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\_All Miglds are i'eserved.'} 



Some additions, wliicli I hope may be found useful, 
Lave been made to tlie present edition, e.g, a chapter 
on Inflammation Artificially Induced, also chapters on 
the Repair of Injuries, on Paralysis, and on the Origin 
of Disease. A short Glossary of medical terms has 
also been added. 

This edition has been carefully revised by Mr. W. 
B. Walters, Army Inspecting Veterinary Surgeon, 
to whom the Author desires to express his great 


Plans of Stables . 

Paving .... 

Window, to drop back 

Grasses .... 

Herbage .... 

Weeds .... 

Hock, Bones of 1 

Hock, Conformation of/ 

Pore-leg, Bones ofI 

Pore-leg, Crooked j 

Pore-leg, Tendons and Ligaments of 

Hock-joint, Ligaments of . 

Knee, Pront View of Bones of Off 

Eye, the .... 

Teeth, the . . . 

Skeleton ") 

Conformation of various Points J 

PooT, the 

Shoes, Pore and Hind i 

Tips J 

TuRNED-up Pore-shoes 

Hind Shoes for over-reach 

Laminitis .... 















CPIAPTER I. — Ventilation and Construction of Stables 1 

CHAPTER II. — Improvement of Stables of Faulty Con- 
struction ... 

CHAPTER III.— Stable Fittings... 

CHAPTER IV. — Watering and Feeding. 

CHAPTER v.— Forage 

CHAPTER VI.— Grooming 


CHAPTER VIII.— Exercise 

CHAPTER IX.— Stable Management 









PART 11. 

CHAPTER X.— The Blood, Arteries, and Veins 

CHAPTER XL— The Pulse 

CHAPTER XII.— The Absorbents • ... 

.. 110 
,. 148 
,. 154 



CHAPTER XIII.— Structure and Uses of various Mem- 
branes AND Tissues ... ... ... ... 159 

CHAPTER XIY. — The Nervous System ... ... ... 168 

.' CHAPTER XV.— Good Nursing ... ... ... ... 172 

CHAPTER XYI.— Infection and Contagion ... ... 182 

CHAPTER XVII.— Action and Uses of Medicines ... 193 

CHAPTER XVIIL— Inflammation ... ... ... 221 

CHAPTER XIX.— Of Inflammation artificially induced, 

AS A Curative Agent ... ... ... ... 247 

CHAPTER XX.—Abscesses ... ... ... ... 262 

CHAPTER XXI.— Ulceration and Sloughing ... ... 269 


CHAPTER XXII.— Acute Diseases of the Organs of 

Respiration ... ... ... ... ... 273 

CHAPTER XXIII.— Chronic Diseases of the Organs of 

Respiration ... ... ... ... ... 308 

CHAPTER XXIV.— Influenza ... ... ... ... 321 

CHAPTER XXV.— Nasal Gleet 335 

CHAPTER XXVI.— Strangles 341 

CHAPTER XXVII.— Rheumatism 349 

CHAPTER XXVIII.— Dropsical Swellings ... ... 352 

CHAPTER XXIX.— Glanders and Farcy 357 


PART ly. 


CHAPTER XXX. — Colic and Inflammation of the In- 
testines ... ... ... ... ... ... 369 

CHAPTER XXXL— Mad and Sleepy Staggers ... ... 380 

CHAPTER XXXIL— Megrims or Vertigo ... ... 389 

CHAPTER XXXIIL— Tetanus or Lockjaw ... ... 392 

CHAPTER XXXIII— A.— Paralysis 396 

CHAPTER XXXIV.- Stringhalt 400 


CHAPTER XXXIV— A.— Repair op Injuries to Vital 

Structures... ... ... ... ... ... 401 

CHAPTER XXXV.— Diseases of Bones ... ... ... 408 

CHAPTER XXXVI.— Fractures of Bones ... ... 416 

CHAPTER XXXVII.— Conformation of the Hock ... 423 


CHAPTER XXXIX.— Splint 435 

CHAPTER XL. — Sore-shins, Ring-bone, and Ossified 

Cartilages... ... ... ... ... ... 445 


CHAPTER XLL— Bursal Enlargements... 451 

CHAPTER XLII. — Detection op the Seat and Cause op 

Lameness ... ... ... ... ... ... 458 



CHAPTER XLIII.— Symptoms op various Diseases affect- 
ing THE Feet ... ... ... ... ... 468 

CHAPTER XLIY.— Sprains of Tendons and Ligaments 

of the Fore-leg ... ... ... ... ... 47-Jf 

CHAPTER XLV.— Sprains op Tendons and Ligaments of 

the Hind Leg ... ... ... ... ... 491 

CHAPTER XLYI.— Poll Evil and Fistulous Withers ... 497 

CHAPTER XLYIL— Open Joint 501 

CHAPTER XLYIII.— Flesh Wounds 512 

CHAPTER XLIX.— Warbles or slight Tumors, and Sit- 

FASTS ... ... ... ... ... ... 524 


CHAPTER L. — Cracked Heels and Grease 


CHAPTER LII.— Ringworm 


CHAPTER LIY.— BoTs and Worms 



CHAPTER LY.— Diseases of the Kidneys and I^Bladdee 547 

CHAPTER LYL— The Liver 559 

CHAPTER LYII.—DisEASES of the Eye... ... ... 566 




CHAPTER LYIII. — Age, as indicated by the Teeth ... 593 

CHAPTER LIX.— Lampas ... ... ... ... 607 

CHAPTER LX.— Conformation ... ... ... ... 608 

CHAPTER LXL— The Law of Warranty ... ... 650 

CHAPTER LXII.— Principles of Shoeing ... ... 653 

CHAPTER LXIIL— Shoeing— DETAILS of... ... ... 667 

CHAPTER LXIV.— Shoeing of the Fore-feet ... ... 688 

CHAPTER LXV.— Diseases of the Foot ... ... 693 

CHAPTER LXVI.— The Progress of Veterinary Science 723 

CHAPTER LXYII.— Origin of Diseases ... ... 737 




1. Importance of pure air. 2. Circulation of the Mood. 3. 
Effect of breath on air. 4. Composition of tJce air. 5. Circula- 
tion of the air. 6. Natural facilities for ventilation. 7. Escape 
of foul air. 8. How the place of foul air is supplied. 9. Amount 
of cubical space required by horses in stables. 10. Cubical 
contents of various stables. 11. Faulty plans of construction iri 
stables. I'H.Trus principles of construction. 13. Louvreboards. 
14. Plans of ceiling. 15. Ventilation of stables with rooms over 
them. 16. Paving. 16a. Litter sheds. 17. Floor of the stable 
to be higher tha7i the ground outside. 18. Drainage. 19. Slope 
of stalls. 10. /S'i^e of stables. 21. Aspect. 22. TFa/Zs anc? 
foundation. 2^. Light. 24. Fire-places. 2b. Dimensions and 
cost. 26. Cheaper construction. 27. Loose boxes. 28. Argu- 
ment against the need of ventilation. 29. Conclusion. 

1. Importance of pure air. 

Pure air is as important to the integrity of the blood as 
wholesome food to the maintenance of the body. 

The importance of pure air can hardly be adequately appre- 
ciated without some knowledge of the course of the circulation 
of the blood and also of the composition of the air. 

It is not; however, intended, either in this or any succeeding 



chapter to enter into any minute descriptions of structures or 
processes; but "an endeavour will be made to give concisely, 
and it is boped sufficiently^ broad principles and facts which 
may enable the non-professional reader to understand the sub- 
ject referred to. 

2. Circulation of the hlood. 

By each contraction or beat of the heart bright scarlet 
highly vitalized blood fresh from the lungs is forced through 
the arteries to all parts of the body. The arteries dividing and 
subdividing become smaller and smaller, and ultimately termi- 
nate in very minute hair-like tubes, called capillary vessels or 
capillaries. These vessels abound in every vascular structure, 
and from them each structure absorbs those special nutrient 
particles which are required for its growth or repair. In the 
capillaries the arterial or outward-bound system of the circula- 
tion ends. 

In these same capillaries the venous or return circulation 
commences. Into them also are returned the waste and used 
up products of the system. Reversing the previous order 
the capillary veins now enlarge and coalesce and carry back 
to the heart dark, pm^ple, venous blood, charged with the 
waste matters of the tissues, and among these with carbonic 
acid gas. 

The impure blood thus brought back by the veins is carried 
to the right side of the heart, and thence at each contraction 
or beat of that organ is forced into the lungs. 

The lungs contain an infinite number of cells, which through 
the bronchige and windpipe communicate with the outer air. 
On the outside of these cells the blood-vessels are spread. The 
blood thus exposed to the air takes up fi'om it a portion of its 
oxygen, and gives off the carbonic acid gas and various volatile 
organic matters which have accumulated in it, as described 

Thus freed from impurity, and containing more oxygen, the 
blood again becomes bright scarlet and adapted for the nutri- 
tion of the body ; and in this state it is returned to the left 
side of the heart for renewed circulation through the frame. 
Prom birth to death this process is always going on. 


3. Effect of breath on the air, 

Tlie impurities of the blood are tlius transferred to tlie air. 
Air, therefore, which has been much breathed in contains too 
little oxygen and too much carbonic acid gas, and is besides 
loaded with the organic impurities given off by the lungs and 
also by the skyi. Hence it is obvious that the condition of 
the blood and the health of the animal depend very much on 
the purity of the air supplied to the lungs. 

4. Composition of the air. 

Pure air consists of about four-fifths of nitrogen and one- 
fifth of oxygen with small proportions of carbonic acid gas, 
aqueous vapour, ammonia, ozone, and other constituents. For 
the purpose of purifying blood, oxygen is the chief useful part 
of air. Nitrogen adds largely to its volume and dilutes the 
oxygen, which would otherwise be much too active. Any 
excess of carbonic acid gas is unwholesome, and an addition 
of '5 per cent, is sufficient to render air irrespirable. 

5. Circulation of the air, 

Nature undisturbed takes her own means, into which it is 
not necessary here to enter, of restoring the purity of the air, 
or in other words, of maintaining in their due proportion the 
proper constituents of the air. But in a closed room or stable 
there are no means by which she can carry on her restorative 
processes. Hence the need of ventilation. It is absolutely 
necessary to maintain or restore the proper constituents of the 
air, if we wish for health for ourselves or our horses. 

6. Natural facilities for ventilation. 

Fortunately the peculiar properties, or rather the state of the 
gases which respectively constitute foul and pure air, afford 
great facihties for ventilation. Heat causes all matters to 
expand, some more and some less ; but gases under the influ- 
ence of heat expand very rapidly, and to a very great degree ; 
and as they expand, they of course become lighter. 

As a general rule, foul air in a stable is also heated air. It 
is only necessary to breath on the hand to feel that our breath 


is generally warmer than tlie air. And besides the breath a?, 
certain amount of heat is given off from the bodies of all 
living animals. Carbonic acid gas^ though at equal tempera- 
tures heavier, is nevertheless, when heated, as it is when first 
given off from the lungs, lighter than pure air. 

7. Escape of foul air. 

The lightness of heated foul air at once affords the key for 
getting rid of it. It is only necessary to provide the means of 
exit in the highest part of the stable, and it will escape by its 
own inherent lightness. In fact we may get quit of it without 
any trouble. 

But, on the other hand, supposing that the foul air has na- 
means of escape, what becomes of it ? It has risen to the top= 
of the stable, because being heated it is lighter than the sur- 
rounding air. It will escape if it can, but if we deny it the 
opportunity of doing so, it must remain in the stable. It then 
gradually cools, and as it cools descends and becomes mingled 
with the air of the stable, and is in due course again presented 
to the nostrils to be breathed. 

Although we cannot see this movement of foul air in a room 
or stable, it may easily be shown by experiments with coloured 

8. How the place of the foul air is supplied. 

But supposing the foul air to have an exit above, how is its 
place, how is the vacancy caused by its escape, to be supplied 
by fresh air ? 

If there are no apertures except those above, it is clear that 
by the continued ascent and escape of heated foul air a tendency 
to a vacuum will be created in the stable. It is well known that 
the pressure of the atmosphere is equal to 14 lbs. per square 
inch. When, then, even a tendency to a vacuum has been 
created, the pressure of the air on the outside is sufficient to 
overcome the upward current of heated air ; and cold, fresh 
air will rush in at intervals to supply the vacancy. When the 
vacancy is supplied, the upward current and escape of heated 
air will be resumed until another tendency to a vacuum is 
created, when a similar indraught will occur again. Hence 


tlie unpleasant sensation of cold draughts coming down sud- 
denly on the head so often complained of in rooms ventilated 
only from above. 

To provide against any such sudden change in the direction 
of the current it is necessary to admit by another and lower 
series of apertures a certain proportion of the fresh air required. 

It is not necessary that the lower apertures should be large 
enough to admit a volume of air equal to that which is escaping 
above_, because^ if the upper apertures are properly constructed, 
a considerable proportion of air will be constantly and regularly 
— not in sudden draughts — entering on the windward side, 
whilst the foul air escapes on the leeward side. In addition to 
•which a certain amount of air comes in through the windows 
•and under the doors, even though closed. 

There is, however, confessedly great difficulty in arranging 
apertures for the admission of fresh air without causing an 
unpleasant draught in some portion of the room or stable. In 
this lies the more difficult and more neglected part of ventila- 
tion. ISTo one likes the sensation of a cold daught on their own 
persons, and horses also appear to dislike it, though probably 
not so much as human beings. 

It is well, however, to remember that horses, in this respect, 
unlike men, rarely suffer in health from draught or cold, unless 
they are heated at the time, and excepting also those doing y&rj 
fast work, the pores of whose skins are consequently very open. 
Their food, however, goes less far, their coats become less sleek, 
and the highest development of condition cannot be attained 
when the animals are subjected to such discomforts. 

9. Amount of cuhical space required hy horses in stables. 

It has not yet been ascertained how much, or rather what is 
the minimum quantity of fresh air required by horses in stables. 
In a state of nature the horse, we know, enjoys perfect freedom 
of air and exercise. He is, moreover, constantly exposed to all 
the vicissitudes of weather and climate, for he does not, like 
many other animals, make cover or shelter for himself. 

We may, therefore, assume that in the domesticated state 
he ought to have an abundant supply of fresh air, with regular 
^exercise ; and further, that he is not likely to suffer from any 


moderate amount o£ draught or cold_, althougli no doubt the 
increased action of the pores of the skin^ which results from 
fast work and grooming, creates an increased degree of sus- 
ceptibility in these respects. 

Unfortunately we have but few statistics to guide us as to 
the quantity of air required by horses in stables. Some 
approximate idea may, however, perhaps be gathered from a 
comparison with that required for human beings. 

The Army Sanitary Commission, after much investigation, 
have recommended that a minimum space of 600 cubic feet 
should be allowed for each soldier in a barrack room. Now, 
assuming that the capacity of the lungs of a horse is six times 
greater than that of a man, we might argue that six times 
greater space, or 3000 cubic feet would be required for each 
horse in a stable. 

Various circumstances, however, modify this calculation. 
The horse is not fed on animal food, and therefore the emana- 
tions given off from his body are less noxious than those 
proceediQg from human beings j and, agaiu, as he is far less 
susceptible of injury from draught or cold than man, it is pos- 
sible to give to stables a greater degree of ventilation than 
would be tolerable in a room ; and lastly, and chiefly, the horse 
cannot, as men too often do, close the means of ventilation. 

Arguing from the experience gained in barrack stables and 
elsewhere, the author believes that with the concomitants of 
good ventilation, good drainage and paving, light and cleanli- 
ness, 1200 cubic feet, with a ground area of about 87 feet per 
horse are sufficient, though probably the minimum required for 
the maintenance of health. But no amount of cubical space, 
however great, will secure pure air, unless the plan of the con- 
struction of the stable is good. See pars. 11 and 12. 

10. Cubical contents of various stables, 

Mr. Dollar, the emiuent veterinary surgeon in New Bond 
Street, London, has kindly supplied the following statistics 
relating to stables in London : 

The Koyal Mews give, per horse . 2500 cubic feet. 
Marlborough House stables . . 1700 ;, 

South-Eastern Kailway Company . 1540 „ 


Messrs. Eeid & Co.^ Liquorpond St. 

London Chatliam and Dover Rail- 
way Company 

Messrs. East_, Curzon Street . 

Great Western Railway Company 

London General Omnibus Company 
(Eccleston Place) 

Messrs. Wimbush^ Gillingham St. 

Mr. Bircli's Omnibus 

Stables attached to gentlemen's 
houses generally about . 

Portland Place stables . 

Cab-horse stables_, average about 

1250 cubic feet. 




But^ in regard to cab-horse stables, it must be remembered 
that the horses stand in the open nearly half of the twenty-four 
hours. As a general rule, cab stables are very well ventilated^ 
clean^ and well drained. Cab owners have learned by experi- 
ence to be excessively particular about ventilation, cleanliness, 
and drainage. In many cab stables which the author has 
visited the windows have been wholly removed, and the doors 
are left wide open all night. Of late years there has been a 
very great and general improvement in the health, condition^, 
and management of cab horses. 

In the first edition of this book, the author expressed his> 
opinion that the average duration of the London cab horse^ 
from one cause and another, or probably from many causes 
combined, did not exceed two and a half years. He is glad to 
be able to say, from recent observations, that at least one third 
may be added to the present average duration. 

Of barrack stables a few statistics may be useful. 

The New Hyde Park barracks give, highest 2284 cubic feet. 

Regent's Park barracks 
Aldershot, cavalry barracks 

Ditto army service corps 
Colchester, cavalry, open roof 
Ditto rooms over 

lowest 1452 


average 1781 


. 761 


. 1034 


. 1464 


. 1405 


. 1296 




Colcliester, artillery 

Dublin, Island Bridge, new block 

Ditto Eoyal barracks . 

