Home Veterinary Remedies, as Recommended by 19th and 20th Century Vets and Animal Doctors!
Courtesy of www.VeterinaryAdviceAndInformation.com


The Peoples Horse, Cattle, Sheep and Swine book


The Farmers Practical Guide


and please share with your online friends.




Is A comparatively mild and benign disease, lasting
from two to eight days. It disturbs all or nearly all the
chief functions of the body, occurs independently of local
inflammation or blood contamination, and is common
among horses brought into dealers’ stables.

Remedy.—Comfortable box ; fresh air and light ; quiet.
Clothe body ; bandage legs ; mild laxative. Salines ; am­
monium acetate solution ; potassium chlorate or nitrate ;
spirit nitrous ether. Mash diet ; gruel ; diluents ; with-
hold hard, dry food. Alcohol, ether, bitters,* acids ; tonic
as soon as acute symptoms abate. Catarrh, gastro­intesti­
nal or other special symptoms must receive appropriate
treatment. (For doses, see pages 13 to 29.)


Concurs with acute local inflammation.

Remedy.—Aconite ; occasional bleeding in early stages
in robust subjects. Aperients, salines, laxative injections.
Attend to any wounds ; remove any causes of irritation.

* Bitters are usually spirituous liquors in which bitter herbs or roots
have been steeped, such as aloes, cascarilla bark, various cinchona barks,
gentian, myrrh, nux vomica, quassia, &c. Combinations of acids and bitters
have long been used in dyspepsia, the good effects of the latter being
believed to result from their stimulating the movements of the stomach,
and from their action on the liver. (Dun.)

40                        THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.

Warm clothing, but cool air to breathe. Warm bath or
sponging with warm water. Sodium sulphite, sulpho-
carbolates, resorcin, or other antiseptics and antipyretics.
Alcohol and digitalis sustain heart tone. Salicylic acid
and salicin in rheumatic fever. Acids and bitters allay
thirst and aid digestion. Light, easily digested food ;
diluents ; salines in drinking water. For doses, see pages
13 to 29.


Occurs in most epizootics in connection with blood con­
tamination, in inflammation of mucous membranes, and
in debilitated subjects.

Remedy.—Mild laxatives and injections when required.
Salines, acids, bitters, antiseptics. Quinine, especially in
intermittent types. Arsenic in malarial cases. Alcohol,
ethers, or volatile oils promote excretion and maintain
heart action. Turpentine and iron salts for bleeding cases.
Suitable clothing ; diet ; hygiene (preservation of health) ;
sponging ; baths. For doses, see pages 13 to 29.


Also called Catarrhal Fever, Pink Eye, &c., is usually
epizootic and, comet-like, appears at irregular intervals.
‘ Its worst visitation in North America perhaps was that
of 1872-73. Little is known of the exact nature of the
disease. It differs in form and symptoms as it appears
in different localities and at different times. Robertson
describes four forms of the disease—(1) simple catarrhal ;
(2) pulmonary ; (3) intestinal catarrhal ; (4) rheumatic.
Some of these forms may be caused by active living or­
ganisms (mites). The disease is very infectious. Severe
cases constitute pink eye.

Symptoms.—Simple catarrhal : As before said, they
differ, but there are usually shivering fits, more or less
loss of appetite, sneezing, coughing ; a somewhat dry or



staring coat, eyes watery, the conjunctive membrane some­
times being of a clear pink color (pink eye) ; nasal mem­
brane red and dry ; pulse 60 to 70 ; temperature 104 ;
dullness, debility, &c. These symptoms may steadily in­
crease in severity. Runs its course in about 14 days.

The pulmonary form, which is dangerous, may either
follow or be independent of the simple form. It has three

Fig. 2. Confirmed Influenza.

forms—(1) capillary bronchitis ; (2) bronchitis with heart
disease ; (3) pneumonia, or rather pleuro-pneumonia.

The intestinal catarrhal form is sometimes so distinct,
and one of its symptoms or complications is so evidently
connected with the special functions of the liver, as to
cause it to be called bilious fever. The symptoms resem­
ble those of mild colic.

The rheumatic form is usually a sequel to the simple
catarrhal. The parts usually affected are the great ten­
dons of the flexor muscles of the foot.

Remedy.Isolate patient and disinfect the premises.
Comfortable box ; temperature 60 to 65° F. ; pure air.
Rugs, hood, bandage legs. Injections, linseed mashes and,
if necessary, a laxative for bowels. Liquor ammoniæ ace­



tatis, Epsom salt, and niter for fever. Mash diet, with
a little green food, till fever abates ; then digestible, con­
centrated, nutritive food.

Catarrhal symptoms treated by steaming head, medica­
ted inhalations, or sprays. (See ‘ Catarrh.’) Flannels
wrung out of hot water and mustard, or other embroca­
tions, to the throat relieve congestion of the upper air
passages. Embrocations are fluid remedies for in-rubbing.

Swelling symptoms, treated with salines and antiseptics,
require early use of such stimulants as alcohol, ether, oil
of turpentine, or ferric chloride solution.

Pneumonic cases : Liquor ammoniæ acetatis, potassium
nitrate or chlorate, and camphor. Fomentations to chest ;
mustard applied, but washed off in 15 or 20 minutes ;
reapplied if necessary, or injection of Savary’s mustard
extract. With salines give alcohol and ether, early, but
in moderate doses, every three hours.

(Gastro­intestinal complications treated in earlier stages
by a few doses of gray powder or calomel, conjoined with
laxatives ; in later stages by nitro-hydrochloric acid. Ab­
dominal pain relieved by chloral and cannabis indica in­
ternally, or by morphine hypodermically.

Rheumatic symptoms : Salicylic acid, oil turpentine,
diuretic doses of digitalis and salines, with stimulation of
affected muscles and joints. Patients, if reduced, require
milk, eggs, beef tea, and frequent alcoholic stimulants.
(For doses, see pages 13 to 29.)


