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Injuries are mechanical, chemical, and mixed. Me
chanical injuries comprehend wounds, contusions, abra
sions, fractures, dislocations, &c. Chemical injuries are
caused by heat, the concentrated acids, caustic alkalies,
lunar caustic, corrosive sublimate, arsenic, &c. Mixed
injuries are caused by the bites or stings of mad dogs,
insects, &c. Also from inoculation.
Are incised, contused, lacerated, punctured, gun-shot,
and poisoned. The first danger, especially in incised
wounds, is bleeding, the remedy for which is (1) a liga
ture ; (2) a tourniquet or, what is better, a rubber band;
(3) trickling water; (4) pressure (a compress if practica-
Fig. 54. Rubber Bandage.
ble); (5) styptics, such as tow, lint, matico, ergot, digi
talis, ice, lead acetate.
Blood from a vein is dark colored, and flows in an un
interrupted and comparatively tardy stream. Ligatures
should be withdrawn in 10 or 14 days, or they will fes
ter. Cut the thread.
The bleeding stopped, the next thing after the removal
THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.
of foreign bodies and clots of blood, is washing with one
of the following antiseptics : 1. Carbolic acid 1 part with
20 to 40 of water. 2. Corrosive sublimate 1 part, com
mon salt 7½, water, 1,000. 3. Zinc chloride 1 part, wa
ter 80 to 100. 4. Mercuric iodide and potassium iodide
each 1 part, water 1,000. 5. Hydronaphtol 1 part, rec
tified spirit 1 part, water 300. 6. Sodium hydrofluosili-
cate 1 part, water 500. The latter is “ a recently discov
ered, effectual, non-poisonous, cheap germicide.” (Dun.)
Fig. 55. Interrupted Suture.
Fig. 56. Uninterrupted Suture
Fig. 51. Twisted Suture.
Incised wounds are brought together by sutures (stitches)
pins, or plasters. Bandages keep the parts in apposition
and give support. Splints and slings are sometimes re
In large contused or lacerated wounds a dependent open
ing must be made by drainage tubes or otherwise. Deeply
punctured and lacerated wounds are fomented for some
hours in order to limit inflammation. Apply a sheet of
carbolic lint, on which either place a poultice or let cold
water trickle over it.
Superficial wounds heal by first intention (without pus)
when the edges are held together by plaster, styptic col
loid, or shellac, applied in methylated spirit (90 parts of
rectified spirit (alcohol), 10 parts of wood spirit, or impure
Poisoned wounds are treated according to their nature.
Poison may be kept out of the circulation by ligature.
Excision of the poisoned textures may be desirable, and
also subsequent cauterization or irrigation with a suitable
Wounds properly closed and healing satisfactorily should
not be disturbed except for cleansing and redressing. Do
not be in a hurry about removing sutures.
If a wound becomes inflamed or painful, or the dis
charges are unhealthy, remove the dressings, cut the su
tures, remove blood clots or other irritants, irrigate or
syringe the surfaces with an antiseptic, and apply a poul
tice over the carbolic lint if necessary. Use opium and
belladonna with poultices or antiseptics when there is
Excessive granulation checked by pressure, astringents,
or occasional use of caustics.
A dose of physic, cooling, digestible diet, and healthful
THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.
surroundings are essential to the successful treatment of
Blows are usually received on the orbital process (bony
projection), when the ball of the eye is rarely injured.
In such cases the upper eyelid is usually swollen and the
outer membrane of the eye itself may partake of it. Wet
and apply a linen cloth, or sponge the part as often as
it becomes dry. In cases of extreme swelling, local bleed
ing and fomentations will be effective.
Fig. 60. The haw (the horse‘s handkerchief).
When hayseeds, insects, dirt, &c., get under the upper
lids, and the haw fails to expel them, turn back the lid
and remove them by hand.
Cuts and lacerations sometimes penetrate the ball. If
they extend through the cornea, the watery fluid will
escape and the iris protrude. Return the iris carefully.
