Wilfrid Richmond.

The Americana: a universal reference library, comprising the arts ..., Volume 10 online

. (page 183 of 185)
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pensed with on soft ground or mud roads, but
they become necessary on hard roads and for
hard-worked animals. Tips, extending back to
the broadest part 6f the foot only, are the least
objectionable. * Full sired shoes are too often
made to pinch, distort, bruise, or injure the foot
beyond repair; and a poor foot is as injurious
to a horse as an unstable foundation to a build-
ing* The first consideration is the preparation
of the foot, gtvfeijg due balance to heel and toe,
inner side and outer, sole and wall, heel and
bars. Whife removing all overgrown wall and
bars, and all sole-plates that have become de-
tached from tiie tough living h6rn beneath and
now act as foreign bodies, the tough horn itself
should not be exposed, nor removed except as a
rtbin margin around the outer edge, where ft is
smoothed to the same level as the wall, to which
it: acts as a support, and the bearing surface of
whioh for the shoe ft slightly extends. The

id be
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r the

greatest desiderata in horse management.


The natural food of the horse is grass and
though charged, with- excess of water, and at
first liable -to scour, and always, to cause flaccid
muscles and lack of energy and endurance, yet
a run at pasture, with pure air, -normal, easy
exercise, and stimulation of stomach, liver,
bowels, metabolism, and excretion will often
improve or arrest infirmities* of. -digestion, as-
similation, elimination and even innervation.
Heaves (broken wind), chronic bronchitis, vari-
ous, forms of nasal discharges, indigestion, torpid
liver, gall stones, and kidney affections are ex-
amples qf maladies which improve at pasture.
Dried grass in the form of hay is the standard
food ojt the domesticated horse. This is best
from natural pastures with a .mixture of
grasses to be followed by blue grass, timothy,
ryegrass, and clover, the latter being the most
dangerous as a horse fed. Upland hay is more
aromatic and choice them that from low, damp
or irrigated meadows, and the first crop is al-
ways the best. New hay will sometimes disa-
gree, while the old, though lacking aroma and
less palatable, is less likely to cause digestive
disorder. At a year old nrrd over it is brittle,
dried, more fibrous and lets nutritive. Bsxffr

Digitized by



cured hay ia always itonutritoous, and oftto di-
rectly poisonous, when altered by bacterial fer-
ments, molds and* their products. The results
..are shown in heaves gastric disorders, liver
troubles* brairi affections (staggers), kidney and
skin diseases. Second crop .nay, clover and « al-
falfa hay are especially dangerous in this sense,
the excess' of proteids in the last, two, and es-
pecially of i foliage, delaying curing and favoring
the multiplication of ferments. Oats are the
standard grain feed for horses. But like hay
they must be well matured oh good soil, and well
cured. Mustiness brings essentially the same
evils as? in hay, and newly harvested they are
•liable to disagree. Kiln-dried" oats are to be.
avoided, also those that have sprouted. The
composition; of oats and. hay/ shows the excess
of proteids, carbohydrates and fats in the first.

with and a given weight of oats is* of mere
value than an equal amount of similar .nutritive
elements in wheat or barley.

Good judgment and regularity in feeding and
watering are essential to success with any feed.
Feeding in irregular amounts at varying inter-
vals, and with uncertain watering will undo the
good effects of a generous ration. The small
stomach (16 quarts) cannot admit a large
feed of oats and saliva without suffering, and,
if overdistended, it becomes paretic or torpid,
and dangerous fermentation and gaseous dis-
tension may ensue. Again, if feeding is delayed
the hungry craving and nervous excitement can-
not be undone by a generous feed later: Then
again, if the perspiring and exhausted animal
is allowed to slake his thirst with a bucket of
ice-cold water, he may have heart failure, or

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afaia*, ;...... .<..

" Maiz
feids re
With a
salts it
tends V
above a
tion of

horses c> yet, it is fed over .large areas as
exclusive grain feed, and such is the adaptability
of the living, system that the minimum evil re-
sults. To obviate the evils it can he fed with
cooling, laxative agents as, wheat bran, carrots,
or turnjns, or an ounce of Glauber salts inay be
given daily.

Barley* rye- and wheat have been successfully
fed to hprses but are not equal to oats in
supporting the animal and fitting for hard work.

