VET INDEX |
|ANIMAL INDEX - OLD VET TREATMENTS AND REMEDIES.
FARMING INDEX - OLD FARM PRACTICES AND REMEDIES FOR ANIMALS, PLANTS AND FIXING THINGS.
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DISEASES OF THE INTESTINES
The intestines are more subject to disease than the
stomach. They are of far greater bulk, the part they
perform in the process of digestion is more complex, and
the aliment remains in them much longer, so that any
thing hurtful it may contain has a better chance to de
velop itself. Further, owing to their great length, tortu
osities, and difference in shape and size, concretions are
more likely to form within and obstruct them. Again,
owing to their worm-like movements, one is liable to get
twisted or knotted, which may cause death. Some intes
tinal diseases are acute and rapid in their course ; others
are so mild and insidious that they are not noticed—or,
if noticed, not till it is too late. Remedies must be given
Is caused by spasm or cramp of some part or parts of
the intestinal tube. The tube, by means of its muscular
coat, possesses self-contracting power, which enables it to
propel its contents onward from the stomach. When the
contraction is such as to cause spasm or cramp, spasmodic
colic follows. The tube is usually contracted to a third
or a fourth or more of its natural diameter, and at inter
vals of two, three, or four inches. Sometimes they are
one, two, or three feet apart. The usual seat of cramp
is the small intestines, but the large ones are not exempt.
According to Gamgee, who is corroborated by Williams,
colic is caused by an irritant in the intestinal canal, and
is best treated by purgatives and injections. Pain and
spasm are only symptoms,
The causes are over and irregular feeding—even with
healthy food ; cooked foods and foods of bad quality ; too
much rye, wheat, vetches, peas, and other green foods;
sudden changes of food ; overdrinking when heated ; dis
ease of, and parasites, poisons, and stones in, the intes
tines ; diseases of contiguous parts ; the influence of cold
and damp on the surface of the body, &c
Ordinary cases are relieved by a single dose of medi
cine—sometimes without medicine. In severe cases if re
lief does not come in about six hours, recovery is doubt
ful. Fatal cases usually terminate in about 24 hours.
Whatever is given must be given at once. Watch for
Stallions should be examined for symptoms of rupture.
Examine the scrotum ; also the inguinal (groin) canals and
abdominal rings. (See ‘ Inguinal Hernia,' page 58.)
Spasmodic colic is distinguished from inflammation of
the bowels (enteritis) in many ways, namely : there is no
preceding indisposition; no cold, hot, or shivering fits;
expressions of pain are stronger, and come on by fits and
starts; remissions of pain, but constant watchfulness, as
if in expectation of pain; pulse contracted to a thread,
yet not exceeding 50; drops down suddenly and rolls
about, instead of lying down quietly; absence of heat
about the abdomen.
Symptoms.—Attack sudden; paws, stamps, and strikes
belly with hind feet; after bending knees and crouching
body several times, advances hind feet in attempts to lie
down ; at last drops rather than lies down, the fall caus
ing a grunt; rolls, each time trying to balance on its
back; if, by getting against the stall, it succeeds, remains
quiet for a minute or two, the feet drawn down to the
belly, the head and neck curved to one side perhaps.
Sometimes, if it fails to balance on its back, it will rise
suddenly, shake itself, and stand quietly for a time. But
it soon averts its head and looks at its flanks anxiously.
104 THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.
Fit follows fit, each one usually increasing in length and
severity, the intervals of ease being imperceptible; phys
ical exertion and convulsions cause profuse perspiration;
drops of sweat stand on the brows and eyelashes.
The next state is one of delirium, violence, danger;
eyes wild ; cold sweats; tremors; falls, or perhaps from
the maddening pain, throws itself down and dies.
The pulse at first and during remissions of pain is little
altered; during pain, as before said, it quickens and is
contracted to a thread, being at times almost impercepti
ble ; during extreme pain, its quickness and perceptibility
are increased; belly tense, sometimes swollen, and usually
very tender; bowels constipated, though dung will often
pass on the eve of an attack, and sometimes afterward;
Remedy.—See ‘ Flatulent Colic.’
Is not as common as ' spasmodic colic,’ but it is more
dangerous. It is caused by indigestion, foods which easily
undergo fermentation, such as raw potatoes, green clover,
brewers’ grain, wheat, and boiled food, crib-biting, &c.
It may follow spasmodic colic. Its seat is the large in
testines—cæcum and colon.
