Expressions Peculiar to Cattle.
Blackleg, Quarter 111. Here, in addition to loss of appetite and shivering, lameness of one or more of the limbs appears, rendering Movement difficult and painful. Respiration is increased to thirty-six or forty in the minute; the pulse to one hundred or more; body surface sometimes hot, at others cold. The lame leg commences to swell and this quickly spreads to adjacent parts. If the hand is passed over this swelling there is a feeling as if air were present under the skin (it crepitates). The animal soon lies down and dies in from twelve to thirty hours, with or without convulsions.
Carbuncular Fever. In other cases, after the same early
symptoms of fever, swellings, perhaps about the size of an apple, appear on the back, loins, head, or neck. These are painful at first, but soon begin to spread into surrounding parts until they become quite large, crepitate, and show no further pain. The animal dies much as in blackleg.
Intestinal Form. After the fever, a diarrhea, often accompanied by colic, begins to show itself. The bowel discharges are mixed with blood; the external swellings are either absent or confined to the posterior back. Death occurs in from twelve to thirty-six hours after the diarrhea is fully established.
In addition to the symptoms already described there will be an anxious expression of the face, frequent moaning, and, in older animals bellowing, disquietude, shown by frequently getting up and down; and when down by lying with the head turned back upon the shoulder and the feet held close under the body.
Expressions Peculiar to Sheep.
Sheep, particularly the higher bred ones, are more liable to be attacked by the apoplectic form. it has been and still is very destructive to these animals in certain parts of the world, including some parts of the United States.
Apoplectic Anthrax. There are no signs of approaching trouble. The animal lively and, so far as can be judged, in perfect health, falls down, perhaps while still grazing, and dies, within a few moments, in convulsions. Or it lies paralyzed, with hurried and labored breathing, eyes prominent, and a bloody discharge dropping from the nose and mouth. Death follows in a few hours, in the midst of distressing convulsions.
Some Cases are not so Rapid. The sheep is dull, refuses food, carries the head low and the back "humped up," gets up and down frequently; if the flock is moving it drops behind, goes slowly and gently, perhaps staggers. These symptoms progress, trembling set in, the animal can no longer stand, becomes more or less blind, blood is present in all of the discharges, characteristic swellings may appear upon almost any part of the body, and the animal dies in convulsions.
These symptoms, especially in hot weather, succeed each other so rapidly that the animal may die in one, two, three, or four hours. On the other hand, the disorder may be so much more mild in type that the fatal ending may be put off for a much longer time.
Carbuncular Fever. External tumors are rarely seen in sheep,
and then only about the head and udders; but a widespread inflammation, like erysipelas, is more often seen. After the usual early fever, which may or may not have been noticed, some of the strongest looking animals in the flock begin to limp or show more or less stiffness in walking, behind. Careful examination will show a dark red swelling inside the thigh, which crepitates upon pressure; soon extends to the belly and chest, but rarely reaches the neck. This swelling soon becomes cold, the outer skin peals off, and a bloody fluid oozes from the exposed surface; fever becomes intense, the abdomen is full of gas, and a bloody foam may flow from the mouth. Death occurs in from three or four to twenty-four or thirty-six hours.
The spontaneous development of anthrax does not occur. Men this animal is attacked it is because he has either eaten the flesh, or in some way become inoculated from the carcass of an animal dead from the disorder.
A dog may die of the apoplectic form. Or if not so quickly there will be a swelling of the throat, a small round swelling appears on some part of the head, usually about the lips; which in a few hours is so much increased as to occupy the entire region in which it is situated. The great swelling of the head closes the eyes, extends down the neck, along the windpipe, thus disturbing the breathing process. The whole swollen surface now becomes a red violet color, the inside of the mouth shows the same color, and from it there is a considerable ropy discharge and the appetite is lost. Prostration is present from the first; the animal will not come to the call; persists in lying in a cold, damp place rather than upon a good bed. The duration of the disease is not longer than five days, whether he lives or dies; he may die within twenty-four hours of the first appearance of the swelling.
It may be interesting to state here that the disorder in man is known as malignant pustule; and that he, like the dog, can contract it only by inoculation. It has been known as wool sorters' disease, because so many of that occupation, in handling wool from the dead sheep, have contaminated their fingers and then have scratched some part of themselves, usually the neck, with their finger nails. In some places, where the men go barelegged, their limbs have been inoculated from the bites of flies, which had, presumably, been feeding upon the dead carcasses.
Mortality. The disorder leads to a very large percentage of death. In the apoplectic form all die, without exception. In the acute cases of fever the dead of those animals which become affected reaches to 75 or 80 per cent; and in the less severe to 50 per cent. In a general outbreak, as among large bunches of cattle and sheep, the earlier cases are usually the most fatal, while after the less susceptible animals are attacked the rate of mortality often decreases,
Treatment. This divides itself into two parts, that which tends to limit the extent of the outbreak; by far the most valuable; and that which attempts curative measures in the animals already attacked.
