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Full text of "Glanders in horses [microform]"

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OTTAWA 



FARMERS' BULLETIN No. 4 



GLANDEES IN HOESES 



BY 



DUNCAN McEACHRAN, F.R.C.V.S, D.V.S. 

Chief Veterinary Inspector for Canada 



PUBLISHED BY AUTHQRllY Of THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE 



OTTAWA 
GOVERNMENT PRINTING BUREAU 
1901 



GLANDERS IN HORSES. 



ow that the suitability of Canada for horse-raising has been demonstrated, and 
excellence of Canadian horses has been proved by the severest tests, this country 
orth wiU be looked to as a field for purchasing of horses by all the European 
countnes, both for civil and military purposes. 

ne enormous advances in values within the past three years, owing to increased 
emand and scarcity of good horses elsewhere, should induce our farmers and ranchmen 
recommence horse breeding without loss of time so that we may retain the demand 
r our Produce and increase our output 

nf ortunately in a few instances horses purchased by Imperial officers for remounts 

ound to be affected by glanders, a contagious disease which is known to exist to 

a united extent especially in the western portion of the Dominion, Manitoba and the 

emtones, due very largely to the importation from the south of cheap ponies which 

are constantly being brought into the country and sold to farmers throughout the web ,. 

This bulletin has been written with the object of informing those interested of the 
1 ure of the disease, means of recognizing it and what each should do to prevent its 
introduction and arrest its extension; and the Minister of Agriculture hopes that the 
orts being made by the official veterinarians and mounted police officers will be see- 
on ed by every horse breeder and agriculturist in Canada, as it requires the combined 
eltorts of all concerned to accomplish the desired end. 



GLANDERS AND FARCY. 

GrS an( * * arcy are one an d the same disease, both are due to a specific virus, 
ey may occur independently or may co-exist, and may be acute or chronic. 

-The horse, ass and mule are most susceptible. It has also been produced in the dog, 
ion, goat, sheep, pig, cat, guinea pig and pigeon by inoculation. It is readily 
communicated to man by inoculation; and grooms with sores on their hands 
frequently contract the disease from horses which they may be attending, 
is due to a rod-shaped straight or slightly curved bacillus with round ends, 
called the bacillus mallei, which is serobic, that is, requires oxygen of the air to live 
and thrive. It is found in the discharges from the nose, in pus of ulcers, in farcy buds, 
in tubercles when found in the lungs, in diseased glands, and less frequently in the 
blood when the disease assumes the acute form. 



SYMPTOMS AND DIAGNOSIS. 

Occasionally the symptoms in chronic cases are obscure. In acute cases they are 
pronounced, consisting of rigors, fever, swelling of the glands in the submaxillary 
region, often farcy buds along the course of the lymphatics of the hind legs or shoulders ; 
a leaden colour of the mucous membrane of the nostrils, and in later stages, patches of 
congestion, erosions and ulcers which have depressed mouse-eaten-like centres, raised 
edges surrounded by a red areola and discharging a sanious pus. The localization of 
the lesions (chancres and tubercles) occur in the membrane lining the nostrils and 
upper air passages, in the larynx and lungs. In true glanders, the submaxillary 
glands are enlarged, hard and attached to the sides of the jaw. The lesions are fre- 
quently confined to one nostril — the discharge from which is constant, though seldom 
excessive, but always adhesive, often of heavy specific gravity sinking in water, and in 
advanced stages it is offensive and mixed with blood indicating the exposure of blood 
vessels by the ulceration and the implication of the cartilage or bones. 

In the lungs numerous small tubercle-like nodules are found resembling milliary 
tubercles of tuberculosis, which when present produce quickened breathing and cough. 
In the superficial form usually called farcy, the localization is confined to the chains of 
lymphatic glands in the groin and shoulder which swell, suppurate, and form open 
ulcers which discharge a similarly adhesive pus. 

It may commence as glanders, farcy setting in subsequently or vice versa. The 
former is incurable, although some authorities claim to have witnessed recoveries. 
Farcy is supposed to be curable by some, but the one so often runs into the other, and 
the risks of error so great that we prefer to deal with both forms as incurable. 

In a country of such vast extent and variety of climate as Canada, we find corre- 
sponding variations in most diseases of animals, and in glanders particularly is this 
the case. It is a disease especially of the cheap horse, thus in the crowded cities there 
arc many poor men who work cheap horses and stable them in buildings unfit for ani- 
mal habitation. These are the horses which becoming infected spread and perpetuate 
this disease by infecting buildings, drinking troughs, &c. In them, too, we meet with 
it in its most virulent and acute forms. 

On the farms, too, infection is spread by the congregation of horses in crowded 
stables on market days and during church service. In farm horses which are a great 
deal in open air and sunshine it usually assumes a somewhat chronic form ; acute cases 
being less frequently seen than in cities. 

As seen in the prairie country and Rocky Mountain regions it is not nearly so 
pronounced in its manifestations, is seldom acute and often very deceptive and difficult 
to diagnose clinically; hence the greatest care should be exercised by those who bring 
horses into Manitoba and the Territories to take every precaution against its introduc- 
tion. It is to be feared that during the past four years this disease has been repeatedly 
imported from the south by cheap ponies brought in to sell to mining outfits; true, 
careful inspection is ordered and carried out by the veterinarians of the mounted police, 
and they do the best they can under the circumstances, yet we know that inspection of 
largo numbers of semi-wild horses on the prairie cannot be other than unsatisfactory. 



as glanders in a latent form can only be detected by close examination or the mallein 
est, which is usually impractical, for want of necessary facilities and difficulty in hand- 
ing them. Unfortunately also many of those who purchase cheap horses for riding and 
,ac mg purposes have little knowledge of horse flesh and are ignorant of the indiea- 
# disease, or the danger to which even one diseased horse may expose those men 
horses with which it comes in contact. This ignorance tends to spread this insidi- 
ous malady. 

