Disorders of the Organs of Digestion Diseases of the Tongue.
This organ is exposed to many sources of disease and injury and, as it is abundantly supplied with large blood vessels, it follows that wounds of it are commonly productive of much bleeding; and also, because of the large distribution of nerves, slight injuries of it are especially painful.
Inflammation of the Tongue, Glossitis: Causes. This disorder is rarely met with in horses, except as the result of mechanical injuries, including the use of irritating medicines, or of certain infective disorders, as described.
In Cattle it is by no means rare and among them is due to the eating of rough, coarse food or that mixed with foreign bodies, as slivers of wood, wire, thorns, etc., or in complication with specific fevers.
In Sheep it may be presented under the same condition as in cattle.
Dogs are very liable to it from taking sharp substances into the mouth, as broken bones, irritating agents of various kinds; self inflicted bites, received during a fit; or from the stings of insects. The whole or a part only of the organ may be inflamed.
Symptoms. In addition to the general signs of fever there will be a profuse flow of saliva from the mouth, which is itself very hot. After a little the tongue becomes enlarged, reddened, and in some cases, protruded from the mouth, and hard. If the organ is much swollen, especially the back part of it, in the throat, breathing is interfered with, the animal cannot chew, and swallowing may be difficult or impossible.
Generally in the course of two or three days the symptoms will subside, and after a little time the organ will resume its function. In less favorable cases abscesses may form, or death (mortification) of the whole or a portion of the tongue follow; or the organ may be left somewhat harder and smaller than natural.
At first, before the power of swallowing is interfered with, a good dose of cathartic medicine had best be given; the aloes pill (see prescription) for horses; epsom salts for cattle and sheep; and castor oil for dogs. After this the mouth must be frequently syringed out with borax dissolved in cold water, as much borax as the water will dissolve. Cold water with a teaspoonful of nitrate of potash to the pail full of water should always be kept within reach of the animal, that he may be able to cool his mouth by plunging his nose and face into it. If some of the graver symptoms follow, medical aid had better be sought.
Sores (ulcers) of the Tongue occur in all the animals independently or in complication with other maladies, as certain disorders of the stomach, etc.; also as a result of wounds made by sharp teeth, ropes, bits, and various sharp foreign bodies. They interfere materially with condition because from pain in moving the parts, animals, especially horses, cattle, and sheep, will not eat so much as they should; and oftentimes in horses, the presence of these little sores on either the tongue or cheek will cause the animal to drive unpleasantly on the bit.
Treatment. If the sores are due to sharpness of either the inside or outside edges of the back teeth, as in horses, the uneven edges should be removed by filing them off with an instrument made for the purpose and easily obtainable. After the cause has been removed, the mouth should be thoroughly syringed out, twice daily, with a saturated solution of borax and water, and every other day the sores should be lightly touched, over their whole surface, with a stick of nitrate of silver. They will heal within a week or ten days.
Parrot mouth. In this condition in horses the upper front teeth grow to project to a greater or lesser extent over the under ones, because of an unusual shortness of the lower jaw.
Treatment. Such animals, if the projection of the upper teeth is considerable, should not be turned out to pasture because they are not able to crop the grass in sufficient quantities to keep them in proper condition. If the lower teeth are so far back, or so long as
to wound the soft parts lying just behind the upper ones, when the animal shuts his mouth, they should be filed d~ often enough to prevent it; the upper teeth should also be cut back whenever they become too long. This operation is best done by putting a gag into the mouth, pressing the animal backward into a stall, and filing off the projecting teeth with the coarse side of a sharp horseshoe’s rasp. The "gag" should consist of a round piece of wood one and one half inches in diameter and about six inches long, having a strap, with a buckle, which is long enough to go up and over the head just back of the ears, with which it will be held in place; it should be put into the mouth as a bit is and fastened.
Lampas. This term is used to describe a swollen condition of the soft parts lying just behind the upper extremities of the front teeth in horses.
Treatment. Carefully, freely scratch the swollen parts with the point of a sharp knife, being sure not to cut in deeply enough to open an artery which he’s there; and then rub common salt well into the cuts made. It used to be thought necessary to burn the swollen part out; such an operation should not be allowed, because it is very painful and entirely unnecessary.
Foreign Bodies in the Mouth should always be sought for when, without known reasons, an animal persists in not eating, drools constantly from the mouth, quids his hay, and loses flesh. The accident occurs among all the animals, and the offending object may be found wedged between the teeth, as in dogs, or lodged in some of the soft structures; or the teeth may be very sharp and cutting the tongue or cheeks.
If an Animal Persists In Drooling from the mouth, and no cause for it can be found, the effects of two moderate doses a day of fluid extract of belladonna should be tried for three or four days. (See dose table.)
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