Is a common and well defined disease, but veterinarians
are not agreed as to its exact cause or nature. It is at­
tributed by some to a strepto­coccus, which settle on and
irritate the nasal membrane. It is peculiar to but not lim­
ited to young horses, and seldom occurs but once. The
fever (Percivall calls it ' strangles fever ’) is nearly always
followed by an abscess or abscesses in the space between

STRANGLES.                                           43

the branches of the lower jaw, involving the adjacent
glands. The pus mites, it is said, are liable to be carried
to and inflame other glands in the shoulder, groin, or
internal organs.

The disease is probably contagious, and is sometimes
epizootic. It is well named, for it sometimes causes death
by strangulation. Robertson describes two forms of it—
“regular or benign,” which is easily cured, if not self-
curable, and “irregular and malignant,” which is dan­
gerous. It is disposed to run a regular course, and
should be aided rather than retarded. The tumor, when

Fig. 3. Poultice and 8-tailed bandage for Strangles.

ripe, may be lanced, or it may be allowed to burst nat­
urally. Its most dangerous sequels are pus fever and
purulent and putrid blood poisoning.

Symptoms.—Usually mild catarrhal discharges; dull;
cough, pickish appetite, throat sore, interfering with swal­
lowing ; head pointed forward ; mouth hot and dry ; may
be cutting the corner incisor teeth or the tushes; if so,
make crucial incisions over them ; in doubt till tumor
appears under the jaw ; tumor steadily increases in size,
becoming hard, defined, painful.

In the irregular or complicated form there is sometimes
a slight swelling at the jaw, but instead of maturing it
recedes, and may attack the glands of the head, neck,



chest, or even more remote parts, intensifying and mul­
tiplying the symptoms.

Remedy.—Good nursing ; soft or green food. Perfect
sanitary surroundings. Steam head where catarrhal symp­
toms are troublesome. Fomentations or poultices hasten
tardy abscesses. Sodium sulphite and potassium chlorate
in the drinking water oppose fever and blood poisoning.
Sweet spirit of niter and quinine also for blood poisoning.
Cleanse discharging abscess daily with carbolic oil. Iso­
late ; disinfect premises. Milk, eggs, beef tea, with ale
or wine if the animal is weak. When at grass, shelter
at night. For doses, see pages 13 to 29.

Tracheotomy affords instant relief, and is a safe op­
eration. The incision is made at the point indicated in
the annexed cut. Should it be made higher than this,

Fig. 4. Performing the operation of Tracheotomy by Lamp Light.

the tube will interfere with the application of a poultice.
Provided with a needle and thread, make a longitudinal
incision three or four inches in extent down to the wind­
pipe. After the windpipe has been pierced and the ani­
mal is in some measure relieved, draw the thread through


ERYSIPELAS.                                     45

the part that is to be removed, so that it cannot be drawn
inside and thus increase the impediment to breathing.
After this, cut out a circular piece of the tube about an
inch in diameter—a part of two of the rings that com­
pose the windpipe, not the whole of one—using a narrow
bladed knife. Then insert a pewter, ivory, or box-wood
tube, with shoulders, and holes through the shoulders, so
that it may be fastened around the neck with strings. A
piece of elder, three inches long, with notches cut in it,
will answer the purpose.

The tube will require to be taken out from time to
time and cleansed. The animal should be watched and
fed on well-made gruel. In time soft food may be given,
and, should the case take a
favorable turn, the tube may
be removed.

Should the violent effort nec­
essary in coughing inconveni­
ence the animal, on account
of the partial escape of the air
through the artificial opening,
place the hand over it, and
thus compel the escape of the
breath through the larynx, the
proper channel.
                                Fig. 5. The tube in use.


Is a specific, febrile, inflammatory disease of the skin
and its subjacent tissues. Erysipelas mites (strepto­coccus
erysipelatous) are said to be present. The disease is some­
times epizootic, and severe cases are frequently fatal. It
is peculiar to the hind legs. The swelling is diffuse and
is accompanied with eruption and great pain.

The disease differs from scarlet fever in that the swell­
ing is uniform and firm, not in patches ; from purpura in

46                        THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.

that it is local and painful, not irregularly distributed and
comparatively painless ; from acute farcy in that there
are no corded lymphatics, and that the sores, when they
exist, have no hard, circumscribed bases ; from lymphan­
gitis in that there are vesicles, sloughing sores, gangrene,
and sometimes structural changes in the membrane of the
mouth and upper air passages ; also that it frequently
begins in the region of the hock, not in the inguinal
(groin) region.

Remedy.—Aperients for irritation ; aconite for fever.
Salines, potassium chlorate, with spirit of camphor. Hot
fomentations for several hours ; then moisten with borax
solution and laudanum. Hypodermic injections of anti­
septics sometimes limit swellings. Belladonna, internally
and locally, paralyzes sensory nerves. Open all abscesses.
Cleanliness, good sanitary surroundings, generous diet.
Milk, eggs, beef tea, alcoholic stimulants. Ferric chlo­
ride solution, externally and locally, especially in weak
patients ; also quinine. (For doses, see pages 13 to 29.)


Is characterized by fieabite-like scarlet spots on the mu­
cous membrane of the nose and mouth, scattered skin
eruptions—sometimes suppurations—and sore throat and
neck glands. It is a sequel of other diseases—epizootic
catarrh, &c. Unlike human scarlatina, it is non-conta-
gious. There are two forms—the simple, and the com­
plicated and severe. In the former the pulse varies from
60 to 70 ; in the latter 90 to 100, with great soreness of
throat, a loud, moist cough, a yellowish-red mucous dis­
charge from the nose and mouth after each cough, &c.

