Chapter 34 - Veterinary Medicine
Introduction to Veterinary Medicine
The Pulse
Respiratory Organs
General Diseases Common to all Animals
General Plethora
Blood Poisoning
Expressions Peculiar to Animals
Rabies Hydrophobia
Pox Variola
Lump jaw
Horse Ail
Texan Cattle Fever
Foot and Mouth Disease
General Inflammation
Sore Throat
Lung Fever, Pneumonia
Catarrhal, Bronchial, or Lobular Pneumonia
Diseases of the Heart and Blood Vessels
Disorders of Organs of Digestion
Paralysis of the Muscles of Swallowing
Crib Biting and Wind Sucking in Horses
Disorders of the Stomach
Dieases of the Intestines
Inflammation of the Bowels
Diseases of Urinary Organs
Diseases of the Nervous System
Diseases of the Spinal Cord
Diseases of the Skin
Diseased Conditions of the Joints
Diseases of the Foot
Parasitic Diseases

34.42 Disorders of the Stomach

Disorders of the Stomach. Vomiting. This is the simple means by which animals discharge through the mouth or nostrils that which the stomach refuses to digest, or is likely to be injured by. All animals and all individuals are not equally as easily made to vomit as others; the horse performs the act with difficulty, and it was formerly thought that "no horse could vomit and live," because, in those that did, a post mortem examination discovered a ruptured stomach. But this is not true. Cattle and sheep seldom vomit. In the Dog the act is commonly and so frequently accomplished while the animal is otherwise in apparent health, as well as when he is suffering from some disorder, that it almost seems as if he could "throw up" whenever he chose to do so. The Symptoms are so well known as to need no description in this place. It should, however, be remembered that vomiting be comes a frequent and troublesome disorder in dogs when shown in connection with certain maladies. Treatment. In these cases in dogs it often becomes a matter of considerable importance to stop the vomiting if possible. This may often be accomplished by the use of ice water in very small quantities, as a teaspoonful in very obstinate cases, every half hour; or by the addition to this of a few drops of French brandy with each dose of water. Teaspoonful doses of pure lemon juice, well iced, will often succeed where other remedies have failed. From five to ten drops of tincture of opium given in the iced water often allays the irritation; but the opium should not be repeated oftener than each two hours, for three times, nor should any more of it be given at a time, after the first dose, than is absolutely required. Or the following prescription may be tried: Tincture of opium, ten drops; chloroform, twenty drops; cold water, two tablespoonfuls. This is to be well mixed and all given at one dose, to a dog as large as a setter or collie; it will be found more useful in instances where the cause lies back of the stomach. The practice of giving dogs quantities of drugs, to make them throw up, so commonly practiced by some, cannot be too greatly condemned. Acute Indigestion. Wind Colic, Flatulence, or distention of the stomach and bowels with the gases of indigestion, may be caused by alterations in the quality of the juices of the. stomach and intestines, and to various obstructions in the bowels; both of which will so hinder the progress of digestion as to induce fermentations of the food and the giving off of the gases. Causes. Certain foods, as Indian meal; which is of especially difficult and slow digestion, fed in full rations to horses, cattle, and sheep that are not accustomed to eating them; cooked food to horses and cattle; musty hay or oats; half wilted grass; or any food, including fresh grass, to which the animal is unaccustomed, or that which is given in such quantities at a time as to over distend the walls of the In cattle and sheep the condition is most commonly produce(A by damp grasses, turnip and beet tops, green fodder corn, and green clover. Dogs, because they vomit so easily, are not particularly troubled in this way. Symptoms in the Horse are generally sudden in their onset: there is a fullness of the belly; the animal is restless and shows symptoms of colicky pains; he lies down, gets up, paws with his front feet. If the stomach is distended, he will gulp wind and discharge saliva from the mouth occasionally; the superficial muscles tremble, and the animal sweats in patches. These are the earlier and less severe manifestations. In severe cases the pain is very acute; the horse throws himself about wildly and frequently looks at his flanks; the pulse and breathing are hastened and in some cases attempts at vomiting are made, which are rarely fully successful; if the food is thrown up it is discharged through the nostrils. If the belly is greatly distended and hard, breathing becomes so difficult as to threaten suffocation. At