13eans, peas and other leguminous seeds are
fed when a horse is subjected to an extraor-
dinary strain of work or endurance, being espe-
cially valuable for the excess of proteids they
contain. They should be thoroughly matured
and dried as the fully formed ana partially
ripened seeds of several species contain a nar-
cotic poison. . \

The relative amount of hay and oats for a
horse pf 1,000 pounds live weight may be stated
as follows: Cavalry horse; Oats 12 pounds,
hay 1 4 pounds. , Carriage horse : Oats ro pounds,
hay 12 pounds. Draft horse: Oats 15 pounds,
hay ,\2 pounds. The horse at rest can live on
a mere maintenance ration sufficient to keep up
bodily temperature and repair waste. A horse
in, active work will peed about one half more.
Ifor yery severe or rapid work about one third
more must be added. For hard work a broad
ration-proteids u to carbonaceous matter 6, is
preferable to a narrow ration-proteids 1, to
carbonaceous matter 3. An economical feed can
often be made of a number of agents com-
pounded from their known chemical composi-
tion, to , $orm such a balanced ration, but mere
chemical ingredients are not final, as paya-
bility and adaptability, ha^ve, still to be reckoned

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grass, roots, apples, green potatoes, overripe
ryegrass, millet, vetch, etc., irritant plants) ; from
overfeeding (at the combin, in ripe grain, etc.),
from violent exertion on a full stomach, or
from a full feed when debilitated from starva-
tion, disease, or overwork, is liable to cause
death in two hours or a little more. The horse
can rarely vomit, or belch gas, the stomach does
not absorb, and the outlet by the bowela is one
hundred feet long, so that the organ is usually
; ruptured with fatal results. Among the other
less rapid disorders are catarrhal inflammation
of the stomach, intestinal colic, congestion, in-
flammation, impaction, twisting, invagination,
calculi and worms. Of poisons may be named:
lead through water, etc.; molds, fungi, and
bacteria in food (causing gastric, intestinal
hepatic, pulmonary, nervous,- cutaneous or kidney
diseases) ; ergot, smut (causing gastric disorder,
ulcers of the mouth, abortions, etc.) ; lupines,
Senecip Jacobcea (causing cirrhosis f of liver) ;
astragalus, oxytropis (loco, brain disease).;
eauisetum (gastric and intestinal catarrh); to

Digitized by



which may be added cicuta, conium, esnanthe,
aconite, Thus, ranunculus, larkspur, anemone,
digitalis, wild cherry, wild onion, camas,
faeleniutn, hyacinth, dematis, thorn apple, colchi-
cum, belladonna, hyoscyamus, bitter sweet, eu-
phorbium, hellebore, wild parsnip, laurel, ole-

• ander, etc

Liver Diseoses.~The9e are notoriously
prevalent in hot, damp regions in horses kept
m cloae stables on rich, abundant feeding; in
such as have dry feeding and scarcity of water
in winter, and in such as have a poorly balanced
raiion with excess either of proteids or oi beat-
ing carbohydrates. In damp tropical regions

•special care is- needed as to the site, exposure,
ventilation and purity of stables* the dietary,

, exercise and grooming to obviate liver com-
plaints. Transient fevers, nervous digestion,
skin and kidney disorders often originate from
troubles in the liver.

Grooming is most important in the finer
breeds -of horses in clearing off oil and dandruff,
rendering the sHin nliant and favoring secretion,
exhalation, cooling and elimination. On the
contrary, animals at pasture and exposed to cold
and wet find a measure of protection in the
sebaceous and thick hairy covering. When,
however, drenched with perspiration or rain, and
in a warm air, the relaxing effect on the skin
and general system is very debilitating, hence
clipping may become a necessity to be followed
by special precautions against cold. The active
friction (massage) of grooming renders circula-
tion active, especially tnat of the lymph, reliev-

' ing fatigue, favoring elimination and improving
the tone of the muscles and general system.
The heels need particular care. Clipped heels
are irritated by the stubby hair in the folds
back of the pastern often precipitating chaps
and grease which would have been escaped In
the undipped. The heel is normally protected
by the abundance of sebaceous secretion, but
when this is rubbed off by dust, clay, sand, etc.,
the part suffers readily from cold, wet, dried
gritty mud or other irritants. Washing the heels,

1 above all with caustfe soap, and leaving them to
dry m cold air or draft is hurtful. Prompt
drying of the heels will obviate the danger, and,
if there Is already any swelling, gentle massage
with a little vaseline will improve the condition.

