United States. Bureau of Animal Industry.

Special report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding online

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appetite; muzzle is dry and no rumination; while standing its legs are
placed well under its body; pulse small and hard. The evacuations
from the bowels are dry and hard. If this disease is complicated by
the presence of inflammation of the bowels the pain is more severe and
the animal is more restless. The skin is cold and dry in the early stage
of this disease, but in a more advanced stage this condition may be
succeeded by heat of the skin and quick breathing. The fits of trem-
bling, uneasiness, small and hard pulse and tension of the left flank are
symptoms the presence of which should enable one to reach the conclu-
sion that peritonitis exists.

Post-mortem appearance. The membrane lining the abdomen and
covering the surface of the bowels is reddened to a greater or less extent,
and there is usually considerable serous or watery fluid collected in the

Treatment. When we have to do with the traumatic form of perito-
nitis, as when the horn of another animal has been thrust through the
abdominal walls, this lesion must be treated in accordance with direc-
tions before given, but the general treatment must be similar to that
which follows : Peritonitis resulting from castration or from parturition
fever must also be treated in connection with the special conditions
which give rise to it, as the general treatment of this disease must be
modified to some extent by the exciting cause.

The body should be warmly clothed, and it is advisable, when prac-
ticable, to have a blanket which has been wrung out of hot water
placed over the abdomen, then covered by several dry blankets, which
are maintained in position by straps or ropes passing round the body.
The wet blanket must be changed as it cools the object of treatment
being to warm the surface of the body and to determine as much blood
to the skin as possible. When the matter of clothing the body has
been attended to the aim of treatment must be : (1) To obtain rest for
the affected parts; (2) to subdue inflammation and fever; (3) to sustain
the animal's strength. The first indication is to give a dose of lauda-
num or powdered opium. An ounce and a half of the first or a dram
of the second may be given in a pint of tepid water, and if the pain is
not perceptibly allayed the dose should be repeated in two hours. It
is dangerous to give purgatives in peritonitis, as they stimulate the
movements of the bowels, increase the suflfering, and aggravate the
disease. Tincture of aconite should be given in ten-drop doses every
two hours for the purpose of reducing fever and inflammation. Cruzel
strongly recommends bleeding for this purpose, but it should only be
applied when the pulse is strong and when the animal is in good con-
dition, and it should be borne in mind that it can not have any bene-
ficial effect, but the reverse, if inflammation has existed for two days.
The diet should consist of laxative food and drinks, such as Unseed
tea. If peritonitis assumes chronic form the diet should be nutritious,


such as hay, cornstalks, linseed cake, grass, etc., and iodide of potas-
sium should be given in drain doses dissolved in a pint of water three
times a day.


In this disease there is a serous or watery effusion in the cavity of
the abdomen.

Causes. When old animals are worked and fed on innutritions food
they become what is termed aua?mic; or, iu other words, their blood
becomes impoverished and dropsy is a common result of such treat-
ment. An innutritions and insufficient diet will produce the same
effect in young animals. The exposure of cattle to sudden changes of
temperature and the chilling effect of cold and wet acting on the skin
may develop this disease. It is one of the results of peritonitis, and
may also arise from acute or chronic inflammation of the liver, such as
is of common occurrence when flukes are present in the liver in large
numbers. When dropsy depends on disease of the liver it develops
very gradually, and this may also be said in regard to it when its occur-
rence is associated with an insufficient amount of nutriment having
been supplied to the animal.

Symptom*. A gradual increase in the size of the abdomen at its
lower part, while the flanks become hollow; pallor of the mucous mem-
brane of the month and eye; weak and sluggish gait; want of appetite,
and irregularity in ruminating. On percussion or tapping the surface
of tin- abdomen with the fingers a dull sound is produced. If the hand
and arm an- oiled and passed into the rectum as far as possible, on
moving tho hand from one side to the other, the fluctuation caused by
the presence of fluid in the abdomen may be felt.

