United States. Bureau of Animal Industry.

Special report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding online

. (page 3 of 56)
Online LibraryUnited States. Bureau of Animal IndustrySpecial report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding → online text (page 3 of 56)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Treatment. The throat should be syringed three times a day with
an ounce of the following solution: Xitrate of silver, 1 drams; dis-
tilled water, 1 pint. Bland and soothing drinks, such as linseed tea,
oatmeal and water, should occasionally be offered. Diet should consist
of soft food, such as bran mashes with a little linseed meal mixed in
them. The upper part of the throat and the space between the jaws
should be well rubbed once a day with the following liniment: Liquor
ammonia fortior, 4 ounces; oil of turpentine, 4 ounces; olive oil, 4
ounces. Mix. Under the above treatment the inflammation of the
throat will gradually subside and the animal will be able to swallow as
usual in five or six days. We need hardly say that during its treat-
ment the sick animal should be kept in a comfortable stable.


Inflammation of the parotid gland may arise from the inflammation
extending to it when an ox is affected with pharyngitis or laryngitis,
or the inflammation may commence in the salivary ducts and may
depend on some influence the nature of which is unknown. Parotitis
sometimes arises from a blow or contusion which is severe enough to
set up inflammation in the structure of the gland.

Kytnptoms. There is an elongated painful swelling, beginning at the
base of the ear and passing downward along the posterior margin of
the lower jaw. The swelling is sometimes limited to one side, and when
both sides are swollen it is generally larger on one side than on the
other. The secretion of saliva is increased, the appetite is poor, the
neck is stiff so that it is painful to raise the head, and food is swallowed
with difficulty. In many cases the swelling of those glands, when sub-
mitted to proper treatment, disappears in a comparatively short time.
In other cases, however, the gland remains enlarged, even alter the ani-
mal recovers its appetite.

Treatment. A warm bran poultice should be applied on the swollen
gland, and whenever the poultice has cooled it should be replaced by a
new one. This treatment should be continued until an abscess forms,
which may be ascertained by examining the surface of the gland with
the fingers, and when on pressing any part of the surface it is found to
fluctuate or "give," then we may conclude that an abscess has formed.
It is well not to open the abscess until the fluctuation is well marked,
as at this this stage the pus or matter is near the surface and there is
less trouble in healing the wound than if the pus is deep seated. The
]K>ulticing should be continued for two or three days after the abscess
has been opened. By that time the discharge of pus has ceased or


become very slight, and the poulticing may be discontinued. The
wound should be sponged with tepid water once a day and a little of
the following lotion afterwards applied: Carbolic acid, 1 dram; water,
8 ounces. In some cases, after poulticing for four or "five days, there
will be no indication of softening at any point, and that treatment may
therefore be discontinued, and then the swollen gland should be gently
rubbed once a day with camphorated oil. If this fails to promote
absorption or bring about a gradual dispersion of the swelling, then to
attain this object the swelling may be painted with tincture of iodine
twice a day or nibbed once a day with compound iodine ointment.
When the swollen gland is not being poulticed it should be covered with
a piece of flannel. The diet of the animal should consist of soft food
while it is under treatment; .


Tumors form not infrequently in the pharynx, and when they increase
in size may give rise to a train of symptoms varying according to the
situation which they occupy in that part. The tumor may be so situ-
ated that by shifting its position a little it may partially obstruct the
posterior nares (nostrils), when, of course, it will render nasal breath-
ing very noisy and labored. In another situation its partial displace-
ment may impede the entrance of air into the larynx. In almost any
part of the pharynx, but especially near the entrance of the gullet, they
will interfere with the act of swallowing, and this fact is so generally
recognized in some parts of Germany that whenever an animal begins
to lose condition it is said to have a " growth " in its throat. As these
tumors are frequently attached to the wall of the pharynx by a pedicel
or stalk, it will be seen that they may readily be displaced in different
directions so as to produce the symptoms before described.