Remedy.—Comfortable box; light, digestible, laxative
food. Water, given with sodium sulphite and hyposul­
phite, as antiseptics. Ammonium acetate, spirit nitrous
ether and camphor in draught, thrice daily, abate fever.
Medicines given in electuary when swallowing is difficult.



Inhalation of hot water vapor, medicated with antiseptics or
anodynes, relieve breathing. Fomentations, woolen cloths,
soaked in hot water or hot oil, for sore throat. Fomen­
tations with hot water, mixed with sulphurous acid, for
external swelling. Gargles of potassium chlorate, borax,
or sulphurous acid lessen discharge and fetor from mouth
and throat. Daily rubbing with vaselin or glycerine and
water removes scaling crusts. Small doses of alcoholic
stimulants, acid solutions of quinine or iron salts help
recovery. Rest, carefully regulated, nutritive diet during
convalescence. (For closes, see pages 13 to 29.)


Is an eruptive, intermittent, non-contagious fever, usu­
ally, but not always, a sequel to another disease, as in­
fluenza, catarrh, or strangles. Blood issues from the flea-
bite-like spots on the mucous membranes and a bloody
whey from the skin swellings. The latter are painful,
hot, hard, and shining, with small spots on the uncolored

Fig. 6. Head deformed by Purple            Pig. 7. Leg of horse suffering from

Fever (Purpura Hæmorrhagica).                              same disease.

surfaces. Vesicles about the size of a pea appear on the
lower part of the limbs, and cracks at the flexures of the

48                        THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.

limbs, from which an unhealthy amber or purple colored
discharge issues. The sheath, abdomen, breast, lips, nos­
trils, eyelids, &c., swell.

The disease is usually caused by blood contamination,
but it may arise from defective drainage, ventilation, or
bad food.

Remedy.—Potassium chlorate, 3 or 4 drams, 2 or 3
times daily ; then half doses ; usually given in drinking
water. Iron salts, sulphate, perchloride ; quinine, oil of
turpentine. Good hygienic conditions. Concentrated,
nutritive diet ; oatmeal gruel, milk, eggs, alcoholic stim­
ulants. Swellings, when limited and about head, bathed
with cold water and refrigerants ; when about throat, body,
and legs, hot fomentations preferable, especially in cold
weather. Avoid scarification unless swellings are large
and causing inconvenience. Scrupulous cleanliness and
antisenytic dressings while skin is ulcerating or sloughing.
Open Windpipe if necessary. (For doses, see pages 13
to 29.)


Is a specific horse disease, characterized by congestion
and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord and their
nerve centers, causing paralysis, dizziness, and sudden
falling to the ground. The neck and dorsal (back) mus­
cles contract so violently as to sometimes draw the head
back ; the eyes are wild and injected, the head tossed
about, &c. The disease is probably caused by a specific
poison. It is often enzootic or epizootic, and always dan­
gerous. In veterinary medicine ‘ enzooticand ‘ epizootic
correspond to ‘ endemicand ‘ epidemic in human med­
icine. Enzootic diseases are local, and are confined to as
well as peculiar to (if not the product of) certain districts.
Epizootics are general, and may spread from country to
country, like the terrible influenza epizootic of 1872-73.

HORSE-POX AND DIPHTHERIA.                        49

Remedy.—Slings if unable to stand. Full dose of
aloes ; salines, laxative clyster injections, and mash diet.
Small, repeated doses of alcohol and quinine for prostra­
tion. Counter-irritation to spine ; ammonia and soap lini­
ments; ice bag to spine. If urine is not passed freely,
use catheter. Chloral hydrate and atrophine hypodermic-
ally relieve spasms and pain. Also ergotin and atrophine.
Iron salts and strychnine for paralysis. (For doses, see
pages 13 to 29.)


Is a specific, contagious fever, depending on a microbe
(mite) affecting the skin and mucous surfaces, and pass­
ing through papular, vesicular, and pustular stages. Rare.
(Dun.) The fever is mild—continued or intermittent—
and tends to self-cure.

Remedy.—Salines ; antiseptics internally, cooling, lax­
ative diet. Borax and sulphurous acid solutions abate
irritation of aphthae (roundish, pearl-colored vesicles) in
mouth and throat. Lead subacetate solution, with glyc­
erine and water, relieve skin eruptions. Isolate and dis­
infect. (For doses, see pages 13 to 29.)


Is a specific fever, characterized by inflammation of the
throat, accompanied by exudation and softening of mucous
surfaces. Contagious. Affects horses and dogs occasion­

Remedy.—Ice sucked. Spray with chlorine, iodine,
iodoform solutions. Ferric chloride tincture, internally
and locally. Electuaries of boro-glycerine or glycerine of
carbolic acid ; belladonna electuaries relieve congestive
stage. Sodium sulphites and hyposulphites and sulpho-
carbolates internally and locally. Salicylic acid and pilo-
carpine aid in dissolving false membrane. Soft, nutritive
food ; eggs, beef tea, alcohol. For doses, see pages 13 to

50                        THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.

29. Boro-glycerine, or boro-glyceride, is made of 92 parts
of glycerine to 62 of boric acid. Glycerine of carbolic
acid is made of 1 part of the acid to 4 of glycerine.

A few fevers—more common to cattle than to horses—
appear in Part II.


Is a nervous, febrile disease, originating in the dog,
occasionally in the cat, caused by a specific microbe (mite)
in the saliva of the rabid animal. Pasteur has demon­
strated that dogs and other animals inoculated with cul­
tivated virus do not take the disease when bitten
by a
rabid dog, nor when inoculated with virus which would
kill unprotected animals He also claims that the culti-
vated virus is usually protective, if used shortly
after the
bite. (Dun. ) Speaking of Pasteur’s experiments Williams
says : “If rabies be not of spontaneous origin, and if the
experiments all turn out successful, there seems to be no
reason why rabies should not be entirely extirpated.” But
he thinks the disease is sometimes
spontaneous. He fur­
ther says that Pasteur has
succeeded in rendering ani­
mals absolutely proof against the poison of rabies."