Treatment. The diet should be nutritious, and in those cases where
we have merely to deal with ana-niia (the bloodless state) arising from
insufficient diet the use of tonics and diuretics, at the same time keep-
ing the skin warm, will bring about a gradual absorption of the fluid
contained in the abdomen. One of the following powders should be
mixed with the animal's food three times a day; or, if there is any
uncertainty as to its being taken in that way, it should be mixed with
sirup, so as to form a paste, and smeared well back on the animal's
tongue with a flat wooden spoon: Carbonate of iron,- 3 ounces; pow-
dered gentian, 3 ounces ; powdered nitrate of potash, 3 ounces. Mix
and divide into twelve powders. The administration of purgatives
which promote a watery discharge from the mucous surface of tho bow-
els, also tends, by diminishing the serum of the blood, to bring about
;ili-..r])tioii ami a gradual removal of the fluid contained in the abdo-
men. L.I i _: <!'-, , ^hould not be given, but moderate dosvs should be
administered morning and night, so as to produce a laxative effect on
the bowels for some days. To attain this end the following may be
used: Sulphate of soda, 8 ounces; powdered ginger, half an ounce;
mix in 2 quarts of tepid water, and then give at one dose.




Position of the first stomacli (paunch, rumen) on the left side: a, the situation
of the rumen; Z>, the spleen or milt resting on it; c, the skin and muscles
removed from the ribs to show position of the lungs and their relation to
the paunch.

Fig. 1. Stomach of a full-grown sheep natural size. After Thanhoffer, from R-
Mcade Smith's Physiology of Domestic Animals: a, rumen or first stomach;
&, reticulum or second stomach ; c, omasum or third stomach ; d, abomasum
or fourth stomach; e, oesophagus or gullet opening into first and second
stomachs ; /, opening of fourth stomach into small intestine ; g, opening of
second stomach into third; h, opening of third stomach into fourth.
The lines indicate the course of the food in the stomachs. The incompletely
masticated food passes down the oesophagus or gullet into the first and second
stomachs, in which a churning motion is kept up, carrying the food from
side to side and from stomach to stomach. From the first stomach regurgi-
tation takes place that is, the food is returned through the gullet to the
month to be more thoroughly masticated or chewed, and this constitutes
what is known as " chewing the cud." From the second stomach the food
passes into the third, and from the third into the fourth or true stomach, and
from there into the intestines.

Fig. 2. Stomach of ox. After Colin, from R. Meade Smith's Physiology of Domes-
tic Animals : , rumen ; 6, reticulum ; c, omasum ; d, abomasnm ; e, oesopha-
gus; /, opening of fourth stomach into small intestine.

Fiirstenberg calculated that in an ox of 1,400 pounds weight the capacity of the
stomachs is as follows :

Per cent.

Rumen 149.25 quarts, liquid measure 62. 4

Reticulum 23.77 quarts 10

Omasum 36.98 quarts 15

Abomasum 29.05 quarts 12. 6

According to Coliu Quarts.

The capacity of a beefs stomach is 266. 81

Small intestine 69. 74

Caecum 9. 51

Colon and rectum 25. 58


Fig. 1. Clinical thermometer, J natural size. This is used to determine the tem-
perature of the animal body. The thermometer is passed into the rectum
after having been moistened with a little saliva from the mouth, or after
having had a little oil or lard rubbed upon it to facilitate its passage. There
it is allowed to remain two or three minutes, then withdrawn, and the tem-


PLATE III Continued.

perature read as in any ordinary thermometer. The clinical thermometer is
made self- registering that is, the mercury in the stem remains at the height
to which it was forced by the heat of the body until it is shaken back into
the bulb by taking hold of the upper portion of the instrument and giving
it a short, sharp swing. The normal temperature of cattle varies from
100 to 103 F. In young animals it is somewhat higher than in old.
The thermometer is a very useful instrument and frequently is the means by
which disease is detected before the appearance of any external sign.

Fig. 2. Simple probaug, used to dislodge foreign bodies like apples, potatoes,
eggs, tc., which have become fastened or stuck in the oesophagus or gullet.

Fig. 3. Grasping or forceps probaug. This instrument, also intended to remove
obstructions -from the gullet, has a spring forceps at one end in the place of
the cap-like arrangement at the end of the simple probaug. The forceps are
closed while the probaug is being introduced; their blades arc regulated by
a screw in the handle of the instrument. This probaug is used to grasp and
withdraw an article which may have lodged in the gullet and can not be
forced into the stomach by use of the simple probang.