Ditto ditto Officers (new) 

York, old barrack 
Ditto new, with room overkead . 

Ditto open roof 
Hounslow . 
Norwich . 
Windsor (old) 
Glasgow (new) 
Woolwich, new model 

.1386 cubic feet. 

. 783 

. 560 

. 1730 

. 740 

. 1122 

. 1546 

. 630 

. 735 

. 739 

. 798 

. 1462 

. 1793 


In cavalry barracks, however, it is usual, when circumstances 
admit of it, and that is nearly always the case, to allow one or 
two spare stalls in each stable; and the cubical space per 
horse is of course thereby increased. The stables generally 
hold fourteen or sixteen horses. 

11. Faulty plans of construction in stables. 

Many stables from their construction are difficult to venti- 
late properly. In some the construction is such that proper 
ventilation is impossible. In others ventilation is easy 
enough, but at the expense of an objectionable degree of 
draught on the horses. Lastly, be the construction what it 
may, insufficient cubical space necessitates an amount of fresh 
air passing through the stable in order to keep it sweet, which 
must make it cold and draughty. 

The six plans annexed will serve to explain our meaning as 
to faults of construction. 

Plan A is an eight-stall stable of very frequent construction. 
It has a door and two windows in front. If the windows are 
large enough, and if the paving and drainage are good and the 
cubical space sufficient, the construction is not very bad ; but 
it is open to the objection, that it gives no thorough ventila- 
tion, and consequently there is no sufficient circulation of air 
through the stable. The windows and doors are all on one 
side, namely on that furthest from the horses' nostrils. The 

Plans showing Common and Faulty Modes of Construction 

OF Stables. 

I — 1 


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Sections to illusteate Ridge Ventilation by means of Louvees. 

i z . o'-c- r z. z ^ 5 6 7 e 3 lo-F^ 

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Scale, 4 Fket to Onk Inch. 


air enters behind the horses and passes through the stable, and 
picks up whatever foul emanations may have arisen from the 
bedding, urine, &c., before it is presented to the nostrils to be 
breathed. Again, the horse stands in the portion of the stable 
in which the air is most stagnant. 

We shall make suggestions hereafter for the improvement of 
these and other stables of defective construction. 

Plan B represents a four-stall stable of a construction very 
common in London. It has only one door and one window at 
one end. There is no thorough ventilation. The horse 
nearest to the window may get some pure air, tho second must 
get less, and the evil increases with each succeeding horse. It 
is impossible to have pure air in a stable of this construction. 
It is radically bad. The mischief is of course immensely 
augmented when this plan of construction is applied to a six- 
er eight-stall stable. Plan C. 

Plan D represents an eight-stall stable having a door and 
window at each end, with the horses standing in a single row 
or line. 

Plan E represents a stable of similar construction with 
sixteen stalls, the horses standing in two lines with a passage 
between them. This is the ordinary barrack construction. 

Both these stables have the great advantage of thorough 
ventilation. They can therefore be kept pretty sweet, but not 
without a sensible amount of draught. It is obvious, however, 
that only the horses next to the windows obtain really pure air. 
All the rest must imbibe air tainted by the breath of the horses 
jiearer the windows, and by the other emanations of the stable. 
The evil necessarily increases as the centre of the stable is 

The objection to this plan of construction becomes greater 
in proportion as the number of horses in the stable is increased. 
There may be seen in London as many as thirty horses standing 
between the opposite sources of air. Plan P. 

At the inconvenience of a certain amount of draught on the 
horses nearest to the windows, a stable with eight horses in a 
line may perhaps be kept sweet ; but no sufficient current of 
air will percolate through such a building as that shown in 
Plan F. 


12. True principles of construction. 

From tlie peculiar properties o£ heated air_, as explained in 
tlie early part of tMs chapter^ there need be but little difficulty 
in getting rid of it. The best means of doing so will be detailed 

The real difficulty lies in providing for the admission of fresh 
air in quantities sufficient to maintain the purity of the stable 
without causing in some part or other a sensible and incon- 
venient draught. This difficulty^ however, or, in other words, 
the need of draught, decreases in proportion as the air has a 
less distance to travel before it is presented to the nostrils of the 

With this view it is essential as a primary rule that no more 
than two horses should be placed between the opposite sources 
of air. Plan G. In all stables the windows should be placed 
on both sides along the length of the stable. It is then imma- 
terial, as regards ventilation, how many horses the stable is 
constructed to hold. The air has no greater distance to travel 
than the breadth of the building. There should be a window 
over the head of each horse two feet six inches in width and 
three feet in height. Details as to the best construction of 
windows and the means of obviating unpleasant draught from 
them when open will be found under the head of Stable Fit- 
tings, in Chapter III. In the plan marked H the sills of the>. 
windows are placed eight feet above the floor. 

Windows may, however, under certain circumstances require- 
to be almost entirely closed. Therefore above the windows 
immediately under the eaves and running the whole length of 
the stable on both sides, a row of air-bricks should be placed. 
Plan H. The air entering through these numerous but minute 
apertures will be considerable, but it can never amount to an 
excessive draught. It will also be sufficient at most times, 
when the windows are closed, to maintain the upward current 
of the air, and thus prevent an excessive down-cast current 
from the ridge apertures recommended hereafter for the escape 
of the foul air. 

Below each manger, about fourteen inches above the floor of 
the stable, a line of air-bricks should be placed. The height 


of fourteen inclies is recommended in order tliat tlie apertures 
may not be choked by the bedding. By means of the air-bricks 
so placed a gentle and scarcely perceptible stream of fresh air 
will be supplied almost directly to the horse's nostrils when he 
is lying down. The air entering at this low point is also of 
great use in keeping in motion the air in the lower part of the 
stable^ where it is otherwise especially apt to become stagnant. 
Plan H. 

The amount of air entering under these arrangements will 
undoubtedly be considerable, but at no one point will it be so 
great as to create a sensible and unpleasant draught. It will 
be gradually, gently, and constantly diffused through the 
whole stable. Traversed openings are objectionable. They are 
very apt to get choked, and it is very difficult to clear them out. 

If the reader will now kindly turn back to plans A, B, C, D,, 
E, and F, he will readily perceive the points in which those 
constructions are respectively defective. 

Plans G, H, I, and K, show various views of a sixteen- stall 
stable of the description which the author would recommend. 
He has chosen this size for the illustration of his views, not 
because it is most common or even most convenient for private 
stables, but in order to contrast it with plans D and E, the 
ordinary barrack construction. Those plans are not very bad, 
though undoubtedly defective and now abandoned at the re~ 
commendation of the '^ Sanitary Commission on the Yentila- 
tion of Cavalry Stables." To those Commissioners the author 
desires to make his acknowledgement that his idea of the true 
principles of construction are mainly drawn from their report. 

Though the plans are drawn for a sixteen-stall stable, yet the 
same construction is equally available and suitable for a less or 
greater number of horses. Plan L shows a single-line stable 
for five horses on similar principles, except that there is only 
one horse instead of two between the opposite sources of air. 

13. Louvre hoards. 

For ready means of affording exit for foul air no construction 
offers so great facilities as an open roof with louvre boards at 
its ridge running the whole length of the stable. In double- 
line stables the depth of the louvre should be sixteen inches. 

12 CHx\PTER I. 

(plan H), wliicL. will afford a ventilating outlet of about four 
feet of eacli horse. In stables in which the horses stand in a 
single line or row the depth of the louvre may be reduced one 
-half. For reasons almost similar to those which have been 
urged in regard to the admission of fresh air, it is very 
-essential that the foul air should have an exit along the whole 
length of the stable instead of merely by holes, pipes, or 
funnels in one, or two or three places. 

Louvre boards are often objected to on account of their 
:^dmitting rain, wind, and snow. When they admit rain, or 
an excessive amount of wind, the fault lies in the architect or 
carpenter. If each board is made wide enough to overlap 
well the board below and if the pitch is sufficiently steep, no 
serious inconvenience will be felt. • 

The different constructions of louvres shown in plan M will, 

perhaps, explain our meaning. A louvre constructed as repre- 

. sented in fig. 1 will no doubt admit rain, wind, and snow. Fig. 

2 will be pretty safe. Fig. 3 will be quite secure against all 

but snow, which will find its way into every place which is not 

perfectly closed. The intervals between each board should be 

three inches, and the breadth of the boards themselves should 

be nine inches. The pitch of the boards should form an angle 

of sixty degrees. In some very exposed situations broader 

boards and a greater pitch may be required. For reasons 

connected with good light in the stable, it will hereafter 

(under the head of Windoivs and skylights) be recommended 

that the " boards '^ be made of thick, rough g-inch glass. 

The pitch of the roof should be somewhat steep. In plan H 
the height of the roof is one half its span. 

14. Flans of ceiling. 

Open roofs, notwithstanding the great facilities they afford 
for ventilation, are often objected to, because the absence of 
ceiling, generally implied in the term " open ^' roof, is apt to 
render the stable unduly hot in summer and unduly cold in 
winter, and especially at night. 

This objection, and it is undoubtedly a very serious objec- 
tion, may be obviated without losing any of the real advantages 
•of an open roof by putting a ceiling on the roof, but at a distance 


of twelve inclies from it. The current of air between the slates- 

and the ceiling will keep the stable cool in summer, whilst the 

distance between th© ceiling and the slates will prevent the- 

cold from striking through in winter or at night. 

Some little extra expense will be incurred by placing the- 
ceiling at this distance from the roof, because the depth of the- 
subsidiary rafters usually employed is not above five inches. 
There is, however, no great difficulty or expense, because the 
ceiling may be attached to the principal rafters. The detail of 
the plan of ceiling is shown in Plan I along the lines marked 
A B and c D. It will be observed that the space near the apex 
of the roof immediately under the louvre boards, shown in the 
plan by the open lines from b to c, is not ceiled, so that there- 
may be no interference with the outlet of the foul air. 

Or the stable may be ceiled in the ordinary manner with the 
exception of an opening of a y^rd wide in the middle along the 
whole length of the stable. (Plan K.) The plan of ceiling is 
marked p e and e r, the portion between e and e being 
omitted. Though the cubic contents of the stable are much 
reduced by this plan, yet the horses will derive a considerable- 
amount of advantage from the air circulating between the 
ceiling and the roof. 

With ceilings on either of the above plans, there is no reason 
why the louvre boards should not be made fixtures, even in 
stables intended for horses doing very fast work, such as hunting 
or racing. But if the owner likes to go to the expense, and can 
trust the discretion of his servants, there is no mechanical 
difficulty in making the louvre boards to open and shut. Either 
side may then be closed or left open according to the wind and 
other circumstances. But, for the ordinary class of horse in 
ordinary work fixed louvres are to be preferred in most situa- 
tions. Where, however, stables are built in very exposed or 
bleak situations, or where there is a strong prevailing wind, it 
may be necessary to board up one side of the louvre ridge. 

Ceilings, such as those proposed, are unquestionably advan- 
tageous for all horses, and their adoption or otherwise is simply 
a question of expense. The increased cost per horse in building 
a stable will be about £5. 


15. Ventilation of stahles with rooms over them. 

Tlie foregoing suggestions for louvre ventilation have been 
made on tlie supposition tliat there are no rooms or lofts over 
the stables. If it is desired to have rooms or lofts over the 
stable, as is often the case in towns where the ground is 
valuable, the means of egress for foul air, though it need not 
be bad, yet must necessarily be inferior to that described 

Air-shafts lined with zinc and running through the roof into 
the external air are the best substitutes for louvre ventilation. 
The openings into the air will require to be protected by louvre 
boards or by a cowl. There should be one shaft of twenty-four 
inches in diameter for every two horses. 

It is scarcely of much use to make any recommendations as 
to the position of the air-shafte in a stable, where there are 
rooms above, because they must necessarily be fixed with refe- 
rence to the convenience of the inmates of those rooms. If 
there are only lofts, the shafts may be placed on both sides ; 
or one set of shafts of double size, may be placed along the 
•centre. A board should be placed about six inches below the 
bottom of each air-shaft with the view of breaking and dif- 
fusing any occasional downcast current. In other respects the 
addition of rooms or lofts over the stable need not occasion any 
alteration in the construction recommended in Plans Gr, H, 
and L. 

Neither lofts nor rooms should communicate directly with the 
stable. If a loft used for storing hay or corn communicates 
with the stable, the food will become tainted with the emana- 
tions rising from below, and the health of the animals will 
suffer. If rooms communicate with the stable, the health of 
the inmates, especially children, will suffer. 

16. Paving, 

The material required for really good paving must be non- 
absorbent, water tight, easily cleaned, durable, and not slippery. 
It is not, however, easy to find a material which combines all 
these requirements. Most materials, in proportion as they 
answer the first-named requirements, fail in the last. 

Fig. 1. 
Enlarged Plan. 

Fig. 1. 

Fig. 3. 
Enlarged from Fig. 2. 

Fig. 2. 


Square-cut granite stones, such as are used for paving the 
streets in London, are by far the most durable. The first 
cost, however, is great, and they have the disadvantage of 
becoming slippery after a time, but at some little expense they 
can be re-roughened by the chisel. As the substance of the 
stone is homogeneous throughout, they will stand reeutting 
without injury. The cost at Aldershot was 21^. 6d. per square 
yard. The stones were laid down twenty-five years ago ; the 
paving is still nearly as good as when first laid. 

Hard-burnt bricks, known by various names in different 
localities (blue, iron, vitrified, adamantine, clinkers, &c.), are 
also much used, and are much cheaper than granite. They 
are very nice at first, but it is impossible to bake the brick 
equally hard throughout; and hence, when the outer face 
is chipped or otherwise worn through, this sort of paving, after 
a time, wears into holes. 

With the view of diminishing their slipperiness, it is the 
custom to indent the bricks with transverse as well as longitu- 
dinal channels. But this practice is objectionable because the 
transverse channels cannot be swept out thoroughly, and con- 
sequently they retain a portion of the urine and debris of the 
dung and bedding. Stalls paved with transverse cut bricks 
are seldom, if ever, sweet. (Fig. No. 1.) 

In lieu of transverse channels, longitudinal channels should 
be made of double the usual width and depth, i.e. 1^ inches in 
breadth, and f of an inch in depth. These will give sufiicient 
foothold, especially as they are crossways to the horse, when he 
turns round in the stall. These longitudinal channels have the 
great advantage that they can be swept perfectly clean without 
extra trouble to the servant, and they also afford drainage to 
every portion of the stall. (Fig. No. 2.) 

It will be observed that the channel is formed by beveling off 
the long sides of the bricks. (Fig. No. 3.) Two bricks set 
together form the channel. The bricks must be set together 
with cement, which will then render the channel impervious to 
moisture. >■ 

Great care should be taken to get bricks of the very best 
quality. The best bricks at a somewhat high price are cheaper 
in the end than an inferior article at a lower price. 


In order to prevent the percolation of urine througli tho 
interstices of tiie stones or bricks into tlie ground below^ it is 
essential that all paving should be laid in cement. 

Of late years various kinds of concretes and cements have 
been tried for paving. Cement, as long as it is perfect, has 
the great advantage that no urine can percolate through and 
foul the ground underneath. This advantage is so great and 
so essential to health, that the author has no hesitation in 
recommending it for trial. 

The cement used in barracks of late years is that known as 
Wilkinson^s patent concrete ; certainly as far as present expe- 
rience goes {i.e. about five years' trial), it appears to wear 
fairly well. But its ultimate durability is still a question. It 
may be seen in use in Hyde Park and Chatham Barracks. The 
cost is about 7^. Qd. per yard. It is essential that it should 
be laid down by the patentee, who thoroughly understands the 
art of mixing and laying it. The drainage channels should 
be longitudinal, not transverse, or ^'herring-boned'' to a 
centre drain. This cement will probably answer where light 
horses are used, but its durability is doubtful where heavy 
horses are used, especially if shod with high calkins. 

All paving requires to be laid on a substantial bed of con- 
crete 6 inches thick, and the concrete itself should rest on a 
bed of broken stones 12 inches deep. No paving will long 
stand the great moving weight of horses unless it has a sound 
unyielding substructure. 

No paving, whatever the material employed, will be really 
sweet and dry unless the whole of the bedding is removed 
from the stable at the morning stable hour and turned outside. 
The paving must then be swept thoroughly clean and left to 
the drying and purifying influence of the air until the horses 
are dressed after their return fi-om the morning exercise, when 
they may be bedded down again. 

Every door and window in the stable should be set open 
whilst the horses are at exercise. 

IGa. Litter slieds. 

A shed should be provided for the protection of the litter 
in wet weather. This shed should be apart from, though 


near, the stable. If placed against the stable wall the fumes 
arising from the litter will enter the stable through windows. 
Again, though this may by care be avoided, the litter gene- 
rally blocks up the lower ventilating apertures. 

In fine weather the litter should be spread out in the open, 
when it will, if turned over twice during the morning, get 
thoroughly ventilated and dried. 

17. Floor of the stahle to he higher than the ground outside. 

The floor of a new stable should be made eighteen inches 
higher than the ground outside. We name this very consider- 
able elevation, partly because it facilitates natural and surface 
drainage, and in some degree secures the stable from damp, 
partly on account of the tendency of new floors to sink, and 
still more on account of the probability of the soil outside 
becoming higher from constant gravelling or repairs. It is a 
fact easily to be observed that the floors of most old stables are 
lower than the ground outside, though it is improbable that 
such was the original construction. 