Treatment. The method of treatment followed in such cases is to
separate the animal's jaws with an instrument termed a gag, and then
after drawing the tongue partially forward to pass the hand into the
pharynx and to wrench or twist the tumor from its attachment. One
veterinarian who has had considerable practice in treating this form of
disease scrapes through the attachment of the tumor gradually with
his thumb nail. In cases where the attachment is too strong to be sev-
ered in this way an instrument like a thimble, but possessing a sharp
edge at the end, might be used to effect the same purpose. As it is
impossible to use a knife in the pharynx the suggestion here made
might in the future be carried out with advantage.


This accident usually happens from attempting to swallow too large
an object, such as a turnip, potato, beet, or an apple or pear, though in
rare cases choking may occur from bran, chaff, or some other finely


divided food lodging in and filling up a portion of the gullet. This
latter form of the accident is most likely to occur in animals which are
greedy feeders.

Symptoms. The symptoms will vary somewhat according to the part
of the gullet or throat in which the obstruction is located. In most
cases there is a discharge of saliva from the mouth; the animal coughs
frequently, and when it drinks the water is soon ejected. These symp-
toms, however, are not always present, as I have seen a case in which
a potato was lodged in the upper part of the gullet, but where there
was a small space between the wall of the gullet and the obstruction,
so that water given by the mouth passed into the stomach, and in this
case there was neither coughing nor any other symptom of distress.
The potato was so large, however, that there was not space enough to
pass the tip of the finger behind it so as to slide it into the pharynx,
though repeated efforts were made to withdraw it in this way while it
was simultaneously pushed from the outside in an upward direction.
After the lapse of several hours it passed into the stomach of itself.

Treatment It is always ad visablo to put a gag in the animal's mouth,
and while the head is held in a horizontal direction by two assistants
to pass the hand into the pharynx, and when any foreign body is found
in the pharynx to withdraw it gradually and steadily. When the sub-
stance is lodged in the upper part of the gullet pressure should be
inath- by an assistant in an upward direction while the operator passes
his hand into the pharynx, and if the assistant can not by pressure dis-
lodge the substance from the gullet the operator may by passing his
middle finger above and partly behind the substance gradually slide
the object into the pharynx and then withdraw it by the mouth. It is
usually stated that irregular shaped objects are more difficult to manip-
ulate. This statement, however, is of doubtful accuracy, as a root with
a >mooth surface, which nearly fits the upper part of the gullet, will be
found extremely difficult to move from its position. The presence of
an obstructing substance in the cervical portion of the gullet may be
ascertained by passing the hand along the left side of the neck, when
a hard and painless swelling will IK? found to indicate the presence of the
foreign body. In such cases we must endeavor by gentle and persever-
ing pressure with the thumb and two next fingers to slide the obstruct-
ing substance gradually upward to the pharynx. To facilitate this it is
well to give the animal a wineglassful of olive oil before the manipula-
tions described are commenced. When the substance has been brought
into or nearly into the pharynx, then the month gag should be used,
the tongue drawn partially forward with the left hand, and the right
should be passed forward into the pharynx, so as to withdraw the
obstruction. When bran or chaff causes the trouble it is best to give a
-mall quantity of oil to lubricate the walls of the gullet and then by
gentle and persevering pressure to endeavor to separate and divide the
mass and then to work it downward toward the stomach. This will be


assisted by pouring small quantities of oil and water clown the animal's
throat. It is not advisable to use the probang to push down any soft
material such as oats or chaff, as this generally condenses and renders
firmer the obstructing substance by pressing its particles or elements
together, so that it forms a solid, resisting mass which can not be moved.

In some cases the foreign body can not be dislodged from the neck
by pressing and manipulating that part externally. In such an event
we must resort to the use of the probang, or if the foreign body is
lodged in that part of the gullet which passes through the thorax or
chest, there is no way of removing an obstruction so situated except
by using the probang. (Plate in, Figs. 2, 3.) The instrument usually
employed for this purpose is called the probang of Miinro, after its
inventor. Before passing the probang a gag is introduced into the
animal's mouth, and the gag should have an aperture at each end from
which a strap passes and is buckled at the back of the head below the
horns. (Plate in, Fig. 4.) The probang should then be oiled, and the
head and neck being held in a straight line by two assistants, the tongue
must be partly drawn out of the mouth, the probang cautiously passed
along the roof of the mouth into the pharynx and thence into the gullet,
through which it is passed down. If resistance is met, gentle and
continuous pressure must be employed, under the influence of which
the agent w r ill generally in a short time pass into the stomach. A pro-
bang is a flexible instrument, and adapts itself to the natural curva-
ture of the gullet, so that if it is used cautiously there is not much risk
of injury.