Foment with warm water in which poppy heads have been
boiled. After this, apply healing washes witch a camel’s
hair pencil. Shade the eye.
Laceration of the Eyelid is not an uncommon acci
dent. It may be caused by a bite, a nail, hook, &c. It
usually begins at the inner, superior, and most projecting
part of the lid, but the reverse may be the case. The
wound usually causes considerable bleeding.
Remedy.—Secure the horse, cleanse the eye, and stitch
with strong sewing silk, using a small, sharp, crooked
needle. In a week or so, or as soon as the parts cohere,
or when pus oozes out, cut and withdraw the stitches.
After this it is important to secure the horse with double
straps, otherwise, owing to the irritation of the eye, it
will rub against the stall and dissever the parts.
INJURIES TO MOUTH, TONGUE, JAWS.
The tongue may be injured in various ways. It may
be bitten accidentally by the horse itself, also, when pro
truded, by another horse ; by sharp projections of the
teeth, rough or careless usage, &c. Stitch the parts to
gether whenever necessary and practicable, cleanse the
wound if necessary, and leave the healing to nature.
The branches of the lower jaw are common seats of
fracture, a frequent cause of which is the use of sharp
curved bits, but rough usage will sometimes cause frac
tures even with a smooth bit. The horse loses its appe
tite and is unfit for work. The fractured bone must be
removed, but it is often better to wait a week or ten days
that nature may loosen the parts. Fractures are often the
result of external violence. A severe blow in the region
of the roots of the teeth may cause a fracture that will
necessitate the removal of both bone and teeth.
The jaw is also subject to injury from violence with
the curb-rein. The outside gum is squeezed by the crub.
An abscess forms within the bone, and there is usually
sooner or later bone to be removed. Keep the wound
open and encourage the discharge. A scruple of hydro
chloric acid in an ounce of water is a good dressing. If
the horse must be worked, use a snaffle.
The outside of the lips and cheeks are sometimes severely
cut by sharp and twisted snaffles, the inside of the cheek
by sharp projections of the molar teeth. The only rem
edy for the latter is to file the projections down, but not
so as to destroy the natural slant of the grinding surface,
THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.
as already explained on page 142. The cheeks will heal
without aid, but an ounce of alum in a quart of water is
a good wash for them.
SADDLE-GALLS, SITFASTS, WARBLES, TU
MOR ON THE ELBOW.
These injuries are caused by pinching of the harness-
pad, girths, or collar, bad-fitting or overweighted saddles,
&c. If they are neglected or exposed to further injury,
they either turn to abscesses or subside into smaller tu
mors and are indisposed to undergo further change, though
they are sometimes carried off by suppuration. Percivall
says that when a bad-fitting saddle has been kept on too
long and evil results are expected, that it should be al
lowed to remain on the back till the horse is perfectly
Cure saddle-gall by removal of cause. Bathe and cleanse
once a day ; hot water if suppurating. Antiseptic dress
ings. Swollen fatty follicles reduced with soap liniment ;
in chronic cases foment and lance.
Fig. 61. Sitfast.
Sitfast is “ a part of a horse’s back turned horny.” To
use another simile, repeated injury by the saddle causes
the formation of horny excrescences resembling corns of
the human foot. The sitfast acquires a well defined bor
der. In many instances the skin withdraws from around
it, and a little matter oozes from between it and the skin.
This indicates that the sitfast will be carried off by slough
ing. If the process is slow, it may be hastened by blis
tering ointment. Dissect out if necessary.
Warbles or grubs “ are small, hard tumors on the sad
dle part of a horse’s back;" also the neck and sometimes
the tail. When recent they yield to stimulating lotions,
though sometimes they run on to suppuration and disperse.
Frequently, however, they become callous, in which con
dition they may continue for years without serious conse
quences. They may be dissected out.
According to Williams warbles in the ox is caused by
a bot-fly which lodges under the skin.
Tumor on the elbow (shoeboil) is caused by contusion
or pressure of the heel of the fore shoe or by the horse
lying on a hard pavement with insufficient bedding.