other times, when the belly is but " slightly distended," there will be very little or no manifestation of pain, but the horse remains dull, half conscious, breathes heavily, is made to move with difficulty, and attempts to press his head against the wall. In Cattle. The disorder is frequently called hove, dew blown, tympanitis, drum belly, etc. symptoms. While he is eating, or shortly after, a swelling of the paunch appears about the left flank. This increases in size more or less rapidly, the animal lifts his head, pants and appears dull; wind is sometimes gulped up in the early stages, and he ceases to " chew the cud." In proportion to the rapidity with which the gases accumulate, the breathing becomes more labored; the animal moans; stands with an arched and stiff back; the tongue is protruded; eyes bloodshot and bulged; saliva dribbles from the mouth; the nostrils are rigidly expanded; and the belly, extended to the greatest extent possible, is "as hard as aboard." Unless soon relieved the animal staggers, falls, and dies from suffocation. Death may occur in a few minutes or he may live for a number of hours, all depending upon the amount of tympanitis present. Or, the malady may be present in a chronic form, when the symptoms are not nearly as intense as in an acute attack; in which instances there is a functional derangement of the digestive organs, which causes an attack of hove whenever green food is given. in Sheep. The symptoms will be the same as in cattle. Treatment. In horses: give at once a large dose of saleratus in one pint of cold water. If pain is marked, give two or three ounces of tincture of opium, with one half ounce of water of camphor in a cupful of warm water; and repeat each two or three hours, as necessary, until the pain and fullness of the belly are lessened; after the first dose, no more than two ounces of the tincture of opium should be given at a time. If the distention is very great and not quickly relieved by the medicine, the gas must be allowed to pass away through an opening into the bowels; this, to be at all safe, must be done by one who knows the anatomy of the parts. As soon as the great distress has been relieved, the horse should have a dose of cathartic medicine; this may be one and one half pints of raw linseed oil; or a pill of aloes (see prescriptions), to which one half to one dram of calomel has been added. In Cattle. If the distention is great, the paunch should at once be tapped and the gases allowed to escape. If this cannot be done, a good purgative should be given as soon as possible. This may be, for a good sized cow, one and one half pounds of Epsom salts, half a teacupful of molasses, and a tablespoonful of ground ginger; the salts to be dissolved in three pints of warm water; all to be mixed and given at one dose. In Sheep. The treatment will be the same as for cattle; the dose of the Epsom salts being six ounces, with tablespoonful of molasses and teaspoonful of ground ginger, with one pint of water. Dogs. As the flatulence is never as urgent as in the other animals, one or two compound cathartic pills, or a good dose of castor oil will be sufficient. The animal should not be allowed anything to eat but milk, with lime water, in moderate quantities, given three times a day, for three or four days after he recovers from the attack; and his exercise should be quite limited. In all animals the action of the physic may be hurried and eased by the judicious administration of injections of strong soapsuds given at a temperature which feels quite warm, but not hot, to the hand. Spasmodic Colic in Horses. This is another from of acute indigestion and arises from much the same set of causes as those given ,for the flatulent form just described. The Symptoms will be the same, excepting that there is no swelling of the belly, or sleepy stage, as described for the wind colic. This form of colic, if unassociated with organic troubles of the bowels, should never end fatally; that it is often supposed to do so is because the symptoms shown are precisely those of inflammation of the bowels in its earlier stages, and the attack has not been properly separated at the beginning. In pure colic the internal temperature is not raised; in inflammation of the bowels, from any cause, it is always raised and other symptoms of fever are always present. The Treatment of spasmodic colic will be to stop the pain by the use of tincture of opium, as already advised; and, as recovery begins to be shown, raw linseed oil should be given in doses of from one to one and one half pints, to which a tablespoonful of saleratus has been added. Injections of warm soapsuds will often aid the recovery and may be commenced as soon as the first dose of opium has been given, and continued each two hours, In