Symptoms.—The disease is manifested in a variety of
ways. Sometimes there is
great apparent distress, sudden
perspirations, unruliness, stamping and pawing violently,
and finally becoming frantic and dangerous. Sometimes
the horse will bite the wound, tearing the skin off ; in­
tolerance of light, nervousness, eyes fixed and staring,
pupils dilated ; ears worked ; saliva abundant. There are
intervals of quiet between the fits, but they become shorter
and the fits more dangerous.

Remedy.—When the disease is developed, there is no
cure, but excising the wound
and then cauterizing it with
caustic potash or silver nitrate may possibly prevent its

SPASMS, CONVULSIONS, PARALYSIS.                    51


Spasms are involuntary muscular contractions. When
attended with pain, they are called cramp. When consist­
ing of alternate contractions and relaxations, they are called
clonic spasm. When the rigidity is permanent, they are
called tonic spasm, as in lock­ jaw. Convulsions are mus­
cular spasms of comparatively greater severity and extent
than ordinary or local spasms, but are essentially the same
in nature. The cause of the disorder is probably nervous
disturbance. The fibers of a spasmed muscle feel hard
and are shortened and swollen.

The disorder, which is rare, often attacks the hind
legs, when it may be mistaken for spavin (concealed or
not), hock disease, or patella dislocation. (The patella is
the whirl-bone of the stifle joint. The whirl-bone corres­
ponds to the knee-cap in man.) The duration of the
cramp varies from minutes to hours and hours to days.
Relapses are common. Sometimes the disorder is of an
epileptic character (fits).

Symptoms.—When of a limb, sudden lameness; limb
may be dragged, or there may be both hopping and drag­
ging ; hind leg may be caught up and thrown out in an
awkward manner ; standing position natural.

Remedy.—For ordinary cramp of leg, exercise. Chlo­
ral hydrate, 3 to 4 drams. Chloroform inhaled and swal-
lowed. When of spinal origin, morphine subcutaneously
(under the skin) ; spinal ice bag. When of cerebral (brain)
origin, bromides or ammonia internally. Cold water or
ice to head. When reflex, remove source of irritation.
(For doses, see pages 13 to 29.)


Or loss of motor power, is a symptom of disease rather
than disease itself. It is nevertheless of great importance,
for it is dangerous. It is of four kinds—general, unilat-

52                        THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.

eral (one side), transverse (before or behind), and local.
Traseverse paralysis, on account of its intimate relation
to the spinal cord, is often called spinal paralysis.’ (Rob­

Paralysis is caused by falls or blows, fractures or inju­
ries, especially of the spine ; overwork, blood poisoning,
grass staggers, the use of the vetch known as lathyrus
sativus,’ &c. When horses are quartered in low, wet, cold
pastures, especially where there is stagnant water and cold
air currents, the disorder is liable to become epizootic.
The attack is usually sudden. The hind legs are very
susceptible to the disorder. It often affects first one leg
and then the other. The sense of feeling as well as mo­
tion may be lost, which may be detected by pricks, pinches,
or blows.

Symptoms —If of hind quarters, horse down, strug­
gling with fore feet to get up ; in extreme cases the rec­
tum and bladder are also paralyzed ; evacuations may be
retained, but oftener pass involuntarily ; when retained,
remove artificially.

In complete paralysis of side, horse down on affected
side ; in incomplete, can stand and even drag itself along ;
head, neck, loins, and hind quarters incline to one side ;
affected eye sunken ; ear lops ; lips pendulous and drawn
aside ; drinking and mastication difficult.

In paralysis of head, the face is distorted ; corners of
mouth drawn upward ; mastication impracticable ; sight
affected, but eyes retain power of motion. The disease
called glass eye may follow paralysis of the head.

Remedy.—Rest, quiet. Light, digestible food. Salines,
tonics. Friction, blisters, electricity, impart nervous and
muscular tone. Potassium iodide and salines if dependent
on pressure from fluid. Trephine and raise bone if from
depression of cranial bones. Remove any gastric, uterine,
or other local irritation, or blood contamination. Nux
vomica and strychnine stimulate motor centers and nerves.



When caused by embolism (blood clots or foreign bodies
plugging vessels), or by thrombosis (escape of a fluid and
the injury caused thereby) treat the first by rest, concen­
trated, rather spare diet, and ammonia salts ; the second
by refrigerant applications or fomentations, bitters, and
scarification when the swelling causes inconvenience. (For
doses, see pages 13 to 29.)


Has four forms. 1. Cramp of the muscles of the face
and neck, causing the jaws to close ; the most common
form. 2. Cramp of the muscles of the back and loins,
causing elevation of the head and sinking of the loins.
3. Bending the body and neck forward, with arching of
the spine. 4. Bending the body laterally.

Fig. 8. Testing Tetanus. When the head is raised the haw projects over

the eye.

The exact nature of the disease is still a matter of dis­
pute. Some horses seem to be predisposed to it. The
nerve centers chiefly if not solely affected are the medulla
oblongata and spinal cord. The medulla oblongata lies
between and connects the brain and spinal cord.

* Lock-jaw is only one of four different forms of Tetanus. This important
fact should be borne in mind ; otherwise an intelligent diagnosis (determina­
tion) of the disease is impossible.

54                         THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.

The disease is either acute or chronic. The acute form,
which usually results from wounds, is rapid in its course
and very dangerous. It is perhaps sometimes spontaneous
and epizootic. It attacks young as well as old. and lasts
from one to three or four weeks. When curable, the
turn comes in about ten days.