INFLAMED VEIN (PHLEBITIS),
Is usually the result of bleeding, but some horses are
predisposed to it. It is also the result of violence after
bleeding—disturbing the pin by rubbing against this or
that. Injury may also follow from using an unclean or
rusty instrument in bleeding. The wound should be
speedily closed. The lips, unless disturbed, will rarely
fail to adhere. Tie the horse’s head up to prevent rub
bing. If worked, guard against injury by either bridle
rein or collar.
Remedy.—Open any abscesses. If swelling occurs while
the pin is in, withdraw it carefully so as not to disturb
the wound. Foment and poultice. Laxative diet. If the
wound is foul and the vein corded up to the head, leave
the orifice open and apply a blister, renewing it as often
as needed. If necessary, the vein may be tied. In case
of fresh bleeding, pin or stitch and compress the wound,
keeping the head tied up. A horse with an impervious
jugular should not be turned to grass. Diffuse phlebitis
THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.
treated antiseptically, with salines internally. For a list
of antiseptics and salines, see pages 31 and 36 respectively.
Is usually a much more serious injury than a contused
or bruised knee, for it may penetrate to and even ex
pose the knee joint. The extent or depth of the wound
is a matter of great importance, for the treatment must
be regulated by it. The healing of the wound requires
time and patience, for the part is much used and the
skin thereby stretched.
The accident is usually the result of tenderness and
lameness of the fore legs, tripping, cutting, and unequal
action, rough roads and pavements, rolling stones, &c.
The scar left is sometimes quite a blemish. Ordinary
scars may be removed by blistering the part, first shav
ing off the hair.
Remedy.—Cleanse the part thoroughly with warm wa
ter and allay inflammation by fomentation. Use a cradle
for a few days to prevent the part from being bitten. If
the knee does not heal kindly, apply lotions or poultices.
After this dress with tincture of benzoin or compound
tincture of myrrh. Toward the end, a solution of blue
vitriol may be needed. In place of the two last, after
poulticing, sprinkle daily with a powder of flour and
alum. In some cases it may be advisable to stitch the
skin together. Quiet. Sling if necessary.
OPEN KNEE AND OTHER JOINTS.
A joint must be penetrated to constitute this injury,
but even if it is not penetrated, it is often opened by
sloughing. It is a very serious matter, for the joint oil
(synovia) often escapes, causing a stiff joint (anchylosis).
The discharge of oil, however, does not necessarily indi
cate opened joint, for the sheaths of the tendons contain
an oil precisely like joint oil. Tetanus (commonly called
lock-jaw) may result from the injury. Opened joint is
usually caused by a fall, but it may be caused by a thorn,
a nail, or a sharp-pointed instrument.
Symptoms.—Knee clotted with dirt and blood ; foot
rests on toe, not because the joint is painful, for recently
injured joints have little or no sensation, but because of
the painful ligaments, tendons, &c. In a day the parts
are hot, full, and tender, these symptoms increasing from
day to day. About this time the constitution sympathizes ;
fever ; pulse rises ; appetite and spirits lost ; mouth dry ;
eyes injected ; skin and limbs warm ; breathing disturbed.
The animal now exchanges its dull mood for watching
and irritability. If the irritation is not checked, it is
likely to exhaust the vital energies before the local in
flammation even turns toward restoration.
Remedy,—Cleanse and foment. Antiseptic dressing.
Stitch, if the movement of the joint and tearing loose
can be prevented. Styptic colloid, collodion, or plaster
for support and protection. Splints and bandages. Sling
or tie up to prevent lying down. Half closes of physic ;
cooling diet. Let a weak antiseptic solution trickle over
a calico bandage lightly laid over the joint. Blister if
Are usually caused by thorns, stubs, flints, kicks, treads,
&c. If properly treated, they usually end well. A ten
don may be even severed, and yet be restored by approx
imation. Thorns have been known to work themselves
out between skin and hoof. Some fester and discharge
themselves. Some are sloughed out with medicines, In
some cases the parts around the foreign substance be
come hardened and continue so without lameness. It is
possible for tetanus to follow wounded tendons.