Fig. 4. Wooden gag, used when the probang is to bo passed. The gag is a piece
of wood which fits in the animal's mouth; a cord passes over the head to
hold it in place. The central opening in the wood is intended for the passage
of the probang.

Figs. 5a and 5&. Trocar and cauula; 5a shows the trocar covered by the cauula;
56, the canula from which the trocar has been withdrawn. This instrument
is used when the rumen or first stomach becomes distended with gas. The
trocar covered by the canula is forced into the rumen, the trocar withdrawn,
and the cannla allowed to remain until the gas has escaped.

Fig. 6. Section at right angles through the abdominal wall, showing a hernia or
rupture. Taken from D'Aborval, Diet, de Med., dc Chit: ct de Hyg.: a a, The
abdominal muscles cut across; r, opening in the abdominal wall permitting
j i, the intestines, to pass through and outward between the abdominal wall
and the skin; p p, peritoneum or membrane lining the abdominal cavity
carried through the opening o, by the loop of intestine and forming the sac
p, the outer walls of which are marked bfb.

The liver is composed of innumerable small lobules from -^ to ^ inch in diameter.
The lobules arc held together by a .-mall amount of fibrous tissue in which the
bile ducts and larger blood vessels are lodged. Fig. 1 of the diagram illus-
trates the structure of a lobule : r, r, intcrlobular veins, or the veins between
the lobules. There arc branches of the portal vein which carries blood from
the stomach and intestines to the liver ; c, c, capillaries, or very fine blood ves-
sels, extending a* a very fine network between the groups of liver cells from
the interlobiilar vein to the center of the lobule and emptying there injo the
intralobular vein to the center of the lobule; r, r, intralobnlar vein, or the
vein within tho lobule. This \i -s< 1 passes out of the lobule and there
becomes the Hiiblobular vein ; r, , Hiiblobular vein. This joins other similar
veins and helps to form the hepatic vein through which the blood leaves the
liver; d, d, the position of the liver cells between the meshes of the capil-
laries; A, A, branches of the hepatic artery to the Interlobular connective
t i !! and the walls of the large veins and large bile ducts. These hraiiche*

arceen at r. r, and form the vena vncularin; v, r,vi'imvaKcularis; i,i. branches
of the hepatic artery entering the substance, of the lobule and connecting
with capillaries from the interlobiilar vein. The of the hepatic artery
is to nourish the liver while the other vc*weln carry blood to be modified by
the liver cells in certain important directions; y, brunches of the bile dm-ln


PI.ATK IV Continued.

carrying bile from the various lobules into the gall bladder ami into the
intestines; x, x, intralobular bile capillaries between the liver cells. These
form a network of very minute tubes surrounding each ultimate cell which
receives the bile as it is formed by the liver cells and carried ontward as

Fig. ii. Isolated liver cellar c, blood capillary; a, fine bile capillary channel.

Appearance of ergot in hay: 1, blue grass; 2, timothy; 3, wild rye; 4, red-top.
Ergot is a fungus which may affect any member of the grass family. The spore
of the fungus, by some means brought in contact with the undeveloped seed
of the grass, grows, obliterates the .seed and practically takes its place.
When hay affected with ergot is fed to animals it is productive of a charac-
teristic and serious affection or poisoning known as ergotism.

Illustrates the effects of ergot. The lower part of the limb of a cow showing the
loss of skin and flesh in a narrow ring around the pastern bone, and the
exposure of the bone itself.




5 go






Mnrv ftii.ii .Viniii





By the late V. T. ATKINSON, V. 8.,

Professor of Veterinary Science, Wisconsin Stale University, Ex-State Veterinarian,

Wisconsin, etc.

To clearly define the meaning of the word poison would be somewhat
difficult. Even in law the word has never been defined, and when a
definition is attempted we are apt to include either too much or too
little. The following is perhaps as clear a definition as it is possible to
give: "A poison is a substance having an inherent deleterious prop-
erty rendering it capable of destroying life by whatever avenue it
li mis access to the system, or it is a substance which, when introduced
into the system or applied externally, injures health or destroys life
irrespective of mechanical means or thermal changes." The common
conception of a ix>ison is any substance which will destroy life, in small
quantity, excepting such as act by purely mechanical means, as, for
example, powdered glass.


