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Special report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding online

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of such food is eaten arrests digestion and will also occasion cramp of
the stomach and bowels.

Causes. In tracing out the causation of disease we find in not a few
instances that excess is the disturbing element, instead of quality. For
example, when cattle are turned into a new and rather luxuriant pas-
ture severe attacks of indigestion may result from their eating too
greedily, and it is well, under such circumstances, to allow them in such
pastures for only a comparatively short time each day, until they
become accustomed to their richer and more tempting herbage. The
same idea may be applied to different kinds of food which, though
wholesome when partaken of moderately, become dangerous when used
to excess.

The manner of eating may also produce indigestion, as food hastily
eaten and consequently imperfectly masticated is not properly prepared


for the action of the stomachs. Circumstances, of course, must sug-
gest what ought to be done to prevent the injurious action of this

Water should always be supplied to cattle in sufficient quantity.
Excess here may prove very injurious, and may occasion cramp in the
fourth stomach. If animals have access to water at all times, or at
least frequently, there is no danger of their suffering from drinking to
excess. In this connection we may state that it is better for cattle to
have rock salt placed within their reach, so that they may lick as much
as they feel inclined to do, rather than to mix salt in their food, as in
the latter case there is a danger of their getting too much, thus engen-
dering excessive thirst. It has been customary lately to recommend
hot water as the usual drink for cattle during cold weather, and it is
claimed that they are kept in better condition by supplying them with
hot water instead of cold water. The argument is put forward that a
large quantity of heat is lost in raising the cold water drank to the
temperature of the animal's body, and that this large consumption of
heat must increase the waste of the tissues. This is an exclusively
chemical way of looking at the matter, and we think it should rather
be regarded from the standpoint of what effect such a practice would
have on the future health, endurance, and vitality of cattle. While we
are aware from experience that cramp of the stomach is sometimes pro-
duced by cattle drinking ice-cold water, we think that the other extreme
of supplying them with hot water is not to be recommended, as it must
render them extremely sensitive to any occasional or accidental change
which might take place in this sort of regimen. The question has also
to be decided as to what would be the ultimate effect of such a practice
on the digestive systems. A short experience of this method of water-
ing cattle can not be held to settle the question of its advantages and

Hard water or water containing a large proportion of inorganic con-
stituents is not to be regarded as good drinking water. We have seen
water which had been rendered hard artificially, by adding a little lime
to it, produce colic to such an extent when it was used for drinking
water that its use had to be abandoned.

A large proportion of organic matter is also a source of danger, and
should be guarded against. It usually is contaminated by a well or
stream being so situated as to receive the drainage of some accumula-
tion of filth, though water in marshy localities frequently contains a
high proportion of organic constituents, and is consequently objection-
able. We need hardly say that water contaminated by tlie dead bodies
of animals i to be regarded as dangerous, as here we have the further
danger that it may become the vehicle of communicating specific dis-

24007 2



The lips may become inflamed from contusions, which are some-
times produced by a blow from the horns of another animal, or in the
case of working oxen it may be produced by a blow from the driver.
While cattle are grazing they are sometimes bitten in the lips by ser-
pents, more especially when they are pastured in woods. -

Symptoms. As a result of a contusion the lips become thick and.
swollen, and if treatment is neglected the swelling becomes hard aud
indurated. This condition renders it difficult for the animal to get food
into its mouth, on account of the lips having lost their natural flexibil-
ity. In such cases an ox will protrude his tongue and endeavor to
bring the food into his mouth with that organ. In cases of snake-bite
the limits of the swelling are not well defined ; it is soft and compara-
tively painless.