Remedy.—Fomentations, poultices, cooling lotions.
Loosen as well as cool part. Sling. Splints, starch ban-
186 THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.
dages. When inflammation has moderated, stimulate ex
The office of the lymphatic system is to form and cir
culate lymph. When disturbed, it is usually the result
of wounds or pricks.
Remedy.—Remove cause. Cooling diet. Salines ; pot
assium iodide. Foment while heat and tenderness con
tinue ; after which apply friction, bandages, iodine oint
ment. Continue salines in drinking water.
For doses, see pages 13 to 29.
STRAIN OF LOINS (PSOÆ) MUSCLES
Is caused by any injury that violently extends them.
It is liable to be confounded with ' broken back,’ from
which it is distinguished by the animal being able to
bend and extend the limbs. In some cases the animal
almost drags its limbs.
Remedy.—Rugs wrung out of hot water applied over
loins and abdomen. Anodyne injections (opium, mor
phine, &c.) Slings if both sides are affected.
BRUSHING OR INTERFERING
Occurs in horses with faulty action, especially when
tired or out of condition. The part struck is the fetlock.
Remedy.—A ¾ shoe, or a shoe thin on inside web,
without heel on outside. Boot on injured fetlock. Care
ful shoeing. Improve general condition.
Is a bruise in the inner part of the limb, near the
knee, caused by the opposite foot. Cause—round, high
action (stepping). The horse is liable to fall from the
violence of the blow.
Remedy.—Fomentations; open any abscess; antiseptic
dressing. Prevent by reducing inner crust of offending
foot, using nicely fitting f shoes, removing shoes every 3
weeks. Protect leg with boot. Travel slowly.
SPRAIN OF MUSCLES, TENDONS, AND LIGA
The fibers are severely stretched and in serious cases
some of them are torn.
Remedy.—Rest; foment; purge. Slings in bad cases.
When the tenderness and pain are abated, apply counter-
Fig. 62. Firing-Irons.
Fig. 63. Three-jointed, sharp Seton Needle.
irritants. Cantharides or mercuric iodide ointments.
RUPTURED TENDONS OR LIGAMENTS.
Remedy.—Fomentations allay inflammation. Treat as
for fractured bones. Quiet. Splints. Starch bandages.
Slings. When inflammation moderates, stimulate exter
THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.
Is caused by misdirected or defective nails in shoeing,
nails picked up in walking, sharp instruments, flints.
glass, &c. The injury will vary with the cause, the part
injured, and the depth and direction of the wound. In
shoeing if a nail causes blood to flow, lameness will soon
follow; but if it only goes close to the quick, it may be
one or even two weeks before lameness results.
Remedy.—Remove shoe and diseased tissue. Give pus
vent by dependent opening. Inject with spirit turpen
tine. Keep hole free of dirt. Poultice.
Fig. 64. Side puncture represents Pricked Foot, the front Bruised Sole.
BRUISE OF THE SOLE
Leads to the effusion of blood, but seldom causes seri
ous lameness. Pare off the discolored horn and shoe at
least once with leather. Treat as for ‘ Corns,’ which see.
Treat general bruises as follows : Foment, poultice,
water dressing, refrigerants; carbolic acid and other an
tiseptics. Hand rubbing and subsequent rubbing with oil
promote absorption. Lead, zinc and other astringent so
lutions probably prevent leucocytes (white cells) exuding.
Belladonna, opium, aconite paralyze sensory nerves and
TREAD AND OVERREACH
Are identical in nature. A tread is a contused wound
of the coronet of either the hind or fore foot, caused by
the opposite foot. An overreach is a tread on the coro
net of the fore foot by the hind foot. The parts injured
consist of skin, cartilage, and horn. The injury is there
fore complex and requires careful treatment.
Fig. 65. Tread. Fig. 66. Tread. Fig. 67. Overreach.