ortunate indeed is the fact that the bacillus of this disease readily dies if exposed 

&un ight. The bright scorching sun of our territorial regions and the strong winds 

ti ° f n Prevailing there > are our surest safeguards against it, as is also the usual prae- 

iTte rl ° Wed ^ travellers of turnin g horses loose on the prairie or on a picket line 

infeT ° f mt0 a StaWe ° r Shed ' ^ preventin £ t0 a lar S e extent both direct and stable 



MALLEIN AS A TEST. 

th * lleln ' which is a sterilized glycerine extract from cultures of the lacillus mallei, 

vhoh 6nic bacilli of S lander s, is the analogue of tuberculin, and is believed by those 

ave had most experience of its use as a diagnostic agent to be as reliable in dis- 

venng occult cases of glanders when not discernible by symptoms, as is tuberculin in 

tuberculosis. 

s Injection and Results.— It is injected subcutaneously in the same manner as 

u ercuhn— -the normal temperatures being taken during the previous day. If glanders 

exists, within from six to eight hours there will be a hot painful swelling at the point 

. ln ^ ctlon » and a rise in temperature of two degrees to five degrees or more, and occa- 

onally a rapid development of the general clinical symptoms may follow. In all in- 

e ances where practicable the test should be applied to every doubtful animal, and to all 

W 1C w aVe beGn ex P ressed to infection direct or mediatory. 

We recommend every reader of this bulletin to consider well the following:— 

FACTS WHICH HORSE OWNERS OUGHT TO KNOW ABOUT GLANDERS. 

1S contagious and communicable by direct contact and mediatory agents, such 
as feed boxes, drinking troughs or pails 



is. 



H is communicable to man, when the virus comes in contact with a sore, or into 
the mucous membrane of the eyes, nose or mouth. 



It 



is incurable in both animals and man. 



In man it is a most painful and loathsome disease, with offensive discharges from 
the throat and nostrils, and unhealthy boils and blebs all over the body. 

In buying horses, nasal discharges should always be viewed with suspicion, and 
horses with such should be refused unless on expert advice. 



WHAT EVERY HORSE OWNER OUGHT TO DO. 

Immediately on discovering symptoms indicatory or suspicious of glanders, isolate 
the animal completely, and report his suspicion to the Minister of Agriculture. 

On no consideration should a horse owner try to hide such a suspicious animal, 
he endangers his other horses, the lives of men working with or ahout the horse, or of 
members of his family, or it may be his own life. 

In the Territories, report to the Commissioner of the North-west Mounted Police, 
who will order necessary action on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture. 

The owner should carry out to the letter all preventive measures suggested by the 
veterinarian, even at a good deal of trouble and expense. In dealing with infected 
stables, nothing short of removal and burning of all woodwork, feed boxes, hay boxes or 
racks, will be effective, the floors and stall divisions may be planed and limewashed, or 
scrubbed with some disinfectant solution. 

The following simple direction for the disinfection of stables extracted from last 
year's report may be useful in dealing with glanders : — 

'When the buildings are modern and properly constructed as to air space, light, 
drainage and ventilation, disinfection is a simple matter. 

' When, however, the stable building is old, perhaps a utilization of some old wooden 
structure for housing animals, or the make-shift erections of the pioneer in the west 
who by force of circumstances has been compelled to provide some sort of shelter which 
because horses are kept in it is called a stable, it is more difficult. 

' The disinfectant may be gaseous, spray, liquid or solid. The gases most used for 
disinfection are chlorine and formaldehyde. 

' In using gas for disinfectant purposes it is necessary to remove the animals, and 
close up tightly the doors, windows and ventilators. 

1 To generate chlorine gas, place, say, 8 ounces of common salt with which an ounce 
of black oxide of manganese has been mixed, in an earthenware plate, then pour three 
ounces of sulphuric acid over the mixture and stir, when chlorine gas will be evolved. 
Care must be taken not to inhale any of the fumes as they are very irritant to the bron- 
chial tubes — several plates may be used according to the size and form of the stable. 
It should be left closed for four hours when it may be opened and air and light freely 
admitted for several hours before animals are returned to it. 

' Vaporized formaldehyde is extensively used for disinfecting houses, it is disen- 
gaged by a special apparatus and is introduced to a room or building by a rubber tube 
passed through a key-hole. 

' Steam is very effective where it can be conveniently furnished. 

' The liquids used for disinfection are : solutions of corrosive sublimate which while 
much used in human practice are too dangerous to be employed for disinfection of 
stables or byres, solutions of carbolic acid, creolin, sulpho napthol or sanitas, may be 
used either in watery solutions or in combination with lime wash. 



' Reliable disinfection may be obtained by using a spraying pump and applying a 
lime wash to every five gallons of which a pound of commercial carbolic acid is added, 
forcing it into every corner, crack or crevice of the walls, stall, divisions and floors. 

' The solids used are lime, chloride of lime, and carbolate of lime which are useful 
for sprinkling floors or mixing with composts and manure heaps. 

' More powerful chemicals are prescribed for disinfection, but in selecting the above 
we have considered efficiency, safety, cheapness and facility in procuring as most coun- 
try druggists can supply them.' 

Insidious and incurable as this disease undoubtedly is, the facility with which the 
infective properties of the bacillus mallei are destroyed by sunlight and dry air as well 
as by such measures as above suggested, and diagnosis by the mallein test being almost 
absolutely reliable, it is quite within the possibilities that this disease may be completely 
eradicated, and if fresh importations are prevented, our horses will have a clean bill of 
health which will greatly enhance their value and ensure a ready sale.