This may be either local, and exerted directly on the tissues with
which they come in contact, or remote, acting through the circulation
or net von- .-yMem; or both local and remote action may be exerted by
the same drug. Poisons which act locally generally either destroy by
corrosion the tissues with which they come in contact, or by inhalation
set up acute inflammation. When any corrosive agent is taken into the
stomach in poisonous quantities a group of symptoms is developed
which is common to all. The tissues with which the agent conies in
contact are destroyed, sloughing and acute inflammation of the surround
ing structures take place ; intense pain in the abdomen and death ensue.
In a like manner, but with less rapidity, the same result is reached
if the agent used bo not of a sufficiently corrosive nature to destroy
the tissues, but snlnciently irritating to set up acute inflammation of
the mucous membrane of the digestive tract. (W the poisons exert-
ing a remote influence, the Action is quite different, little or no local
effect luting produced upon the digestive organs. Tho poisons, when
absorbed and transmitted through the agency of the eircnlation, cxort



their baneful influence, and though some of them act with extreme
rapidity no effect can be produced until the agent has been absorbed.
The poisonous effect of any substance is modified by the quantity used ;
by its chemical combinations; by the part of the animal structure with
which it conies in contact; and also by the physical condition of the sub-
ject. As an illustration, opium may be given with safety in much larger
doses to an animal suffering from acute pain than to one free from pain,
and to an adult animal with greater safety than to a young one. The
rapidity with which the poison is absorbed, owing to the part of the
body with which it is brought in contact, is also an important factor.
So marked is this quality that some agents which have the power of
destroying life with almost absolute certainty when introduced beneath
the skin, may be taken into the stomach without causing even notice-
able inconvenience, as curara, the arrow poison, or the venomous secre-
tion of the snake fang. Other agents in chemical combination may tend
to intensify, lessen, or wholly neutralize the poisonous effect. For
example, arsenic in itself has well-marked poisonous properties, but
when brought in contact with dialyzed iron it forms an insoluble com-
pound and becomes innocuous. Idiosyncracies are not so noticeable in
cattle practice as in practice among human beings, but the uncertainty
with which some drugs exert their influence would lead us to believe
that well-marked differences in susceptibility exist. Even in some cases
a tolerance for poison is engendered so that in a herd of animals equally
exposed injurious or fatal effects do not appear with uniformity. For
example, among cattle that are compelled to drink water holding in
solution a salt of lead, the effects of the poisoning will be found vary-
ing all the way from fatality to iinperceptibility.


So widely varied are the symptoms produced by different poisonous
agents that it is almost impossible to lay down even a general rule of
symptoms which may be applied to all cases. Ordinarily, poisoning is
not suspected until after the death of the affected animal. To estab-
lish the presence or absence of poison in the system becomes necessary
only with a view to arresting its effect on other animals that may have
been similarly exposed, or to promote the ends of justice in criminal
jurisprudence. The symptoms shown before death are likely to give
reason to suspect either intestinal irritation, with manifestation similar
to those of colic ; or disordered brain function with the characteristic
indications of vertigo, coma, paralysis, dilatation, or contraction of the
pupil, etc. The animal secretions and excretions may be perverted,
augmented, or suppressed. Chemical analysis and philosophical expe-
riments only can determine with absolute certainty the presence of
many of the poisons. On the other hand, diagnosis may be reached
with reasonable certainty where the previous history of the case is
known, as well as the surroundings and the poisonous agents to which
the animal would be likely to have access.