18. Drainage. 

Surface drains answer best for stables. Except where con- 
crete or bricks with longitudinal channels are used, a drain 
should be provided for the lower half of each stall, running 
down the middle of it, and connected with a main drain passing 
behind ^the line of the stalls. The latter drain should run 
without any curve or angle to the outside of the stable, and 
should be continued about ten feet further as a surface drain, 
after which it may, if thought desirable, be discharged into an 
underground drain. 

A considerable amount of interval between the stable and 
the point of underground discharge is useful in preventing any 
efiluvia from the underground drain, which is often more or 
less choked, from reaching the stable. It is also useful in 
preventing solid matter from being carried into the under- 
ground drain. The distance, in fact, acts as a kind of natural 
trap. It is, however, always desirable to have a cess-pit at 
the point of discharge into the underground drain. 

The channel of the drain should be open, saucer-shaped, of 



smootli material^ impervious to moisture^ and witli as iew 
joints as possible. Yitrified tiles^ sometimes called gutter 
bricks, or slabs of stone cMselled to the proper shape, set in 
cement, or wide open ivrought iron conduits answer exceed- 
ingly well. Cast iron conduits frequently break under the 
treading of the horses, and are a constant source of annoyance. 
Narrow iron pipes, almost closed on the upper side, such as 
are generally used, do not answer, because they very readily 
become choked, and in fact require to be cleaned out with a* 
picker every morning. 

For the drain in the stall a fall of 1 inch in 30 will be 
required ; but for the main drain in rear of the stall a fall of 1 
in 60 will be sufficient. Any collection of debris in the channel 
and any consequent tendency of urine or water to lodge, can 
easily be cleared away by the broom. At its starting point 
the level of the drain should be but very little below the sur- 
face of the floor, but its depth, in order to give an easy flow to 
the urine, &c., may increase gradually towards the outfall. In 
long stables undue depth of the main drain may be avoided by 
making it fall from the centre to both ends of the stable. 

Round the whole of the exterior of the stable, at a distance 
of 16 feet from it, a surface drain should be provided. The 
intervening space should be paved with a gentle slope from the 
stable towards the drain. The pavement will be useful in 
throwing off the rain, which might otherwise sink into the 
foundations, and it will also afford a convenient dry place for 
airing the bedding in fine weather. 

Underground drains do not answer in ordinary stables. No 
doubt they can be made to answer when great care and atten- 
tion are bestowed on flushing them ; but they are not suitable 
for ordinary use. They are apt to become choked with the debris- 
of the dung and bedding, and, in general, are little better than 
cesspools. Again, the great amount of water which is con- 
stantly poured down household drains is seldom available in 
stables, nor, indeed, is it required, even if available, in the 
operations carried on in stables. Hence it must be poured down 
under the orders of the owner for the express purpose of flush- 
ing the drains, and this duty, like all other duties, the result 
of which is not immediately apparent, is apt to be neglected. 


19. Slope of Stalls. 

Horses undoubtedly stand most comfortably on a perfect 
levels and any slope more than absolutely necessary for drain- 
age purposes is decidedly objectionable. Any great degree of 
slope is positively injurious, because it throws an undue stress 
on the hind quarters and also on the flexor tendons of the fore 
legs by reason of the toe being more elevated than the heel.* 

Where stalls have underground drains in the centre, the floor 
will of course be made to slope from all four sides to the centre, 
and the horse will practically stand on a level. 

Where surface drains are used, the upper third of the stall 
may be level, whilst the rear part will require a fall of one in 
eighty towards the main drain. The floor should also be made 
to slope in the rate of one in forty from both sides of the stall 
towards the drain down its centre. When, however, cement 
or bricks of the pattern recommended above with longitudinal 
channels are used, the slope from the sides to the centre of the 
stall will not be needed. 

20, Site of Stahles. 

The well-bred horse is a native of a dry country, and loves 
dryness. In damp he soon loses all life and spirits, and be- 
comes debilitated. Disease of any sort is very apt to supervene 
on debility. 

The site of every stable should be deeply thorough-drained. 
The soil selected should, if possible, be gravel. The situation 
should be moderately high, open, and with facilities for natural 
drainage. Bleak situations are not desirable. Buildings in 
the immediate neighbourhood, if high, are objectionable. The 
ordinary custom of erecting stables and coach-houses round four 
sides of a square is bad. The air always hangs more or less in 
any such enclosed space. 

21. Aspect of Stahles. 

A northern aspect is cold and cheerless, whilst a southern 
aspect is often unduly hot in summer. In stables with windows 
on both sides east and west aspects will, as a general rule, ib& 
found most advantageous. The one side will have the mornim^^ 


and fclie other tlie afternoon sun. There should be a door at 
each end or in the middle on each side, as may be most con- 
venient to the particular locality. Either door can then be 
used according to the circumstances of the weather and wind. 
If the stable is very large, it is desirable to have doors both at 
the sides and ends. 

22. Walls and Foundations. 

The material used in building will of course depend on the 
cost in the particular locality. If the maintenance of an even 
temperature be an object, the walls ought to be thick, and 
they may also be plastered on the inside. But except for such 
special purpose nothing answers so well for the inside of the 
stable as glazed bricks of white or any neutral tint. If they 
cannot be procured, the inside walls should be well pointed and 

A stable such as that shown in plan G, where the horses 
stand in double line with a broad passage down the centre, will 
need walls of fourteen inches thick, if built in brick, on account 
of the rather wide span and consequent weight of the roof. 
But single line stables on a similar plan will not require more 
than a nine inch wall. 

The foundations should be laid on slates, or on two courses 
of hard bricks set in cement, or on asphalte in order to prevent 
the damp from rising by capillary attraction. New stables 
should be well and thoroughly aired and dried before they are 

23. LigJiL 

Ventilation, paving, drainage and sufficient cubical space, 
such as recommended above, will render it possible to obtain 
almost perfect purity of air both by day and night. But light and 
the supervision of the owner are likewise necessary in order to 
ensure cleanliness, and the best stable management. 

Windows, such as those described, will undoubtedly give 
more light than is found in most stables, and probably sufficient 
for the maintenance of the health of the eyes. But the best 
light for the purpose of supervision is that introduced vertically 
from the roof. It shows the sides and corners of the stable, 


and enables the cleanliness or otherwise of every part to be seen 
at once. In unceiled stables_, a row of glass " slates ^' can be 
introduced without expense in the original construction of the 
roof ; and if placed on tlie north side will not cause an undue 
glare. Skylights in other aspects_, are open to the objection, 
that during certain hours of the day, especially, during summer, 
they cause an undue glare, and the rays of the sun fall directly 
on the bodies of the horses. If the suggestion made above in 
paragraph 13, of using glass for the louvre "boards" be adopted, 
the advantages of vertical light will be pretty well attained, 
while the disadvantages of excessive glare will be avoided. 
Details as regards various sorts of windows will be given under 
the head of Stable Fittings, Chapter III. 

24. Fireplaces. 

The horse in a state of nature attains his highest physical 
development in a warm dry climate, as in Arabia. In cold 
climates, in Shetland for instance, the breed dwindles down to 
a pony. In wet and moderately warm pastures, such as Flanders, 
the horse grows large and coarse. In cold wet climates the 
breed is not, we believe, found in the wild state. 

Warmth and dryness we may therefore assume are needed for 
the development of the best powers of the animal, though the 
former is not essential to his health. The Shetland pony is 
perfectly healthy, hardy and enduring. 

Pure air and freedom from positive damp will be obtained by 
the plans of building already recommended, and a fairly even 
temperature by night and day may be maintained, if thick walls 
and ceiHngs are also adopted in the construction ; but sufficient 
warmth and perfect dryness will be wanting during many days 
and nights in the course of the year in this climate. Clothing 
will do much to supply the animal's body with warmth, exercise^ 
and grooming with high feeding will do more; but none of 
these will raise the temperature of the stable, or get rid of the 
moisture inherent in the air in this country on certain days and 
at certain seasons. 

If the matter rested here, it would not signify much — the 
coat might stare a little, the food might be to a certain degree 
wasted in maintaining the heat of the system instead of pro- 


ducing flesh, and the general condition might be somewhat 
lower than it would be under perfectly favorable conditions of 
warmth and dryness. 

But the matter does not rest here. The groom will have the 
stable warm, whilst probably from ignorance he will not object 
to its being moist or even damp and foul. He will stop the 
egress of the foul moist heated air produced by respiration, and 
also the ingress of cold fresh air ; and by these means aided by 
the caloric loaded with impurities given off by the breath and 
bodies of the animals, he will raise the air to the desired tempera- 
ture. In some cases he will crowd an additional number of 
animals into the stable in winter on the plea that they will 
keep each other warm. The air, however, will be foul and moist^ 
not pure and dry, such as the well bred horse loves. 

As a matter of fact the groom is quite right in desiring 
warmth for the horses under his charge ; and any owner of horses 
will do well to meet his views by supplying the stable during 
the latter part of the autumn, winter, and early spring, with 
heat artificially generated, such as that produced by open fires. 
Open fires, though somewliat more expensive, are better than 
stoves or hot air or hot water apparatus, because they assist 
and promote ventilation. There is really no good reason why 
the owner of valuable horses should grudge the expense of 
open fireplaces. A grate is not an expensive article, nor will 
coals form any material addition to the expense of a hunting or 
racing establishment. The horses will gain in health and con- 
dition far more than is counterbalanced by the trifling extra 

25. Dimensions and Cost. 

Six feet is a fair average width for stalls^ but very large 
horses require an extra foot. The length of the stalls should 
be 10 feet at least, 10 feet 6 inches (exclusive of the heel post) 
is preferable ; 9 feet is the usual length, but with this length 
accidents somewhat frequently occur. The passage down the 
centre between the horses should be nine feet wide. Further 
details as to partitions, various sorts of windows, etc., will be 
found under the head of Stable Fittings, Chapter III. 

The height of the walls from the floor to the spring of the 


Toof should be twelve feet. In order to give this height in the 
inside after allowing for the floor being raised 18 inches above 
the ground outside, the walls will really require to be 13 feet 
6 inches as shown in plan H. 

The pitch of the roof should be somewhat steep. A height 
of one half the breadth gives a fair pitch. Plan H. Flattened 
roofs, though they may cost a little less in the original outlay, 
are a constant source of trouble and expense. 

The dimensions, which are shown in plan G with an unceiled 
open roof will give about 1 700 cubic feet per horse, or about 
500 feet more than has been named in paragraph 9, as the 
minimum required for the maintenance of health. With a 
<jeiling placed close along the roof, as in plan I, there will be 
1660 cubic feet, and with a ceiling placed as in plan K 1030 
cubic feet per horse, exclusive of the air circulating between the 
•celling and the roof. 

The cost of a stable for sixteen horses erected in the neigh- 
bourhood of London according to plans Gr and H complete with 
all fittings would be about £45 per horse. If a ceiling be added 
as in plans I and K, the cost would be increased by about £5 
per horse. 

26. CJieaper construction of Stables, 

A cost of £45 per horse will probably be considered by many 
people too great, especially for animals of a common class. 

Nevertheless, all horses, even though the commonest, equally 
need for the maintenance of health the essential requirements 
of good ventilation, paving, drainage, light, cleanliness, and 
sufficient cubical space ; though they do not equally need 
-warmth and the maintenance of an even temperature. 

It becomes, therefore, necessary, to consider how the essen- 
tials can best be retained, whilst the cost is reduced. 

Louvre boards demand a certain amount of extra strength in 
the roof, and are also in themselves a somewhat considerable 
item of expense. In lieu of them the crown tile may be simply 
raised along the whole length of the ridge of the roof. The 
ventilation, though inferior to that given by louvre boards, will 
be fairly good, and the plan is much cheaper. 

In a stable intended only for cart or other horses doing slow 


work mucli expense may be saved by making use of felt instead 
of slates or tiles for tke roof. Good felt properly tarred every 
tkird year will last about twenty years. As tlie timbers neces- 
sary to carry this liglit material need not be at all strongs they 
will require to be supported by posts in the centre. These 
posts can be furnished with brackets^ and thus conveniently 
made available for hanging up harness. 

Again^ boarded partitions between stalls are by no means 
essential. A bale hung by a rope is sufficient. The windows, 
instead of being hung or made to drop back^ can be simply made 
to open on a pivot in the centre. 

Economy may also be practised according to local circum- 
stances in the material used for the walls. In some places^ 
where the nature of the soil affords facilities for making it^ 
concrete may be used, and much money saved. A stable with 
walls of concrete, felt roof, wooden swing bales, &c., but in 
other respects according to plans G and H, has lately been 
built at Aldershot for ninety horses of the Commissariat and 
Transport Corps at a cost of £950. It is of course hot in sum- 
mer and cold in winter, but has been found perfectly healthy 
for horses not doing fast work. 

In other localities unbaked clay may be used for the walls. 
In Devonshire mud walls are commonly used and answer 
exceedingly well. Wattles covered with clay will also answer 
for the walls of cart horse stables. 

Good paving, good drainage, and ample light, and ventilation 
are essentials in stables of any class ; and the author thinks 
that any saving, which entailed deficiency in these points, would 
be very ill-judged. 

27. Loose BoQces. 

For loose boxes the same plan of construction as that recom-^ 
mended for stables may be adopted, namely, a window on both 
sides, a row of air bricks on both sides under the eaves, and one 
or more air-bricks on each side 14 inches above the floor, louvre- 
ventilation, ground well drained, floor raised 18 inches, surface 
drainage, &c. The box should be 14 x 12 feet, and the walls 
12 feet high. For want of windows on opposite sides most 
loose boxes are very badly ventilated, and generally unfit for 


sick liorses. Boxes ouglit to be ceiled according to plan I. 
Without such ceiling tliey are apt to be unduly cold. 

28. Argument against the need of Ventilation, Sfc. 

In opposition to tlie views, wliicli liave been expressed above 
as to tlie paramount necessity of ventilation_, liglit, cleanliness, 
drainage, and sufficient cubical space, it is often urged that tbe 
great majority of borses get on without tliem. 

To this we reply, first, tliat the average amount of sickness 
and mortality among liorses is far greater than it need be under 
more rational treatment and management ; and secondly that 
tliougb the horse in common with other animals and indeed 
with man has a certain power of adapting himself to the cir- 
cumstances in which he may be placed, yet it is evident that 
the conditions of nature ought to be followed as nearly as pos- 
sible. Animal life is always most perfectly developed and its 
functions best performed by conforming to those conditions. 

29. Conclusion. 

Much more however than these primary essentials are needed 
to ensure health and condition in the domesticated horse. 
Careful attention to diet, grooming, exercise and general good 
stable management must be added. 



30. Ventilation. 31. Paving. 32. Drainage. 33. Light. 
-34. Conclusion. 

30. Ventilation, 

The recommendations which have been made in the preceding 
chapter in regard to the construction of new stables, would be 
incomplete without some suggestions for the improvement of 
defective buildings. In our suggestions we shall endeavour to 
carry out, as far as circumstances admit, the principles laid 
down above. For illustrations of plans of bad construction 
the reader is referred to plans A, B, C, B, E, and F in the 
preceding chapter. 

All such stables, unless surrounding buildings interfere, may 
be radically improved by making windows on both sides along 
the whole length, and by making an aperture under each 
manger and inserting in it an air brick. 

If, however, as is often the case in towns, circumstances or 
perhaps the covenants of the lease, even though no buildings 
interfere, prohibit the making of windows, apertures of nine 
inches by six should be opened in the wall near the ceiling on 
both sides. These apertures may be protected by an iron 
grating to break the draft, and air bricks should be inserted 
below the mangers. 

If surrounding buildings or other circumstances prevent the 
possibility of making apertures along the length of the wall, an 
air flue with an aperture of four and a half inches by three 
under each manger should be carried along the whole length 
of the stable ; and another air flue with apertures of double 
the size or nine inches by three should be carried along close 
to the ceiling. The size of the outlet air flues must be the 


sum of tlie combined areas of the apertures and will therefore 
vary according to the number of the horses in the stable. It 
is absolutely necessary that each air flue should open at both 
ends directly into the external air. The exterior openings 
must be protected by gratings to prevent vermin or birds from 
.getting in. 

Ventilation by means of louvre boards along the ridge of the 
I'oof should also be provided in every case, where rooms over the 
^stables do not prevent its adoption. Where rooms interfere, 
:air shafts of two feet in diameter in the proportion of one shaft 
for every two horses, should be carried up through the ceiling 
and intervening rooms to the outside of the roof. A board 
should be placed about six inches below the bottom of each air 
shaft to break and diffuse the draught ; and the top of the shaft 
should be protected by a cowl or louvre boards. When merely 
a loft intervenes, it should be removed or at least thrown open 
in the centre, and proper ventilation and light thus secured 
through the roof. 

If the owner objects to the expense of any such alterations, 
lie may at least have ventilating panes put in the windows and 
gratings in the doors, or insist on the windows being left 
partially open both by day or night. The horses' coats may 
suffer from the amount of air thus rudely introduced by this 
latter plan, but their health will improve. 

31. Paving. 

Good paving is essential to health. It may always be ob- 
tained even in the oldest stable at a certain expense. Advan- 
tage, unless the stable is very deficient in height, may also be 
taken of the repaving to raise the floor, and thus secure the 
possibility of good surface drainage. 

32. Drainage. 

If the height of the floor admits of it, the author, as pre- 
viously stated, recommends surface drainage ; but if circum- 
stances render this impossible, recourse must be had to under- 
ground drains, which, though not in his opinion the best, are 
preferable to no drains at all. They should be properly trapped, 
and drain from the centre of each stall. The owner must 


however take care that the gratings are lifted and the cess-pits 
cleaned out and the drains flushed at least once a day. 