' In obstinate cases the source of the trouble may
be sought m disorder of digestion, liver or

Many disorders of the nervous system, lungs,
skin, eye and kidneys are due to constitutional
troubles which cannot be dealt with here in
general terms. Such diseases are usually mani-
fested by elevated body temperature and accel-
erated or modified breathing or pulse. The
temperature of the healthy, mature horse, at rest
in a cool or moderate environment, is 99° to
100 9 R, respirations 10 to 12 per minute, and
pulse 35 to 45.

Contagions Diseases. — These agree in* one
fundamental feature that each is due to a
microbe, which passes more or less directly from
the affected animal to the sound "one, thus propa-
gating the disease. The arrest of the epizootic
and even its complete 7 and final extinction, is
merely a question of preventing such transmis-
sion and of destroying every infecting germ.
This truth is riot yet duly appreciated by stock-
owners, legislators' nor sanitary officers, but

•when it ia fully realized we shall be near the

total extinction of most animal plagues to the
unspeakable profit of humanity. The Contagitux
diseases may be divided into two classes: (1)
Those in which the infection is either confined
to solipeds, or mainly propagated by the equidz,
so that its extinction in these would mean the
final extinction .of the disease, and {2) those
which are propagated in other genera as wdL
so that the extinction oi the germ in other spe-
cies also would be essential to ite complete erad-

To the first class belong strangles (distem-
per), contagions pneumonia, equine influenza,
glanders, tetanus, vesicular exanthema, con-
tagious acne, petechial fever, gastro-enteritis of
the new born, South African horse sadness,
dourine, sarra, Nagana, Mai de Caderas, infec-
tious paraplegia. The first four of these affec-
tions are constantly spread in the United States
through sales, public stables, stockyards, railroad
^cars, ships, and sale-stables, and no radical mea-
sure is taken to -destroy the germs in such in-
fected places, or to prevent the infection of all
solipedes that pass through them.

In the second class must be included:
Horse-pox, contagious abortion, thrush of the
mouth, infectious ophthalmia, tuberculosis,
rabies, matfgnant oedema, anthrax and emphyse-
matous anthrax. The first six of these are prop-
agated more by other genera than the horse, so
that the burden of the work for their extinction
would have to be expended on these other
classes. The last three are caused by germs
which can Hve out of the animal body in tiie
soil, and theif extinction would involve the
drainage and sanitation of tie infected soils as

Parasitic Diseases.— A number of parasite?
that prey upon solipeds can live indiscriminately
in other animals as well. Among these may br
named the Tricofhyton of ringworm ; Aspergil-
lus of pneumomycosis; Actinomyces: different
species of wood ticks J Dermanyssus of poultry
acariasis; Trombidium Americanism (and F.
Holosericium) ; Ungu&tuh Denticulate; En-
strvnpylus Gtgas; Pilaria Medinensis; Distonu
HepaHcum and D. Loneeoiotum. By reason of
then* variety of hosts these would be less easCy
got rid of. But another list includes the ob-
ligato parasites which must live in the sohped
at some stajge or perish. These accordingly can
be extinguished on the same principle as can
the microbes of exclusively equine plagues.
They include the larva* of four species of bot-
fly (CEstrus Equi, (E. HamorrhoidaUo, (E.
Pecorum and (E. NasaUs) ; three Ike {ffamato-
pinus Maerocephaius, Trichodectes Pilosus, and
Tr. Pubescens); four mange acari (Sarcoptes
Scabei V. Equi, Psoroptes Communis V. Ec*i<
Symbiotes Communis V. Equi, and Demodox
FoHicuhrum V. Equi; three tapeworms
(TiFmia PerfoUetto, T. MamiHana, and T.
Plicata) ; two stomach worms (Spiropf™
Microstoma and $p. Megastoma) ; five mtestin*/ •
worms (Ascaris Megaloeephala, Oxquris Cur-
vaia and O. Mastigodes, Sclerostoma Equhum
and SC Tetracanthum) ; one of the serous
cavities (Pilaria Papellosa) ; one of the lunts
(Strongylus ArnHeldi) ; and four of the
blddd (Fileria H&morrhagtca, F. Irritans, f
Sanguinis Equi, and P. Reticulata). For the
obligate/ parasites their extinction on the victim
and his removal from the source of a fresh
supply means a final extinction of the twrasite.