Some writers have advised that when the obstruction is lodged in
the cervical (neck) portion of the gullet it should be struck with a mal-
let, so as to crush it and thus alter its shape so that it may easily slip
down into the stomach. If the obstructing substance is hard, this will
be a dangerous operation, but if soft, as in case of a ripe pear for exam-
ple, this proceeding might be safely adopted.

In all cases where pressure applied on the neck fails to move the
obstruction and the probang also fails to move it, the gullet must
be opened and the obstructing substance removed through the wound.
In such cases the assistance of a veterinarian or a surgeon must be


Sometimes from the rash and too forcible use of the probang the walls
of the gullet may be more or less lacerated or abraded, and the animal
consequently swallows with pain and difficulty. In such cases dry feed
must be withheld for five or six days, so as to allow the injured parts
to heal, and the diet must be limited to linseed tea, hay tea, and thin
oatmeal gruel. The same kind of diet must be fed after the operation
of cutting into the gullet has been performed.

Sometimes the gullet is ruptured and lacerated to such an extent
that treatment of any kind is hopeless. I have known this to occur


when the handle of a pitchfork has been pushed down a cow's throat to
remove an obstruction. Where such treatment has been applied it is
best to slaughter the animal without delay, as the flesh may be utilized,
and remedial treatment would be hopeless. In this connection it may
be mentioned that whatever substitute may be used for a probang,
which sometimes is not at hand, it should be flexible and should possess
a smooth surface. The handle of a whip fc when it is flexible, may be
used in emergencies.


This disease is characterized by swelling of the left flank, and is
caused by the formation of gas in the rumen or paunch. (See Plates I
and H.)

Causes. Tympanites may be caused by any kind of food which pro-
duces indigestion. When cattle are first turned into young clover they
eat so greedily of it that tympanites frequently results; turnips, pota-
toes, and cabbage may also cause it; middlings andcornmeal also fre-
quently give rise to it. In this connection it may be stated that an
excessive quantity of any of the before-mentioned foods may bring on
this disorder, or it may not be due to excess but to eating too hastily.
Sometimes the quality of the food is at fault. Grass or clover when
wet by dew or rain frequently disorders digestion and brings on tym-
panites; frozen roots or pastures covered with hoar-frost should also be
regarded as dangerous. When food has been eaten too hastily, or
when it is cold and wet, the digestive process is imperfectly performed
and the food contained in the paunch ferments, during which process
large quantities of gas are formed. The same result may follow when
a cow is choked, as the obstruction in the gullet prevents the eructation
or passing up of gas from the stomach, so that the gas continues to
accumulate until tympanitis results.

Symptoms. The swelling of the left flank is very characteristic, as in
well-marked cases the flank at its upper part rises above the level of
, the backbone and when struck with the tips of the lingers emits a
drumlike sound. The animal has an anxious expression, moves uneasily,
and is evidently distressed. If relief is not obtained in time it breathes
with difficulty, reels in walking or in standing, and in a short time falls
down and dies from suffocation. The distention of the stomach may
become so great as to prevent the animal from breathing, and in some
instances the case may be complicated by rupture of the stomach.