The disease has many causes. A nail in the foot, a
mere tread, punctures, amputation of the tail, docking,
saddle galls, castration, especially where caustic clamps
are used ; intestinal irritation, either from foreign bodies
or parasites ; sudden changes of temperature, especially
after clipping ; strychnine internally or injected ; in fact,
any violence. It may occur even after a wound has healed.
Dun says the “ involuntary tonic (rigid) muscular spasms "
of tetanus are probably caused by a microbe. The mites
would cause irritation of course.

Fig. 9. Feeding a horse suffering with chronic Tetanus. A catheter passed
through the nostril to the stomach; gruel pumped in.

Symptoms.—First stage: Neck, back, and loins stiff;
appetite lost; swallowing difficult; lips about natural;
discharge of saliva; jaws refuse to separate naturally;
grinding of teeth ; nose elevated and slightly protruded ;
facial muscles twitch; excitable, irritable; throws head

TETANUS—MEGRIMS.                                  55

up if touched; eyes watchful, brilliant, the haws, their
natural shield, shooting across the eyeballs; pulse little
increased, but rather hard and incompressible.

Second stage : Muscles cramped generally; head drawn
upward and backward, presenting deer-like aspect; hence
the name “ stag-evil;" tail elevated and tremulous ; limbs
stretched ; countenance haggard, ghastly ; eyes wild, star­
ing, protruded, haws shooting over balls, if excited ; other­
wise dull and sunken ; ears erect, rigid; nose protruded ;
nostrils dilated ; gait hobbling; jaws more firmly locked,
&c, &c.

Third stage : Symptoms much the same, but intensified,
and distress more general. Sometimes the windpipe is
opened to prevent suffocation. Fatal.

Remedy.—Put in dark box; perfect quiet; loosely in
slings. Aloes, aided by nutritive mashes, gruel, molasses.
Salines in drinking water, kept within reach. Will suck
up sloppy food even when the jaws are closed. Foment
or poultice wound; remove any cause of irritation and
apply anodynes. Powdered opium and cannabis indica
extract, 30 grains each, softened by admixture of ammo­
nium acetate solution, 3 times daily among molar teeth.
Bromides and chloral hydrate give temporary, sometimes
permanent relief. (For doses, see pages 13 to 29.)


Is brain disturbance (cerebral congestion). Its usual
cause is tight or badly fitting collars. This seems to be
proved by the fact that horses subject to it are free of it
if worked with a band across their breast; further, by
the fact that loosening the collar soon stops a fit. If the
collar is not loosened manually, the horse will plunge
about till it falls, and thus loosen it itself. The disease
has other causes, such as general plethora (too much blood)
increased action of the heart, disturbed vaso-motor (vessel
movement) activity, &c.

56                        THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.

Symptoms.—Stops suddenly; shakes head either from
side to side or upward and downward; head sometimes
turned aside; head and throat vessels distended, their

Fig. 10. Characteristic look after repeated attacks of Megrims.

respective muscles twitching rapidly ; eyes stare; nostrils
dilated; breathing rapid or stertorous; fore legs often
wide apart, as if for support; skin damp from perspiration.
Remedy.—Treat as above stated. Cold water on head.
Walking exercise. Hand-rubbing of body and legs. Mod­
erate bleeding or physic sometimes useful.


Is inflammation of the lymphatic glands, absorbent ves­
sels and blood vessels, especially of the legs. It is pecu­
liar, as the name indicates, to lymphatic temperaments.
It is attributed to general disturbance of function, especi­
ally digestion and assimilation. Overfeeding and idleness,
cold and wet, nails in the feet, inherent tendency, he­
redity, &c, are predisposing causes. The blood abounds
in serum (a greenish yellow fluid). The second day after
it is drawn the clot will swim in it. In repeated attacks
the skin becomes thick and rough, as in elephantiasis.
Sometimes abscesses dot the limb, especially the inner



part. In chronic cases the lymph glands are sometimes
filled with calcareous material, grating when cut into.

The swelling of the limb is sudden, and usually reaches
its hight in from 24 to 48 hours, remaining stationary
equally long before declining. Any limb is susceptible to
the disease, but it is a curious as well as interesting fact
that the one usually affected is the left hind leg.

Symptoms.—Leg swollen, tolerably firm, hot, painful
and sometimes moist, the swelling being from above down­
ward; when severe, drops of a yellowish fluid bedew the
skin ; fever active, and sometimes ushered in by shivering
fits; pulse 75 to 95, the artery being tense and cord-like;
in severe cases the breathing is hurried, short, catching;
internal temperature increased from two to five degrees;
mouth clammy ; bowels inclined to be confined ; urine—
not at first increased in quantity—is of a higher specific
gravity than natural; appetite more or less impaired, with
increased desire for fluids ; slight restlessness, sometimes
simulating colicky pains; anxious countenance; looks
back repeatedly.

Remedy.—Bleed robust subjects and where fever is
acute. Purge, laxative injections, and salines in drinking
water. Bran mashes. Aconite for acute fever. Hot fomen­
tations for several hours; then swathe legs lightly in woolen
or hay bandages. If tender and painful, moisten with
soap liniment and laudanum. Clothe well in cold weather.
Stimulants where preliminary rigor is severe or continued.
Exercise is injurious during acute symptoms, but­ service­
able later.

In hard-worked and debilitated subjects, bleeding and
aconite unsuitable. Give them a half dose of physic and
salines ; foment leg; turpentine and alcoholic stimulants.

Aid reduction of swelling by exercise, followed by mod­
erate work. Smart friction of leg daily, with oil. Diu­
retics and tonics; iodine or potassium iodide internally;
laxative diet and green food.



Careful regulation of food, work, and rest diminish the
chances of relapses. (For doses, see pages 13 to 29.)


