Paralysis of the Muscles of Swallowing.
There is in horses a disorder of the central nervous system, the most pronounced symptom of which is a total inability to swallow either fluids or solids.
Symptoms. The discharge of chewed food, mixed with saliva, through the nostrils, and when an attempt is made to drink water that fluid will be discharged in the same way, although the animal will appear to be drinking with great relish. The membranes of the eyelids are pale and a little yellowish; the pulse is slow and rather soft; the temperature is at first normal, after a little time ninety nine, or perhaps a little lower. The face has an anxious expression; the horse stands 'rather persistently and quietly, although he does lie down at times; he loses flesh rapidly, and, if allowed to Eve so long, dies of starvation.
Treatment. As a precaution, the throats of all animals showing these symptoms should be strongly blistered, as directed for sore throat; although if the paralysis is really present the condition is incurable. Against his expressed desire, but at the urgent request of the owner, the writer at one time kept a case of this sort alive for nine weeks, during all of which time the horse did not swallow a particle of food or water. The animal was put into slings and fed by injections of a great variety of fluid foods and stimulants, which were well taken. Electricity was applied to the paralyzed muscles twice daily, and strychnine was given up to the full limit of safety; notwithstanding all of which the horse was, except for the loss of considerable flesh and strength, in precisely the same condition as when treatment was begun; the owner was satisfied that the case was incurable and the animal was chloroformed.
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