Treatment. In urgent cases the trocar should be used immediately,
for when the distension of the stomach has become extreme there is no
trying the remedial effect of medicine. The trocar is a sharp-pointed
instrument encased in a sheath, which leaves the sharp point of the
trocar free. (See Plate in, Figs. 5a and 56.) In selecting the point


for using the trocar, a spot equally distant from the last rib, the hip
bone and the transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae must be
chosen. Here an incision about three-quarters of an inch long- should
be made through the skin, and then the sharp point of the trocar
being directed downward, inward and slightly forward, is thrust into
the paunch. (Plate I.) The sheath of the trocar should be left in the
paunch as long as any gas .continues to issue from it. If the canula
or sheath of the trocar is removed while gas is still forming in the
paunch and the left flank becomes considerably swollen it may be
necessary to insert it again. It is well accordingly to observe the can-
ula closely and if gas is found to be issuing from it, it should not be
removed. In order to be certain on this point I have been in the habit
of placing the palm of iny hand about 2 inches above the mouth of the
canula, when if gas is issuing the sensation produced by the current of
gas coming against the skin will enable one to form an accurate opinion.
When gas issues from the canula in considerable quantity the sound
accompanying its escape renders the exact condition obvious. It is
occasionally necessary to keep the canula in the stomach for several
hours. When this is necessary a piece of stout cord should be passed
round the neck of the canula immediately below the projecting rim,
and then be passed round the animal's body and tied in a secure knot.
The rim surrounding the mouth of the canula should be in contact
with the skin. When the canula is secured as described it may remain
in the stomach over night. I have even found it necessary to keep it
in that position for two days. But whenever the person in charge of
the cow is satisfied that gas has ceased to issue from the canula it should
be removed.

The canula is only to be employed in extreme or urgent cases, though
everyone who has had experience in treating indigestion in cattle will
realize that he has saved the lives of many animals by its prompt appli-
cation. When the tympanic animal is not distressed, and the swelling
of the flank is not great, it is best to resort to the administration of
internal medicine. Two ounces of aromatic spirits of ammonia should
be given every half hour in a quart of cold water, or half an ounce of
chloride of lime may be dissolved in a pint of tepid water, and the dose
repeated every half hour until the bloating has subsided. It is gener-
ally necessary to give a dose of purgative medicine after bloating has
subsided, as animals frequently show symptoms of constipation after
attacks of indigestion. When the bloating is not too great gentle walk-
ing exercise will facilitate the removal of the gas.



Cattle, especially those which have been kept in the stable all winter,
are liable to suffer from chronic tympanites. In this form the animal
bloats up after feeding, but seldom swells so much as to cause any
alarm. The chronic form of indigestion may also follow an acute attack
like that previously described.


Treatment should be preceded by a moderate dose of purgative medi-
cine: one pound of sulphate of magnesia, half an ounce of powdered
Barbadoes aloes, 1 ounce of powdered ginger, 1 pint of molasses. The
powder should be stirred up for a few minutes with two quarts of luke-
warm water, then the molasses should be added, and after all the
ingredients have been stirred together for about ten minutes, the dose
should be administered. It will generally be necessary after the opera-
tion of the purgative to give some tonic and antacid preparation to pro-
mote digestion, which is imperfectly performed in such cases. We
recommend the following for this purpose : Powdered gentian, 3 ounces;
powdered bicarbonate of potash, 3 ounces; powdered ginger, 3 ounces;
powdered capsicum, 1 ounce. Mix and divide into twelve powders, one
of which should be given three times a day before feeding, shaken up
with half a pint of whisky and a pint of water. It is also advantageous
in such cases to give two heaped teaspooufuls of wood charcoal, mixed
with the animal's feed three times a day. The animal should also go
out during the day, as want of exercise favors the continuance of this
form of indigestion.

Cases occasionally occur which resist medical treatment. Chronic
indigestion has sometimes been found to arise from enlarged lymphatic
glands pressing on the gullet and preventing the eructation or belch-
ing up of gas which occurs during digestion. Cruzel expresses the
opinion that this form of tympanitis occurs in animals affected with
tuberculosis, and remarks that the swelling of the flank disappears
when the animal stands, but reappears when it lies down.


