United States. Bureau of Animal Industry.

Special report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding online

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bowels. For this purpose one or two ounces of castor oil with 20 drops
of laudanum may be given, and if the sour eructations are marked a
tablespoonful of lime-water or one-fourth ounce calcined magnesia may
be given and repeated two or three times a day. If the disorder con-
tinues after the removal of the irritant a large tablespoonful of rennet,
or 30 grains of pepsin, may be given at each meal along with a tea-
spoonful of tincture of gentian. Any return of constipation must be
treated by injections of warm water and soap, while the persistence of
diarrhea must be met as advised under the article following this. In
case of the formation of loose hair-balls inclosing milk undergoing
putrid fermentation temporary benefit may be obtained by giving a
tablespoonful of vegetable charcoal three or four times a day, but the
only real remedy for thase is to cut open the paunch and extract them.
At this early age they may be found in the third or even the fourth
stomach j in the adult they are confined to the first two, and are com-
paratively harmless.


As stated in the last article, scouring is a common result of indiges-
tion, and at first may be nothing more than an attempt of nature to
relieve the stomach and bowels of offensive and irritating contents. As
the indigestion persists, however, the fermentations going on in the
undigested masses become steadily more complex and active, and what
was at first the mere result of irritation or suspended digestion comes to
be a genuine contagious disease, in which the organized ferments (bacte-
ria) propagate the affection from animal to animal and from herd to herd.
More than once I have seen such epizootic diarrhea starting on the
head waters of a creek, and traveling along that stream follow the water-
shed and attacking the herds supplied with water from the contamin-
ated channel. In the same way, the disease once started in a cow stable,
is liable to persist for years, or until the building has been thoroughly
cleansed and disinfected. It may be carried into a healthy stable by
the introduction of a cow brought from an infected stable when she is
closely approaching calving. Another method of its introduction is by
the purchase of a calf from a herd where the infection exists.

In enumerating the other causes of this disease we may refer to those
noted above as inducing indigestion. As a primary consideration any
condition which lowers the vitality or vigor of the calf must be accorded
a prominent place among factors which, apart from contagion, contrib-
ute to start the disease de noro. Other things being equal, the strong,
vigorous races are the least predisposed to the malady, and in this



respect the compact form, the healthy coat, the clear eye, and the bold,
active carriage, are desirable. Even the color of the hair is uot uuiin-
portant, as in the same herd I have found a far greater number of vic-
tims among the light colors (light yellow, light brown) than among
those of a darker tint. This constitutional predisposition to indigestion
and diarrhea is sometimes fostered by too close breeding, without tak
ing due account of the maintenance of a robust constitution, and hence
animals that are very much inbred need to be especially observed and
cared for unless their inherent vigor has been thoroughly attested.

The surroundings of the calf are powerful influences. Calves kept
indoors suffer to a greater extent than those running in the open air and
having the invigorating influences of sunshine, pure air, and exercise.
But close, crowded, filthy, bad-smelling buildings are especially caus-
ative of the complaint. The presence in the air of carbon-dioxide, the
product of breathing, and of the fetid gaseous products of decompos-
ing dung and urine diminish by about one-fourth of their volume the
life-giving oxygen, and in the same ratio hinder the aeration of the
blood and the maintenance of vigorous health. Worse than this, such
fetid gases are usually direct poisons to the animal breathing them,
for example, sulphuretted hydrogen (hydrogen sulphide 2 SH 2 ), and vari-
ous alkaloids (ptomaines) and toxins (neutral poisonous principles) pro-
duced in the filth fermentations. These lower the general health and
stamina, impair digestion, and by leading to the accumulation in stom-
ach and bowels of undigested materials they lay the foundation for
offensive fermentations within these organs, and consequent irritation,
poisoning, and diarrhea. They further weaken the system so that it
can no longer resist and overcome the trouble.

The condition of the nursing cow and her milk is another potent
cause of trouble. The food of the cow is important. The influence of
this is shown in the following tables:

Becqucrel and Fcrnois.

