Lump Jaw Actinomycosis.
Under the first of these titles a disease of the jawbones of cattle has long been recognized as occurring more or less frequently.
Causes. The disorder is due to germs which grow upon various plants, some of which, as barley, rye, and some kinds of grasses, are used in their dried state as fodder, and either lodge and remain in the mouth or are passed on into the digestive organs; or the germs, developed in the usual way, may get mingled with dust, inhaled, and produce their peculiar growth in the lungs. It may also appear in the teats of cows, or gain entrance through a wound upon the surface of the body. It is not contagious, as from the animal, but, contrary to the usually accepted opinion, it affects not only cattle, but also horses, sheep, and men. General symptoms are not present unless the growth has taken place in some vital organ, in a sufficient degree to interfere with its full and proper action. Then, the symptoms will be referable to those affecting that organ, and the cause, if really actmomycosis, can no more than be guessed at. Local symptoms are a larger or smaller lump with a fairly smooth surface, which maybe either harder or softer; as very hard when a bone, as the jawbones of cattle are affected, or softer when other tissues become implicated.
In Cattle the lumps usually appear in the upper or lower jaw bones, where they may grow to a large size and implicate both the soft and bony tissues. At other times and frequently, the tongue becomes diseased, when it takes the form of a hard inflammation of that organ; this was formerly called wooden tongue. It begins as a collection of round brown spots which are elevated above the surface; the cheeks may be similarly affected. In the throat the lumps are much softer,
have a smooth surface, and vary in size from a pea to a large egg. In which case there is more or less difficulty in both breathing and swallowing. Deeper than this (they have, rarely, been found in the liver, and frequently in the lungs) their presence is only to be " guessed
at, " as has been said.
When in the skin and tissues immediately underlying it, the lumps usually feel firm and elastic; in size they may be as small as a small nut or larger than a man's fist; they may be the color of beef; covered with a brown crust; or with a puss like material.
In horses the disorder has been found to be present in the bones, tongue, windpipe, the glands under the jaws, which swell, as described in glanders, for which they have been mistaken, and on the end of the cord, after castration.
In Sheep the lungs as well as some of the muscles are rarely affected.
Treatment. Formerly, unless the growth was located near the surface and could be easily reached and cut out, the case was given up as hopeless. And while an operation may be done now, if desired, it has been found that the internal administration of the iodide of potassium is an absolutely specific remedy. Each cow should be given daily, for fourteen days, one half ounce of this salt dissolved in one half pint of water. The dose may be reduced by one or two sixths when recovery begins to show itself, which should be within the fourteen days or perhaps less. In particularly obstinate cases a dose of four ounces a day may be given for a short time. The daily dose should be divided into two parts, one given in the morning, the other in the evening.
There is a great value in the use of this drug, the administration of which is generally harmless, in helping to find out whether the trouble in the internal organs is really the suspected one or not.
Any statements made on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA
and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or condition.
Always consult your professional health care provider.
copyright 2005, J. Crow Company, New Ipswich NH 03071