This form of indigestion is caused by the animal gorging itself with
food, and arises more from the animal's voracious appetite than from
any defect in the quality of the food supplied to it. In cases of this
kind there is comparatively no great formation of gas, and the gas
which is formed is diffused through the stomach instead of accumu-
lating in a layer in its upper part. On pressing the flank with the
closed fist the indent of the hand remains for a short time in the
tlank, as if the rumen were filled with a soft doughy mass. This form
of indigestion should be treated by stimulants, such as have been
described in speaking of the two preceding diseases. But if the treat-
ment applied fails and the impacted or overloaded condition of the
rumen continues, an incision should l>e made with a sharp, long-bladed
knife in the left Hank, commencing at the point whore it is usual to
puncture an ox, and prolonging the incision in a downward direction
until it is long enough to admit the hand. When the point of the knife
is thrust into the flunk and the blade of the knife cuts downward, the
wall of the stomach, the muscle and the skin should all bo cut through
at the same time. Two assistants should hold the edges of the wound
together so as to prevent any food slipping between tho Hank and the


wall of the stomach, and then the operator should remove two-thirds of
the contents of the rumen. This having been done the edges of the
wound should be sponged with a little carbolized warm water, and the
lips of the wound in the rumen being turned inward they should be
brought together with catgut stitches. The wound penetrating the
muscle and the skin may then be brought together by silk stitchesl
which should pass through the entire thickness of the muscle and
should be about 1 inch apart. The wound should afterwards be dressed
once a day with lotion and the animal covered with a tight linen sheet
to protect the wound from insects and dirt. The lotion to be used in
such a case is made up as follows : Sulphate of zinc, 1 dram ; carbolic
acid, 2 drams; glycerin, 2 ounces; water, 14 ounces; mix.


It is very common among farmers, when a cow or ox is ailing, to say
that the sick animal has lost its cud. If it is meant that the animal,
does not ruminate or chew the cud, and that it consequently must be
sick, no fault can be found with the expression. In most cases, how-
ever, the remark is not intended to convey the idea that the animal
does not ruminate, but that the loss of cud is a disease in itself. We
may here observe that loss of cud is a symptom of suspended rumina-
tion (Plate n) and shows that the animal's digestive functions are not
performed as regularly as usual. It is a symptom of a great many
diseases, and when its existence is detected it should lead the observer
to try and discover other symptoms, so that on those he may base a
correct opinion as to the nature of the disease from which the animal


This is not to be confounded with rumination, though some writers
have advanced the opinion that vomiting is merely a disordered and
irregular rumination. It is not of common occurrence in cattle, though
as it sometimes occurs it is well that a description of it should be

Symptoms. Animals which vomit are frequently in poor condition.
After having eaten tranquilly for some time the animal suddenly
becomes uneasy, arches the back, stretches the neck and head and
then suddenly ejects 10 or 12 pounds of the contents of the rumen.
After having done this, uneasiness subsides and in a short time the
animal resumes eating as if nothing had happened.

Causes. The causes of this disordered state of the digestive system
in cattle are rather obscure. It is evident that the vomited matter pro-
ceeds from the rumen, and it appears to show some temporary nervous
disorder of that part. It has been found to occur when there was can-
cerous disease of the fourth stomach, and experimentally it has been


shown that a suspension of digestion or great derangement of the fourth
stomach produces considerable nervous disorder of the rumen and some-
times vomiting or attempt to vomit.

Treatment. Easily digested food and plenty of water should be given.
Fear and excitement, chasing or hurrying animals after eating heartily,
are apt to bring on this result. In order to remove the conditions which
produce vomiting the following draft should be given: Hydrate of
chloral, half an ounce; whisky, 8 ounces; water, 1 pint. The dose to
be repeated when the condition of the animal seems to require it.


Cattle suffering from this disease have a capricious and variable appe
tite as regards their ordinary food, but evince a strong desire to lick and
eat substances for which healthy cattle show no inclination. Alkaline
and saline tasting substances are especially attractive to cattle having
a depraved appetite, and they frequently lick lime, earth, coal, gravel,
and even the dung of other cattle. Cows in calf and young cattle are
especially liable to develop those symptoms. Animals affected in this

Online LibraryUnited States. Bureau of Animal IndustrySpecial report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding → online text (page 3 of 56)