Is a tumor or enlargement in any part of the body,
caused by the protrusion, by rupture, of a viscus or part
through its natural cavity. When the part can be re­
turned to its proper cavity, the hernia is called i reduci­
ble:’ when it cannot, it is ' irreducible;’ when it in­
terferes with the circulation, it is ‘ strangulated.’ The
kind or name of the hernia depends on the part affected.
The most common and important kind is


It occurs in stallions, but is rare in geldings. It is
comparatively rare in this country and England, but in
France, Germany, India, Arabia, &c, where castration is
but little practiced, it is common. The causes are over­
straining of any kind, kicks, &c, but the latter is very
rare. It rarely exists on both sides at once. It is peculiar
to the right. Sometimes it is imperceptible, the small
intestines, which are the cause of it, not protruding fur­
ther than the inguinal canal. In this case feel for them.
When the intestines descend to the scrotum, the hernia
is called ' scrotal hernia.’ Castration is necessary to a
permanent cure.

When the hernia is imperceptible, the following are the

Symptoms.—Indisposition to work; head erected; ap­
petite impaired; pain succeeding, animal breathes deeply,
paws, and assumes various postures for relief. Sometimes
the horse seems to be suffering from fatigue ; at length
pulse becomes thready ; eyes reddened and pupils dilated;
inflammation causes slight colic.

The symptoms of scrotal hernia are very distinct, but
as the disorder is visible and the services of a surgeon
are necessary, a description of them is superfluous A


case is recorded wherein the scrotum hung down nearly
to the hocks.

Sometimes hernia follows castration, caused by straining
perhaps. Frequently it is congenital, disappearing in from
three to six months. It may exist in the fetus (fœtus.)

Remedy.—Cast, and return the bowel by hand, and if
need be by application of ice or refrigerants. If this fails,
enlarge constricting ring. Covered castration operation in


Is protrusion of a part of a bowel through the navel.
It is peculiar to the young, and is common in breeding
districts. Many require no treatment at all; others do,
for they sometimes cause death. In serious cases send for
a veterinary surgeon.

Remedy.—Fast for several hours; cast, place on the
back, and return the protruded part. Retain in position
by stitches, clamps of wood or iron, skivers or elastic lig­
ature. Cantharides blister applied to adjacent skin causes
swelling, and in slight cases shuts up opening.


Is caused by kicks, staking, the thrust of a horn, or
other violence. It is rarely dangerous. When small and
recent, the opening is usually closed by a blister. When
necessary, after returning the part, cut down and stitch
the opening.

Cases of artificial anus are recorded in both belly and
navel hernia. Hernia of the bladder is recorded. It was
as large as a man’s fist, and was separated from and hung
below the scrotum.


A narrow, suppurating canal, may be internal or ex­
ternal, superficial or deep-seated, complete or incomplete,



that is, have an external or internal opening only, or
both. The canal may be short or a foot or more in length.
Fistulæ (pleural of fistula) are caused by diseased bone,
cartilage, tendon, &c, and are hard to heal.

Remedy.—Before pus is formed, reduce inflammation
with cold water to the part; then iodine and a purge;
do not puncture. After pus is formed, enlarge the canal
with a knife ; pass seton or otherwise provide dependent
opening. Remove diseased bone or other irritant. En­
courage healing of wound from below. Where the knife
is unsuitable, inject saturated solution of corrosive subli­
mate, or sulphate of copper or zinc Where milder treat­
ment fails, slough out ulcerating surfaces and secreting
walls with corrosive sublimate or arsenic plug. Dress with
carbolic acid or other antiseptic. (For doses, see pages 13
to 29.)


Is a fistulous ulcer at the poll of the neck, near the
ears. From a simple swelling it develops into a tumor, from
a tumor into an abscess, and from an abscess into deep-
seated, chasm-like ulcers. It is caused by tight bearing-

Fig. 11. Poll-Evil; ready for operation.

reins, blows, bruises, pressure, friction, &c A stiff and
hard halter or other head­gear or collar may cause fric-

FISTULA IN THE WITHERS.                            61

tion, and a low door­way or loft floor may cause bruises.
The disease is slow and hard to cure. It will penetrate
to the bone, and has been known to cause pressure upon
the brain.

As poll-evil is the result of mismanagement, its best
remedy is the avoidance of the cause. For remedy, see
Fistula’ (page GO).


Like poll-evil, is the result of mismanagement and in­
juries. The withers are usually injured by saddles, har­
ness-pads, and collars. In chronic cases, or what may be
called the third stage, the disease will penetrate to and
cause disease of the bone, as in poll-evil.

The first stage of the fistula is a tumor. It may be
swelled, hot, and tender, or it may be indolent, mani­
festing neither heat nor tenderness. The former requires
a cooling lotion, applied with linen; the latter, which
usually has an eschar (crust or scab) on its summit, re­
quires a bagged bran poultice, confined by a surcingle.

Fig. 12. Fistulous Withers; worst stage.

The formation of pus may be called the second stage
of the disease. Some of the sinuses or holes are of such
depth that ordinary probes are useless. When practicable,
the abscess should be laid open, to afford vent for the
pus. When not practicable, a counter-opening may ac-

02                        THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.

complish this purpose. When practicable, setons in the
fistulous canals will not only keep the apertures open, but
will aid healthy granulation. Carious bone, cartilage, or
ligament should be removed.
Remedy.—See 'Fistula.’


Is rare. It is a sinuous opening, communicating with
the interior of the duct, through which saliva is dis­
charged, especially during mastication. In chronic cases
the duct becomes so enlarged by the accumulation of saliva
that, instead of being comparable to a goose quill, it will
admit the finger. The situation of the fistula may be the
angle of the bone, the inner border of the jaw, or the
side of the cheek. The discharge of saliva proclaims the
nature of the case. The causes of the disease are abscess
of the gland, strangles (the disease), and injuries of all

Remedy.—Percivall cured two cases with the follow­
ing injection : Lunar caustic, ½ dram; nitric acid, 1
dram; distilled water, 1 ounce. Judging by experience,
he recommends that the quantity of water be doubled.
In the second case treated by him, the gland was de­
stroyed. Distilled water is made as follows : Take of water
10 gallons; distill 2 pints of impurities and throw them
away; then distill 8 gallons. Put in glass bottles. Dis­
tillation is the operation by which, with the aid of heat and
closed vessels, the volatile or liquid parts of bodies are sep­
arated from the fixed or solid. Distillation is purification.