Character of feed. %


and ex-





('.own on winter feed:
Trefoil or liicrnw, 15-13 pmindft; oat utrnw, 0-10

]"''i!nl-; 'M i -. 7 pound*; water, 2 l>!ickt


19. .Vt

KM. 08


1'artf in


r>4 7

35. 14

I'artt in

36. 3d



I'art* in


f.2. R4
33. W

Part* in


6 80

0. IS

Cow* on MiiniiH-r f '! :
Greru luci-rue, main , li.-trley. ffnuM, 2 l>uck*ts

Ooat'ft milk ou diUorewt fowl :
(hi straw and trefoil.

On baeU

Normal mean

In these examples the deterioration of the milk in casein on the loss
nutritious winter feeding is very marked, although the relative amount
of butter remains almost unchanged. In the case of the goat tin- re-
sult is even more striking, the beet diet giving a very large decrease of
both casein and butter and an increase of milk sugar.



The following table, condensed from the Iowa Agricultural Experi-
ment Station Bulletin, gives the results in butter and total solids when
the same cows were fed on different rations in succession. Each cow
was fed a daily ration of 12 pounds corn fodder and 4 pounds clover
hay, beside the test diet of (1) 12 pounds corn and cobmeal, and (2)
10 pounds sugar meal a product of the glucose manufacture. This
special feed was given seven days before the commencement of each
test period to obviate the eft'ects of transition. The analyses of the
special rations are given below :


Corn and
cob meal.

Sugar meal.

Per cent.
13 37

Per cent.
6 10







65 99

52 66





The great excess of fat and nitrogenous or flesh-forming principles
in the Isugar meal is very evident.







Ratio of fat
to solids not

Grade Shorthorn cow:
First period, 21 days, corn and cob meal..

631. 25
641 50

P. ct.

4 04

Per ct.
12 53

25 93

83 38

422 1,000
476 2 1 000

Third period, 21 days, corn and cob meal .
Grade Shorthorn cow :
First period, 21 days, corn and cobmeal. . .

559. 00

582 00


3 91


12 37


22 74



72 57

371.7 1,000

425. 1 1, 000
456 3 1 000

Third period, 21 days, corn and cob meal .
Grade Shorthorn cow :
First period, 21 days, sugar meal
Second period, 21 days, corn and cob meal

527. 00

753. 50
601. 50
560 50


3 85


12 16


21 58


68 16

389.1 1,000

469.8 1,000
380.0 1,000
463 3 1 000

Grade. Hoist ein cow:

487. 50



20 25

64 69

455 6 1 000

Second period, 21 days, corn and cob meal
Third period 21 days, sugar meal

379. 00
374. 50






382.3 1,000
401. 1, 000

Here we see in every instance a marked relative increase of the but-
ter, and to a less extent of the other milk solids whenever the sugar
meal rich in fat and albuminoids was furnished. The opposite theory
having been largely taught it becomes needful to thus sustain the old
and well-founded belief of the dairymen.

Not only does the richness of the milk vary with the nature of the
food, but it varies also according to the time of the day when it is
drawn, the morning milk giving 7 per cent of cream and the evening
milk 9 per cent (Hassall). Boedecker found that the morning milk
had 10 per cent of solids, while the evening milk had 13 per cent.
Again, the milk first drawn at any milking is always poorer than the
last drawn. The first may have only one-half, or in extreme cases one-
fourth, the cream of the last. Once more, when the cow is in heat the
milk becomes richer in solids (casein and butter), and contains gran-


ular and white blood-cells like the colostrum, and often disagrees with
the young animal living on it. Now, while these various modifications
in the amount of solid matters may prove harmless to a strong and
vigorous calf, they can easily be the occasion of intestinal disorder in
a weaker one, or in one with health already somewhat impaired by sick-
ness, exposure, or unwholesome buildings. The casein of the cow's
milk coagulates in one solid mass, and is much less easily penetrated
by the digesting fluids than the fine flaky coagula of woman's or mare's
milk. An excess of casein, therefore, thrown on an already overtaxed
stomach can all the more readily induce disorder. So with butter fat.
While a most important element in nutrition, it may be present in the
stomach in such amount as to interfere with the action of the gastric
juice on the casein, and with the interruption of the natural stomach
digestion the fats themselves undergo decomposition with the produc-
tion of offensive and irritating fatty acids.