33. Light 

If the light is deficient^ it is very important both for the 
sake of cleanliness as well as for the health of the eyes, to 
improve it. The question of the best means of introducing 
light is so mixed up with the nature of the surrounding 
buildings, that it is difficult to make any suggestions, which 
will be practically useful. Vertical light, when it can be ob- 
tained, is by far the best. 

If the cubical space per horse is insufficient, the simple remedy 
is to diminish the number of horses in the stable. Twelve 
hundred cubic feet has been already stated to be a sufficient 
allowance in a well ventilated, well paved, drained and cleanly 
kept stable ; but if these accessories are wanting, a much larger 
amount of space should be allowed. 

34. Conclusion. 

Finally in every stable, however ill constructed, much may 
be done by keeping the doors and windows open as much as 
possible and by sci^upulous cleanliness. 



35. Size of stalls, 'partitions, SfC. 36. Inside walls. 37. 
Doors. 38. Loose boxes. 39. Latches. 40. Slides or holts. 
41. Hinges. 42. Collar rojyes or chains, and logs. 43. Casting 
in the stall. 44. Head collars and necJc straps. 45. Foot- 
fastenings. 46. Muzzles. 47. Mangers. 48. -ffa^ racks. 
49. Forage stores and lofts. 50. Paving, slope of stalls, and 
drainage. 51. Windoius. 52. Slings. 

35. >Ske o/ Stalls, Partitions, ^^c. 

For stalls divided by partitions a widtli of six feet is desirable 
for liorses of the ordinary size ; whilst for large carriage horses 
seven feet should be allowed. 

The length of the partition should be 10 feet or preferably 
10 feet 6 inches,, exclusive of the heel post. The heel post, 
into which the partition is inserted, should be round, so as 
to be as little likely as possible to injure the horse if he kicks 
against it. 

A height of seven feet and a half should be given to the 
upper end of the partition, in order to prevent the liorses from 
biting at each other ; whilst five and a half feet will be sufficient 
for the remainder. Both in order that the horses may see each 
other, and that the current of air through the stable may be as 
little impeded as possible, the extra height of the upper end 
should be made of open iron- work of any ornamental pattern. 
Straight iron railings do not answer, as horses are apt to catch 
at them with their teeth. 

The boarding of the partitions should not be continued 
within nine inches of the wall. The interval or open space will 
act beneficially by allowing the air to circulate freely along 
the back wall of the stable. With a like view to ventilation, 
and also in order to preserve the woodwork from the injurious 


effect of damp;, an interval of two inches slionld be left between 
the bottom of the partition and the floor of the stable. 

Oak is the best material for the boarding of partitions but 
it is expensive. Grood red deal, one and a quarter inch thicks 
answers very well, and is comparatively cheap. The liability to 
splinter is much decreased by placing the boards longitudinally 
instead of vertically. Elm boards are very tough, but their 
liability to warp renders them objectionable. 

For stalls divided by bales a width of five feet six inches is 
suJEcient, though six feet are preferable. It is essential that 
the mode of hanging the bale should be such that it may be 
easily unhooked in case the horse gets cast. The plan at present 
in use in cavalry stables answers well. A very ingenious 
spring-hook has recently been invented by Mr. Partridge, V.S. 
Royal Artillery, which allows the bale to release itself when a. 
pressure exceeding two hundred weight is thrown on it. It may 
be seen in use in the Royal Engineer Stables at Aldershot. 

Where each horse is of great value the owner will naturally 
wish to guard himself against the risk of one horse kicking 
another by putting partitions between the stalls; but in a 
sanitary point of view bales are preferable, both because they 
interfere less with the circulation of air through the stable and 
because the stable is more easily swept out and kept clean. 

36. Inside Walls. 

Glazed bricks are the best material for the inside of walls- 
They may be obtained in most localities at a price very little 
exceeding that of ordinary bricks. They have the great ad- 
vantage of not absorbing the moisture or other emanations of 
the stable, and may be kept clean and nice-looking for years, 
by simply washing with water. 

If ordinary bricks are used for the wall, it will be an advantage 
to put glazed China tiles over the manger, as that part of the 
wall otherwise soon looks dirty and black. If the cement with 
which they are fastened is good they answer well. 

If the expense of either such fittings is objected to^ a plain 
well-pointed brick wall, which can be whitewashed as often as 
need be, answers better than plaster or woodwork. The latter, 
indeed, is objectionable^ especially over the manger, as horses- 


are apt to gnaw it^ and dirt and vermin may harbour in and 
behind it. 

37. Doors. 

The doors of many modern stables are liung on iron bars 
abovOj and are made to traverse to the side. In situations where 
room is an object_, this fitting is advantageous; but for ordinary 
purposes the common door^ which is more easily shut and there-^ 
fore less likely to be left open, is preferable. Traversing doors 
have, however, the advantage of not requiring any latch or bolt. 

Doors should be four feet wide and at least eight feet in 
height. Horses are apt to be startled on going into or coming- 
out of stables, and then sometimes throw up their heads ; and 
if the door is low may strike them against the lintel, and may 
in consequence ever after be shy in entering or leaving the 

Stable doors which do not traverse should be divided into 
two equal portions, except in sick boxes, where for reasons 
given in the next paragraph the height of the lower part should 
not exceed three feet six inches. As a rule stable doors should 
open outwards, and should be furnished with a catch in the 
wall to prevent their swinging to suddenly in windy weather. 

38. Loose Boxes. 

Many modern stables are divided into boxes instead of stalls. 
The plan has many advantages, and the difference of expense 
in building a stable is but small. 

But such loose boxes are no substitute for detached loose 
boxes, which should always be provided for sick horses. Stable 
boxes share the common air of the stable ; but those intended 
for sick animals require purer air than is commonly found in 
a stable, and, moreover, they generally need to be kept at a 
lower temperature than is desirable for horses in full work. 

It is not advantageous to make loose boxes over-large. 
TAvelve feet by fourteen with a height of twelve feet is sufficient. 
In addition to the usual manger and hay-rack, loose boxes in- 
tended for sick horses should be provided with a staple fixed in 
the wall about two feet six inches from the ground, on which a. 


pail may be hung. Sick horses cany tlieir heads low and 
always prefer to feed near the ground. 

The doors of loose boxes should always open outwards or 
traverse to the side. A door fitted with the ordinary latch^ if 
it opens inwards, may occasion a serious accident, such as an 
injury to the eye, if the horse happens to be standing near it 
when it is suddenly opened. 

In sick boxes, when the door is on hinges and divided into 
two parts, the lower portion should not exceed three feet six 
inches in height. If higher, a sick horse who stands with his 
head drooped down may not be able to get it over the door so 
as to enjoy the fresh air. A bar should, however, be provided 
to go across the upper half, as otherwise horses, especially 
young ones, are apt to try and jump out. It is essential that 
this bar be placed sufficiently high above the half door to allow 
the horse to get his head in and out easily between it and the 
door. If the space is narrow an accident may occur to the 
animal in drawing back his head, if he happens to get 
frightened when it is out. 

If a traversing door is used, three bars will be needed so as 
to enable it to be left open. For sick boxes, however, the 
ordinary door divided into two parts is decidedly preferable, 
because the lower half shelters the patient's legs from draught, 
whilst he can put his nostrils over it. 

39. Latches. 

All latches are in some degree objectionable. In all, though 
so rounded off as to reduce the chance of an accident to a 
minimum, there is a possibility that a rein or stirrup leather 
may catch in them when the horse is led in or out of the stable. 

The best latches are those which are counter-sunk and 
morticed into the door. They are, however, more expensive 
than the ordinary latch. 

40. Slides or Bolts. 

Slides or bolts, if counter-sunk and furnished with a flush- 
bolt on both sides, are in some respects preferable to the best 
latches. The groove, however, in which the bolt works, 
requires to be kept oiled and free from dust and other debris. 



41. Hinges. 

Tlie only really serviceable liinges for large doors are tliose 
of the old fashioned T pattern, such as until lately were rarely 
seen except on old church doors. Doors on such hinges will 
generally hang true for years, whilst the hinge itself adds to 
the strength of the door by bracing and binding it together. 

42. Collar ropes or chains and Logs. 

The rope should be just long enough to allow the horse to lie 
down comfortably. Any greater length is objectionable. As 
an ordinary rule the log should just reach the ground when the 
horse is standing near his manger. If longer than this the rope 
or chain will become slack in the portion between the collar 
and the manger, and then the horse may get his foot over it. 
If shorter it will interfere with the convenience of the animal 
in lying down. 

A rather heavy log should be used, which by its weight may 
assist in keeping the rope in a state of tension. The horse 
may be relieved of the weight of the log by placing a large 
ring or T on the rope immediately above the manger ring. 

The manger ring should be large, so that the rope may run 
easily and freely through it. The practice of tying the rope to 
the ring of the manger instead of using a log is very objection- 
able, and is a frequent cause of accident. 

Chains, though not often used in private stables, are safer 
than ropes, because their weight, especially when assisted by a 
rather heavy log, prevents any liability to become slack. The 
principal objection to chains is the noise made by the animals 
drawing them through the rings of the manger. Eopes are 
preferable to leather straps, both because horses are less apt 
to gnaw them and because being round they run more easily 
through the manger ring. They are also cheaper. 

In some stables the stall is boarded up flush with the 
front of the manger, and the lower part of the rope then runs 
behind the boarding. An accident may occasionally be pre- 
vented by this arrangement ; but the extra boarding seriously 
interferes with the current of air through the stable. 

Horses, which are given to bite their neighbours, or are apt 



to turn round in their stalls, should be secured by a rope or 
chain on both sides of the manger. 

43. Casting in the stall. 

Casting in the stall generally arises from the animal getting 
his legs entangled in the rope. This accident will rarely 
happen, where due care is taken in regard to the length of the 
rope, and the use of a log is insisted on. Casting occasionally 
arises from the horse endeavouring to turn or roll in his stall. 
In such cases fastening on both sides, as recommended in the 
previous paragraph, will be found useful. If any particular 
horse acquires a habit of rolling, and in consequence frequently 
gets cast, he had better be kept in a loose box. 

44. Head collar and nech straps. 

Some horses are very difficult to secure at night by head 
collars. All_, however, may be effectually fastened by means of 
a neck strap. A horse cannot slip a neck strap drawn to the 
proper degree of tightness, because the circle of the strap round 
his neck is less than that required to go over his head. The 
objection to neck straps is the injury which they cause to the 

Of head collars the best are those which approach most 
nearly to the principle of a neck strap. The great point in 
fitting a head collar is to take care that the back strap is long 
enough to come close up against the throat. Again the neck 
strap should not pass over the crown of the head collar, but 
through a loop attached in rear of it. The strap round the 
neck will then be so short, without being unduly tight, that 
the horse cannot easily get it over his head. 

45. Foot-fastenings. 

Horses, which break or slip their collars, may all be effectu- 
ally secured by a strap buckled round one of the fore fetlocks 
and attached to a peg driven fast into the ground. The strap 
should be about 12 inches long. It is a practical fact, that 
this fastening will hold almost any horse. A few horses may 
pull against it for a few days, and perhaps make the fetlock 


sore. The strap in sucli case may be sliifted to the other 
fetlock. Almost all horses^ however^ after a few pulls find 
themselves powerless, and give up with a good grace the 
attempt at getting loose. 

46. Muzzles. 

A really good muzzle is yet a desideratum in stable economy. 
It is difiicult to combine free ingress and egress of air with 
closeness sufficient to prevent a greedy horse sucking in hay 
or straw. 

Wire muzzles interfere but little with the breathing; but 
some horses break even the best of them, whilst most succeed 
in sucking in a certain amount of hay and straw through them. 
Leather muzzles are objectionable, because they interfere with 
the egress of the air. Those made of straps of leather are 
less injurious than solid leather with air holes. 

A nose band fitted on the collar by closing the mouth answers 
as well as anything. The horse, it will be remembered, 
breathes through his nostrils. But this contrivance, though 
effectual as a temporary remedy, would be uncomfortable to 
the animal for any length of time. 

The best mode of tackling a greedy feeder is to bed him down 
with saw-dust or some material, which he cannot eat. 

47. Mangers. 

Mangers should be made somewhat deeper than the usual 
pattern, and with a slight lip on the inside, so as to prevent 
the horse from spilling his corn, which he is apt to do, especially 
when it is mixed with chaff. A cross bar placed near each end 
will answer the same purpose; but it is in some degree ob- 
jectionable, because it interferes with the thorough and easy 
cleaning of the manger. 

Mangers should be made without corners or angles, in which 
dirt can lodge. The material should be non-absorbent. Iron 
lined with china, through rather expensive, is perhaps the best. 
Slabs of glazed fire brick answer well, and in places where the 
locality affords the material, are very cheap. Iron mangers 
are used in barracks and answer exceedingly well. 


48. Say Racks. 

Many in the present day object to the ordinary hay rack 
placed above the horse's head. It is certainly not the natural 
position for food^ but the low rack has the disadvantage that 
the horse may injure himself by getting his foot or head into 
it. To render such an accident as little likely as possible^ the 
low rack should be made shallow and without any projecting 
rim on the inside of the upper bar. When the high rack is used, 
there should be no communication between it and the loft. 

49. Forage stores and lofts. 

Forage is best kept in a building detached from, though near 
to the stable. Where a loft over the stable, as is usually the 
case in towns, is used for the purpose of storing forage, care 
should be taken that there is no direct communication between 
it and the stable. Nothing can well be more objectionable 
than tainting the food with the emanations of the stable. 

50. Paving, sloj^e of stalls and drainage. 

These important questions have already been considered at 
length in the latter part of the first chapter in reference to the 
construction of stables. 

51. Windows. 

Ample light is essential to the health of the eyes. Light is 
indeed food and exercise to them. Without ample light the 
eyes cannot be strong. If they are altogether deprived of light, 
the optic nerve becomes paralysed and blindness is the result. 

Again ample light is essential to the cleanliness of the stable. 
A dark stable may be dirty without the owner finding it out, 
and in good truth most dark stables are dirty, and a dirty 
stable must be unhealthy. Both eyes and lungs are especially 
liable to injury from the gases produced by impurity. 

There is an idea that horses put on flesh more rapidly in a 
dark than in a light stable. It may be so, and it is certain that 
dealers generally keep their stables somewhat dark. But the 
main object of the dealer in doing so is, we suspect, to show his 
horses off to the best advantage to a customer. Horses brought 

Section showing a Deop-back Window. 


suddenly from comparative darkness into light do not see well 
at first, and therefore step high in order to avoid possible 
obstacles in the way. The defective vision so occasioned will 
scarcely be pleaded as an advantage, except for a special 
purpose such as the above. 

Windows, as distinguished from skylights, are intended for 
purposes of ventilation as well as for giving light. 

Though a pretty constant change of air in the stable will 
probably be found to be given by means of the air bricks and 
louvre boards recommended in the first chapter on the con- 
struction of stables, yet it is very desirable in fair weather and 
especially in summer time, that the windows should be thrown 
freely open. 

Four sorts of windows are commonly used in stables of the 
better class, namely, 1st, the ordinary sash windows, which if 
furnished with ropes and pulleys, so as to let down easily from 
the top, answer well enough. They are however open to the 
objection, that a direct draught may come on the horses and on 
this account it is often necessary to close them altogether at 
night and in cold windy weather. A couple of panes of 
perforated glass are useful in such windows. 

2nd. Windows, which turn on a pivot, in the centre. These 
may be set open to any required degree. They are the cheapest 
construction, and answer well enough, especially where many 
small windows are used ; but they are in some degree open to 
the objection of causing a direct draught on the horses. 

3rd. Windows, which do not open wholly, but are furnished 
with glass louvres, are used in some stables. They are ob- 
jectionable, inasmuch as they are not calculated to admit a 
suflUcient amount of air. 

4th. Windows working on hinges at the bottom, as shown in 
the plan annexed, may be made to open to any required degree. 
They offer every advantage. They afford ample ventilation, 
and yet do not throw a direct draught on the horses. They 
should be blocked, so as to prevent their closing within six 
inches at the top. As no direct draught can come on the 
horses, when they are closed to this degree, the author thinks 
that no injurious result can ever arise from their being left open 
to the above degree at all times and seasons. 


"WTien a stable is furnislied, as recommended above, with 
windows on botli sides_, tbe sort of window to be adopted is not 
very material, because the requisite amount of fresh, air can at 
all times be obtained from the windows on the lee side without 
causing an injurious amount of draught. 

52. Slings. 

A set of slings is a useful adjunct in a stable. When due and 
constant care is used in their adjustment and frequent read- 
justment, they are calculated to give great relief in some cases 
of severe injury; but without such care they often do more 
harm than good. 



53. Gourseof the food. 54. Course of water. 55. Small size 
of stomach. 56. Hoiv often is it necessary to feed ? 57. Best 
times for feeding. 58. Regularity desirable in the hours of 
feeding. 59. Necessity of good forage. 60. Of ivatering. 61. 
Quantity of water to he given at one time. 62. Horses to he 
watered hefore heing fed. 63. No objection to vmtering horses 
ivhen ivarm. 64. Dirty v. clean water. Hard v. soft ivater. 
65. Scouring. 66. Delicate feeders. 

53. Course of the food. 

It may be useful in tlie first instance to trace very briefly 
tbe course of food from its reception by the moutli to its final 

Food is gathered by tlie lips and front teetli. It is worked 
about by the tongue and cheeks, and is carried by their action 
to the back teeth or grinders, which by a lateral and slightly 
rotatory motion of the lower jaw reduce it to a pulp. During 
this process it is mixed freely with the saliva and mucous 
secretions of the glands of the mouth. Saliva is essential to 
the due preparation of the food for digestion. When it is 
sufficiently prepared, it is passed on in portions by the action 
of the muscles of the tongue to the oesophagus or gullet, and 
thence to the stomach. 

