Chapter 35 - Veterinary Appendix
Methods of Giving Medicines to Animals
Medicines and their Doses

35.1 Methods of Giving Medicines to Animals

Methods of Giving Medicines to Animals. Balls or Pills are given to horses by first wetting or oiling the surface of the ball; grasping one extreme end of it between the pointed fingers and thumb of the right hand; pulling the tongue well out to the left side of the mouth, with the left hand; and placing the ball well back in the mouth, and over the belly of the tongue, withdrawing the right hand quickly and releasing the tongue immediately. Unless one is practiced in this operation, the right hand had best be covered with a glove to prevent its being scratched by the teeth. Drenches or Drinks. Fluid medicines are given to horses by first passing a loop of rope into the mouth, as a bit is placed, slipping a pitchfork tine into the other end of the loop, and raising the head so that the medicine will flow down the throat. Of course the head may be raised in any other way. The medicine having been previously placed in a bottle, made of glass or rubber, without a shoulder, is then turned into the uplifted mouth, carefully and slowly, and the head held up until the medicine is all swallowed. Care should be taken not to let the bottle get between the horses' teeth. The process of drenching cattle and sheep is much more easily accomplished: an assistant holds the head up so that the mouth is on s, horizontal line with the neck, or a little higher. The dose giver, standing at the left side of the animal, pulls the cheek a little to one side with a finger of the left hand and turns the medicine slowly from the bottle into the pocket so made. These animals swallow much more readily than horses; but if signs of choking or a desire to cough is shown during the process, the head must be immediately released, or the fluid is apt to go into the lungs. This same caution should be observed while drenching horses. In giving fluid medicines to dogs there is no necessity for opening the mouth, in fact it is best not to do so. The head is held up by an assistant; a finger inserted at the angle of the mouth pulls the cheek out, thus forming a pouch into which the dose may be slowly poured. Pills are given to dogs by having an assistant open the mouth wide, when the pill is quickly placed as far back as possible and pushed over the belly of the tongue with a finger or small stick, like a lead pencil. Externally. Liniments and lotions are to be rubbed onto the desired portions of the surface of the body. They are generally wasted by being used in too large quantities at a time. The harder a stimulating liniment is rubbed in, the quicker and greater will be its action. Cooling and healing fluids usually give the best results if they are simply "sopped " onto the parts. Blisters. Before applying any blister the hair should first be closely clipped from the part to be treated. Parts below, over which the blister, or the discharge produced by it, are likely to run, should be covered lightly with a little lard or sweet oil. Application of a Blister of Spanish Flies. The parts to be blistered should then be spread with a moderate covering of the ointment, which is to be rubbed in with the hand, more of the ointment added and rubbed in if necessary; the surface is then to receive a light spreading of the ointment, which is to be left upon the surface; and the animal should be tied up so that he cannot reach the parts with the mouth, or lie down. As soon as the discharges caused by the blister have dried, which will be in about three days, the part should be carefully washed by sopping it with castile soap and warm water, using as little water as possible and considerable of the soap. After the parts have become thoroughly dry, from the washing, they may receive a very light covering of lard or sweet oil and the animal may "have his head" again. The covering with a little lard or sweet oil should be repeated every three days until the hair begins to grow again. If it should happen that the blister is rubbed by the animal upon any other part of the body, it should be immediately washed off and the part greased over. The harder a blister is rubbed in the greater will be its action. Blisters of Red Iodide of Mercury are to be applied by first rubbing a little of the ointment well into the parts, using only one or two of the fingers, instead of the whole hand. The first application should be added to, once a day, until the parts become sore, by having a little more of the ointment rubbed lightly onto them. This blister is allowed to remain, without washing, until a heavy scab is formed, when it may be oiled, lightly, every other day, until it begins to be removed by the new coming hair. The horse should be kept standing as long as the ointment is being applied. Poultices may be made of bran, oil meal, cotton waste, sponge, and either hot or cold water, the object being to keep moisture constantly applied to the part under treatment. Poultices are conveniently applied to the feet of horses by using a square piece of some strong material~ as oat bagging, which is large enough to hold the poultice and come up over the hoof to be tied under the fetlock; otherwise they axe to be held in place by bandages. Fomentations are generally used upon parts where it is impossible to retain a poultice. They consist in frequently sopping the parts with hot water for fifteen or twenty minutes at a time.

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