The milk of the very young cow is usually more watery than that of
the mature animal, and that of the old cow has a greater liability to
become acid. It varies much with the breed, the Channel Island cattle
being notorious for the relatively large amount of cream, while the Hoi-
steins, Ayrshires, and Shorthorns are remarkable rather for the amount
of casein. The milk of cows fed on potatoes and grass is very poor
and watery; that from cows fed on cabbage or Swedish turnips has a
disagreeable taste and odor (from the former an offensive liquid has
been distilled).

Cows fed on overkept, fermented, and soured rations have acid milk
which readily turns and coagulates. Thus old, long-kept brewers' grains,
swill, the refuse of glucose factories, and ensilage which has been put up
too green, all act in this way. The same may come from disease in the
cow's udder, or any general disease of the cow with attendant fever,
and in all such cases the tendency is to rapid change and unwholesome-
ness. If the milk is drawn and fed from a pail there is the added dan-
ger of all sorts of poisonous ferments getting into it and multiplying;
it may be from the imperfect cleansing and scalding of the pail; from
rinsing the pails with water that is impure; from the entrance of bac-
terial ferments floating in the filthy atmosphere of the stable, or from
the entrance of the volatile chemical products of fermentation.

In addition to the dangers coining through the milk, the calf suffers
in its digestive powers from any temporary illness, and among others
from the excitement attendant on the cutting of teeth, and impaired
digestion means fermentations in the undigested masses and the exces-
sive production of poisonous ptomaines and toxins.

Whatever may be the starting or predisposing cause of this malady,
when once established it in liable to perpetuate itself by contagion and
to prove a veritable plague in a herd or a district.

The Kt/tnptomx of diarrhea may appear so promptly after birth as to
lead to the idea that the cause already existed in Hie body of the csilf,


and it usually shows itself before the end of the second week. It may
be preceded by constipation, as in retained mecoiiium or by fetid eruc-
tations and colicky pains, as in acute indigestion. The tail is stained
by the liquid dejections, which are at first simply soft and mixed with
mucus with a sour odor, accompanied by a peculiar and characteristic
fetor (suggesting rotten cheese), which continually grows worse. The
amount of water and mucus steadily increases, the normal predomi-
nance of fatty matters becoming modified by the presence of a consid-
erable amount of undigested casein, which is not present in the healthy
feces, and in acute cases death may result in one or two days from the
combined drain on the system and the poisoning by the absorbed
products of the decomposition in the stomach and bowels. When the
case is prolonged the passages, at first five or six per day, increase to
fifteen or twenty, and pass with more and more straining, so that they
are projected from the animal in a liquid stream. The color of the
feces, at first yellow, becomes a lighter grayish yellow or of a dirty
white (hence the name white scour), and the fetor becomes intolerable.
At first the calf retains its appetite, but as the severity of the disease
increases the animal shows less and less disposition to suck, and has
lost all vivacity, lying dull and listless, and when raised walking weakly
and unsteadily. Flesh is lost rapidly, the hair stands erect, the skin
gets dry and scurfy, the nose is dry and hot, or this condition alter-
nates with a moist and cool one. By this time the mouth and skin, as
well as the breath and dung, exhale the peculiar penetrating, sour,
offensive odor, and the poor calf has become an object of disgust to all
that approach it. At first, and unless inflammation of the stomach
and bowels supervene (and unless the affection has started in indiges-
tion and colic), the belly is not bloated nor painful on pressure, symp-
toms of acute colicky pains are absent, and the bowels do not rumble,
nor are bubbles of gas mingled with the feces. The irritant products
of the intestinal fermentations may, however, irritate and excoriate the
skin around the anus, which becomes red, raw, and broken out in sores
for some distance. Similarly the rectum, exposed by reason of the
relaxed condition of the anus, or temporarily in straining to pass the
liquid dejection, is of a more or less deep red, and it may be ulcerated.
Fever, with rapid pulse and increased breathing and temperature,
usually comes on with the very fetid character of the feces and is
more pronounced as the bowels become inflamed, the abdomen sore to
the touch and tucked up, and the feces more watery, and even mixed
with blood.