Cattle and Sheep two further forms of acute indigestion are met with, as, Impaction of the paunch or rumen. When an animal has swallowed a large quantity of moist food, grass, clover, fodder com, etc., or some kinds of grain, the paunch may be filled to repletion and become quite distended from a process of fermentation setting up within the mass. The symptoms are very similar to those of tympanitis just described, but they are not nearly as urgent and, if the distended paunch is firmly pressed upon, as by the closed fist, an impression will be left, for a little, as if the paunch was filled with dough. The appetite and "the cud " are lost, and the pulse is small and frequent. Treatment. Give at once a strong cathartic, as, in cattle, the dose of epsom salts already recommended, to which may be added from five to fifteen drops of croton oil; in Sheep, epsom salts as before advised, together with one drop of the oil. In addition to this, some stimulant may be required by some of the cases, and in varying quantities, as indicated by the particular animal. The agents to be used here will be either whiskey or the aromatic spirits of ammonia. (See dose table). The injection of warm soapsuds, as mentioned, will be especially valuable in these cases, as the first prime object is to unload the bowels as soon as possible. Certain cases win be met with in which it will not be possible to accomplish this object by means of medicine, in which instances the veterinary surgeon win be able to open into the paunch, through the flank, and remove a good part of the contents of the overfilled stomach. Fardel bound, Impaction of the Third Stomach, or ,Grass ball," Vertigo, etc., are names which with some others are given to a form of acute indigestion met with among cattle and sheep. The symptoms in cattle vary considerably at the beginning of the trouble. It will be noticed that he goes about with rather a drooping head; that while the appetite remains fairly good he goes picking about and shows a little uneasiness occasionally; the bowels may be constipated or the opposite condition of them may exist. This goes on for from twelve to twenty-four hours, when suddenly the victim shows a wild look, with prominent, bloodshot eyes; the tongue is protruded and he breathes quickly; and the appetite is now entirely lost. After a little, marked delirium is shown; if the animal is tied by the head he will fall forward, drop onto his side, and lie with rigid, quivering legs, until the convulsive attack subsides. Cattle that are loose in a field rush frantically forward and indicate some loss of sight or total blindness, by stumbling over small obstacles or running their heads against trees or other objects. Sometimes the animals will tear up the earth with their horns, stamping and roaring in a most violent manner. There is no apparent desire to attack persons or other animals. According to its severity an attack lasts from an hour or two to several days, death being the usual result unless treatment is perseveringly and carefully kept up. In sheep the line of symptoms are about the same. Treatment. At the commencement give one full dose of raw linseed oil and saleratus; at the same time begin to give moderate doses of either the tincture of aconite root each two hours in two ounces of cold water, or the fluid extract of belladonna, clear, on the tongue, three times daily. Do not continue the aconite for more than one day or the belladonna for more than three days. After this, if anything more is needed, give to cattle from eight to twelve ounces of epsom salts with fifteen grains of quinine in three pints of water, not oftener than once in each twenty-four hours. This should not be continued after the bowels begin to move, or if they do not move quite satisfactorily, lessen the dose of salts ' keeping up the full dose of quinine. For sheep give the same treatment but reduce the ?,mounts of the medicines used to those proper for the animal. (See table of closes.) Chronic Indigestion. This frequently met with disorder occurs in all the animals, and m them presents itself under such a variety of circumstances as to make it difficult to lay down anything like an absolute description of its causes and symptoms, which, therefore, must be treated in a general way. Causes. These are chiefly errors in diet, though they are not always easily found and recognized. The food may be too stimulating, too dry, not nutritious enough, not sufficiently well chewed, and this may be due to bad or sharp teeth or a habit of "bolting" the food, as shown by many horses and dogs; the feeding times may be irregular; the food may be given in too large quantities at a time; and, in horses, drinking heartily just before going to work. Impaired nervous power oftentimes prevents