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The air passages are the nostrils, the larynx, the wind­
pipe and its ramifications, and the bronchial tubes. The
horse, on account of the great size of the soft palate, can­
not breathe through its mouth. The chambers of the nose
are therefore exposed to noxious effluvias in the air, while
the mouth is exempt. This difference from man in struc­
ture and economy probably accounts for the proneness of
the horse to pulmonary affections. The nasal membrane
should be frequently inspected. In health it displays a
dotted, shining, humid aspect, of a more or less flesh
color. Mucus is a sign of disease.


An unhealthy discharge from the nose, in the membrane
of which it has its seat, is usually if not invariably the
result of cold—that is, cold that causes unusual suffering.
Percivall says that catarrh is much oftener the result of
transition from cold to heat than from heat to cold ; also
that horses kept in the open air altogether are hardly
susceptible to catarrh.

The disease is peculiar to young horses and is sometimes
epizootic It is common, but it is usually harmless. How­
ever, it should not be neglected, for it may lead to bron­
chitis, nasal gleet, roaring, &c.

Simple and Febrile Symptoms.—Sneezing; redness
and dryness of nasal membrane; watery, irritating dis­
charge, becoming in a few days turbid, yellowish, and
irregular; redness of conjunctival (eye) membrane ; copi­
ous tears ; hanging head; yawning; heat and pain over



frontal sinuses ; small, loose, diffuse swellings under jaw ;
sometimes coughing, with or without soreness of throat;
varying degrees of fever, dullness, and debility; staring
coat; rigors or shivering fits; surface temperature now
elevated, now depressed: internal temperature elevated 3
or 4 degrees; pulse and breathing quickened ; appetite
diminished. As the acute symptoms subside, the disease
becoming subacute or established as it were, the animal
improves. In some cases the symptoms are much more
severe than above described, sometimes threatening suffo­

Fig. 14. Steaming apparatus for Catarrh, Bronchitis, &c.

Chronic Symptoms.—The discharge is considerably
altered in character, and is for a time at least less in
quantity; but the quantity varies—more one day than
another. Sometimes the discharge is white and glairy;
sometimes a yellow mixture of pus and mucus; in rare
cases, opaque, thin, dirty-looking mucus; appetite good,
but animal lacks bloom, vigor, vivacity ; coat open ; skin
scurfy; nasal membrane rather soft, blanched, thickened,
and less vascular-looking, and of a slate or leaden hue.

Remedy.—Simple form: House comfortably; clothe
body and head ; bandage legs. Temperature 60 to 65° F.
Steam head with vapor of water alone, or medicated with
antiseptic or anodyne. Warm or vapor bath; dry quickly

72                        THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.

and reclothe; mash diet or green food; laxative injec­
tions; purge if necessary. Ammonia acetate solution;
potassium nitrate and chlorate; other saline electuaries.
Hot fomentations ; stimulating embrocations to throat.

Chronic form : Isolate ; rest or light work ; if the coat
is rough, clip or singe. Arsenic, iron, copaiba, terrebene
improve general condition. Inhalation or spray of sul­
phurous or carbolic acid or iodoform. Astringent nasal
douche or spray; blister over nasal sinuses. (Far doses,
see pages 13 to 29.)


Is a rather common, rapid, and dangerous disease. The
inflammation usually extends to the pharynx and contigu­
ous parts. The swelling and mucous accumulations some­
times cause death by suffocation. The causes are the same
as those of catarrh and bronchitis, and most of the effects
and complications are the same also. Long-continued and
hacking coughs are frequently present.

Robertson divides the disease into two forms—catarrhal
and swollen. He also speaks of a chronic form, consisting
of muscular wasting and degeneration, with adventitious
growth and changes of inherent tissue—the same as in

Symptoms.—Head elevated and protruded; more or
less difficulty in swallowing; ropy and tenacious saliva;
cough at first hard and rather sonorous; as the disease
advances and the secretion increases, it is less resonant,
rather suppressed, and emitted with evidence of pain.
More or less fever; restless; stamps, tosses head, pulls
backward. Pulse high, eyes prominent, legs and ears cold.
Spasms of the larynx sometimes occur, followed by great
difficulty in breathing, loud, shrill, trumpet-like sounds, &c.

