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DISEASES OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM.
Affords a good illustration of the fact that the brain
depends for its well-being on the healthy working of the
stomach. When the stomach is very full, the ox may be
come comatose, so much so perhaps as even to exhibit a
tendency to fall down, especially if the head be elevated.
The respirations are slow and deep, the pulse slow and
full, and the pupils of the eyes dilated. In short, the
symptoms may simulate those caused by narcotic poisons.
Remedy.—Give at once a full cathartic dose, and also
suitable stimulants. The disorder, as compared to the
same in the horse, is rather rare and unimportant.
Is not to be looked upon as a disease in itself, but as
symptomatic of different kinds of brain disorder. It is
met with in inflammation of the brain, in certain blood
diseases, in acute indigestion, in impaction of the oma
sum, and as a result of some forms of poisoning, as, for
A delirious ox has a peculiarly wild look of the eye, is
excitable—perhaps even frantic and furious ; struggles vi
olently against restraint ; champs and exudes a frothy
saliva, &c. The best remedy is a bullet.
INFLAMMATION OF THE BRAIN (PHRENITIS),
Is not common among cattle, but it is dangerous. It
is declining in frequency. It is best distinguished from
simple delirium perhaps by the fact that there is a man-
REMEDY FOR PHREN1TIS.
ifestation of acute febrile symptoms. Either the mem
branes of the brain or the cerebral substance itself may
be first attacked. In the former case there is always
good reason to fear the extension of this process toward
the material of the brain.
When the coverings of the brain are inflamed, spasms,
pain, and delirium are shown. The ox is violent, champs
the teeth, scrapes, stamps, paws, charges at objects which
may be near, displays irregular movements and more or
less extreme convulsions. Sometimes these symptoms make
their appearance at the first onset of the attack, and the
loss of nerve power, the dull and stupid look, the more
or less marked paralysis, the loss of sensation, resulting
from the extension of inflammation to the brain itself,
come on later.
The disorder is peculiar to hot countries and hot sea
sons, especially if there be a sudden change from cold to
heat. Working oxen and the plethoric are the most lia
ble to it. A blow on the head, fracture of the skull,
tumors, eating distillery refuse, and perhaps ergotized
grasses all seem to be causes.
Symptoms.—Besides those already mentioned, the ox
appears sleepy or foolish ; pulse and respirations tardy ;
eyes red and wild looking ; head and horns hot ; tem
perature increased, &c.
Remedy.—Bleed freely ; cold water to head. Purge,
even with, croton oil. Hydrocyanic acid subcutaneously.
In many cases it is better to slaughter.
For doses, see pages 13 to 29.
MEGRIMS, FITS, STAGGERS (EPILEPSY),
Is peculiar to young and debilitated animals, and may
result from lack of blood or certain forms of blood dis
ease. Cattle suffer from gastric vertigo (not unlike epi
lepsy), and they may have epilepsy, it is said, as a result
of long sea voyages or rheumatism. The animal bellows,
THE DISEASES OF CATTLE.
froths at the mouth, and passes feces and urine involun
tarily. Usually the fits soon cease ; the ox rises and soon
appears healthy again. Fatten and slaughter.
Is eaused by overdistention and bursting of the blood
vessels of the brain and the consequent pressure of the
flowing blood on its walls, to fracture of the skull, or to
the bursting of an abscess. In a general way the disor
der arises from too much blood and from overdriving and
excitement in hot weather while in this condition.
Symptoms.—These vary in accordance with the seat
of the flowing blood. As a rule they are sudden and
marked ; looks dull ; reels and falls suddenly ; uncon
scious ; unable to move or feel ; blood vessels of head
and neck very full ; heart and lungs are the only organs
which exhibit life ; pulse small and thready ; breathing
slow, loud, and labored ; body covered with cold sweat ;
mouth open and animal breathing through it almost en
tirely ; eyes widely opened and rolling and staring ; pupils
dilated ; convulsive movements may show themselves, but
the muscles are usually soft and flaccid. &c.
Remedy.—Bleed and purge. Strong liniment to loins
and spine. If relief does not follow, slaughter.
May be due to many different causes, namely, exposure
in low, damp pastures, pressure of the fetus on the pos
terior aorta or the iliac arteries which supply the hind
limbs with blood, but which may cease after delivery ;
poisons, lead palsy, for instance ; pressure of tumors on
or disease of some part of the nervous system, falls, frac
tures, &c. (See page 51).
Remedy.—If severe, slaughter. If not, let the animal
lie comfortably and be frequently turned to avoid sores.
Iodide of iron internally and ointment of biniodide of
WATER ON THE BRAIN.
mercury may be useful. Nutritious, laxative food. Draw
urine with catheter frequently. Rub and keep affected
WATER ON THE BRAIN (HYDROCEPHALUS),
Is caused by the accumulation of watery fluid either
between or below the membranes which cover the brain.
It usually occurs in the fetus, in which case, in order to
deliver the fetus, the enormous head is tapped with a
Fig. 116. Hydrocephalus.
trocar (with long canula) or a knife. The head collapses.
The disorder may also appear after birth.
The same parasite that afflicts the brain of sheep may
afflict cattle. The disorder is known as ‘ turnsick.' Tre
phining may be tried,
268 THE DISEASES OF CATTLE.
MILK FEVER OR PARTURIENT APOPLEXY
May occur in three days after calving, though it is said
to come on before calving, and even several weeks after
ward. It often manifests itself after an easy delivery, in
warm weather, in plethoric subjects, in good milkers,
and in old animals ; seldom before the third calf ; usu
ally after the fifth. A cow that once suffers is liable to
Symptoms.—Restless ; raises first one hind foot then
the other, but not disposed to walk ; if forced to do so,
staggers ; appetite lost ; no milk ; eyes stare ; hind limbs
give way ; falls ; eyes now bloodshot, protruded, and in
sensible to touch ; general loss of sensation and voluntary
motion ; pulse full, soft, slow, but as disease progresses
becomes faster, smaller, and finally imperceptible ; breath
ing slow and after a time stertorous ; mucous membranes
purple ; head and horns hot ; perhaps delirious ; head
pitched about, or the animal may lapse into a state of
coma ; bowels and urinary organs stopped ; belly swollen
with wind, &c.
Remedy.—Bleed. Purge with Epsom salt, 12 to 16
oz., powdered ginger, ½ oz., in pint warm water. Draft :
Carbonate ammonium, 4 drams, powdered ergot, 1 oz.,
whisky or brandy, 6 oz., in pint warm water, every 4
hours. Inject ergotin hypodermically—15 or 20 grains.
Rub spine with liniment of ammonia, 1 part, compound
liniment of camphor, 1 part. Don't use liniment of bel
ladonna. Apply wet pack or ice bag to head. Milk reg
ularly. Draw urine with catheter. Digestible, laxative
Cows sometimes suffer with a kind of general nerv
ous debility during the latter period of pregnancy. They
are unable to rise, the body is cold, the pulse weak, and
bowels usually constipated. The disorder may persist after
Remedy.—Injections for bowels ; keep body warm ;
maintain strength ; stimulate and rub back.
Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis, so-called, may follow
calving. The cow stands and is free of coma. The bow
els may be only slightly deranged, or there may be a
fetid diarrhea. The patient may die of apoplexy in 4 or
5 days, or may gradually recover.
Softening of the Spinal Cord (myelitis) is not fre
quent in the ox. It usually accompanies tetanus (com
monly called lockjaw).
Stringhalt sometimes occurs. In one case, where a
number of animals were affected, it was attributed to
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