This disease prevails in the West, chiefly in the neighborhood of level, heavily timbered, rather wet oakland.
The cattle, horses, and sheep, which range in this land, are frequently attacked by a disease which the people call the trembles. It is supposed to be produced by eating some plant growing upon those lands, as cattle which feed in the neighboring regions are free from it until they find their way into these low grounds. It has been suggested that the offending plant may be the poison ivy (rhus toxicodendron). Be this as it may, the calves, soon after sucking cows which have run in these grounds, are seized with trembling, and frequently die of the disease. Dogs which lap the milk are affected in a similar manner. Children drinking it leave the table and vomit. Upon grown persons the effects are more severe, but not so sudden. The eating of the beef, mutton, or veal, of affected animals, brings on the same disease.
Symptoms. The disease sets in with sickness at the stomach, which is preceded by general debility, more particularly of the legs. There is nausea, vomiting, and the breath is so offensive and peculiar that those acquainted with the complaint immediately recognize it from this smell.
These existing for weeks, constitute, in some cases, the whole of the symptoms. In other cases they are more severe, being attended by chills and flushes, great oppression about the heart, anxiety, deep breathing, heat in the stomach compared to fire and boiling water, violent retching and vomiting, alarming beatings of the heart, and throbbings of the large vessels, and cold extremities, producing, all together, extreme distress.
In most cases, the vomiting returns every hour or two, attended by great burning at the pit of the stomach, the substance thrown up having a peculiar bluish green color, and a sour smell. As soon as this discharge takes place, the patient falls back upon the pillow, and lies easy until another turn comes round. The tongue is covered with a whitish coat, the bowels are obstinately costive, and the pulse is small and quick.
Treatment. It is believed that the neutralizing mixture, given in tablespoonful doses every time the nausea and burning sensation are felt, is the most effectual remedy yet used. It relieves the acidity, and seems well adapted to allay the irritation. Some antibilious physic (40) to move the bowels should also be given.
Besides these remedies, a mustard poultice should be put upon the stomach, and hot bricks to the feet, and the patient be kept still for some hours. The diet should be very mild, only toast water, rice water, or thin gruel.
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