney, and to do this may require a microscopic examination of the sedi-
ment of the urine and the demonstration of the entire absence of casts
of the uriniferous tubes. (See Nephritis.)

To detect albumen in the urine, the suspected and frothy liquid must
be rendered sour by adding a few drops of nitric acid and then boiled
in a test tube. If a solid precipitate forms then add a few more drops of
nitric acid, and if the liquid does not clear it up it is albumen. A pre-
cipitate thrown down by boiling and redissolved by nitric acid is prob-
ably phosphate of lime.

Treatment will usually be directed to the disease on which it is de-
pendent. In the absence of any other recognizable disease, mucilaginous
drinks of boiled flaxseed, slippery elm, or gum may be given, tannic acid
one-half dram twice daily, and fomentations or even mustard poultices
over the loins. When the disease is chronic and there is no attendant
fever (elevation of temperature), tonics (hydrochloric acid, 6 drops in a

Online LibraryUnited States. Bureau of Animal IndustrySpecial report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding → online text (page 16 of 56)