First. Men the animals are at grass, and the disease has already made its appearance in a case or two, or when, from any cause, its coming is feared, the soil demands the first attention. If it is damp or clayey, or at all swampy, in part, the animals should at once be moved to a higher location where the soil is dry and gravelly, because there the germ is less likely to be preserved and increased. In a recorded case forty animals out of two hundred had died within ten days; yet, after removal to a nearby dry pasture, and the use of antiseptics with the food and water, the attack abruptly ceased and forty-eight out of fifty that were sick at the time of removal, recovered. Damp soils, in regions where the disease prevails, are rendered much less dangerous, after a time, by thorough draining, if that be possible to their situation. In such localities the animals should be put onto as high land as possible, as the hot weather term approaches, or, if this cannot be done, and they can be housed during the night and until the dew is off, the danger will be considerably lessened. Yet in all these localities the germ will, at times, obtain access to the animals either through the herbage or the drinking water. A point of very great importance is to make safe disposition of the products and carcasses of the sick and dead animals. These should be burned, if possible, or, failing this, deeply buried and thickly covered with quicklime, and the ground so used must be fenced off and so remain for several years. Of course sick animals will at once be separated from well ones and great care used to prevent contamination, either through food, water, utensils of any sort, or the persons in attendance.
As a further means of prevention a method, of inoculation has been in use, more particularly in France, for some considerable time, and with more or less success. This, in large herds, is very expensive, somewhat uncertain in its results, and should only be undertaken under the immediate supervision of a very expert veterinarian.
Medical Treatment of the Sick. Danger. It must be remembered that in attending these sick animals great care must be taken, by the one doing it, against becoming inoculated, through the broken f3kin, as upon one's hand or other uncovered part of the body, from the blood or any other secretion or excretion coming from the sick animal. The writer was once so inoculated through the ropy saliva coming from a horse's mouth. He recovered, after a considerable time, although his attending physician said that he had no business to do so. It may be instructive to say that his treatment was by large internal doses of iodide of potassium, together with heavy burning
(cauterization) of the original wound on the finger, and afterward of the secondary tumor which appeared upon the arm seven or eight inches above the wrist. The horse died within less than twenty-four hours of the time of his first seizure, from anthracoid sore throat.
In the apoplectic form nothing can be done. In those cases which do not stride on to the fatal termination so quickly an attempt at cure will, once in a while, save the animal.
Local Treatment. The large swellings under the skin should be bathed four or five times a day, for ten minutes at a time, with hot water, and dressed, just after, each time, with a mixture of ten per cent carbolic acid, one ounce, and sweet oil, four to six ounces, depending upon the thickness of the skin. When the swellings crepitate further treatment of them will be useless; but the parts just beyond may be stimulated by a mixture of sweet oil, water of ammonia (not the strong ammonia), and turpentine, equal parts. This should be used by rubbing it lightly onto the parts twice a day until it begins to blister or the parts become crepitant.
In sore throat the same local measures are to be undertaken. If, notwithstanding this, suffocation threatens, no attempt should be made to relieve it by opening the windpipe below the throat (tracheotomy), as it will, at best, prolong the life no more than a few minutes.
If constipation, without colicky pains, sore throat, or large tongue be present, relief may come from the administration of a large dose of oil, as in horses and cattle of fairly good size, raw linseed oil, three pints, with a heaping tablespoonful of saleratus. In sheep the same, except the size of the dose should be limited to the largest one recommended for this animal. In dogs, castor oil and sweet oil, one-half ounce each for medium sized animals.
In Swollen Tongue, the blisters had best be opened with a sharp knife (be sure not to wound the hand, which had best be covered with a heavy leather glove, which should afterward be burned) and the cuts should then be immediately dressed with a strong solution of carbolic acid, as three drams of the acid to thirteen ounces of water. This should not be used on dogs, the cuts in which may be well rubbed with a stick of caustic (nitrate of silver). If the tip of the tongue becomes dead (gangrenous) it may be cut off with a sharp knife; the cutting should be done in the dead part as close as possible to that which is still alive.
Internal Treatment. Very good results have been obtained by carbolic acid, in horses and cattle, as, carbolic acid one-half dram, aromatic spirits of ammonia two drams, water one pint: an to be given at a dose and repeated each four hours. For sheep the same, but in properly lessened doses. (See dose table in appendix.)
In dogs the acid should not be used; in its place give iodide of
potassium in water in proper doses for the size of the animal three or four times during the twenty-four hours, for as long as it seems to be required, or until the stomach becomes too much irritated, as well be shown by vomiting, in this animal. Indeed this agent may be used in any of the animals in its proper full doses.
In blackleg in cattle, and the similar condition of sheep, as well as in anthracoid disease in horses, the borate of soda has given good results. It should be dissolved in water and given in full doses (see table) three times daily. It may also be given to dogs. While this is being given all other internal remedies should be discontinued. The solution should be drenched in the usual way. It may also be given to animals which have been exposed, but which have not yet shown signs of the disorder, in about one fifth the dose given to sick animals, at the same intervals and in the same way. Some animals with good appetite will eat it if the solution is sprinkled upon a small amount of grain food or meal. This, as a preventive, may be continued for eighteen or twenty days. Bleeding is contraindicated in any case.
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