Symptoms.—Unlike spasmodic colic, there are no re
missions of pain, and the belly is more or less tensely
swollen and resonant on percussion ; pulse soon becomes
rapid and feeble; breathing rapid and mostly thoracic
(belonging to the chest); extremities cold ; more or less
delirium; reels to and fro; muscles twitch; lips re
Remedy.—Purgative to remove irritant; aloes for the
horse, oils and salines for cattle and sheep. Purgation
hastened and pain relieved by copious laxative clyster in
jections, hot fomentations, friction to abdomen, and gen
tle exercise. Ether, oil of turpentine, other volatile oils,
REMEDY FOR COLIC—ENTERITIS. 105
ammonia and ammonium carbonate combat flatulence.
Ether, alcohol, and chloral hydrate, with opium, bella
donna, or cannabis indica, control spasm and pain. Mor
phine and atrophine hypodermically promptly relieve
spasm. Inhalation of chloroform quiets violent spasmodic
Repeated recurring attacks in influenza, often connected
Fig. 19. Where to puncture for Flatulent Colic.
Fig. 20. Cæcum and Colon Trocars.
with liver disease, treated with half dose of aloes and a
little calomel, spirit of chloroform and mustard in-rubbing
In intractable ‘ Flatulent Colic,’ trocar colon.
For doses, see pages 13 to 29.
INFLAMMATION OF THE BOWELS (ENTERITIS),
Is the most rapidly fatal disease perhaps to which the
horse is subject, causing death sometimes in a few hours.
According to Williams, it is more like an apoplexy than
106 THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.
an inflammation. Robertson says it is different from or
dinary inflammations both in its clinical and after-death
features. The large as well as the small bowels are liable
to attack, the weakest or most irritated parts suffering
Its most frequent causes perhaps are overfatigtie, cold
from exposure, washing with very cold water while heated
and afterward inadequately clothed, overfeeding previous
to hard work, injuries to the intestines, and certain dis
eases. It is liable, in some cases, to settle in the feet,
especially the fore feet. Examine stallions for rupture.
Pressure of the abdomen is a good test for enteritis; but
the surest test is examination per rectum with the oiled
Recoveries are rare, death resulting either from morti
fication or hemorrhage—blood in the colon or other in
The disease is distinguished from spasmodic colic (1)
by the pulse, which is full, firm, and accelerated to double
or treble its natural frequency; (2) history of case ; (3)
manner of attack—not so sudden; (4) intermissions—
practically none ; (5) progress of case.
Symptoms.—No appetite; dull and feverish; paws,
stamps, strikes belly, cringes, &c., very much as in spas
modic colic ; paws with one foot for hours ; anxious and
painful expression of eye ; belly tense, painful, and drawn
up toward flanks; dung hard, angular, and dark colored.
As the disease progresses, animal becomes restless, breathes
hard, sighs, perhaps snorts ; breathing sooner or later be
comes hurried as well as hard ; nostrils dilated ; counte
nance painfully vigilant; bathed in sweat—one time hot,
another cold ; occasional tremor; tail erect and quivering;
mouth hot and dry; pulse 80 to 120—hard, wiry.
The last stage borders on delirium ; wild, haggard stare,
pupils dilating; danger. Suddenly a change comes—the
change of mortification; pain ceases; quiet; drinks and
REMEDY FOR ENTERITIS—DIARRHEA. 107
attempts to eat; breathing tranquil, but breath more or
less fetid ; pulse imperceptible ; cold, clammy sweat; tre
mor from head to foot; ears, legs, mouth deadly cold;
little dung has passed. Convulsions return. Death.
Sometimes the symptoms at first are comparatively mild.
They indicate mechanical obstruction perhaps.
Remedy.—Morphine and atrophine hypodermically at
intervals of 2 hours for bloody effusion. Ergotin has been
conjoined with these with view of contracting blood ves
sels. Half dram each of opium, belladonna extract, and
camphor in pint of gruel every. 2 hours. Where heart
action is violent, 10 to 15 minims B. P. tincture aconite
may be added. Bleeding sometimes useful in early stages
in vigorous subjects. No purging. Laxative injections.
From the first apply rugs wrung out of hot water around
trunk for 2 hours. Then rub belly with soap liniment
and opium (opium in liniment).
Enteritis is not as sudden in other animals as in the
horse, nor so rapidly fatal. Bleed robust subjects. Few
doses of aconite, or oil and calomel. Hot fomentations,
mustard, and soap liniment. For doses, see pages 13 to 29.
May be independent, or it may be the result of some
other disorder. When independent, it is simply an effort
of nature to rid itself of unhealthy matter. This is well,
even if it is caused by green food. But it must not go
too far, for diarrhea may be followed by dysentery. Long
continuance in cold, wet, rank pastures sometimes has
Diarrhea may result from increased peristaltic (worm-
like) action of the bowels, congestion or inflammation of
their mucous membrane, disorder of the liver, mesenteric
glands, intestinal worms, &c. Too much cold water just
before work, or during work, is bad. Some waters seem
to possess diarrheal properties,
THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.