The treatment of animals suffering from poison must vary according
to the nature of the toxic agent. There are a few general plans of
action, however, which should be followed as far as possible. If a
stomach-pump can be procured no time shonld be lost in emptying the
stomach of its contents and carefully washing that organ by either
injecting pure water or a solution of the proper antidote. If the stomach
can not be emptied, the antidote should be administered which will
counteract or neutralize the particular poison from which the animal is
Buffering, such as powdered chalk to neutralize acid poison. If the
poison has been taken in solid form and there is a probability that part
of it is still undissolved its further destructive action may be arrested
by the administration of mucilaginous drinks, as infusions of flaxseed,
white of eggs, acacia (gum arabic), etc. Where the poison is known to
be one that is not likely to exert its influence on the stomach directly
but remotely, every effort should be made to neutralize any part of it
that ay remain unabsorbed, and to as far as possible fortify the sys-
tem against its action, as by the use of atropia in opium-poisoning, or
the placing of the patient under the influence of chloroform or ether
when poisoned by strychnine. A poisonous agent may be so gradually
introduced into the system as to slowly develop the power of resistance
against its' action. In other cases, where the poison is introduced slowly,
the poisonous action becomes cumulative, and although there is no
increase in the quantity taken violent symptoms are suddenly developed,
as if the whole amount, the consumption of which may have extended
over a considerable period, had been given in one dose. Other agents,
poisonous in their nature, tend to deteriorate some of the important
organs and interfering with their natural functions are productive of con-
ditions of ill-health which, although not necessarily fatal, are important.
Such a class might properly be called chronic poisons. Poisons of them-
selves dangerous when administered in large doses are used medicinally
for curative purposes, and a very large percentage of the pharmaceutical
preparations used in the practice of medicine if given in excessive quan-
tities might produce serious results. In the administration of medicines,
therefore, care should be exercised not only that the animal is not
poisoned by the administration of an excessive dose, but that injury is
not done by continued treatment with medicines the administration of
which is not called for.


Of the common irritant and corrosive poisons, arsenic, especially one
of its compounds (Paris green or arenit<j of copper), is likely to be the
most dangerous to our class of patients. The common practice of using
Paris green as an insecticide for the destruction of potato beetle and
other vegetable parasite* hug had the effect of introducing it into
24697 5


almost all of our farming establishments. White arsenic is also a prin-
cipal ingredient in many of the popnlar sheep dipping preparations,
and poisoning from this source occasionally takes place, when, after
dipping, the flock are allowed to run in a yard in which there is loose
fodder. The drippings from the wool of the sheep falling on the fod-
der render it poisonous, and dangerous to animal life if eaten. Famil-
iarity with its use has in many instances tended to breed contempt for
its potency as a poison. Its action is the same as that of all the solu-
ble chemical compounds of arsenic; it acts as a powerful irritant to
the stomach and intestines, setting up acute inflammation of any part
of the alimentary tract with which it comes in contact.

The symptoms first appear as those of colic; the animal is restless,
stamping with the feet, lying down and getting up. There is tender-
ness on pressure over the abdomen. The acute symptoms increase; in
a few hours violent diarrhea is developed ; in many cases blood and
shreds of detached mucous membrane are mixed with the evacuations.
There is irregular and feeble pulse and perspiration, and death is likely
to supervene between the eighteenth hour and the third day. If the
latter period is past there is a reasonable hope of recovery.

Treatment consists in the use of the stomach-pump. After the stom-
ach is completely emptied there may be a liberal administration of
demulcents, such as flaxseed tea, boiled starch, acacia, .etc. The
freshly precipitated hydrate. or dialyzed iron should be given. The
amount of the dose must be regulated by the urgency of the symptoms
and the amount of poison the animal has probably taken. The safest
plan is to give small doses at frequent intervals. The effect of prepa-
tions of iron is to entangle the poison and convert it into an insoluble
arsenite of iron. The hydrate may be given in ounce doses, repeated
every hour until relief is obtained, or until four or five doses have been


The salts of lead, particularly sugar of lead (acetate) are irritant
poisons, but not of great activity. Death may result from their con-
tinued use, but recovery is probable, unless they are taken in very
large quantities. Having a somewhat salty taste, animals are likely to
lick old paint pots. Lead poisoning may occur from accidentally tak-
ing solutions of the sugar of lead or by means of water drawn from
lead pipes.

Symptoms are generally dullness; lying down with the head turned

Online LibraryUnited States. Bureau of Animal IndustrySpecial report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding → online text (page 7 of 56)