Purple-hued nasal membrane, difficulty in breathing,
stupor, anxiety, restlessness, &c, according to Robertson,
are characteristic of the swollen form of laryngitis.



Remedy.—Comfortable box and clothing; protect from
drafts; moist atmosphere of 60 to 70° F. Steam head
and throat persistently with medicated vapor; heat and
moisture externally. Aconite and laxatives abate fever in
early stages of acute attacks. Emetics relieve fever and
difficult breathing in dogs and pigs. Ammonium acetate
solution, camphor, and belladonna confections. Benzoin,
sulphurous acid, iodine, or chloroform as inhalation, spray,
or confection. Salicylic acid and potassium chlorate as
confection every hour where swelling is great. Counter-
irritants—soap and opium liniment, mustard, cantharides.
Tube in windpipe if necessary.

Chronic form : Alum, ferric chloride, sulpho-carbolates,
or tannic acid as confection or spray. Belladonna and
camphor, with glycerine and water, as anodyne gargle.
Thickening of mucous membrane treated by potassium
iodide and counter-irritants. Essence of mustard hypo-
dermically. Ulceration of the opening of the glottis (rima
glottidis) treated with silver nitrate.

For doses, see pages 13 to 29.


Is usually preceded by an inflammatory or catarrhal at­
tack, but it may occur spontaneously. It is more likely
to follow chronic than acute catarrh. It is peculiar to
adult or old horses rather than young. It is sometimes
mistaken for glanders.

In most cases the discharge, which is usually from both
nostrils, continues long after inflammation has ceased. It
is more mucous than purulent, is remarkably white, and
about as thick as cream. Sometimes it is smooth and
uniform ; sometimes lumpy; at others it is yellow, and
seems to contain more pus than mucus. Sometimes it will
collect about the nostrils and be ejected, in pretty regu­
lar succession, in flakes or masses. Again it is irregular,
ceasing for a while, as if cured, then returning in double

74                        THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.

or treble the quantity. Sometimes the lower jaw glands
are swollen, sometimes not. Sometimes there is an offen­
sive smell, sometimes not. The nasal membrane becomes
pallid and leaden-hued, but is free from pus or ulcers.
Health, spirits, and appetite good. (Percivall.)

Fig. 15. Injecting for Nasal Gleet. Holes made by trephine.

Remedy.—Sulphurous acid, iodine, iodoform inhala­
tions. Nasal douches of salt and water, with a few drops
of iodine tincture. Bleaching powder scattered in box.
Copper or iron sulphates, arsenic, turpentine, buchu, co­
paiba internally. Blister over sinuses. Remove bad teeth.
When other treatment fails, trephine sinusus; after re­
moving as much pus as possible, wash out with antisep­
tics. Isolate all horses with suspicious nasal discharges.

For doses, see pages 13 to 29.


Is a symptom of disease rather than disease. It is a
species of unsoundness, and may be detected sometimes
by a mere fright—sudden jump ; sometimes great exertion
is needed. Veterinarians detect it sometimes by a grunt­
ing or groaning cough, which they produce by grasping
the throat. It is sometimes hereditary. " The produce
of certain sires are nearly all roarers,” (Williams.) It



may depend on thickening of the mucous lining of the
nares (apertures), pharynx, or larynx, or on fibrous growths
in these regions; but the majority of cases are the result
of paralysis, wasting, and fatty degeneration of the whole
of the intrinsic muscles of the left side of the larynx
supplied by the recurrent nerve. The tube through which
the air passes being narrowed, the characteristic noise is
produced. Most roarers are wheezers, and also grunters,
and in the lighter breeds are whistlers. (Dun.)

Percivall ligatured a horse’s windpipe moderately tight.
It roared when trotted. He next compressed the pipe to
about half its natural calaber. The animal whistled. He
then drew the cord with all his strength. A minute af­
terward the horse staggered a good deal, fell, struggled
violently, and expired in two minutes after falling. The
ligatured part of the windpipe admitted a crow’s quill.
In the two first experiments the sounds were louder in
inspiration than expiration.

Remedy.—‘ Spurious roaring,’ depending on cold, in­
fluenza, or strangles, is sometimes treated successfully by
stimulation of the throat, and by potassium iodide and
arsenic internally.