The prevention of these cases is the prevention of constipation and
indigestion with all their varied causes as above enumerated, the selec-
tion of a strong, vigorous stock, and above all the combating of conta-
gion, especially in the separation of the sick from the healthy, and in
the thorough purification and disinfection of the buildings. The cleans-
ing and sweetening of all drains, the removal of dung heaps, and the


Trashing and scraping of floors and walls, followed by a liberal applica-
tion of chloride of lime (bleaching powder), 4 ounces to the gallon, are
indicated. Great care must be exercised in the feeding of the cow to
have sound and wholesome food and water, so apportioned as to make
the milk neither too rich nor too poor, and to her health so that the
calf may be saved from the evil consequences of poisonous principles
that may be produced in the body of the cow. The calves should be
carefully kept apart from all calving cows and their discharges. Simi-
larly each calf must have special attention to see that its nurse gives
milk which agrees with it, and that this is furnished at suitable times.
If allowed to suck it should either be left with the cow or it may be fed
three times a day. If it comes hungry twice a day it is more likely to
overload and derange the stomach, and if left too long hungry it is
tempted to take in unsuitable and unwholesome food, for which its
stomach is as yet unprepared. So if fed from the pail it is safer to do
so three times daily than twice. The utmost cleanliness of feeding-
dishes should be secured and the feeder must be ever on the alert to
prevent the strong and hungry from drinking the milk of the weaker in
addition to their own. In case the cow nurse has been subjected to
any great excitement by reason of travel, hunting, or carrying, the first
milk she yields thereafter should be used for some other purpose and
only the second allowed to the calf. Indeed, one and all of the condi-
tions above indicated as causes should be judiciously guarded against.

Treatment will vary according to the nature and stage of the disease.
"When the disease is not widespread, but isolated cases only occur, it
may be assumed to be a simple diarrhea and is easily dealt with. The
first object is to remove the irritant matter from stomach and bowels,
and for this 1 or 2 ounces of castor oil may be given according to the
size of the calf. If the stools smell particularly sour, it may be replaced
by 1 ounce calcined magnesia, and in any case a tablespoouful or two
of lime-water must be given with each meal. Great harm is often done
by giving opium and astringents at the outset. These merely serve to
bind up the bowels and retain the irritant source of the trouble j liter-
ally " to shut up the wolf in the sheepfold." When the offending agents
have been expelled in this way carminatives and demulcent agents may
be given : One dm in anise water, 1 dram nitrate of bismuth, and 1
dram gum arabic, three times a day. Under such a course the consist
ency of the stools should increase until in a day or two they become

If, however, the outbreak is more general and evidently the result of
contagion, the first consideration is to remove all sources of such con-
tamination. Test the milk of the cow with blue litmus paper, and if
it reddens reject the milk of that cow until by sound dry feeding, with
perhaps a course of hyposulphite of soda and gentian root, her milk
shall have ln - n made alkaline. The castor oil or magnesia will still
be demanded to clear away the (uow infecting) irritants, but they should


be combined with antiseptics, and, while the lime-water and the car-
minative mixture may still be used, a most valuable addition will be
found in the following : Calomel 10 grains, prepared chalk 1 ounce, creo-
sote 1 teaspoonful; mix, divide into 10 parts, and give one four times
a day. Or the following may be given four times a day: One dram
Dover's powder, G grains powdered ipecacuanha; mix, divide into 10
equal parts. Injections of solutions of gnm arabic are often useful,
and if the anus is red and excoriated, dram of copperas may be added
to each pint of the gummy solution. All the milk given must be boiled,
and if that does not agree, eggs made into an emulsion with barley-
water, may be substituted. Small doses (tablespoonful) of port wine
are often useful from the first, and as the feces lose their watery char-
acter and become more consistent, tincture of gentian in doses of two
teaspoonfuls may be given three or four times a day. Counterirritants,
such as mustard, ammonia, or oil of turpentine, may be rubbed on the
abdomen when that becomes tender to the touch.