Digitized by



a$ the worm cannot be perpetuated without its
host. In the case of worms, which survive as
eggs and embryos in damp earth and water, the
exclusion of solipeds for a year or two from
infested stables and fields, from waters (ponds,
lakes, wells* streams) that receive drainage from
infested places, and from food derived from
such verminous localities, entails the inevitable
destruction of these parasites in such habitat
outside the body. An essential condition of com-
plete success is that the infested animals must be
themselves cleared of the worms, to prevent
their colonizing new places with the parasite,
and, in the case of such as are entertained in
the blood, oar serous- cavities or in cysts in the
tissues, this takes time to allow of their mi-
grating into the bowels or reaching their limit
of life and perishing. The mere use of anthel-
mintics or vermifuges alone is no radical treat-
ment far these parasites. A veterinary sanita-
tion which is far reaching enough to do away
for all time with the class of contagious and
parasitic epizootics, is the only one worthy of
twentieth century knowledge, or which will ful-
fill the duties of the age.

Tames Law,
Director New York State Veterinary College,
Cornell University.

Horsey Evolution of the. As a domes-
tic animal the horse is to be found almost every-
where that man can live. He is spread all over
the world — from torrid to arctic climates, in all
the continents, in remote oceanic islands— » he
is completely cosmopolitan. But as a wild ani-
mal the horse is limited to the Old World, and
is found there only in the open arid or desert
plains of Central Asia and Africa. There are
two species in Asia, the Asiatic wild ass (Bquur
hemionus), and the little known Przewalsky's
horse (K prsewalskii), while in Africa there
are the African wild ass (E. asinus) and the
several species of zebra (E. zebra, E. burchelK,
E. quagga). In the Americas and Australia
there are no true wild horses, the mustangs and
broncos of the Western plains and South Amer-
ica being feral (domesticated animals run wild)
and descended from the horses brought over
from Europe by the early white settlers. When
the Spaniards first explored the New World
they found no horses on either continent The
Indians were quite unfamiliar with them and at
first regarded the strange animal which the
newcomers rode with wonder and terror, like
that of the ancient Romans when Pyrrhus and
his Greeks brought elephants to fight against

The horse is distinguished from all other
animals now living by the fact that he has but
one toe on each foot Comparison with other
animals shows that thL toe is the third or
middle dip* of the foot. The Loof corresponds
to the nail of a man or the claw of a dog or
cat, and is broadened out to afford a firm, strong
support on which the whole weight of the ani-
mal rests. Behind the ^cannon-bone* of the
foot are two slender little bones, one on each
side* called splint-bones. These represent the
second and fourth digits of other animals, but
they do not show on the surface, and there is
nothing like a separate toe. So that the horse
may be said to be an animal that walks on its
middle finger-nail, all the other fingers having

The teeth of the horse* are almost equally
peculiar. The molars are long, square prisms
which grow up from the gums as fast as they 4
wear off on the crowns. Their grinding surface
exhibits a peculiar and complicated pattern of
edges of hard enamel between which are softer
spaces composed of dentine and of a material
called "cement," much like the dentine in quality
but formed in a different way. The dentine is
formed on the inside surfaces of the enamel
while the tooth is still within the jaw-bone ; the
cement is deposited on the outside surfaces of
the enamel after the tooth has broken through
the jaw-bone and before it appears above the

Various other peculiarities distinguish the
horse from most other animals; some of these
are shared by other hoofed animals. The two
long bones of the forearm {radius and ulna)
are separate in the greater number of animals,
but in the horse, and in many other hoofed ani-
mals, they are consolidated into a single bone.
The same consolidation is seen in the bones of
the lower leg (tibia and fibula). The lengthen-
ing of the foot and stepping on the end of the
toe raises the heel in the horse, as in many
other animals, to a considerable height above
the ground, where it forms the hock joint, bend-
ing backward, as the knee bends forward. In
these as in various other ways the legs of the
horse are especially fitted for swift running over
hard and level ground, just as its teeth are for
grinding the wiry grasses which grow on the
open plain. ,

The zebra and the ass have the same peculiar
structure of teeth and feet as toe domestic
horse, and differ only in the color of the skin,
proportions of various parts of the body, etc