Treatment. When we have to deal with a bruise, which is easily dis-
tinguished from a snake-bite by the different train of symptoms which
are produced, the affected part should be bathed steadily for three or
four hours with the following solution: Muriate of ammonia, 1 ounce;
water, 2 pints. In recent cases no other treatment will be required,
but if the swelling is not recent and has become hard or indurated, then
the swollen part should be gently rubbed every second day with oil of
turpentine until the swelling has subsided. In snake-bite a straight
incision penetrating into the flesh or muscle should be made across the
center of the wound, and then a similar incision, but passing crosswise
of the first, should be made. This is what surgeons term a " crucial "
incision. After this has been done a small wad of cotton batting should
be pressed against the wounds until the bleeding has almost stopped.
Afterwards the following lotion may be applied to the wounds several
times a day: Permanganate of potash, half a dram; distilled water, 1
pint. As snake-bites are usually attended with considerable depression,
which may terminate in stupor, it is advisable to give doses of whisky
at intervals. Half a pint of whisky mixed with a pint of water should
be given, and the dose should be repeated in half an hour if the animal
is sinking into a stupefied and unconscious condition. The repetition of
the dose must depend on the symptoms which the animal shows. It
must be borne in mind that the object of treatment is to ward off the
stupor, which is one of the results of snake-bite, and that in adminis-
tering whisky the object is to produce a stimulating and not an intoxi-
cating or stupefying effect.


Salivation is a symptom of some general or local disorder. It may,
therefore, be a symptom of a general disease, such as rabies or the foot-
and-mouth disease (epizootic aphtha), or it may be a purely local trou-


ble, as when copious secretion of the salivary glands is produced by
animals eating irritating plants, such as wild mustard. In cases where
saliva is observed to dribble from the mouth that part must be care-
fully examined by introducing an instrument like a balling-iron into the
mouth, or if such an instrument is not at hand, by grasping the tongue
and partially withdrawing it from the mouth while all parts of the
mouth are exposed to a good light, so that the presence of any foreign
substance may be detected. The cause will sometimes be found to
depend on a short piece of wood becoming fixed on the palate, its two
ends resting on the upper molar teeth of each side ; or it may depend
on a needle, thorn, or splinter of wood becoming imbedded in the tongue.
Sometimes a sharp piece of tin or other metal may become partially
imbedded in the inner surface of the cheek. Hay occasionally possesses
some quality which produces salivation, though only in some animals.
Another cause of salivation is cattle which have been rubbed with
mercurial ointment (see Mercurial Poisons, p. 69), licking themselves.
Such cases, of course, arise from the constitutional action of mercury,
and indicate the danger of using such a preparation externally, on
account of the common habit which the animals have of licking them-

Treatment. If salivation depends on the irritation and inflammation
set up by the ingestion of acid plants, or forage possessing some pecu-
liar stimulating property, a lotion composed of an ounce of powdered
alum dissolved in a quart of water should be syringed into the mouth
twiee a day. using half a pint of the solution each time. If, however,
the salivation depends on the presence of a thorn, splinter of wood, or
any other foreign substance imbedded in the cheek or tongue, remove
the offending object and wash the mouth occasionally with a weak solu-
tion of carbolic acid and tepid water. When salivation is produced by
mercurial poisoning or by the foot-and-mouth disease (epizootic aphtha),
the treatment appropriate to those general conditions of the system, as
well as the local treatment, must be applied.


Irregularities of the teeth ma}' be occasioned by the unequal wearing
of some of the teeth or by some of the incisors being broken, which may
liapiMHi when cattle are pastured on sandy or gravelly soil. The molar
teeth may also show irregular wear from similar causes. Their edges
may become sharp, or it may hapien that a molar tooth has been acci-
dentally fractured. It may also occur that a supernumerary tooth has
developed in an unusual position, and that it interferes with the natu-
ral and regular mastication of the food.

Treatment. The mouth may be examined by grasping the animal's
tongue with one hand and partially withdrawing it from the mouth, so
as to expose the :ncisor and molar teeth to inspection. When it is


desired, however, to examine the molar teeth with the fingers, so as to
obtain a more precise idea of their condition, an instrument like the ball-
ing-iron which is used for the horse should be introduced into the mouth?
so as to separate the jaws and keep them apart while the examina-
tion is being made. Any sharp edges of the molars must be removed
by the tooth-rasp. Any supernumerary tooth which interferes with
mastication or any tooth which is fractured or loose should be extracted.
In performing such operations it is desirable to throw or cast the ox,
and to have its head held securely, so as to enable the operator to do
what is necessary without difficulty.


