This affects all of the animals, and consists in an inflammation of the lining membrane of the breathing tubes, and sometimes of the air sacks of the lungs as well; and, taken all in all, is one of the most common diseases of the lungs. It may be acute or chronic; one or both lungs may be affected throughout, or it may be confined to a portion of one or both.
Causes are divided into predisposing and exciting. The predisposing causes are debility from any preexisting disease, but particularly influenza, catarrhal fever, etc. The exciting causes are exposure to cold and damp, exhaustion as from overwork or insufficient food, inhalations of smoke or other noxious vapors, the accidental introduction of foreign bodies, as medicines and other fluids or solids,
Into the windpipe; and as a result of breathing impure air coming
from unsanitary surroundings.
Acute Bronchitis is a dangerous disorder, partly owing to the fact that, by it a sufficient amount of air to properly clear the blood is not admitted into the lungs; and, in some measure, to the fact that the inflammation is not unapt to be spread to the very small tubes, and from them to the lining of the air sacks themselves, so producing a low and dangerous form of pneumonia.
Symptoms. An attack often commences with the general symptoms of a slight inflammation. Following or accompanying these, catarrhal indications will be presented in addition to which there is a frequent harsh, loud cough which becomes softer and more moist as the disorder advances, and fluid commences to be discharged into the tubes', the animal becomes more depressed or even, perhaps, semiconscious, if too much air has been shut off from the lungs; the pulse is increased in number to, in horses and cattle, seventy or eighty beats in the minute; in sheep and dogs, one hundred to one hundred and twenty; the respirations are much hurried, being sometimes equal to, and rarely exceeding, the number of the pulse beats; as a rule, the quicker the breathing the more trouble there is in the smaller tubes and the greater the danger. The temperature will be raised to from one hundred and two to one hundred and four, rarely to one hundred and six; the visible membranes are either deep red or, in cases where the lungs are getting too little air, they will show a bluish red (livid) color. The bowels are rather constipated and their discharges are commonly covered with slime (mucus). The urine is high colored and scanty.
The two points of danger are first, where the tubes going to considerable portions of the lung become so blocked with the discharges that no air can pass them, the lung beyond becomes useless; this condition is shown by much faster breathing without any corresponding rise in the temperature. The second element of peril occurs if the very small tubes get so intensely inflamed as to become filled with pus; this is accompanied by greatly increased frequency in breathing, increased, frequent, and distressing cough, with great rapidity of the pulse. These two conditions are more apt to be shown by young animals: horses under four years, cattle under three, sheep and dogs under one; that is, in lambs and puppies.
In favorable cases recovery begins between the fourth and eighth days, and shortly either entirely subsides, or, in old animals, passes into the chronic form.
In unfavorable cases the strength becomes greatly reduced, signs of congestion of the lungs and partial suffocation are shown, and death soon follows.
Treatment should be that recommended for general fever, with the addition of a dry woolen covering to the chest, which in horses
and cattle may be easily made by folding an ordinary square horse blanket so that it will be three thick ' placing the middle of it under the chest, bringing the ends up over the middle of the back, fastening them there firmly with large safety pins, or otherwise, and throwing one more blanket over the animal in the usual way. Sheep do not need the covering over the chest, unless they have been recently clipped. Dogs should have the jacket already described. The legs of horses should also be covered with ordinary flannel bandages, which should be removed once a day, the legs rubbed a little, and the bandages immediately replaced.
If the cough is hard or the breathing very rapid, inhalations of steam, as advised for sore throat, had best be used. If the constipation is considerable, the bowels had better be moved by warm soapy water injections; if these are not sufficient, a moderate dose of raw linseed oil, as one pint for horses and cattle, six ounces for sheep, and one half ounce each of castor and sweet oil for dogs, may be given; although it is not usually desirable to give a cathartic or even an aperient in these cases, it seems necessary to do so in a very few instances. The cases in which the breathing becomes especially quickened had best have the camphorated oil of the drug shops, or the stimulating liniment already recommended, well rubbed onto the skin over the ribs. In instances wherein depression is great and the pulse weak, the mixture of sweet spirits of niter and quinine had best be given, each two hours, until a fair amount of strength, as shown by the improved character of the pulse, has been regained. In dogs a teaspoonful or two of French brandy in sufficient water may take the place of the niter, as directed for the larger animals.
When cough remains troublesome after the fever is over, fluid extract of belladonna in doses of a teaspoonful may be given on the tongue, three times daily, for horses and cattle. For dogs the following mixture will be better: Syrup of squills and syrup of cherries, of each two ounces; compound spirits of ether, one dram; all to be mixed and well shaken together. Of this, one teaspoonful may be given three times daily, or, if the cough is very troublesome, a fourth teaspoonful can be given at night. If, after recovery from the fever, there is much debility, a rather common occurrence, such tonics as iron, quinine, nux vomica, and gentian should be given. (See prescriptions.)
Causes. This disorder is met with either as following the acute disorder or as an independent condition, more especially in older animals.
Symptoms. The disorder is characterized by a persistent, hard, loud cough, but without any evidences of fever. The breathing is always somewhat quickened, and, if the animal is put to work, or even made to take light exercise, as by driving cattle and sheep for
any considerable distances, or taking out a dog for exercise, or subjecting any of the animals to causes of excitement, it becomes more or less considerably disturbed and the cough is increased in frequency. In many long continued instances there is a gradual loss of flesh, diminished appetite, and general debility. When chronic bronchitis appears as an independent affection, it is gradual in its onset, and of a very persistent nature when established.
Treatment. The diet should be liberal and nutritious, but the feeding should so be arranged that the stomach is not at any time stuffed full, as with great quantities of hay or grass. Rest is not always necessary, although severe exertion should never be allowed, as it not uncommonly happens that an attack of the acute disorder follows a very slight cause. The best results of medical treatment are obtained through the rather prolonged administration of such tonics as nux vomica, iron, quinine, and arsenic; and for dogs cod liver oil and the Bland's pills (See dose table.)
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