The stomach is a pouch lined for about one third of its sur- 
face with a dense cuticular membrane, and the remaining two 
thirds is lined with a soft reddish villous mucous membrane. 

The muscular coat of the stomach is furnished with three 


layers of fibres^ namely, the circular, longitudinal, and oblique. 
By tlie action of these three series of muscles the food is rotated 
over the cuticular and villous linings of the stomach ; whilst by 
the secretions of the softer or villous lining it is supplied with 
a fluid called the gastric juice, which is essential to the further 
process of digestion. The food at this stage is called chyme. 
The action of the muscular coat^ producing rotation of the 
food is due to nervous influence ; but the immediate stimulus 
on the nervous system of the stomach is the food itself. When 
the stomach is quite empty, the rotatory motion ceases, and 
the pouch is then in a state of contraction and quiescence. 

During the successive rotations such portions of the food, as 
have become sufiiciently soluble, are gradually pressed forward 
and passed on to the small intestines. In them it is further 
mixed with the secretions of the pancreas, liver, and intestinal 
glands. The admixture of these juices completes the prepara- 
tion of the food, and it is now ready for absorption into the 

The process of absorption is effected in the following manner. 
The abdominal veins and the lacteal absorbent vessels of 
the intestinal linings take up from the food its nutritive parts, 
which in this state are called chyle. The chyle is carried by 
the absorbent vessels through the mesenteric glands into the 
thoracic Huct, and by it is ultimately discharged into one of the 
large blood-vessels on the left side of the neck near the heart. 
It is by this constant admixture of material taken up from 
the food by the absorbents, that the necessary supply of blood 
is maintained. From the blood thus maintained by the food 
are furnished the materials required for the maintenance and 
renewal of the body. The food supplies the blood, which in 
its turn supplies the body. 

To revert to the course of the food. "When the veins and 
absorbents of the small intestines have taken up from the food 
its nutritive parts,^the refuse is passed on to the large intes- 
tines. In them a further system of absorbents take up from 
the refuse whatever little nutriment may yet remain in it; 
and the residuum along with the waste products of the body 
excreted into the^intestines is cast forth by the anus as dung. 
Such is the preparation and course of the food. 


64. Course of umier. 

The course of water tlirougli the body is somewhat different 
to that of solid food. Water does not lodge in the stomachy 
but merely passes rapidly through it and the small intestines 
on its w^ay to the caecum or blind gut, which may be considered 
as the real water stomach of the horse. The ca3cum, we may 
mention, is one of the large or lower intestines. From the- 
caecum the water is gradually taken up by the veins and 
absorbents according to the requirements of the system, and 
poured into the large blood-vessels in the neighbourhood of the 

Eventually along with the eifete or worn out nitrogenons 
matters and certain salts it is excreted partly from the lungs in 
the form of aqueous vapour, partly from the skin in the form 
of perspiration, and in larger and more notable quantities it is- 
discharged from the body as nrine through the medium of the- 

55. Small size of tJie stomach. 

The capacity of the horse's stomach is small in comparison 
to his frame. He therefore requires to be fed frequently. In 
a state of nature the horse is almost constantly browsing, and 
yet it is rarely so full as to be unable to exert his power of 
flight. Convenience, however, of servants, and the hour at 
which we require the domesticated animal for work, must in 
some degree modify our times of feeding. 

56. IIoiu often is it necessary to feed? 

Experience has shown that it is sufficient to feed the horse 
three times a day. Less frequent feeding is decidedly objec- 
tionable. The corn should be divided into three portions, and 
the hay into two. It is best not to give any hay at the feed 
preceding the time at which the animal is likely to be required 
for work. He will do his work easier if his stomach is some- 
what empty than if it is distended with hay. Hence, if a horse 
is used in the morning, the portion of hay should be omitted 
at the earl}^ feed, and reserved for midday and evening. If, on 
the other hand, he is required for work in the afternoon, he 


sliould get his liay in tlie morning and evening. Hunters, 
however _, whose work occurs about the middle of the day, may 
mth advantage in the author's opinion, though he is aware it 
is not the usual practice, be allowed half their usual portion of 
hay along with their morning feed of corn. The same remark 
applies to troop horses, whose work generally does not begin 
before 9 a.m. Cart horses, whose work is always slow, should 
be fed with hay three times a day. 

57. Best times for feeding. 

Horses should not be fed, when heated, immediately after 
work. The stomach is not then in a good state for the proper 
digestion of the food. If the horse is exhausted, as may often 
occur with hunters after a long day's abstinence, a bucket of 
warm gruel, which is very easy of digestion, should be given at 
once ; but the corn should be withheld until the animal is cool 
and has been dressed. By that time, under the influence of 
the gruel and of the rest, the stomach will probably have 
recovered its tone. 

The best time for feeding as a general rule is at the close of 
each stable hour. The horse will then feed more quietly, com- 
fortably, and more at his leisure than when servants are bust- 
ling about. Besides which many horses, if disturbed whilst 
feeding, are apt to knock about and spill their corn. 

58. Regularity desirable in the Jiours of feeding. 

Kegularity in the hours of feeding is a matter of some 
importance. Over-lengthened abstinence is for the structural 
reasons explained above in itself injurious ; and the mischief 
is often aggravated by the animal eating to excess when he 
gets his food. An over-hearty meal is hurtful at any time, but 
it is especially so when the stomach is weakened by long 
fasting. Undue pressure and irritation are the result, pro- 
ducing indigestion, and in some cases gastritis, colic, &c. 

69. Necessity of good forage. 

It is absolutely necessary that the food supplied should be 
good and sound. Inferior or damaged forage of any sort, such 
as mouldy hay, damp or kiln-dried oats, or green meat kept 


till stale, or grazing on fouled ground, very readily produce 
intestinal disturbance or disease. Besides whicli we cannot 
expect to develop the best powers of the animal, unless we 
supply him liberally with the best nutriment. 

60. Of watering. 

From feeding we pass on to watering. How often should 
horses be watered, and what quantity should be given at one 
time ? 

The anatomical structure of the horse may here guide our 
practice. The stomach or receptacle for solid food, as has 
been stated above, is very small, and consequently the horse 
requires to be fed frequently ; but the ca3cum or water gut, on 
the other hand, is very large. It is not uncommon, indeed, to 
see a horse drink two or even three pails of water at one time, 
and most of this passes tolerably direct to the caecum. Hence 
it is probable that he does not require to be watered often. In 
a state of nature, though no doubt the succulent nature of the 
food in part at least supplies the place or want of water, it 
would be impossible that all the horses on a large plain could 
be constantly down at the river side. 

It has been generally noticed in camps that horses standing 
in the open air, though fed on dry food, never drink more than 
twice and often only once in the day. But in stables it is 
certain that horses drink readily and are refi'eshed by being 
watered at least three or four times a day. It is not very 
difficult to conceive that the difference between the close warm 
atmosphere of a stable and the cool refreshing air of heaven 
may sufficiently account for this. Though for the reasons 
given above it is not at all necessary, yet there is no objection 
to horses having water constantly before them, — provided the 
water in the trough is wholly drained off and supplied afresh 
at each stable hour. 

Gl. Quantity of ivater to be given at one time. 

Of the quantity of water to be given at one time, the horse 
himself is in general the best judge. Excepting in a few cases, 
such as where the horse is excessively hot or exhausted, or has 
from any cause been kept without water for an undue length 


of time, or where there is a tendency to purgation or diuresis^ 
the horse may safely be allowed to drink as much as he likes. 

62. Horses to he ivatered before heing fed. 

It is a cardinal rule in stable management that horses should 
be watered before being fed. The contrary practice is exceed- 
ingly likely to cause colic, otherwise called gripes. The reason 
of this is simple enough. Water does not remain in the stomach. 
It merely passes very rapidly through it on its way to the ctecum. 
If the stomach is full, the water is very apt to carry with it 
from the stomach into the small intestines some portions of the 
food before it is properly prepared for transmission. Now un- 
digested food, though natural to the stomach, in which it ought 
to be digested and prepared for transmission to the intestines,, 
acts on the latter as a foreign body and produces irritation. 

63. No objection to luafering horses wJien warm. 

It is a somewhat singular fact that horses may be watered 
with safety almost immediately after their return from work, 
even though somewhat heated. Probably the friction from 
grooming, which takes place about the same time, prevents the 
occurrence of a chill. Many regiments water their horses on 
their way home from a field day, if a river or troughs are handy, 
and it is certain that no mischief results from the practice. 
Probably in this case the further slight exercise in returning 
home prevents mischief. 

There is less risk of chill from drinking cold water, when 
the body is still actively warm, than when the system has 
begun to flag. If, however, the horse is thoroughly tired and 
fagged, the water should be made slightly tepid, or a bucket 
of warm gruel may be given instead. In such cases there may 
not be sufficient vitality to raise a large quantity of cold water 
to the temperature of the body ; and hence the animal may 
become chilled, and his coat will stare, his bowels may become 
deranged, and further serious consequences may result. 

64. Dirty v. clean ivater. Hard v. soft ivatcr. 

It is very commonly, but erroneously, supposed that horses 
prefer muddy to clean water. The origin of this idea is the 


fact that tlie liorse prefers soft to hard water, and will drink 
indifferent soft in preference to clearer-looking hard water. But 
he will never drink bad soft in preference to good soft water, 
nor will he drink bad hard in preference to good hard water, 
except in so far as all hard water becomes more or less soft by 
standing and exposure to the air. Where a number of troughs 
with a stream running through them have been placed in line, 
the author has often known his horse, though taken to the last, 
walk to the first in order to get the cleanest water. 

Water for the horse should always be drawn fresh. If it is 
too cold, the chill may be taken off by adding a little warm 
water. The very ordinary practice of refilling the pails after 
watering and allowing them to stand in the stable until wanted 
again, in order to take off the chill, is objectionable, because 
the water so exposed must imbibe some of the deleterious gases 
present in most stables, and therefore must become tainted. 

Hard water, which contains an excess of saline and mineral 
sulbstances, does not as a general rule agree as well with horses 
as soft water, such as that obtained from a river or pond. It 
is apt to produce irritation of the bowels and, as a secondary 
effect, a staring coat. 

The salts contained in hard water may be in a great degree 
precipitated by boiling, and most waters become softer by 
being exposed to the air. 

Any sudden change in the kind of water supplied to horses 
is apt to cause derangement and even irritation of the mucous 
membranes of the bowels, especially a change from soft to hard 
water. Hence if the water is very hard, it should be boiled 
before being given to valuable horses, particularly if they are 
not accustomed to it. 

Rain or other soft water stored in tanks soon becomes full 
of decomposing vegetable matter in hot weather. 

65. Scouring. 

To horses predisposed to scour, water should be given fre- 
quently and in reduced quantities, and in winter the chill should 
be taken off by mixing it with a very little warm water. Per- 
haps the best plan is to leave water always before such horses, 
because when so supplied they drink less than when watered 


at intervals. A diminislied quantity of water taken into the 
system by lessening the secretions of tlie intestines decreases 
the tendency to purgation. 

If reduction of the quantity of water does not produce the 
desired effect, it may be mixed with a little wheaten meal, 
which has a slight astringent effect on the bowels. If further 
measures are needed, boiled linseed or some such demulcent 
should be mixed with the oats ; and it is as well to bruise the 
oats, because their ends are liable to cause irritation on an over- 
sensitive intestinal lining. Horses disposed to scour should be 
stinted of their water before going to work. Some horses will 
scour, unless a little hay is given to them in the morning before 
they are watered. 

Not unfrequently, however, the real cause of scouring will 
be found in an irritable state of the bowels induced by the 
presence of various crudities arising from imperfect digestion 
or previous torpidity. In such cases, if the animal is strong 
and hearty and not usually predisposed to the complaint, a 
mild dose of purgative medicine may be beneficially adminis- 
tered followed by tonics. 

Scouring, especially where a tendency to it exists, may readily 
be brought on by any sort of neglect or bad management, such 
as by washing the legs and not drying them, by letting the 
animal stand sweating after exercise without being dried and 
cleaned, by copious draughts of cold water, when the body is 
heated, or by being watered immediately before fast work. 
Light coloured horses, especially if also long in the back and 
slack in the loin and light in the barrel, are predisposed to this 

66. Delicate Feeders. 

Both care and skill are needed in regulating the diet and 
tempting the appetite of delicate feeders. Some will reject 
their food altogether, if it is given them in large quantities ; 
whilst they will eat it, if only a small quantity is offered at a 
time. Others again will not feed, unless they are allowed 
frequently to moisten their mouths with water whilst eating. 
Water should be kept constantly before such animals. Others 
again, apparently of a nervous or timid disposition, will not 


feed unless there is a spare stall between them and the next 
horse. Many horses feed very slowly^ and are consequently 
robbed of half the food by their more voracious neighbours. 
The remedy is, if possible, to allow a spare stall, or to rack up 
the neighbouring quick feeder as soon as he has finished his 
own portion. A little linseed boiled to a jelly and mixed with 
the corn will induce others to eat more freely. Hay slightly 
damp and sprinkled with salt is palatable to some horses, who 
will reject it when dry. A pretty frequent change of food is 
acceptable to some delicate feeders. A small quantity of beans, 
for instance, may be added to the oats, which may be given 
crushed. When the animal has lost its relish for these, barley 
or pale malt may tempt the palate for a time. A little wet 
bran with the oats is grateful for a time to some horses. For 
others carrots or green forage may be substituted for hay, or 
mixed with the hay. 

A good servant will always watch the peculiarities of the 
appetite of the horse under his charge, and will generally be 
able to adjust the feeding and tempt the appetite, so as to 
make the animal carry flesh. 

Tonics no doubt increase the appetite, but no servant should 
be allowed on any pretence whatever to administer them at his 
own discretion. 



67. Chemical anali/ses of food. 67a. Division of foods. 68. 
Oats. 69. Characteristics of good oats. 70. Weight of good 
and had oats. 71. Mode of ■weighing a hnshel. 72. Various 
defects in oats. Kiln drying. Foxy oats. Fumigation or 
bleaching. Dam^p oats. Softness. Mustiness. Moiddiness. 
Sprouting, dirt, stones, toant of 'winnowing. 73. Distinction 
between old and new oats. 73ft. Crushed oats. 74. Other grain. 
75. Beans. 75a. Peas. 7bh. Wheat. 76. Ray. 77. Chopped 
hay. 78. Waste of hay. 79. Quality and value of hay. 80. 
Upland, lowland, and water-meadow hay. 81. Distinctions 
between upland, lowland, and tvater-meadow hay. 82. Charac- 
teristics of good upland hay. 83. Characteristics of inferior 
and, bad upland hay. 84. Lowland hay, 85. Grasses, which 
^compose good upland hay. SQ. Inferior grasses. 87. Very 
inferior grasses. 88. Bad grasses. 89. Upland herbage. 90. 
Lowland herbage. 91. Recapitulation. 92. Weeds. 93. Of 
ihe time of cutting and saving hay. 94. Of late cut hay. 
95. Of saving hay. 96. On making hay. 97. Mow-burnt hay . 
98. Vust in hay. 98a. Second crop or aftermath. 986. Dis- 
tinction between new and old hay. 98c. Neiv v. old hay, as 
regards feeding. d8d. Irish hay. 98^. Clover hay. 98/. 
Green forage. 98g. Carrots. 98h. Gruel. 98i. Bran. 98j. 
Linseed. 98lc. Boiled foods. 981. Straw, 98ni. Artificial 
foods. 98n. Concentrated foods. 

67. Chemical analyses of food. 

It is difficult, if not impossible, to estimate accurately by 
means of chemical analyses the nutritive value of the various 
substances used as food. All food must of course contain 
certain nutritive constituents ; but it does not follow that the 
food, which possesses those constituents in the greatest abund- 


ance, will produce tlie most beneficial results. Digestibility, 
readiness of assimilation, absence of unduly heating properties 
and many otlier qualities are needed in order to make a sub- 
stance possessing the necessary ingredients available as food. 
Chemistry is a valuable, but not an infallible guide, and its 
indications require to be tempered by the test of experience. 

67a. Division of Foods. 

The author does not deem it necessary to enter into a minute 
description of the chemical elements of foods. It will be suf- 
ficient to mention that all nutritive foods are divided into three 
great principles, viz. nitrogenous, non-nitrogenous and in- 

Nitrogenous elements contain the various forms of albumen, 
the functions of which are to provide material for the repair and 
nourishment of the various tissues of the body, namely bone, 
muscle or flesh, &c. 

Nitrogenous elements exist in all animal and in some vege- 
table foods. They are nearly identical in their chemical com- 
position, whether found in animal or vegetable food. For 
instance, the albumen, gluten, and legumen of vegetables, are 
composed of the same chemical constituents and in nearly the 
same proportion, as the albumen, fibrine and casein of animal 

Non-nitrogenous elements include starches, sugars, oils and 
fat, usually classed under the head of carbonaceous principles. 
Their functions are to supply materials for the production 
of animal Jteat ; which is produced by the combustion (in a 
chemical sense) of the carbon and hydrogen of the food with 
the oxygen of the air. Secondly, to supply fat, which enters 
largely into the composition of various substances of the body, 
and which is stored up or deposited in considerable quantities 
in different parts of the animal frame. Fat is technically 
known as adipose tissue. 

Fat is not wholly derived from oleaginous materials, but 
also from the starches and sugars of vegetable foods, being 
readily formed from these constituents by chemical decompo- 
sition in the animal body. 

Besides nitrogenous and non-nitrogenous elements there are 




also certain inorganic principles in foods, consisting of water 
and saline materials, which are necessary for the purpose of 
keeping up the supply of similar constituents existing in the 
various tissues of the body. 