Diarrhea in foals and calves is often attended with seri
ous or fatal results, and it is sometimes epizootic Its
cause is functional disturbance, which is intimately asso
ciated with the process of digestion.
Remedy.—Laxatives in first stage to remove irritant.
Rest; comfortably warm. Restrict water; diet carefully;
wheaten flour gruel. Alkalies; chalk where dejections
(excrements or feces) are acid. Mineral acids or gallic
acid, with opium, in profuse watery discharges. Injec
tions of starch gruels at 100° F., with lead acetate and
opium. Aromatics and camphor abate nervous irritability.
Oil of cinnamon in cases resulting from cold. Volatile
oils, ether, chloroform, chlorodyne in moderate but fre
quently repeated doses relieve flatulence and spasm. Am
monia carbonate where watery secretions are continued
and the heart action weak. Arsenic and opium in chronic
cases. Copper sulphate; corrosive sublimate, with creo
sote and opium, when chronic discharges contain mucus
and blood. Ergotin and opium, with keratin, where the
discharges are profuse and continued. Antiseptics, sul
phites, sulpho-carbolates where discharges are foul. Nitric
acid and nux vomica when complicated with liver disorder.
For young animals : Castor oil with a few drops laud-
num. While patient is fed on milk, if it disagrees when
given with lime water in cautiously regulated, restricted
quantity, substitute cooked starch food, or beef tea and
white of egg, with a little wine or spirit, if the animal
is reduced. Gray powder where the discharge is pale and
fetid. (For doses, see pages 13 to 20.) 'Spirit’ usually
means alcohol; but it also means whisky, gin, wine, &c.
DYSENTERY OR BLOODY FLUX
Is comparatively rare, but dangerous. It consists in
inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membrane and
glandular structures of the large and sometimes the small
intestines, and is attended with fever, occasional abdomi-
REMEDY FOR DYSENTERY OR BLOODY FLUX. 109
nal pain, fluid discharges, mingled with blood or albu
minous materials (floating, coffee-ground-like lumps). It
resembles diarrhea in several of its features, and some
times follows it. It is caused by bad food and water and
exposure in low, wet, marshy pastures, the filth and ma
laria of overcrowded stables, blood contamination, intesti
nal parasites, &c.
The disease is best differentiated from diarrhea by the
character of the bowel discharges. These contain a mod
erate quantity of true fecal matter, either soft or hard.
The liquid part is composed largely of mucus and a jelly-
like material, mingled with shreds of membrane or blood,
the whole being of a tenacious, gluey character, and emit
ting a peculiarly offensive smell.
Fig. 21. Chronic Dysentery.
Remedy.—Digestible, soft food; restricted water sup
ply; quiet. Small occasional doses gray powder or calo
mel, with other antiseptics. Occasional dose of castor oil
and laudanum for fever. Lead acetate and opium, gallic,
tannic, or mineral acids, with opium, or carbolized glyc
erine and opium, in solution, or bolus incased in keratin.
110 THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.
Chloroform, chlorodyne, with opium, relieve tenesmus
(inability to dung). Opium as anodyne—by mouth, in
jection, and suppository. (For doses, see pages 13 to 29.)
Fig. 22. Suppository. One of those Suppositories, filled with wet tobacco,
and inserted in the rectum, will usually cure colic in a few minutes. The
same treatment will destroy ‘ pin worms ’ in horses, say Reynders & Co.
May exist independently or be the result of a disease
or a combination of diseases. The independent form,
which is rarely dangerous, is usually the result of lack of
bowel motion, fluid material, green or soft food, &c.
Symptoms.—Weakness; disturbed appetite ; hair long;
skin dry; legs disposed to swell; often pot-bellied; pulse
sometimes small, weak, and perhaps accelerated; mouth
fetid; mucous membranes and tongue soapy; in bad cases
lips and gums may be covered with dark, pus-and-blood-
like matter, &c.
Remedy.—Laxative diet, diluents, salines, regular ex
ercise. Moderate purgatives, especially in liver disorder;
laxative clysters. Aloes, oils, calomel, small doses Epsom
salt for horses. Epsom salt, croton, gamboge, calomel
for cattle. Gentian, quinine and other tonics for debili
tated. Oil of turpentine by mouth and rectum for flat
ulence. Soap suppository in young animals. Nux vomica,
belladonna, physostygmine in chronic cases. Electricity
and ergot give tone.
Where stones or twisted intestines cause the obstruction,
INTESTINAL STONES—WORMS. 111
avoid purgatives. Use diluents, laxative injections, and
anodynes. (For doses, see pages 13 to 29.)