Remedy.—Remove hair and such lacerated parts of
horn as may harbor dirt. Immerse in warm water. Hot
poultice, but discontinue when healing begins. Turpen
tine or nitric acid lotion dressing. Physic. Heels of
shoes well rounded off. Light shoes. Protect coronet
FROST BITE (GELATIO),
If often repeated, causes the part to become perma
nently weakened, slightly swelled, of a purple color, with
less heat, and afterward inflamed. The skin cracks, and a
discharge of sanguineous matter takes place. More intense
cold entirely suspends vital action, the part becoming
pale, insensible, and shriveled. The skin, especially the
heel, will often slough across from side to side, forming
a strip of dead skin, under which is a deep chasm, called
a cracked heel.
Remedy.—Raise temperature of frozen parts gradually.
190 THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.
Stimulants to affected parts; turpentine and oil; soap
liniment. Treat sloughs antiseptically.
Is a sore or wound on the coronet connected with a
sinus (cavity) in the foot, the sinus running between the
sensitive parts and the horn. It is usually caused by the
large, awkward calkins of the hind shoe, but any neg
lected wound of the coronet may cause it. It may also
be caused by an abscess within the foot; also by a fes
The disease at first is insidious, being covered by the
hair. When the tumor points, the hair falls off and re
veals the cause of the lameness.
Fig. 68. Quittor before pus exudes Fig. 69. Quittor after exudation
through coronet. through coronet.
In severe cases of quittor the skin, tendons, cartilages,
and bones are more or less affected. When the bone be
comes carious there is little hope of cure. A cure, even
in ordinary cases, requires two or three months. The
horse is usually lame even after the healing. This is
owing to change of structure. The cartilage becoming
bony and the coronet destroyed, often causes the disor
der known as ‘ False Quarter.’ Caries of either the car
tilage or bone is preceded by ulcers having a greenish
discharge mixed with synovia (joint oil).
Remedy.—Secure a free dependent opening. Remove
dead tissues or other irritants. Poultice. Inject corrosive
sublimate solution. Where cavities are numerous and dif-
ficult of access, core them out with corrosive sublimate
or arsenic plug. Where foot is strong, no shoe is needed ;
if weak or broken, bar shoe relieves pressure. In very
bad cases diseased textures must be excised. Blister cor
onet to promote reparative action.
Results from quittor more than from any other cause.
It may, however, be caused by injury or disease of any
kind destroying the coronary substance, on the integrity
of which the integrity of the wall depends. In the same
way that injury at the root of man’s nails causes divis
ion, will injury of the coronary substance cause a groove
in the hoof. Hence the name. Its appearance is that of
a gap. The gap is covered with a thin layer of soft horn,
‘ Fig. 70. False Quarter. Pig. 71. Remedy for False
which sometimes splits and bleeds. Dirt or squeezing of
the internal parts sometimes causes inflammation, pus,
and lameness. If the fissure remains sound, however, no
inconvenience follows. False quarter may be palliated,
but not cured.
Remedy.—Restore secretory function of coronary band.
Dress and promote healing of any wounds in band. Press
ure should generally be applied and dead horn trimmed
away. Bar shoe to relieve concussion. Fill cracks with
gutta-percha to keep out dirt. Blisters to coronet some
192 THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.
VENOMOUS BITES AND STINGS
Are caused by bees, hornets, vipers. &c. The adder’s
bite is sometimes fatal, and swarming bees have been
known to sting a horse or ox to death.
Remedy.—Ammonia and oil; or an ounce of spirit of
hartshorn or turpentine in olive oil. Rub some on bite
also. Potassium hydrate or bicarbonate solutions. Bathe
the eyes with laurel water twice a week. Carbolic acid;
prussic acid; chloroform; cold water dressings. For snake
bite ligature limb; excise wound, and sear with hot iron.
Alcoholic stimulants; ammonia. Artificial respiration.
For doses, see pages 13 to 29.
BURNS AND SCALDS.