The presence of caries may be suspected if the mouth exhales a bad
odor, and if the animal occasionally stops during mastication as if it
were in pain. The existence of caries in a molar tooth may be ascer-
tained by examining the mouth in the manner already described. If
one of the molars is found to be carious it should be extracted, if the
caries is so extensive as to render other means of treatment impracti-
cable. When the crown of the tooth has been destroyed and only the
stump or root is left, extraction will be impracticable. In such cases it
is best to sell the animal to the butcher.

[Plates xxxix, XLI.]

The disease which we have now to consider is generally known among
farmers and cattle dealers under the two latter designations. Atten-
tion is first directed to the animal by a swelling or enlargement of the
jawbone, and the opinion generally expressed when such a swelling is
observed is that the animal has received some severe contusion which
has been the starting point of the swelling. It is found, however, that
when a blow or contusion is the starting point of such a swelling it
rarely if ever ulcerates, and that the continuous application of cold
water checks the growth of a swelling which is merely the result of
mechanical injury. In the disease we arc now considering, however,
the application of cold water does not exercise the least influence in
checking its progress. The swelling described may affect either the
upper or lower jaw, or it may affect both at the same time, and pro-
duce considerable swelling of the soft tissues as well as enlargement of
the bony structure. As a result of the swelling described the molar
teeth of the upper and lower jaws may be pushed out of their natural
position so that they are no longer in apposition, and they consequently
can not serve the purpose of masticating the food. It may also happen
that from degeneration of the tooth-sockets the teeth drop out. This
result may be suspected when the animal becomes unable to masticate
its food. As a result of ulceration it frequently happens that an open-


ing forms on the external part of the tumor, and frequently a similar
destructive process forms an opening into the mouth itself.

In a recent work, in treating of this subject, I have remarked that
in some cases it will be observed that these swellings, after growing
for a short time, remain in a stationary condition the growth appears
to be arrested. Such cases will not require treatment, as the arrest of
the growth of the swelling is no doubt caused by the death of the para-
site, which ceases to reproduce itself and thenceforth becomes harm-
less. The living parasite, by rapidly reproducing itself, extends
through the bony tissue, and by setting up inflammation causes a rapid
increase of the swelling. The aim of treatment then is to destroy the
parasite, thereby arresting the growth of the swelling; and this is all
that can be done, where the utmost success practicable is attained. The
importance of early treatment will, however, be understood when it is
remembered that there is a continued and rapid multiplication of the
parasite, and that this multiplication is attended with increasing
damage to the tissues of the animal in which it is lodged.

Treatment. When there is an external opening on the surface of the
swelling it should be injected with tincture of iodine. When there is
no external opening several incisions should be made through the skin
covering the swelling, and portions of the outer plate of the jaw-bone
should be removed with a trephine, and tincture of iodine injected into
the orifices thus made. This treatment should be applied daily, and
may be continued until it is apparent that the growth of the swelling
has been checked. The iodine checks the growth of the swelling by
destroying the parasite whose continuous development is the means of
setting up diseased action in the bone. Other methods have been
applied in treating this disease, such as burning the diseased bone with
the hot iron, which is said to have proved effectual in checking the
progress of the disease. But remedies whose action is diffused exten-
sively through the diseased tissues are to be preferred in treating a dis-
ease of this nature.