INTESTINAL AND STOMACH CONCRETIONS
Are divided by Prof. Morton into phosphatic, oat-hair,
and mixed. The phosphatic are hard, smooth, and pol
ished, having hard substances (stones, &c.) for nuclei
(centers); the oat-hair are larger but less dense, having
beards of oats, barley, &c., for nuclei; the mixed are
composed of phosphatic salts, oat-hair, and fecal and in
digestible matter. They vary in size from mere pebbles
to large stones—even 25 pounds. The impassable stones
cause irritation and sometimes death. When within reach
they may be removed per rectum. Sift the food. Phos-
phatic foods and hard water are factors.
Remedy.—Explore rectum; use long injection tube.
Avoid active purgatives. Morphine and atrophine hypo-
dermically for spasm and pain.
For doses, see pages 13 to 29.
Four kinds are peculiar to the horse. 1. The ' Ascaris
lumbricoides,’ resembling the common earth worm, inhab
its the small intestines. It is round, nearly as large as
the little finger, and varies in length from three or four
inches to a foot or even two feet. It is white or reddish-
white in color. Usually only one is passed at a time, but
150 have been known to pass in a week. Chabert found
14 pounds in one horse.
2. The 'Ascaris vermicularis,’ a lively, needle-like
worm, inhabits the large intestines. It is perhaps the most
pernicious of the four kinds. It is from one-half to three
inches long. The head is obtuse, the tail sharp pointed.
There is a semi-transparent and a black variety.
3, The ‘ Strongylus’ is similar in size to the red worm
THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.
used by fishermen. It is from two to four inches long,
and has two distinct parts—body and tail. The tail is
thread-like, and constitutes more than half the worm’s
length. When first voided, they appear black, the tail
and sometimes the head being transparent. When taken
from the dung, they vomit up their black contents and die.
4. The ‘ Tænia ’ (tapeworm) is white, flat, thin, broad,
and jointed at regular intervals. It is said to sometimes
measure twenty feet in length. The head, which is tuber
culous and attached to the smaller end of the body, is
said to be directed toward and sometimes within the
stomach. They are rare.
The worms are rarely numerous enough to cause death,
but when present in large numbers they cause more or
less harm. They die shortly after the horse dies. Pov
erty of body, insufficient nutrition, stagnant water, and
miasms are said to be conducive of them. They are pe
culiar to young horses.
Symptoms.—Colicky pains; attempts to dung, but
little passes except glairy mucus ; oscillatory motion of the
tail; rubbing root of tail, owing to itching about anus;
white or yellow powder about anus; depraved and fastid
ious appetite; fond of salt; rubbing upper lip ; coat dry
and rough, remaining in patches long after shedding time ;
hidebound; lean and unable to thrive; feverish; pulse
small and quick; mouth unusually dry and warm. But
the best sign is the worm itself.
Remedy.—Aloes, oil turpentine, bitters. Ferric chlo
ride, copper sulphate. Aconite tincture, salt in manger.
Oil turpentine and male shield fern for tapeworm.
For doses, see pages 13 to 29.
TWISTED OR STRANGLED BOWELS (VOL
Is usually caused by the worm-like movements of the
long, loose, and coiled intestines, but a long-necked tumor,
by winding itself around the intestine, may cause the same
result—strangling. The symptoms resemble those of in
flammation of the bowels. Rupture of the intestine may
result, but the disease is usually fatal whether it does or
Remedy.—It cannot be rectified by medical treatment,
but a surgical operation, if undertaken early, may be suc
INTUSSUSCEPTION OR INTROSUSCEPTION
Is the slipping of a part of one intestine into another,
usually the one behind. Cartwright reports a case of 12
introsusceptions, and another where a foot of intestine
was invaginated. Walker reports a case of 2 feet; Tur
ner one of 16 feet 4 inches; Hales found the whole of
the cæcum within the colon, and inverted at that.
The symptoms resemble those of inflammation of the
bowels, but there are intermissions of pain ; also sighing,
groaning, lying on the belly, resting on the hind quar
ters, and a disposition, when down, to stay down. Usu
Remedy.—No treatment is of much avail. Restrict to
a limited quantity of soft food. No purging. Opium and
cannabis indica allay spasm and pain. Prof. Smith’s long
enema tube may be tried.
For doses, see pages 13 to 29.
Is rare in the horse. It is peculiar to dogs, and is the
result of congestion of the mucous membrane around the
anus and dilatation of the hemorrhoidal veins.
Remedy.—Oily aperients, laxative injections. Remove
hardened dung. Return prolapsed bowel. Cooling, diges
tible diet. Gall and opium ointment, or zinc benzoate
For doses, see pages 13 to 29.
114 THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.
PROTRUSION OF THE ANUS OR RECTUM
Remedy.—Return the bowel carefully, first washing
with dilute alcohol, laudanum, and a little carbolic acid.
Close external opening with truss or stitches. Control
straining by opium or chloral. When the rectum is much
swollen, scarify carefully.
For doses, see pages 13 to 29.
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