the full and necessary movements of the stomach during the earlier digestion, or of the bowels later on. If a horse, ox, or dog is fed a full meal when he first comes in tired from work, he is apt to become a victim of chronic indigestion. Symptoms are variable. The appetite may or may not be impaired, capricious, or even perverted, at which times horses, cattle, and dogs will eat a variety of unusual substances. At other times, although the animal eats enough, or more than that, of good food, he continues to lose flesh, sweats easily upon slight exertion, the coat looks unhealthy, and the skin becomes dry and hard (hidebound). The bowels discharges oftentimes, seem to be in perfect condition as to quantity, consistency, and color; there may be constipation, or a moderate diarrhea may be shown, especially during exercise; or these two last conditions may alternate without apparent cause. In many instances urine of a light color is passed in large quantities; occasionally the secretion will be very noticeably scant and of a dark yellow color, and when passed it may cause some uneasiness to be shown by the horse or dog, as if from a burning sensation. Thirst may be considerable or not; a horse will perhaps show a slightly coated tongue and have a sour, pasty smelling mouth; dogs, a heavily coated tongue and a disagreeable breath, and all animals may have little sores, like "canker," about the mouth or on the under side of the tongue. Small worms may be shown; if so, they will pass away as the digestion improves, without special treatment. Attacks of colic of more or less importance will be shown occasionally, especially among animals that have voracious appetites and are allowed to eat freely. All animals are dull and listless while at work or exercise; or they may seem active one day and dull the next. Treatment. All animals had better receive, at first, the usual dose of oil, whether the bowels are loose or not; but in those that already have diarrhea symptoms, all exercise should be stopped for two or three days after the oil has been given; this must be followed by continual administration of some good tonic, for horses, cattle, and sheep. (See prescriptions.) For dogs the citrate of iron and quinine pills, with a powder of bismuth and soda, five grains of each, three times daily, given dry on the tongue. All animals should be carefully and regularly fed; in horses, cattle, and sheep no Indian meal or linseed cake should be allowed, until they have fully recovered. In dogs there is no better feed than milk with either wheat or graham stale bread or boiled rice well soaked in it, fed in rather small quantities three times a day; if the case is a bad one, with occasional vomiting and diarrhea, a tablespoonful of lime water had best be mixed with each tumbler full of the milk. Foreign Bodies in the Paunch of Cattle. Not uncommonly these animals swallow such sharp pointed objects as nails, hairpins, knitting needles, small pieces of iron, and other similar articles. These bodies, when they have been swallowed, may gradually be pushed outward toward one side or the other and appear at almost any point * and cause an abscess on the surface under the skin. If such an abscess is opened, the foreign body will be disclosed and can generally be removed without difficulty or danger. At other times, and frequently, the sharp pointed object is urged forward by the natural movements of the parts, through the midriff, until it pierces the heart and causes the death of the animal. The Symptoms of this condition of affairs will be more or less abdominal pain, nausea, tympany, anemia, dropsical swellings about the dewlap; all accompanied by a fickle appetite and an obstinate diarrhea. Treatment. Nothing can be done to save the life and, therefore, as soon as it is determined that this cause is in operation, the sooner the animal is made into beef the better it will be. Inflammation of the Stomach in Horses, Cattle, Sheep, and Dogs. This condition may be acute or chronic Acute Disorder. It is thought by many authorities that this condition cannot exist excepting as a result of poisoning; and there is no doubt that such substances as arsenic, mercury, antimony, copper, wood ashes, and sometimes lead salts, are, as a rule, responsible for its appearance. Still, to some little extent among horses, cattle, and sheep, and to a greater extent among dogs, the disorder is seen and recognized when no question of poisoning can be entertained. Causes. Mineral poisons, or the presence in the stomach of some foreign or indigestible substance. Symptoms. Evidences of great pain, nausea, and, in the dog always, in the horse occasionally, vomiting. The horse looks around to the left flank, crouches, and cannot stand quiet or erect. The pulse is quick