When on account of the friction caused by the action
of the muscles of the tail, is greatly benefited by confin­
ing the tail to a rope fastened around the neck, the same
as horse dealers do when they link their horses together
for traveling. (Percivall.)

DIABETES, RHEUMATISM.                              63


Is a complex morbid condition, originating in or closely
connected with certain disturbances in the process of as­
similation, evidenced by excessive secretion of urine, great
and persistent thirst, rapid emaciation and loss of energy,
and in one form (the serious) characterized by the pres­
ence of saccharine (sugar) material in the urine. (Rob­
ertson.) Musty pats or hay, badly saved fodder, malted
barley, impure water, &c., are predisposing causes. A
horse has been known to drink 38 gallons of Water in 5
hours. (Percivall.)

Remedy.—Half dose of physic. Iodine with potassium
iodide. With iodine alternate or conjoin iron salts. Chalk
or whiting in manger for acidity. Phosphoric acid and
bitters lessen thirst. Change food. Moderate supply of
water, with which mix sodium bicarbonate and wheaten
flour or oatmeal. (For doses, see pages 13 to 29.)


Is an inflammation of the fibrous structures of the joints,
tendons, ligaments, sheaths of muscles, or of the heart
and closed cavities, caused by a specific condition of the
blood, and accompanied by fever, stiffness, and lameness.
It is shifting or erratic in its character. (Williams) It
is believed to depend on the accumulation in the body of
some product of nutritive derangement, probably lactic
(milk) acid. (Dun.) Cold, dampness, predisposition, the
debility caused by other diseases, and heredity are its chief
causes perhaps.

Remedy.—Alkalies, potassium bicarbonate and nitrate
in drinking water. Ammonium acetate and colchicum.
Hot fomentations or flannels wrung out of hot water or
oil to affected parts. Then moisten with aconite, opium,
or other anodynes. When acute symptoms abate, quinine,
arsenic, Donovan’s solution internally. Quiet, comforta-



ble quarters. Flannels soaked with hot oil and alkaline
solutions, kept on for 1 or 2 hours, for stiffness and swell­
ing. Then soap liniment. Light work. If mild reme­
dies fail, apply cantharides ointment. Actual cautery
sometimes required in chronic articular (joint) rheumatism.
No bleeding. (For doses, see pages 13 to 29.) Actual cau­
tery means the application of a red hot iron.


Remedy.—Change diet and surroundings. Exercise.
Alteratives; potassium iodide; phosphorus and canthar-
ides, small doses. Gradual reducing of fat, plethoric sub­
jects. Good diet and tonics for debilitated. Dilate os
uteri if it be impervious. Change male. (For doses, see
pages 13 to 29.) The 'os uteri’ is the mouth of the


Says Percivall, may arise from general or local plethora,
obstructed circulation, deficient absorption, or a thin or
watery condition of the blood. They are either external
or internal, acute or chronic External dropsy is a col­
lection of watery fluid in the cellular membrane beneath
the skin. In internal dropsy the fluid fills the cavities
of the body—the chest, belly, head, &c

Dropsy is the result of vascular (vessel) disturbance.
Vascular disturbance is therefore the exciting cause of
dropsy; debility is the predisposing cause.

“ Turned out " horses are often dropsical. They ex­
change a warm atmosphere for a cold and moist one, a
generous for a low diet, and sometimes wholesome for
unwholesome water.




The peritoneum is a watery membrane lining the ab­
dominal cavity. Anything that disturbs its healthy action,
such as disease of the liver, heart, kidneys, spleen, or
omentum (a prolongation of the peritoneum); improper
or insufficient food, exposure to cold, &c., may cause
dropsy. It is sometimes complicated with hydrothorax
and dropsy of the pericardium—a sequel sometimes of the
latter. The pale, straw-colored fluid—aggregating gallons
—is sometimes mixed with flakes of lymph. The disease
is peculiar to the young rather than the old.

Symptoms.—Dull; if in the field, alone; appetite and
general condition bad; disposed to rest; abdomen becomes
gradually pendulous; pulse weak and rather frequent;
membranes blanched. These symptoms may become in­
tensified and multiplied, the swelling extending to the
limbs, &c. When the liver is much diseased, the urine
is always scanty and biliary; when the kidneys are dis­
eased, it is charged with albumen.

Remedy.—Diuretics, salines, oil of turpentine. Digi­
talis in heart complications. Combat liver complications.
(See liver diseases.) Tapping gives relief.

Shelter, good food, some exercise. Cautious use of prep­
arations of iron. When bowels confined, moderate doses
of aloes at long intervals, or sulphate of soda steadily.
For albumen in urine, perchloride or sulphate of iron,
with dilute sulphuric acid, alternated with solution of
iodine or iodide of potassium—one in morning, other at
night—using diuretics, if at all, sparingly. Remove local
swelling by fomentation, smart friction, with simple oil,
and moderate exercise. For chronic, debilitated cases, 2,
3, or even 4 ounces cod-liver oil, twice a day, mixed with
4 or 5 eggs. (For doses, see pages 13 to 29.)

66                      THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.


Swell the legs, sheath, breast, belly, lips, eyelids, &c.
They are often the result of either constitutional disease
or deficiency and poverty of blood. They are external—
beneath the skin—but in chronic cases there may be in­
ternal accumulations also, and sometimes sympathetic in­
flammation of the air passages. The latter is a very dan­
gerous complication. The swellings have a soft feel and
pit on pressure. Dullness, loss of appetite, strength, and
flesh, short and difficult breathing, and frequent and in­
distinct pulse are characteristic symptoms.

