General Plethora Horses, Cattle, and Sheep.
This is a condition of over fullness of blood of the whole body and generally appears among young, fast thriving animals; more particularly horses, cattle, and sheep.
Causes. Excess of some highly nutritious food; a need of more exercise; or a mixture of both. To illustrate from my case book: Two brown geldings, one six and the other five years old, had been allowed to stand, without work, for the greater part of the winter in the same stable, with and upon the same food, hay and oats, as had been given to the other horses which were in full work. When they were first put to work in the spring they had sweat profusely after very little exertion, the respirations were greatly accelerated, and there was a small dripping hemorrhage of dark colored blood from the nostrils. One of them had been markedly dizzy. When seen they were very fat; the membranes much deepened in color; pulse fuller and harder than natural; the surface of the body felt warmer than usual, and the blood vessels of the surfaces of the shoulders and limbs stood out like cords.
A large flock of sheep which were kept by a golf club, for the purpose of keeping the grass close, in the summer, were put into some sheds through the winter and fed upon hay and a large ration of grain, without roots. Early in the spring they became dull, without appetite, and evidently dizzy; several of them died before medical attendance was requested; none after it had been instituted.
Symptoms. The veins are distended, as shown on various parts of the bodies in shorthaired animals; there is great redness of the membranes of the eyelids and nose, the congestion of the eyelids is sometimes so great as to give them quite a swollen appearance. The pulse is large and somewhat hard and resistant to the touch; the animal is indolent and occasionally dizziness is evidenced by his pressing his head (boring) against the side of a building or some other firm object. The respiration slow. If unrelieved, death follows, beginning with coma. It is not necessary that the subject of this disorder be fat; a too sudden increase in the richness of the food may produce the disorder before the thin animal begins to lay on much flesh.
Treatment will consist in making proper changes in the food, restricting its quantity or lessening its high quality; seeing that sufficient exercise is allowed or given; and the administration of a good dose of cathartic medicine, which had better be of epsom salts. Bleeding is contraindicated. The cathartic dose for the various animals may be made as, for a horse of eleven to twelve hundred weight:
R. Epsom Salts 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs.
Powdered Gingerroot 1/2ounce
Lukewarm water I quart
Mix. When the salts are thoroughly melted turn down from a
bottle, in the usual way. Give all at a dose.
The same dose may be given to cattle, except that the salts may be from one pound for a small cow to two pounds for a larger bullock.
In sheep: Salts 4 oz. to 6 oz., ginger I dram, molasses I tea
spoonful, and water I pint.
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copyright 2005, J. Crow Company, New Ipswich NH 03071