The membrane of the mouth may become inflamed by cattle eating
sonif irritating substance, by eating acid plants, or little vesicles may
form in the mouths of calves when they are affected with indigestion,
constituting what is termed aphtha.

tfymptontH. The saliva dribbles from the mouth, and when it is ex-
amined the surface of the tongue and other parts of the mouth will
appear red and inflamed. When young animals are affected with the
t'onu of disease termed aphtha small red elevations will be observed on
the tongue and other parts of the mouth, having little white ]K)ints on
their centers, which consist of the epithelium of the mucous membrane
r.ii>e<l into vesicles. These white patches aie succeeded by ulcerated


surfaces, which are exposed by the shedding of the white patches of

Treatment. Wheii there is merely a reddened and inflamed condition
of the mucous membrane of the mouth, it will suffice to syringe it out
several times a day with 4 ounces of the following solution : Alum, 1
ounce; water, 2 pints. When the edges of the tongue and other parts
of the mouth are studded with ulcers these should be painted over once
a day with the following solution until the affected surface is healed :
lodoforin, 60 grains; ether, 1 ounce. When indigestion is associated
with an ulcerated condition of the mouth that disorder requires sepa-
rate treatment.



This affection usually appears in young calves about the time when
they are cutting their molar teeth.

Causes. Insufficient nourishment, the debility resulting from diarrhea
and from inflammation of the umbilicus (navel) predispose animals to
this disease, and, as already mentioned, its development is associated
with disorder of the digestive system resulting from the cutting of the
molar teeth. I may mention, however, that I have seen this disease
affect cows quite severely, though they afterwards made a complete
recovery. This malady then may affect mature animals and may arise
from conditions which at present are unknown. It is asserted by Hill,
in his work on diseases of the ox, that this is a tuberculous disease, but
the fact that animals may recover completely in three or four weeks
renders it surprising that he should have made such a statement. That
the calf of a tuberculous cow may / become affected with gangrenous
stomatitis, or that in a few instances traces of tuberculous disease have
been found in the bodies of animals that have died from it, are mere
coincidences, and lend no weight to the opinion that this malady is of
a tuberculous nature. The same writer says this disease may assume
a diphtheritic type, but diphtheria is contagious and is characterized by
the production of false membrane, while the most prominent feature of
this disease is the extent to which death of the affected tissues takes
place, which differentiates it from both tuberculosis and diphtheria.

Symptoms. In the early stage there is redness of the mouth, from
which the saliva dribbles, but in two or three days a whitish point
appears on some part of the mucous membrane of the mouth. It grad-
ually extends in size and depth, and a red, inflamed zone surrounds the
affected part, which begins to present a yellowish, cheesy appearance,
and then, as it begins to break up and decompose, exhales a fetid, dis-
agreeable odor. Sometimes the entire thickness of a portion of the
tissues composing the cheek becomes gangrenous. If the decayed part
is uot removed by the knife it is gradually separated from the surround-


ing living tissues by the process of uleeration. In this way an aperture
will sometimes be formed in the animal's cheek through which the saliva
is ejected when it is masticating its food. This disease may be compli-
cated by diarrhea setting in, which has an exhausting effect on the
animal, as is shown by its frequently lying down. This malady often ter-
minates in death, and it runs its course in from seven to ten days. In
treating this disease in cows, however, I have observed that complete
recovery does not take plac.e under three or four weeks. Its duration
will vary according to the extent to which the animal is affected.

Treatment. Sulphate of quinine should be given to calves three
times a day in doses varying from 5 to 10 grains, according to the size
and age of the animal, and should be repeated about four times a day.
Half-ounce doses of lime-water mixed with milk should be given if
diarrhea is present. When the calf shows signs of debility, or diarrhea
is present, whisky or brandy should be administered several times a
day. The stimulant should be mixed with two or three parts of water,
and should be repeated three or four times a day. In the case of cows,
quinine should be given in dram doses. When the animal's appetite
is poor or when it is weak, whisky or brandy should be given in half-
pint doses two or three times a day, mixed with 2 parts of water. To
cleanse the mouth and remove the fetor it should be syringed out sev-
eral times a day with the following solution : Chlorinated soda, 4 ounces ;
water, L' pints. When the gangrenous parts have sloughed, then a
lotion composed of sulphate of copper, 2 drams ; water, 2 pints, should
be applied every day to the raw surfaces to promote healing. The diet
should be nutritious, and for calves the cow's milk is to be preferred. The
gangrenous tissue assumes a yellow, cheesy appearance, and the ani-
mal's recovery will be hastened by removing dead tissue with the knife
and not waiting until the process of ulceration separates it from the
living parts. During the convalescent stage it is advisable to give
carbonate of iron in combination with quinine. It may be given to
calves in 10-grain doses, and to cows in 2-dram doses. In concluding
we may mention that Longlen, of Arras, was the first veterinarian to
publish an accurate and clear account of this disease.