Among these may be named several congenital imperfections, such as
hnperforate anus, vulva, or prepuce, which are to be recognized by the
inability to pass dung or urine, in spite of straining, and the formation
of swellings in the anus, vulva, or sheath. Each must be carefully
incised with the knife, taking care not to injure the muscles which cir-
cumscribe the respective openings. Also tongue-tie, in which the thin
flaccid mucous membrane passing from the median line of the lower
surface of the tongue binds the latter too closely to the floor of the
mouth and renders the tongue unfit for gathering in the food in after
life. This must be cut with knife or scissors so as to give the tongue a
reasonable amount of liberty.

Aphtha or Thrush is another trouble of the sucking calf, showing
itself as a white curdy elevation on the tongue, lips, cheeks, or gums,
and when detached leaving a raw, red, angry surface. It is due to the
growth of a vegetable parasite long recognized as the O'idium albicans,
but which Grawitz identifies as the Mycoderma vim. It is easily
removed by rubbing with powdered borax, but inasmuch as other colo-
nies are likely to start either in the mouth or lower down in the
pharynx, gullet, or stomach, it is well to give a dose of one-half dram
of hyposulphite of soda in water day by day for several days.

Rickets is not a common disease in calves, and comes on, if at all,
later than those we have been considering. It consists in softening
and friability of the bones from a deficiency of lime salts, and appears
to be mainly connected with an inherited weakness of constitution,
unsuitable feeding, cold, close, damp buildings, and other conditions
inimical to health. The prevention and treatment of rickets consists
essentially in the improvement of the digestion and general health;
hence sunshine, open air, exercise, nourishing food, and tonics are indi-


By the late V. T. ATKINSON, V. S.,

Professor of Veterinary Science, Wisconsin State University, ex-State Veterinarian,

Wisconsin, etc.

To facilitate the study of diseases of bones and the accidental injuries
to which they are exposed, some knowledge of the skeleton is advisable.
The skeleton of the adult ox is made up of the following number of bones :

Spinal column 43

Of the head 28

Of the chest 27

Of the shoulder 2 1 on each side.

Of the arm 2 1 on each side.

Of the fore arm 4 2 on each side.

Of the fore foot 40 20 on each side.

Of the pelvis 2 1 on each side.

Of the thigh 2 1 on each side.

Of the leg 6 3 on each side.

Of the hind foot 38 19 on each side.

Without attempting to burden the reader with the technical names
and a scientific classification of each, I deem it desirable to describe
some of the characteristics of forms in general, and of a few classes
into which they may be divided, leaving the special study of individual
bones to the illustrations of the skeleton (Plate xxv), which will serve
better than any amount of writing to fix in the mind of the reader the
location, relation, and function of each one. In early fetal life the
place of bone is supplied by temporary cartilage, which gradually
changes to bone. For convenience of study, bones may be said to be
composed of two elementary constituents the organic or animal and
the inorganic or earthy. In young animals the former predominates;
with increasing years the relative proportions of the two change, 80
that when advanced age is reached the proportion of inorganic far ex-
ceeds the organic. The gradual change with advancing years from
organic to inorganic has the effect of rendering the bone harder and more
brittle, and though it is stronger the reparatory process is slower
when injury does occur.

The bones are nourished in two ways: first, from the outside through
their covering, called the periosteum the thin strong membrane that



covers every part of the bone except at the joints and, second, from
within through the minute branches of blood-vessels, which pass into
the bones through holes (foramen] on their surface and are distributed
in the soft structure (medulla) of the inside. The structure of the bone
is divided into two parts : the compact or hard material of the outside,
which gives strength and is more abundant in the shafts of long bones ;
and the cancellated softer tissue of the inside, which affords accommo-
dation to the blood vessels necessary for the nourishment of that part
of the structure.

In shape bones are divided into three classes : long, flat, and irregu-
lar. The long bones are the ribs and those mostly found in the limbs,
the flat bones in the head, the shoulder and the pelvis, and the irregu-
lar in the spinal column and the bones of the head.


The diseased conditions found in bones are classified briefly as fol-
lows: Inflammation of the structure of the bones (ostitis), which may
be either acute or chronic, and may involve the whole extent of the

Online LibraryUnited States. Bureau of Animal IndustrySpecial report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding → online text (page 32 of 56)