Remedy.—Protect immediately from air and irritants
by layers of cotton wool, or apply carron oil. Liniment
of oil and litharge, with 5 per cent, boric, salicylic, or
carbolic acid, or peppermint oil. Whiting and water, or
Fuller’s earth, about the consistence of cream, applied
till well coated. Zinc oxide, with about 10 parts vaselin,
or of glycerine and water. Alkaline solutions, soap lather,
saturated solution sodium bicarbonate for slighter cases.
Where discharges are foul, add antiseptics to above dress
ings. Where there is irritation and pain, add chloroform
or laudanum, or both. Combat constitutional suffering
with antiseptics and anodynes internally. For doses, see
pages 13 to 29. For lists of antiseptics, anodynes, &c,
see pages 30 to 37.
Are usually caused by blows, falls, slips, &c, but a
horse, by struggling when cast, may not only fracture its
spine but perhaps some other bone.
Fractures are simple, compound, or comminuted ; they
are also either transverse or oblique. They are indicated
by a grating noise ; separation or displacement of the parts;
deformity, shortening, lameness; pain on pressure ; heat,
swelling, tension, or the approach of inflammation. The
three chief principles of treatment are replacement, main
tainment, and care.
Compound and comminuted fractures are hopeless. Re
ducible simple fractures are sometimes curable, such as
fracture of the ribs, cannon bones, arch of orbit, nasal
bones, upper and lower jaw bones, tail bones, arm, hock,
leg, pastern, and coffin (foot) bones.
The following fractures are usually fatal: Skull, pelvis,
spine, scapula, humerus, femur, tibia, elbow, patella (stifle
bone), and the sesamoid (foot), coronary, and navicular
Repeated displacements and indisposition to form callus
(bony substance between fractured parts) are also incurable.
Remedy.—Put bones in apposition. Splints of leather,
lath, block-tin, paroplastic, or gutta-percha. Incase in
plaster of Paris ; starch bandages. Ends of bones may be
kept together by metallic sutures. Smart blister causes
outpouring of fibrinous, plastic, reparative material; also
favors parts being kept at rest. Large animals may re
quire slinging. Wounds in compound fractures treated
antiseptically. Calcium phosphate internally in weakly
subjects hastens union. For doses, see pages 13 to 29.
Occur less frequently than fractures and are usually less
remediable. They are either complete or partial. They
are caused by blows, falls, wrenches, &c., or by violent
action of muscles. In some cases these causes seem to co-
operate. Replacement, retention, and care are necessary
The spine, especially at the neck, and the scapula and
hip are sometimes successfully replaced.
Stifle dislocation is common and is easily remedied. 1.
194 THE DISEASES OF THE HORSE.
Back the horse forcibly and suddenly and somewhat diag
onally a few paces. 2. If the first remedy does not suc
ceed, fix a line around the pastern, the other end passed
over the neck. Pull the limb forward till the fetlock is
nearly as high as the elbow on the same side. Press the
bone forward and inward with a jerk. If the displace
ment is inward, which is rare and cannot occur without
great violence, if the hand is not strong enough, press
the bone upward and outward with a piece of wood.
To prevent a recurrence of the dislocation, keep the
horse quiet—in a sling if necessary—applying stimulants,
blisters, or plasters. A wide bandage, with a hole in the
middle for the patella (stifle), and laced behind the limb,
may be successfully applied, especially if the skin is made
adhesive with Canada balsam. Keep the limb extended
with a line around the pastern and neck.
Abate inflammation in all dislocations by hot fomenta
tions or cold water.
The symptoms of dislocation are : Change in the ap
pearance of the dislocated part—depression at joint, prom
inence and tenderness at the then place of lodgment;
peculiar noise and acute pain in moving the part; con
siderable swelling. Compare the dislocated part with the
opposite side. ‘
When the stifle is dislocated, the symptoms, in addition
to the above, are : Backward protrusion of limb ; pastern
and foot bent to utmost; cannot be straightened ; limb
trailed, describing the segment of a circle when the ani
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