and, though strong at first, soon becomes feeble, irregular, and indistinct at the jaw; the extremities grow cold, partial sweats break out over the body; evidences of stupor appear, to be followed by unconsciousness, unless relief is given, and the animal dies either paralytic or in convulsions, the pain having been most intense throughout. In one case seen by the writer the spasms of pain were so severe as to pull the chin, at intervals, very nearly to the counter, and each severer spasm was accompanied by a loud shriek, but there was no vomiting. In two other cases, also seen by the writer, full vomiting took place. All three of these cases recovered. In Cattle and Sheep. There is a highly disturbed condition of the nervous system, evidenced either by delirium, as shown in fardel bound, insensibility, repeated convulsive fits, or paralysis of the hind extremities, with at first a more or less profuse diarrhea, which, however, stops as soon as the nervous symptoms are well set up. . In dogs the evidences of great pain, frequent and severe vomiting are after a time followed by convulsions, paralysis, and insensibility. The Treatment of acute gastritis will in a great measure be that for any inflammation of the bowels. The first thing will be to stop the pain as quickly as possible; for this opium offers the best hope. Horses may receive tincture of opium in doses of from two to four ounces, with twenty-five drops of tincture of aconite root in a cupful of warm water, each two hours, for as long as necessary; this dose may be increased or diminished as required; the horse above referred to as "shrieking" received eight ounces of tincture of opium at the first dose and after that two of four ounces each and one of two ounces. This is a very large, quantity, but the animal needed it. In Cattle and Sheep aconite and belladonna had best be substituted for the opium (see dose table), and a good dose, as one quart, of raw linseed oil can be given with advantage in many cases; if required it may be repeated in from eighteen to twenty hours. In sheep the dose of the oil will be from six to eight ounces. In dogs the constant vomiting becomes a very troublesome complication and must be managed under the rules already given, as, in the special nature of each case, seems to produce the best results. Always begin with moderate doses of tincture of opium, as ten drops for medium sized animals, in a half teaspoonful of iced water,, and repeat every two hours, if it is not rejected by the stomach; it is thrown up, the stomach must be quieted by some of the other methods, and the opium tried again. An injection of morphine under the skin, given by one who understands the operation, will often be found exceedingly useful. Men any of the corrosive poisons are known to be the cause, whites of eggs, milk, linseed jelly, or even linseed oil should be given at once and repeatedly, to protect the wars of the stomach; after which, if the exact poison is known, its proper antidote is, of course, to be given. This should be done by a medical practitioner in each case. (See table of antidotes.) Chronic Inflammation of the stomach may be met with as the sequel of an acute attack, but is much more apt to follow dietetic errors. It is exceedingly common among dogs, especially among those that cannot be kept from stealing from the refuse food deposits of the neighbors. Symptoms. In horses, cattle, and sheep are those of chronic indigestion, already described. In dogs, although there is a good appetite, the food is rejected by the stomach; there is considerable thirst and the animal places itself in a peculiar position by standing on his hind legs while both his front paws are stretched out to their full extent forward, thus bringing the chest nearly to the ground; and in this position he will stand for long periods of time together. Treatment. In horses, cattle, and sheep will be that already recommended for chronic indigestion. In dogs, tie the animal up and give iced water in small quantities at a time, and nothing else, for twenty-four hours. He may then begin to have small quantities at a time of milk and lime water, in the proportion of a tablespoonful of the lime water to each tumbler full of milk, three times a day; in addition to which one teaspoonful of finely chopped, lean, raw beef may be given once a day; this food can gradually be added to, by increasing the raw beef, as it is found that the animal stops the vomiting. From the commencement, and until the stomach becomes perfectly quiet, give one of the following powders, dry on the tongue, three times a day; sub nitrate of bismuth and bicarbonate of soda, of each one dram, which should be well mixed together and divided into twelve powders.

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