This disease commences with small patches of a yellow color, which
may api>ear on the upper or under surface, on the tip, or on the sides
of the tongue. The mucous membrane covering these patches is thick
ened, and it soon breaks up into a number of pimple-like excrescences
which run together, and it then ulcerates and is cast off, leaving a red
and excavated surface. These patches are found to cover a number of
nodular bodies, most of which are as largo as a hemp-seed, though
some are as large as a cherry or a walnut. These nodules, when cut
into, are seen to be contused of a yellow, cheesy-looking substance,
which, when removed, leaves a sharply defined cavity or ulcer. The


nodules may be deep seated, so that they can not be discovered by
examining the surface of the tongue, but in this situation, instead of
producing ulceratiou and destruction of the mucous membrane, they
set up inflammation in the muscular structure of the tongue, which
terminates in a marked enlargement and wood-like induration of that
organ, which has led to this disease being commonly called " wooden
tongue" in Germany. The enlarged and indurated condition of the
tongue is a great impediment to the animal masticating its food, so
that if the tongue is extensively affected the animal soon becomes
emaciated. Similar nodules may form on the inner surface of the
cheeks, of the lips, on the surface of the palate, and even in some
instances on the mucous membrane lining the nose.

Treatment. When the nodules are large they may be dissected out
or scraped out, so as to leave nothing but healthy tissue, and afterwards
dressed with tincture of iodine. When this procedure is not practica-
ble an incision should be made into the nodule, which should then be
injected with tincture of iodine. This treatment destroys the micro,
scopic fungus contained in the nodules, and will consequently prevent
its spreading and bring about its ultimate separation from the healthy
tissues. It is obvious that to treat this disease successfully its nature
must be recognized at an early stage. After the muscular portion ol
the tongue has become enlarged and indurated it will not be possible
to restore it to its healthy condition.

[Quite recently actiuomycosis of the tongue has been treated with
great success in Europe by the administration of iodide of potassium.
According to Nocard, this drug given once or twice a day, in doses of
1 drams dissolved in a pint of water, acts as a specific and is followed
by rapid improvement and the permanent cure of the affected animal.
The results reported are so extraordinary that they justify the trial of
this remedy in all cases of actinornycosis in the tongue or other organs.
D. E. S.]


This is an inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the pharynx.
It is frequently associated with laryngitis and bronchitis, and sometimes
with pleurisy.

Symptoms. The muzzle is dry, the saliva dribbles from the corner of
the mouth; the animal either does not swallow or swallows with diffi-
culty; occasionally the liquids which it attempts to take come back in
part through the nostrils, and the animal holds its neck in a stiff,
straight position, moving it as little as possible. The eyelids are half
closed, the white of the eye is bloodshot, and the animal occasionally
grinds its teeth. When it attempts to eat hay or grass, after masticat-
ing the food the animal drops it out of its mouth as if to avoid the



pain of swallowing, and also evinces pain when pressure is applied on
the pharynx externally, and tries to prevent such pressure being

Causes. Pharyngitis is produced by a sudden cooling of the surface
of the body, as when cattle are exposed to a cold wind or a cold rain.

Online LibraryUnited States. Bureau of Animal IndustrySpecial report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding → online text (page 2 of 56)