Remedy.—Turkish baths. Digitalis infusion and strych­
nine are useful in most dropsies, especially in dropsy of
the heart, in which give with salines. Copaiba in heart
and liver cases. Laxatives and potassium iodide in kid­
ney cases. Encourage vicarious functions of bowels and
skin in kidney cases. Iron and salines for lack of blood.
Friction, shampooing, external stimulants. Draw off water
with trocar. Also with aspirator (injection-like syringe).
Acupuncture (the introduction of needles into the living
tissues for remedial purposes.)

For doses, see pages 18 to 29.


Is rare.

Remedy.—Evacuate by trocar and canula. Injection
of iodine or other astringent solution.


Is a kind of dropsy. It is usually situated on the outer
side of the thigh, in front of the stifle, the breast, the
shoulder, and the arm. Though circumscribed, the ab­
scesses are occasionally of considerable size. Their shape
is ovoid, flattened upon the surface. They have a soft,
fluctuating feel, and, when punctured, emit a jet of straw-



colored fluid, very like the serum (water or whey) of the
blood. They are caused by blows or other contusions.
Percivall suggests that there may be another kind of serous
abscess—one that arises spontaneously.

Remedy.—Do not attempt to disperse these tumors.
Lance them. Inject with one of the following mixtures :
1. White vitriol. 1 scruple; distilled water, 1 ounce. 2.
Lunar caustic, 1 scruple; distilled water, 1 ounce. Or
pass a seton through the enlargement. After the injec­
tion, or after the withdrawal of the seton, a compress and
roller will agglutinate the sides of the cavity. The seton
should be retained only till healthy pus is produced. In
some cases, especially where a bandage cannot be kept on
nor a seton be inserted, sloughing the sac with a sharp
escharotic (caustic), such as powdered blue vitriol, is the
best means of cure. (Percivall.)


Is a malignant, contagious, and fatal disease, due to
the introduction into the animal economy, or of genera­
tion within it, of a virus (said by Dr. Struck of Berlin
to consist of an organism, the ‘ Bacillus mallei.’ about the
same size as those of tuberculosis), which, infecting the
whole system, shows specific effects on the nasal mem­
brane, the lungs, and the lymphatic glands and ducts.
It originates spontaneously in the horse, ass, and mule,
and is transmissible to sheep, goats, dogs, cats, mice, and
rabbits; also to man, in whom the virus seems to increase
in malignancy. Cattle, swine, and fowl resist it, even
when inoculated. It may occur under at least four forms—
acute and chronic glanders; acute (bud) and chronic
(button) farcy. (Williams.)

Old age, bad food and management, overwork, exhaust­
ing diseases, such as diabetes insipidus; specific miasmatic



or animal poisons, especially those of overcrowded stables,
&c; are believed to be predisposing causes of glanders.

The discharge from the nostrils caused by caries of the
nasal bones and the roots of the upper molar teeth (the
back molars), is sometimes mistaken for glanders. This
need not be if the following facts are noted : In glanders
the discharge, at first, is never fetid ; in caries it is ahvays
fetid. In glanders, however, the discharge becomes very
offensive in the course of time. The latter fact is very
valuable in a diagnostic point of view.

When described as distinct diseases, glanders is said to
affect the nasal membrane, farcy the skin.

Remedy.—Dress farcy buds with mercuric iodide oint­
ment or stick of silver nitrate. Sodium hyposulphite;
iron and copper sulphates; arsenic internally. Liberal
diet; exercise desirable, except in acute cases. Isolate
from healthy animals; disinfect. Treatment only pallia­
tive. Better slaughter. (For doses, see pages 13 to 29.)


Consists in the excessive development of the tissues
which occupy the canals and cells of bones, while at the
same time the actual quantity of bony matter remains
unaltered. (Rokitansky.) From perverted nutrition the
bones are thus swollen and brittle. The cartilaginous
tissues, and even the teeth, undergo similar degeneration.
The disease occurs in horses, cattle, and sheep.

Incurable. Prevention consists in furnishing food con­
taining a proper proportion of all the elements of nutrition.

FLYBLOW (Magots from),

If neglected, may result in death. Sheep suffer more
perhaps than horses.

Remedy.—Turpentine; tar oil; corrosive sublimate

RICKETS.                                                69


Is faulty development and softening (causing bending)
of the bones of young animals, depending on disordered
nutrition of the osseous (bony) tissue ; in fact, to the mal-
assimilation and non-development of the materials neces­
sary to the formation of
bone — namely, phosphate
and carbonate of lime.

Rickets appears when
the patient is a few weeks
or months old, and is caus­
ed by constitutional debil­
ity, scrofulous taint, or by
external and preventable
causes. Thus we find it
in calves that are not al­
lowed to suckle their moth­
er, and in foals that suckle
but two or three times a
day, the mother being at
work. Young animals fed
on artificial food instead of
milk, and not allowed prop­
er exercise, or reared under
any unnatural conditions,
are liable to become rick- Fig. 13 Rickets in humerus of dog.

Remedy.—Nourishing diet. Milk, crushed oats, with
linseed, for horses, cattle, sheep, swine. Milk, meat soup,
cod-liver oil for dogs. In sucking animals, see to quality
and quantity of milk. An aperient or antacids will rec­
tify digestive derangement. Calcium phosphate ; Parrish’s
food ; iron salts ; healthy surroundings. Splints and ban­
dages if needed. (For doses, see pages 13 to 29.)

But first, if you want to come back to this web site again, just add it to your bookmarks or favorites now! Then you'll find it easy!

Also, please consider sharing our helpful website with your online friends.








Copyright © 2000-2010 Donald Urquhart. All Rights Reserved. All universal rights reserved. Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of our legal disclaimer. | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | About Us