True roaring,’ depending on muscular wasting, is in­
curable. Smart blistering, the actual cautery, and gal­
vanism in the earlier stages, sometimes retard wasting.
Slow, easy work. A pad fitted on the nostrils, regulating
the supply of air, lessens the noise. A tube in the wind­
pipe affords relief. (See Fig. 5.) Removal of the para­
lyzed vocal cord is useless. Removal of the aretenoid car­
tilage is seldom permanently effectual.

For doses, see pages 13 to 29.


Is symptomatic of various diseases. It may remain after
its cause is removed. It sometimes becomes chronic, es­
pecially if neglected,



Remedy.—Comfortable housing and clothing, pure air,
careful feeding, oleaginous diet.

Catarrhal: Steam head; ammonium acetate solution,
salines, ether, mustard to throat.

Bronchial : Ammonium acetate, ipecac, squill, nitrous
ether, counter-irritants.

Dry, with scanty secretion : Ammonium acetate or chlo­
ride, potassium bicarbonate and chlorate, borax.

With profuse discharges : Balsams, eucalyptus oil, tar,
terrebene, creosote, astringent sprays or inhalations.

Irritable : Demulcents; camphor and belladonna, coni-
um, opium, hydrocyanic acid, cocaine. (For a list of
demulcents, see page 33.)

Reflex: Bromides, chloral hydrate. Remove cause of

Chronic : Careful dieting; wet the food; linseed mash
or oil. If the coat is long, clip or singe. Epsom salt or
other salines occasionally. Dick’s recipe—30 grains each
of calomel, digitalis, opium and camphor. Omit calomel
if given daily for a week, that is, if necessary. Belladonna,
camphor, alcohol, tar, creosote, arsenic. Counter-irritants
—mustard, mercuric iodide ointment, setons.

For doses, see pages 13 to 29.


Is best distinguished perhaps from bleeding of the lungs
by the fact that blood usually issues from but one nos­
tril. Blood may flow in a stream or drop by drop. In
either case it is very apt to collect within the chambers
of the nose and about the nostril and cause irritation.
The horse will snort and blow out clots of blood, and
thus increase the bleeding. The blood is mostly arterial
—usually a bright scarlet.

The cause may be constitutional, local, spontaneous—
the result of plethora or congestion—or traumatic (wounds).



D’Arboval reports fatal cases, wherein the clots of blood
in the chambers of the nose resembled pus.

Remedy.—When from rupture of small blood vessel,
plug nostril and raise head. Ice to face and head. Fer­
ric chloride tincture in spray. When from purpura or a
similar disease, ergot, ferric chloride, or pyrogallic acid
internally, or ergotin under the skin.

For doses, see pages 13 to 29.


Is very rare in horses. “ Manifold are the dangers of
the distemper,” says Vegetius (about 400 A. D.) “The
horse will be strangled by the stoppage of the passage of
his breath. He will snore, and humid mucus will flow
out of his nostrils.” Percivall says the mucus is some­
times highly tinged with blood, and that sometimes pure
blood runs from the nose. Also that an unequal rush of
air is felt from one or both nostrils. " Inspection in a
full light discloses, higher or lower in the nostril, the
rounded base of a polypus.” He warns veterinarians not
to mistake the cartilaginous prolongation of eitlier the
anterior or posterior turbinated bones for a polypus; nor
any rounded clots of blood near them.

The tumors, which vary in weight from a few drams
to three or four pounds, hang by a narrow neck. Some­
times they protrude three or four inches. They are red
or flesh-like in color, globular in shape, and have smooth,
shining surfaces. Some have a fibrous, almost cartilagin­
ous, structure, while “ others appear to be composed of
various little tumors agglutinated together.”

Remedy.—Excise with forceps. Dress antiseptically.
Pads over nostrils sometimes diminish noise. (For a list
of antiseptic remedies, see page 31.)

78                     THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.

roid Gland),

Is rare in horses. It is usually small and harmless, but
when it increases to the size of a hen’s egg or larger, it
may cause choking. Percivall reduced such a swelling by
rubbing with compound iodine ointment daily for six
weeks, but he was in doubt whether the tumor caused the
choking or not.

Fig. 16. Bronchocele.

The tumor, as the illustration shows, appears just be­
low the part grasped to excite coughing. It is circular
or ovoid in shape, and is soft, puffy, moveable, and devoid
of sensibility.

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