From the above description it will be readily understood 
that horses doing hard and fast work require food containing 
a large proportion of both Nitrogenous and Non-nitrogenous 
principles. Not only is the waste of the various tissues accele- 
rated by long-continued exertion; but chemical combustion 
also takes place more rapidly. 

If the nitrogenous elements are not supplied in sufficient 
quantities to repair the ^^ waste," the animal will fall away in 

If the non-nitrogenous elements are not supplied in quan- 
tities sufficient to compensate for the chemical combustion, the 
fat stored up in various parts of the body will be called upon 
to supply the deficiency, and the animal will become thin. 


Noil -nitrogenous. 






Saline and 


and sugar. 


















Barley . 





















Linseed . 







Gram (not including 

husks) . 







Kulthee (not includ- 

ing husks) . 







Hay . . . 







Clover hay 







Rye grass 







Meadow grass. 














Clover . 






81-01 1 

Carrots . 






87-0 i 

68. Oats, 

Of grain for the horse long experience has proved oats to be 
the best. Of the quantity to be given experience is also our 
best guide. The regulation cavalry allowance of ten pounds 
per diem unquestionably is sufficient for horses in ordinary 


work. This weight is about equivalent to what is usually 
understood as three feeds. 

But where the work is severe, horses should be allowed as 
much oats as they will eat. Hunters so fed will not consume 
on the average of the winter more than from fourteen to fifteen 
pounds or possibly sixteen per diem. The reader may be 
surprised at the small amount of the average ; but it must 
be remembered that horses eat but little on the day or days 
on which they are employed in hunting or other such long 
work. If an unlimited quantity of oats were given for one 
day to a horse usually restricted to a small allowance, he would 
of course eat a great deal more on that day. The author lately 
selected a horse with a good appetite, whose usual ration was 
ten pounds, and gave him as much as he liked. The first day 
he ate twenty-two pounds, the second day the same ; but on 
the third day he only consumed eighteen pounds, and for the 
three succeeding days he averaged seventeen, but on the seventh 
he ate only sixteen. 

At the Newmarket training stables the average quantity 
consumed by each horse is reckoned at from two and a quarter 
to two and a half bushels per week ; or assuming the oats to 
weigh 44 lb. per bushel from about fourteen to sixteen pounds 
per diem. On the other hand, it must be remembered that 
the oats given by trainers are the very best, and contain a 
greater amount of nutritive material than those generally sup- 
plied by owners to their horses. 

Large carriage horses in ordinary gentlemen's work require 
14 lb. per day. On this allowance they ought to be kept in 
the best possible condition. It is the amount allowed by one 
of the principal London firms, when they contract to ration 
the horses which they let out on job. 

Cab horses in London generally eat about from 18 to 20 lb. 
of oats a day. It appears, at first sight, singular that they 
should eat more than hunters or horses in training*. The fact, 
for it is a fact, may probably be accounted for partly by their 
being in the air some eight hom*s a day, partly by the long, 
fatiguing nature of their work, which causes a great consump- 
tion of animal material, and partly by the excellent habit of 
cabmen of putting on the nose bag whenever the horse hap- 


pens to be unemployed on the stand. Tlie cabman is practi- 
cally aware of the fact tbat the more lie can get bis borse to eat 
tbe more work be will do. It must also be borne in mind, 
tbat tbe oats given by cabmen, tbougb tbey are sensible enougb 
not to waste tbeir money on a very inferior article, are not tbe- 
best. Tbe quality of tbe oat must also be taken into considera- 
tion in reckoning tbe quantity wbicb a borse will eat, or wbicb 
be requires to keep bim in good condition. 

69. Characteristics of good oats. 

Good oats are clean, bard, dry, sweet, beavy, plump, full of 
flour, and rattle like sbot. Tbey bave a clean and almost 
metallic lustre. Eacb oat in a well grown sample is nearly of 
tbe same size. There are but few small or imperfect grains. 
The hard pressure of the nail on an oat should leave little or 
no mark. The kernel, when pressed between the teeth, should 
chip rather than tear. The skin should be thin. The size of 
the kernel will be less in proportion as the skin is thick. The 
colour of the oat is not very material, but white oats are 
generally thinner in the skin than black. Again, black oats 
will grow on inferior soils. Short plump oats are preferable 
to large long grains. Bearded oats must have an excess of 
husk. Oats are not necessarily bad because they are thick 
skinned or bearded ; but they must contain a less amount of 
flour per bushel than thin-skinned oats without beards. 

Good oats are entirely without smpll of any kind, except 
that of earth in new samples. In testing oats by smell a 
double handful at least should be taken for the purpose, and 
not merely a few grains. 

The flour should be almost tasteless, except a slight sense of 
milky sweetness to the palate. In tasting oats the purchaser 
should put a considerable number into his mouth without 
looking at them, in order to get a fair average of the grains. 
If he selects one or two oats to taste, be is sure to choose good 

In testing oats for quality it is a good plan to spread out a 
quantity on a table or sheet of paper. The small and imperfect 
grains can then readily be detected. Good samples should be 
free from any admixture of small black seeds. Inferior foreign 



oats are nearly always so mixed — sometimes in great quanti- 
ties. Tlie small black seeds weigh heavier than oats^ and, if 
numerous, give a deceptively heavy weight to the sample. 
They consist principally of the seeds of the wild rape, tares, 
and charlock, or wild mustard. 

70. Weight of good and had oats. 

Good oats weigh about 42 lb. per bushel. Very good 
samples reach 44 or 45 lb., and from a few districts oats as 
high as 48 or even 49 lb. may be obtained in favourable seasons. 
Fair marketable oats weigh about 39 lb. The Government in 
their contract for oats for the cavalry stipulate for a weight 
of 38 lb. per bushel. Yery inferior lots do not weigh above 
32 1b. 

Yery dirty oats sometimes on account of the dirt and sand 
in them weigh better before than after they have been cleaned ; 
but as a general rule the effect of cleaning and winnowing a 
sample is to make it weigh more per bushel. The principal 
part of the refuse which is thrown out consists of husks and 
of small, imperfect, or mouldy grains, which are very light in 
proportion to bulk. 

In some experiments made by a miller for the author he 
found that a fair sample of oats, per bushel, 

at 32 lb. yielded 19 lb. 15 oz. of flour. = 189^ lb. per quarter, 

at 38 lb. „ 26 1b. 7 oz. „ =211J lb. 

at 42 lb. „ 30 1b. 14 oz. „ =247 lb. 

at 44 lb. „ 33 1b. 14 oz. „ =271 lb. 

In some further experiments made by another miller the 
yield was as under : 

Oats at 32 lb. per bushel . . Flour, lb. 16*25 







It will be seen that, though the quantities of meal extracted 
are different from those given in the other table, yet the rela- 


tive quantity in proportion to the weight of the oats is much 
the same. 

From the above it will readily be seen that good oats, even 
at a high figure^ are cheaper for feeding purposes than inferior 
samples at a lower price. The increase in weight per bushel 
is mainly in flour. The husk forms a much larger proportion 
in light than in heavy oats. 

It is quite possible that other millers might get more or less 
meal flour out of similar samples, according to the machinery 
employed. But the proportionate results would not be affected 
by any such difference. The question, which the author has 
endeavoured to solve is not so much the absolute quantity of 
meal flour in the oats as the relative quantity in light and 
heavy samples. As all the trials in each case were made by 
the same miller with the same stones and machinery, it is 
probable that the proportionate results are correct. 

Dealers often offer to make up the weight of a lot of oats to 
the stipulated number of pounds per bushel by giving an in- 
creased quantity. This practice should not be permitted. 
Good oats yield more flour per pound than inferior oats. 
Besides which the flour in light oats is always inferior in quality 
to that contained in well-grown, fully ripened, and well- deve- 
loped grains. 

E.g. A quarter of oats at 32 lb. will weigh 256 lb. per quarter, 
and according to the first of the above tables contain 159 lb. 
8 oz. of flour. If 80 lb. oats be added in order to bring it 
up to the weight of a quarter at 42 lb., viz. 336 lb., there will 
be an addition of about 50 lb. of flour, making the total weight 
of flour 209 lb. ; whilst in a quarter of oats at 42 lb. (natural 
weight) the flour is 242 lb. Again, a quarter of oats of 38 lb. 
weighs 304 lb., and contains 191 lb. 8 oz. of flour. If 32 lb. 
oats be added in order to bring them up to the weight of a 
quarter at 42 lb., viz. 336 lb. — there will be an addition of 
about 24 lb. flour, making a total weight of flour 215 lb. as 
against 242 lb. in oats of 42 lb. per quarter (natural weight). 

71. Mode of iveighiiig a bushel. 

In the preceding paragraph we have explained that the value 
of oats is in a great degree dependent on their weight per 


bushel. In buying oats ifc is customary to stipulate tliat the 
lot shall weigh so many pounds per bushel. In weighing them 
for this purpose it is of course the object of the seller to get 
as many oats as possible into the measure_, and thus to increase 
the apparent weight of the sample per bushel ; whilst the object 
of the buyer is to make them weigh as light as he can^ or in 
other words fill the measure with the least possible quantity of 

Tricks are often played on the unwary, and sundry devices 
are adopted, such as moving the measure once or twice while it 
is being filled, or shaking it, or knocking against it with the 
scoop in pouring in the grain, or heaping it over-full, and 
pressing down the grain, when it is ^^ struck." The effect of 
these devices is to cause the oats to lie close together, and thus 
to make the measure hold more than it otherwise would. 

But apart from such tricks, which of course are easily seen 
and checked, a very considerable difference may be produced 
in the apparent weight of oats according to the way in which 
the measure is filled. 

In the wholesale trade the bushel measure is pushed into a 
large heap, and turned over gently and struck at once. It is 
essential that the heap be large, or the measure will not be 
filled without the aid of a scoop. A good deal of practice is 
required to do this in a workmanlike way. This gives the 
true, otherwise called the "natural" or 'Hrade" weight. 

In the retail trade some other methods are commonly used. 
The following are the results of various ways of weighing a 
bushel of oats, of which the natural or trade weight was 38 lb. 

Filled quickly from a large shovel and the strike applied at 
once, the measure held 38^ lb. The success of the operation 
depends on the measure being placed on a firm basis, so that 
it will not move or shake, and on its being filled quickly. The 
oats then have not time to run together and consolidate. The 
measure in consequence holds almost the least possible quantity. 

If the measure is shaky, or if through clumsiness or inten- 
tionally the shovel is allowed to knock against or even to lean 
on the measure, the result will be that it will hold considerably 
more grain than it ought. A similar result will follow, if the 
measure is filled sZozt;?^/. 


Filled from the mouth of the sack by allowing the oats to 
run in freely and quickly the measure held nearly 38 J Ib.^ when 
the operation was neatly and well managed. There is a good 
deal of knack in getting the oats to run out freely. The mouth 
of the sack must be opened wide, and the sides should be well 
turned down, so that no interruption may occur in filling the 
measure. Care must be taken that the mouth of the sack 
does not touch the measure. With this view the sack should be 
placed on a raised platform. The foot-board of the scales will 
answer for this purpose. 

But when the operation was clumsily performed, and the 
measure was shaken or moved by the pressure of the sack^ it 
held 39 1 lb. 

Filled very quickly from a small scoop the measure held 39 
lb. Filled somewhat slowly from the same scoop 39 J lb. 

Filled from a shovel held at the hip, the grain being allowed 
to flow or trickle in slowly, the measure held 42 lb. ; or in other 
words the sample was made to appear to weigh 42 lb. instead 
of 38 lb., the natural or trade weight. Here both the height 
from which the grains fell and the slowness of the operation 
combined in causing consolidation. 

Different samples no doubt will give somewhat varying 
results according to the greater or less tendency which they 
may possess for consolidating ; but from these details the 
intending purchaser will readily see that, in order to get the 
article he contracts and pays for, it is necessary that he should 
know how to weigh a bushel. 

The shape of the measure to a certain degree affects the 
weight of the oats. In a narrow deep measure the oats will 
consolidate, when poured in, and the apparent weight will be 
increased. In the legal measure the depth is not to exceed one 
half of the diameter. 

In addition, however, to knowing how to do it, there is a 
good deal of knack and practice required to fill the bushel 
properly ; and the reader, if he tries the above experiments for 
himself, will probably at first fail to get the true weight. 

Perhaps the best way for an amateur to ascertain the correct 
weight of the grain is to place the measure on level ground and 
fill it quickly from a large scoop holding somewhat more than 


a husliel, and tlieii strike it off at once with a rounded stick. 
Care must be taken that the scoop does not touch the measure. 

Even, however, with the proper mode of weighing, tricks are 
sometimes played by dishonest dealers, which affect and in- 
crease the weight of a sample. If a sample, for instance, before 
going to market receives a good shaking, the friction thereby 
caused will rub off a good many of the awns and asperities of 
the husks, and the seeds will then flow in more easily into a 
compact mass, and thus the weight per bushel will be increased ; 
whilst the remainder of the lot, which have not been subjected 
to the same friction as the sample, will not yield the weight 

Again, certain descriptions of oats give, if we may use the 
expression, deceptively good weight. Very smooth and well 
closed oats, for instance, lie closely together, and leave but little 
space unoccupied ; and, therefore, though they may contain but 
little flour, they may still weigh fairly well. Another sort with 
really better filled grains, but with rougher coats may weigh 
less. Again, some very good looking smooth large foreign oats 
give a great weight per bushel on account of the almost woody 
nature of their husks. Lastly, damp oats, which have not been 
damp sufficiently long to cause them to swell, may give an 
unfairly good weight. 

The purchaser, therefore, whilst relying on weight as one 
great, and in most cases the best test, must take care to note 
well all the other characteristics of the lot he proposes to 

In testing samples of oats in the sack it is a common prac- 
tice in the trade to thrust an ordinary smooth walking-stick 
rapidly into the sack. If the grain is of good quality and con- 
dition and free from dirt, &c., the stick will pass down compa- 
ratively easily. If, on the other hand, the oats are damp, 
badly screened, and otherwise of inferior quality, more difficulty 
will be experienced in the attempt. 

72. Various defects in oats. 

Kiln drying is a process resorted to in order to get rid either 
of dampness or softness or of both defects. Oats so dried have 
a peculiar and easily recognised smell and taste, and in some 

58 CHAPTER y. 

cases there is a loose and shrivelled appearance about the ends 
of the husks. This arises from the kernel having swollen when 
damp, and afterwards contracted in size when the damp was 
suddenly expelled in the kiln. The colour of the oat is also 
deepened and often assumes a reddish hue ; but the colour, as 
will be explained presently, may be got rid of by fumigation. 

The process of kiln drying in itself damages the flour to a 
certain degree ; but the great objection to kiln-dried oats arises 
from the flour having been in most instances, as regards English 
oats, damaged before they are sent to the kiln. No amount of 
drying, we need scarcely say, will restore damaged flour to its 
original condition, or in fact make bad into good flour. An 
attempt is often made to get rid of the smell by spreading out 
the oats in thin layers to the action of the air, and then mixing 
them with new fresh-smelling oats immediately before they are 
offered for sale. Foreign oats, even though in good condition, 
are nearly always slightly kiln-dried before being put on board 
ship to prevent their heating in bulk during the voyage. This 
.process, if the oats are in good condition, as they often are in 
the finer climates of the Continent, is almost unobjectionable. 
Oats, which have been badly saved or have become dirty from 
any cause, are sometimes washed to improve their colour, and 
are then put in the kiln to be dried. 

Yery good new oats are occasionally slightly kiln-dried to 
harden them and make them resemble old oats and thus increase 
their value. 

Foxy oats are those, which have heated from being kept in 
bulk, when not perfectly dry ; and in consequence have under- 
gone to a certain degree a process of fermentation. They are 
easily recognised by a reddish and sometimes very red colour, 
and by a peculiar bitterness of smell and taste. They are unfit 
for horses. The nutritive quality of the flour is in a great 
measure destroyed. They act injuriously, especially on the 
kidneys, and produce excessive staling and cause the horse 
rapidly to lose condition. The red colour is sometimes got rid 
of by fumigation. 

Fumigation or bleaching is a process resorted to in order to 
get rid of the heightened colour imparted to the oats by the 
process of kiln-drying or by their having become foxy. 


The dark colour is got rid of and an unnaturally wliite hue is 
given by subjecting the oats to the fumes of sulphur. This 
fraud may be detected by taking a handful of oats from the heap 
and bringing it quickly up to the nose_, or by applying the nose 
directly to a hollow made in the heap. When^ however, the 
process is well managed, the smell is exceedingly faint. Several 
large factories have been erected in various parts of the country, 
in which the processes of washing, kiln-drying, and fumigating 
are carried on under the same roof. 

Damp oats are objectionable and should not be taken. 
Dampness, however, is in some measure a question of degree 
and of the length of time, during which it has existed. Con- 
tinued damp, especially when the oats are stored in bulk, soon 
produces softness, mustiness, or sprouting. 

Softness is the first effect produced by damp. The flour, 
though not in perfectly good condition, may still be wholesome, 
but any such defect militates against good hard condition in 
the horse. 

Mustiness is a further stage resulting from damp. Musty 
oats are easily recognised by the smell. They are altogether 
unfit for food, and are sometimes poisonous, being in an incipient 
stage of decomposition. When examined under the microscope 
a fungoid growth may be detected on the inner skin. 

Mouldy oats are in a state of positive decomposition, and are 
obviously unfit for food. 

Sprouting is a process of new growth or germination in the 
oat induced by damp combined with some amount of warmth 
under certain conditions of the weather. In this respect it will 
be seen, that sprouting differs from mustiness or mouldiness, 
which are processes of decomposition and death of the grain. 
Oats, which have sprouted, are quite unfit for food. 