Fossil Horses of the Age of Man.*— In the
early part of the Age of Man, or Quaternary
Period, wild species of horse were td be found on
every continent except Australia. Remains of
these true native horses have been found buried
in strata of this age in all parts of the United
States, in Alaska, in Mexico, in Ecuador, Brazil
and Argentina, as well as in Europe, Asia and
Africa. All these horses were much like the
living species, and most of them are included
in the genus Equus. A complete skeleton of one
of them (Equus scotti) was found by the
American Museum expedition of 1800 in north-
ern Texas. The difference between it and the
domestic horse is chiefly in proportions, the
skull shorter with deeper jaws, the legs rather
short and feet small in proportion to the body.
In these characters this fossil horse resembles
an overgrown zebra rather than a domestic
horse. We know nothing of its coloring. It
may have been striped, and in this case would
have been very zebra-like; but there are seme
reasons for believing that it was not prom-
inently striped. The bones are petrified, brittle
and heavy, the animal matter of the bone having
entirely disappeared and having been partly
replaced by mineral matter. They are not much
changed in color, however, and are so perfectly

served that they look almost like recent

All the remains of these native hofrses which
have been found in America have been petrified
more or less completely; this means that they
have been buried for many thousands of years,
for petrifaction is an exceedingly slow process.

Digitized by



It serves as an easy method of distinguishing
them from bones of the domestic horse, found
buried in the earth. These cannot in any case
hare been buried for more than four or five cen-
turies, and have not had time to petrify. Re-
mains of these fossil horses are found in various
parts of the United States, chiefly on the Nio-
brara River in Nebraska, and in central Oregon.
Many separate teeth and bones have been found
in the phosphate mines near Charleston, S. C. ;
Other specimens have come from central Florida,
from southern Texas, Arizona, Kansas, Lou-
isiana and even from Alaska. They are, in fact,
so often found in deposits of rivers and lakes of
the latest geological epoch (the Pleistocene)
that the formation in the western United States
has received the name of Equus Beds.

In South America, in strata of the Pleistocene
Epoch, there occurs, besides several extinct
species of the genus Equus, the Hippidium, a
peculiar kind of horse characterized by very
short legs and feet, and some peculiarities about
the muzzle and the grinding teetch. The legs
were hardly as long as those of a cow, while
the head was as large as that of a racehorse or
other small breed of the domestic horse. All
these horses became extinct, both in North and
South America. It may have been that they
were unable to stand the cold of the winters,
probably longer continued and much more severe
during the Ice Age than now. It is very prob-
able that man — the early tribes of prehistoric
hunters — played a large part in extinguishing
the race. The competition with the bison and
the antelope, which had recently migrated to
America— -may have made it more difficult than
formerly for the American horse to get a living.
Or, nnally, some unknown disease or prolonged
season of drought may have exterminated the
In Central Asia, two wild races persist to the
present day; others were domesticated by man
in the earliest times, and their use in Chaldaca
and Egypt for draught and riding is depicted in
the ancient mural paintings. In Africa the
larger species became extinct in prehistoric
times, as in America, but the smaller zebras
still survive in the southern part of the con-
tinent (one species, the quagga, abundant 50
years ago, is now probably extinct), and the
African wild ass is found in the fauna of the
northern part. The wild horse of prehistoric
Europe, a small race, short-legged and shaggy-
haired, was domesticated by man, a fact that is
known from the rude drawings scratched on
bone or ivory by men of the Neolithic or Pol-
ished Stone Age. But the domestic horse now
in use is derived chiefly from the Asiatic race,
although it is probable that in some breeds
there is a considerable strain of this shaggy,
short-legged European race, and it is possible
also that African races may have been domes-
ticated and # to some extent mixed with the
Asiatic species. The domesticated ass is a de-
scendant of the African species.

The Evolution of the Horse. — The history
of the evolution of the horse through the
Tertiary Period or Age of Mammals affords the
best known illustration in existence of the doc-
trine of evolution by means of natural selection
and the adaptation of a race of animals to its
environment. The ancestry of this family has
been traced back to nearly the beginning of the
Tertiary without a single important break.

During this long period of time, estimated at
nearly 3,000,000 of years, these animals passed
through important changes in all parts of the
body, but especially in the teeth and feet, adapt-
ing them more and more perfectly to their
particular environment, namely the open plains
of a great plateau region with their scanty
stunted herbage, which is the natural habitat of
the horse. In the series of ancestors of the
horse we can trace every step in the evolution

Online LibraryWilfrid RichmondThe Americana: a universal reference library, comprising the arts ..., Volume 10 → online text (page 183 of 185)