Other defects in oats are dirt, stones, and want of proper 
winnowing. These defects, though they militate against the 
value, may be remedied by screening and winnowing. 

73. Distinction between old and new oats. 

The chief distinction between new and old oats lies in the 
smell. New oats smell fresh and of the earth. There is a 
decided earthy smell about them, which is lost in the old oat. 


"Old oats, if newly thraslied out, may smell fresh, but there is 
not the earthy smell about them. As a rule, however, they 
smell rather musty and frequently of rats. 

In new oats the outside of the husk in well saved samples is 
bright and shining, having almost a glazed appearance, especi- 
ally in the black variety. In old oats this glazing is lost. The 
outside, though it may be perfectly clean, is dim and the ends 
of the husks in white oats, and the point of the kernel in both 
white and black oats, are always a little darkened. Badly saved 
new oats may in these respects sometimes resemble old oats ; 
but in such cases they will probably be distinguished by their 

The taste of the new oat is fresh and somewhat milky ; and 
its flour, when moistened in the mouth, readily adheres together. 
The taste of the old oat is slightly bitter. In the mouth the 
flour feels dry and is not easily moistened. In the new oat 
there is a certain degree of juiciness, sweetness, and milkiness 
about its flour. In very dry seasons these distinctions are less 
observable than in ordinary years. 

New oats as a general rule are softer than old ; but here 
again the season, the state of the weather for some time preced- 
ing the sample coming to market, and the dampness perhaps of 
the place, in which they have been stored, may cause old oats 
to handle as soft as new. On the other hand in very fine 
seasons new oats may come to market almost as dry and hard 
as old in average years. 

In bearded varieties the beards are well preserved in new 
samples; but from old oats a considerable proportion of the 
beards have generally fallen off or been knocked off by friction 
in carriage, &c. In all kinds the ends of the grains from the 
above causes always look shorter and sharper in old than in new 
samples. The husk also becomes tight and locked round the 

The skin of the kernel of a new oat is covered with a very 
fine prickly down composed of very minute hairs. In the old 
oat the kernel appears and feels more smooth. If the husks 
are stripped off, this distinction will be quite perceptible to the 
palate in chewing a few grains of each. 

All the above distinctions except the first are subject to so 


many modifications according to varying" circumstances^ tliat 
we must advise the reader, whilst not altogether neglecting 
them, to form his opinion chiefly by the presence or absence of 
the earthy smell, 

78a. Crushed oats. 

Crushed oats are frequently given with advantage, especially 
to greedy feeders and animals that bolt their food wdthout 
sufficiently masticating it. Oats, however, should never be 
purchased crushed, as inferior grain can easily be, and generally 
is, substituted for that of better quality. 

If crushed oats are used, it is advisable to buy a small hand 
mill. The oats can then be crushed as required, and the quality 
can be ensured. 

74. Other grain. Indian coriij Barley y Gram. 

Indian corn crushed or ground is often used in lieu of oats, 
when the price happens to be moderate, or the quality of the 
oat crop is indifferent. It answers very well, and some horses 
put on flesh better with it than with oats. It should be given 
mixed with about an equal quantity of bran and chopped hay, 
the whole being slightly wetted. About the same weight of 
meal maybe given, as the horses had been accustomed to of corn. 

Many persons prefer giving Indian corn whole after soaking - 
it for some hours. This process softens the grain and causes it 
to swell. In this condition it is more readily masticated, and 
is supposed to be more easy of digestion. The author has not 
tried it in this form, and hesitates to recommend it. 

In some foreign countries other grain is substituted for oats, 
sometimes because oats cannot be procured, sometimes because 
those grown in the locality are inferior. 

Barley is a common substitute. It is more heating than oats 
and is apt to produce constipation, derangement of the bowels, 
and consequent irritation of the skin. On this account it is- 
often desirable to combine with it clover, lucern, grass or other 
green meat as a corrective. 

The same remarks apply to Gram, a species of pea, which is 
commonly used in India, as a substitute for oats. 

When a new description of grain is piven in lieu of that, ta- 


wliicb. the liorse has been accustomed, it is always desirable to 
introduce the change gradually if possible. 

75. Beans. 

Beans contain more nutritive material than oats, but if given 
in excess are heating. Beans are beneficial to horses employed 
on very hard work, especially to old animals and to those which 
are a little overtasked. 

About two pounds per diem in addition to the usual quantity 
of oats is a fair allowance, but the amount may be increased or 
diminished according to circumstances. Beans weigh half as 
much again as oats, and hence servants in giving them out by 
measure sometimes allow a good deal more than they intend. 

Beans should be hard, dry, sweet, plump, sound, one year 
old and should weigh from 60 to 64 lb. per bushel. They 
should invariably be split, as otherwise they are apt to pass 
whole through the intestines. English beans only should be 
given. The skins of foreign, especially of Egyptian beans, are 
often so hard as to render them utterly indigestible in the 
horse's stomach. 

Beans otherwise good are often damaged by an insect, which 
eats out the kernel. This defect is easily seen. New beans are 
less nutritious than old, and are moreover apt to produce flatu- 
lence and colic. 

75a. Peas. 

Peas contain nearly as much nutritive material as beans, and 
are extensively used in some stables. Like beans they should 
be given split, and should be plump, dry, sound, and at least 
one year old. 

75&. Wheat. 

Wheat should not be given to horses, if any other grain can 
be procured. It is unsuited to the horse's stomach, and is 
likely to produce serious intestinal derangements. In cases 
where no other grain can be procured, wheat may be given if 
previously parched. The parching process appears to destroy 
the viscidity of the gluten which causes this grain to be so 
diflScult of digestion in the stomach of the horse. 


76. Bay. 

For horses in ordinary work the cavalry allowance of twelve 
pounds per diem is sufficient. It is very commonly thought 
that horses in hard work should be limited in regard to hay ; 
but if, as has been recommended above, horses in such work 
are allowed as much oats as they will eat, it is unnecessary and 
injudicious to put an arbitrary limit on their hay. Practically it 
will be found, that horses, which are not limited in regard to 
oats, will not usually consume above six pounds of hay per 
diem; and nobody probably would wish them to have less. 

A horse cannot be maintained in health on grain alone. 
The stomach needs a certain amount of mechanical distension, 
and without it will not act properly. The same fact is noticed 
in man, in whom highly concentrated foods, however nutritious, 
will not maintain health or even life. 


77. Chopped hay. 

Chopped hay has been highly recommended, but except a 
little for the purpose of mixing with the corn of greedy feeders, 
the author cannot see any advantage in its use. The argument 
commonly put forward in its favour, namely, that by chopping 
the good and bad parts are so mixed, that the horse must eat 
the bad with the good, in his opinion tells seriously against the 
plan. A horse is better without bad hay in his stomach than 
with it. Bad forage of any sort is false economy, and the horse 
in rejecting it shows more sense than his master in trying to 
force him to eat it. Hay should always be chopped at home, 
as that sold by dealers is generally made from inferior and 
damaged growths. 

If horses are fed from the nose bag, as is the practice where 
the hours of work are long, chopped hay must of course be 

78. Waste of hay, 

Grreat waste of hay is frequently occasioned by careless 
servants stuffing the rack with perhaps half a hundred- weight. 
Then indeed the horse selects only the very choicest locks, and 
pulls about and breathes over the remainder and eventually 


tramples it under his feet. If no more than twelve pounds 
are given with three feeds of corn, or half that quantity where 
the horses have an unlimited supply of corn, they will not in 
general waste or reject much, that it would be good for them 
to eat. With some horses, however, it is necessary, in order to 
avoid waste, to divide the hay into four instead of the usual 
two. portions during the day. 

79. Quality and value of hay. 

The quality and value of hay depend — 

1st. On the grasses and herbage of which it is composed. 

2nd. On the soil on which it has been grown. 

3rd. On the time at which the grass has been cut. 

4th. On the way in which it has been " saved." 

All these points will be further considered in detail. 

80. Ujplandy Lowland, and Water-meadow hay. 

Hay may be broadly distinguished as either upland, lowland, 
or water-meadow\ 

Upland is the best. None but upland hay should be used 
for horses doing fast work. Lowland hay is inferior. Water- 
meadow hay is altogether unfit for horses. 

These terms, which are in common use and generally well 
understood, are not in all cases strictly accurate, e.g. a low-lying 
meadow may repose on a dry formation, and in addition may be 
Avell drained ; and if so, it may grow fine, commonly called 
upland grasses. On the other hand, a meadow may lie high 
and yet may be a swamp, and will therefore grow coarse, com- 
monly called lowland or even water-meadow grasses. Still for 
all practical purposes these expressions may be used, and will 
be understood by all practical men. 

Certain gi'asses grow only on upland meadows, others only on 
lowland, whilst others are found only on water meadows. Some 
sorts are found both in upland and lowland meadows, whilst 
others are found both in lowland and water meadows. In short, 
no very sharp line of demarcation can be drawn between grasses 
of upland and lowland and water-meadow growth. They shade 
into each other according to the peculiarities of the soil. 

The hest upland grasses will, however, be found only in 



No. 1. 

ff;/e Grass. 
(Lolium perenne.^ 

■' m 

No. 2. 

Jlfeadotv Fescue. 
(Fefituca pratensis,) 

No. 3. 

Meadoiu Fox-tail. 
{Alopecurus pratensis.) 



No. 4. 

No. 5. 

No. 6. 

Meadow Cafs-tail or Timothy. Crested Dog's-tail. Sioeet Vernal in Flozoer. Stveet Vernal in Hay. 
(Phleum pratense.) {Cynosurus cristatus.) (Anthoxanthum odoratum.) 


Xo. 7. 

(DacttiUs qlomerata. 

No. 8. 

Meado7D Smooth Grass. 
(Poa pratensis^) 


No. 9. 


No, 9a. 

Meadow Soft Grass, Meadotv Soft Grass, 

in very full fiower. in early flower^ 

{Holcm mollis.) 



No. 10. 

YorJcshire Fog, 

in rather early Jlotver^ 

(M^olcus lanatusC) 


No. 11. 

False Oat. 
(Avena elatior.) 
Flowering head only. 

No. 12. 

No. 13. 

Field Brome. Fiorin Grass. 

{Bromus arvensis.) {Agrostis stolonifera.) 


No. 14. 

Uough-stalked Meadow Grass. 
(Poa trivialis.) 

No. 15. 

QuaJciyig Grass. 
(Briza Media.) 






No. 16. 

No. 18. 

Squirrel-tail, or Com- Slender Fox-tail. Tufted Hair Grass, 
mon Meadoio Barley. {Alopecurus {Aira ccespitosa.) 

(Sordeum pratense.) agrestis.) Flowering head only . 

Common MusTi. 
[Juncus conglomeratus.) 



No. 20. 

IReed Sweet Grass. 
{Olyceria or Poa aquatica.) 

Rihhon Grass. 

{Digrapliis arundinacea.) 

Small Jiowering head. 


No. 22. 

White or Dutch Clover. 
{Trifolium repens.) 

No. 23. 

Red Clover. 
{Trifolium pratense.) 

No. 24. 

Little Yellow Clover. 
{Lotus corniculatus.) 



No. 25. 

Little Yellow Vetch. 
{Lathyrus pratensis.) 

No. 26. 

{Hedysarum OnobrycUs.) 

No. 27. 

Hop Trefoil. 
( Trifolium procumbens.) 


upland meadows, but tlie inferior upland grasses will be found 
in moderately dry lowland meadows, and vice versci, the best 
sorts of lowland grasses may be found, to a certain extent, on 
upland meadows. 

The same remarks apply to lowland and water-meadow 
grasses. The inferior lowland grasses may be found in water 
meadows, whilst the best water-meadow grasses may be occa- 
sionally, though more rarely, found in lowland meadows. 

81. Distinction between ujpland, lowland j and ivater-meadoiu 


Upland hay is known generally by the fineness and firmness 
of the stalks or stems, and by the narrowness of the leaves of its 
grasses. Specially, it is recognised by the prevalence of certain 
grasses (of which hereafter) which do not grow on lowland. 
And, again, by the prevalence of certain sorts of herbage (of 
which hereafter) which do not grow on lowland. 

Lowland hay is known by the coarseness of the stalks and 
by the broad leaves of its grasses (of which hereafter), and by 
the absence of good upland herbage. The hay, though coarser, 
is softer, less firm and crisp than upland hay. The colour is 
also darker. 

Water-meadow hay is at once recognised by its very coarse, 
broad, often reed-like stalks, and by the very broad, often flag- 
like leaves of its grasses, and by a large admixture of sedge, and 
of plants, approaching the nature of sedge, and rushes. See 
No. 19, Eushes, No. 20, Sweet-reed grass (Glyceria or Poa 
aquatica). No. 21, Ribbon grass (Digraphis arundinacea) . 

Water-meadow grass is quite unfit for horses, and will be not 
further alluded to. 

The above are only general distinctions. The minuter dis- 
tinctions, as regards upland and lowland hay, will be detailed 

82. Characteristics of good ujpland hay. 

Good upland hay should be moderately fine, somewhat hard, 
sweet smelling, and well saved. The colour should be green, 
and should convey an idea of newness. Very little heating or 
fermentation should have taken place in the stack. Some 



slight heating is, however, almost unavoidable if the crop is cut 
early, as it ought to be, whilst the juices are still in the grass, 
or, in other words, before it has run to seed. This slight heat- 
ing will prevent the best early-cut hay from being very green. 
A preference has been shown in London of late years for very 
green hay, arising from the idea that when of this colour it is 
most nearly in its natural state, but, for the reason given 
above, this idea, if carried too far, is a fallacy. 

Other causes, such as a shower of rain falling on the grass 
when nearly ready to be carried, or exposure to a very hot sun, 
will often cause hay to lose its very green colour, though it may 
not have suffered any real damage. 

The flowering heads of the grasses ought to be present in 
abundance. Hay, which consists of an undue proportion of 
leaves, is inferior. Every fibre should be firm and crisp, and 
should appear distinct. The fibres in good upland hay often 
lie in one direction. In machine-tossed hay, however, the 
direction of the fibres is not so well preserved as in that made 
by the hand rake. A tangled confusion of the constituents is 
a sign of badly saved or lowland hay. The perfume of the best 
upland hay, though not so strong, is very like that of new 
mown grass. If masticated it has a mild flavour, whilst low- 
land and inferior growths have a strong pungent taste. 

Hay grown on good soils is also distinguished by the number 
and variety of the grasses. Horses prefer hay composed of a 
variety of good grasses to that consisting of only one sort, even 
though that sort may be the very best. 

A proportion of herbage, that is, of plants (not weeds) other 
than grass, is desirable. The different kinds of clover, 
especially white or Dutch, and the other varieties of trefoils 
constitute the great mass of good upland herbage. These 
plants are generally abundant, where the soil on which the 
crop is grown, is good. Herbage makes the hay sweet and 
palatable. Hay composed only of the best grasses is not 
relished so well as when mixed with a proportion of herbage. 

N.B. Herbage is a conventional name for plants other 
than grasses (not weeds) in hay. In a botanical point of view 
the name is not strictly correct, as all grass is herbage. 

A mixture of weeds in hay is objectionable. 

rOEAGE. , 67 

The presence of flowers, whicli have not lost their colour, 
such as buttercups, and the flowers of trefoil and clover, is 
always an item of value in hay, as it shows that the crop has 
been cut early in the season, before the grasses have lost their 
juices and nutriment. A similar favorable indication is given 
by certain early grasses, such as Sweet Vernal (No. 6) being 
still in flower, i.e. not run to seed. 

Hay from artificial grass, if early cut, well-made, and not 
over-heated, is suitable for horses. Most samples, are however, 
deficient in aroma. Rye grass is most commonly grown for 
this purpose ; but the farmer, solicitous to obtain quantity, too 
often delays cutting until the grass is in seed, and the quality 
of the crop is then reduced. 

To recapitulate. The characteristics of the best hay are 
cleanness, firmness, crispness, and green colour, delicacy in taste, 
aroma, and appearance, the presence of flowers of their natural 
colour, the presence of numerous grasses, with Sweet Vernal and 
other early grasses in flower, and a proportion of good herbage. 

Brightness of colour is an essential requisite as regards 
market value, but many samples of inferior colour possess no 
other actual inferiority. 

Hay should be one year old. It is then at its best. The 
author does not believe that hay is improved by keeping for 
three or four years. 

83. Of infer 107' and had upland hay. 

Upland hay, though as a rule superior to lowland hay, may 
be good, inferior, or bad of the sort. 

The best grasses grow only on good soils. The goodness of 
any soil is, however, largely dependent on manure being duly 
supplied. The best natural soil will seldom nourish the best 
grasses year after year without renovation by manure. Without 
proper dressing the grasses become poor and thin, or very fine 
and wanting in firmness. The soil in fact has become ex- 
hausted, the fibres of its grasses become attenuated, and the hay 
is soft and silk-like. The herbage also in such cases is generally 
deficient. Such very fine hay, though perfectly wholesome, is 
not nutritious, and is therefore unfit for horses doing fast work. 


The want of herbage is, however^ often remedied artificially by 
sowing clover in the autumn. 

Good upland soils properly cared for produce the best grasses 
in the best condition. Inferior soils, or even the best natural 
soils, if badly cared for, produce inferior grasses. Hay grown 
on such soils is usually hard, as distinguished from firm, over- 
dry, and deficient in colour, aroma, nutriment, and herbage. 

There are also very poor upland soils, which, especially in 
dry seasons, grow very little grass. Some are so poor that 
they will not produce grass sufiicient for haymaking. 

It must be remembered, that there can be no nutriment in 
grass except what it extracts from the land. Therefore poor 
land or land in bad heart must grow poor innutritions hay. 

Some soils produce grass, not merely of inferior varieties, 
but bad of the sort, which is easily recognised in hay by a 
peculiar sour appearance and taste, and often by a darker 
colour. The smell, if any, may probably have an odour of 

Hay grown under trees is readily known by the long, lanky 
fibres of its grasses, by its lightness, softness, and absence of 
aroma; except when grown under fir trees, when a smell of 
turpentine may be detected. It is very objectionable. 

84. Loivland hay. 

Lowland hay is known — 1st. By the coarseness of the stems 
of its grasses, by the broad leaves of its undergrowth, and by 
a large admixture of coarse herbage and weeds. 2nd. The 
direction of the stems and leaves is not well preserved. It is a 
tangled mass. 3rd. The colour is darker than that of good 
well saved upland hay — though the latter, if heated, or badly 
saved, may be dark. 4th. It has a stronger and less delicate- 
aroma. 6th. The texture is more woolly; and the sample,, 
though each leaf or stem may be coarser, yet feels more soft or 
less firm. Altogether it lacks the firmness, crispness, cleanli- 
ness, freshness of appearance, and delicacy, both of substance 
and aroma of good upland hay. Lastly, lowland hay is at once 
recognised by the absence of the best grasses, which will be- 
presently described, as characteristic of upland soils. 


85. Of the grasses ivJiich compose good upland hay, 

Tlie Stems or Flowering heads denote the grasses. 

The leaves, which surround those heads, are not easily recog- 
nised. Therefore we look to the stems as indicating the 
grasses. According to the prevalence or otherwise of certain 
stems, so will be the quality of the hay. 

No. 1. Rye grass {Lolium jyerenne) grows naturally on most 
good upland soils. It contains much nutriment. It is also 
found on poorer soils, if dry ; but on such it dwindles in size. 

It is also extensively cultivated as an artificial grass on 
lands under rotation. The hay made from it is good for horses. 
The variety, known as Italian, is often grown with sewage. 
Here it becomes coarse^ and, though valuable for cows, is unfit 
for horses. 

No. 2. Meadow Fescue [Festuca pratensis) is a very good 
upland grass. It forms a considerable bulk of the permanent 
grass on good upland soils. Its presence denotes good soil. 
It varies much in its forms, often almost resembling rye grass, 
and at other times branching out even more than represented 
in Fig. 2. There are several other varieties of festuca, some of 
which are larger, others smaller than the pratensis. 

No. 3. Meadow Fox tail {Alopecurus pratensis) is a very good 
early grass, and is found on good deep soils. It requires 
moisture, and therefore will not flourish on light dry soils. It 
closely resembles Cat's tail, but is distinguished from it by 
long hair-like awns. 

No. 4. Meadow Cat's tail, or Timothy {Phleum pratense), is 
a very good grass, and often forms a considerable bulk of good 
upland hay. It is, however, best adapted for moist rich soils. 

No. 5. Crested Dog's tail {Gyiiosurus cristatiis) is a very good 
upland grass. It is well adapted to light and medium soils. 
Having long roots, it will resist dryness better than most other 
upland grasses. 

No. 6. Sweet-scented Vernal {Anthoxanthum odoratum), 
though it has no great nutritive value, is very beneficial in hay 
on account of the fragrance which it imparts. It is a very early 
grass, and runs early to seed. Hence, if it is found in flower 
in hay, it is especially favorable as a test that the crop has been 

70 ' CHAPTER V. 

cut in good time. If, on tlie other hand, it has run to seed, it 
shows that the cutting has been delayed. 

The above are the best upland grasses ; and in proportion as 
upland hay contains them, it is good. Some few of them, it 
will be seen, require that the soil should be moist as well as rich. 

86. Of inferior grasses. 

No. 7. Cock's foot [Bactylis glomerata) is a somewhat in- 
ferior grass. It grows on both good and inferior soils. It 
also flourishes under the shade and.fdrip of trees. Hence it is 
sometimes termed Orchard grass. It is coarse and hard, but as 
it contains a good deal of nutriment, it is constantly employed 
as a mixture by agriculturists. 

No. 8. Smooth Meadow grass {Poa pratensis) is inferior and 
contains but little nutriment. It grows abundantly on all 
soils, whether wet or dry. There are numerous varieties of 
this grass, some fine, some coarse, according as the soil is dry 
or wet ; but they all bear a general resemblance. 

No. 9. Soft Meadow grass {Holciis mollis) is another abundant, 
but inferior grass. It grows on all soils. When dried as hay, 
it has a soft spongy feel. It contains but little nutriment. 

No. 9 a shows the same in early flower. 

No. 10. As much may be said of Yorkshire fog (Holcus 
lanatus), which it very closely resembles. 

These last two grasses are found to a certain extent in all 
samples of hay ; but in inferior hay they form the great bulk. 

87. Very inferior grasses. 

No. 11. False Oat (Avena elatior) is a very common class of 
grass, especially abundant on light and calcareous soils, and 
often growing on hedge banks. 

No. 12. The Field Brome [Bromus arvensis) is a coarse^ 
common grass. It gi'ows on lowlying ground, and, although 
not found in water meadows, will flourish on almost any 
description of soil. 

No. 13. Fiorin grass [Agrostis stolonifera) is an inferior, 
very plentiful grass, and will grow on any soil. It has, how- 
ever, been found useful, yielding a weighty crop on salt marshes. 


reclaimed bogs, and other damp soils, where the better grasses 
would not thrive. 

No. 14. The Eough-stalked Meadow grass {Poa trivialis) is a 
common inferior grass, found on all soils, but especially abun- 
dant on poor soils, whether wet or dry. Though unsuitable 
for horses, cattle thrive pretty well on it. 

No. 15. Quaking grass (Briza media) is not abundant, but 
is found to a certain extent on most poor and low-lying soils. 
Here and there a few straggling specimens occur on good 

88. Of had grasses. 

No. 16. Squirrel tail or Meadow Barley {Hordeum pratense) 
is a sign of bad and wet land. It has no nutritive value, and 
is much disliked by horses on account of its bristles, which 
hurt the gums. 

No. 17. Slender Fox tail [Alopecurus agrestis) marks poor 
land, and is common in waste places and roadsides. It can 
hardly be distinguished from meadow fox tail, except by its being 
smaller and much more slender. It has no nutritive value. In 
some districts a variety of this grass grows very tall and large 
on wet undrained land, and is locally known as Black grass. 

No. 18. Tufted-hair grass {Air a cdesjntosa) is very tall, and 
grows in bunches or large tussocks. It marks very poor soil 
and low land. Its presence in hay is an invariable sign of 
worthlessness. The drawing shows the flowering head only. 

No. 19. Rushes (Juncus communis), though not grass, may 
here be mentioned. They are a marked sign of wet, undrained 
land. They will, however, continue to exist for years, in drained 
land, unless well stocked up, though decreasing each year in 
size and number. 

The above are the principal grasses which, according to cir- 
cumstances, prevail in upland and lowland meadows. A purely 
upland grass will not be found at all in lowland meadows. 
Others, however, are common to both, but become ranker and 
coarser in their stems and leaves in proportion as the soil is 


89. Upland herbage. 

Of the plants constituting good upland herbage, the several 
varieties of the Trefoil are the most important. 

No. 22. White or Dutch clover (TrifoUum repens) flourishes 
on good upland soils, wherever there is a fair proportion of 
lime in the soil. 

No. 23. Common Red clover {TrifoUum pratense) is found 
in abundance on most good soils, and to a certain extent on 
other soils, as long as they are dry. 

No. 24. The little Yellow Clover {Lotus corniculaius) is good 
herbage, and prevails on most dry upland soils. It varies a 
good deal in its growth and appearance in different places. 

No. 25. The Yellow Vetch {Lathy rus pratensis) is found on 
soils, whether rich or poor, if dry. 

These two latter, as they ripen, are apt to become bitter and 

No. 26. Sainfoin {Onohrychis sativa) is found only on good 

No. 27. Hop trefoil {TrifoUum procumhens) is found on both 
good and poor soils, if dry. 

90. Lowland herbage. 

Lowland herbage consists of a great variety of plants. It is 
easily recognised by its broad coarse leaves and general rank- 

91. Recapitulation. 

Good hay contains a large proportion of the best grasses, 
along with the trefoils and other good herbage, and only a small 
proportion of the inferior grasses. 

Inferior hay, on the other hand, consists mainly of* the in- 
ferior grasses, with only a small, or perhaps no admixture of 
the best grasses, whilst good herbage will be wanting. 

Inferior hay generally contains an unduly large proportion 
of leaves to stems. The absence of a good proportion of stems 
to leaves is always a sign of inferiority, whether the hay be 
upland or lowland. 

The best upland hay consists mainly of the grasses numbered 


from 1 to 6, witli almost always some admixture of the rather 
inferior grasses numbered from 7 to 10. 

Inferior hay will contain but little of the grasses numbered 
from 1 to 6, a very large proportion of those numbered from 7 
to 10, and some proportion of those numbered from 11 to 15. 

Very inferior hay will contain none of the grasses numbered 
from 1 to 6, and the bulk will consist of those numbered from 
7 to lb, with some of those from 16 to 19. 

The specimens of water-meadow grasses are numbered from 
18 to 21. 

92. Of Weeds. 

The presence of Weeds in hay is generally an unfavorable 
sign. They indicate land either in bad heart, or naturally poor 
or wet. 

Buttercups, however, are often found in considerable quan- 
tities on fair moist soils. 

Dandelions grow on good soil, but their presence shows that 
the land has not been kept clean. 

Sorrel grows on light soils. It gives a subacid taste to hay. 
A small quantity is not objectionable. 

The Eib Plantain {Plantago lanceolata) is a common weed, 
growing on all soils. It is not objectionable in hay, Fig. 28. 

Hard or Black heads, otherwise called Knap-weed [Gentaurea 
nigra) are coarse, tough, and quite indigestible. No. 29. 

Rattle {Rinanthus crista galli) grows on poor land. Its 
abundance in any sample of hay is a sure sign of poor land, 
though a very little is sometimes found on good soils. It is a 
great nuisance to the farmer. Fig. 30. 

Common Bank sedge {Garex rijoaria) if large indicates very 
inferior wet soil. Its presence should cause any sample to be 
rejected. Smaller varieties, some very small, are however 
found on poor upland soils. No. 31. 

Smaller forms of sedge are sometimes found on upland, and 
are not injurious, though indicating poor soil. 

The Wood Rush (Liizula campestris) is very common on 
upland soils. Its presence in any considerable quantity indi- 
cates an inferior quality of hay. No. 32. 

Cat's ear {Tlyijochaeris radicata) is most objectionable. It 


has a bitter taste^ whicli will cause horses to reject the whole 
lot of hay — so much do they dislike it. It has a flower some- 
what like the dandelion. Fig. 33. 

Silver weed or Goose grass (Potentilla anserina) is found on 
clayey sands. No. 34. 

Coltsfoot [Tussilago farfara) abounds in all moist chalky 
soils and clays. No. 35. 

93. Of the time of cutting hay and saving hay. 

Hay may be composed only of the best grasses and herbage, 
and yet may be inferior or bad_, because — 
1st. It may have been cut too late, or 
2nd. It may have been badly saved. 

94. Of late-cut hay. 

This is a very common evil. The farmer often delays to cut 
in the hope of obtaining a greater bulk of under grass. This 
is especially apt to be the case in dry seasons ; or, on the other 
hand, the crop in wet seasons may be left to stand over-long in 
the hope of finer weather. 

The crop should be cut before the grasses have run to seed. 
The permanent grasses flower and seed every year. In common 
with all such plants, the nutriment of the plant passes into the 
seed for the reproduction of its kind in the succeeding year. 

We all recognise the effect of seeding on the stem or straw 
of corn. The straw is almost worthless for feeding, because 
the nutriment of the plant has passed into the seed. This is 
also to a great degree the case in regard to grass, though not 
to so great an extent as in corn, as the grass plant does not 
absolutely die. Still it exhausts the greater part of its nutri- 
ment in its efforts for the formation of its seed. 

It may be asked. Why should not a horse eat hay seeds as 
he will eat corn seeds ? The Author cannot say, but as a 
matter of fact the horse will not eat them. Again, the seeds 
generally fall out when the grass is ripe, and are, therefore, lost. 

It is, therefore, essential to good nutritive hay, that the crop 
should have been cut whilst the grasses are yet in flower, i.e. 
before they have seeded. 


No. 28. 

Rib Plantain. 
[Plantago lanceolata.) 

No. 29. 

Hard, or Blackheads, or Knap-weed. 
[Centaurea nigra.) 

No. 30. 

Battle in Seed. 
( Rhinanthus crista-galli. 


No. 31. 

Common BanJc Sedge. 

{Carex riparia.) 

Small Sedge. 

No. 32. 

Wood Hush. 
{Luzula campesfris.) 


No. 34. — Silver Weed, or Goose Grass. Fart 
of the leaf. 

{Patentilla anserina.) 

\ S 

No. 33. — Cat's Ear injlotver. 
{HypocTioeris radicata.) 
^.B. In May this toeed shrivels up greatly, 
and the stalks hecome a mere thread. 

No. 35. — Coltsfoot. Small Leaf, 

FORAGE. 75- 

Fortunately it is very easy to recognise in hay the grasses 
which have seeded^ and those which have not seeded. 

95. Of saving of hay. 

Again, hay may be composed of only the best grasses and 
herbage, and may also have been cut in good time, and may 
yet be inferior, bad, or even worthless, on account of having 
been badly saved. 

This, however, is always a question of degree. No absolute 
rule can be laid down. A moderate shower of rain, falling on 
the best upland grass, will cause it to lose its green colour in 
hay, which yet may be in perfectly good condition, and none 
the worse as regards real value. 

Any considerable degree of wet falling on hay, especially 
when nearly dry, will cause it to lose its natural bright, clear, 
healthy appearance, and will make it more or less deficient in 
aroma, and more or less of its nutritive qualities will be washed 
out. As stated above, it is a question of degree. 

Hay which has long been exposed to the action of rain, wind, 
and sun, is easily recognised by a ragged, confused, broken, 
washed-out appearance, and by dinginess of colour. 

This subject will be further explained in the succeeding para- 
graph on making hay. 

96. On mahing hay. 

The following few remarks on making hay, extracted from a 
recent number of the ' North British Agriculturist,^ though they 
may at first sight seem foreign to the scope of this work, will 
assist the reader in forming a right estimate of its value. 

'' In the operation great attention and quickness are required 
in order to retain in the hay all the nutritive qualities of the 
grass. If the grass can be converted into hay without any 
alteration in its composition and with little or no loss of its 
feeding properties, the water only being extracted, it will then 
be as well made as possible and will possess the greatest value. 
With this view it should not lie long in the field after being 
cut, but should, if possible, be carried the second or third day. 
Rain will cause the crop to lose its green colour, but does not of 
itself really injure the new mown grass, as is often supposed. 


Miscliief, however,, ensues^ if tlie grass is injudiciously turned 
over in wet weather, because the blades become bruised and 
injured in the process, and then the rain washes out the sugar, 
gum, and other soluble properties. For similar reasons hay- 
ought not to be turned over on damp days, wJien the air is 
saturated with moisture." 

''^It is desirable that a crop be cut as soon as it reaches 
maturity, before any of the nutritive qualities are gone. It is 
essential that it be cut before the flowering heads have fully 
•seeded. When the mowing is delayed later, the hay will be 
deficient in nutriment and aroma, and its constituent fibres will 
be as dry as straws. In grasses, as in other annual vegetable 
productions, the process of seeding exhausts the plant, and the 
stem no longer contains nutriment or moisture." 

Hay made from grass which has been purposely left standing 
until perfectly ripe, with the view of threshing out the seed for 
sale, is altogether worthless. 

97. Mow-hurnt hay. 

Mow-burnt is a name given to hay which has heated in the 
stack, either — lst,from having been stacked too soon,^.e. before 
the juices of the grass are sufficiently dried, or 2nd, from the 
grass having been stacked when wet from rain or dew. 

Mow-burnt hay is easily recognised by its dark colour and 
high smell. Whether or not it is fit for use is entirely a ques- 
tion of degree. Slightly mow-burnt hay may be used with 
impunity, especially if given in moderate quantities mixed with 
sound hay. Horses are fond of it, but it is apt to affect the 

On the other hand, hay may be so mow-burnt as to be a 
mere cinder. Such is obviously unfit for use. 

98. Bust in hay. 

Dust in hay commonly arises from the hay having got 
slightly damp, and having afterwards become quickly dry 
without passing into the stage of mouldiness. The apparent 
dust is the debris of the outer coats of the stems and leaves, 
which decay and fall off in the process of heating-, which has 
iaken place as the result of damp. 


In different atmosplieric conditions, or perhaps in another 
place of storage, hay not more damp might have become mow- 
burnt or mouldy. 

Dust may also arise from hay having been over- dried before 
being* carried, or from having been much exposed to weather. 
In the first-named case the dust arises from breaking up of the 
outer coats of the fibres from over-dryness ; and in the latter 
from decomposition owing to exposure. 

Dust is occasionally due to a blight having fallen on the crop 
whilst growing. 

Dust, from whatever cause arising, is always an unfavorable 
feature in hay. 

98a. Second crojp of hay or aftermath. 

The second crop of hay, whether of upland or lowland growth,, 
otherwise called the aftermath, is very inferior to the first, and 
is unfit for horses. Its characteristics are softness, absence 
of stems and flowering heads, and total want of perfume. It 
consists chiefly of the leaves, which grow round the stems of 
the grasses. The stems after being cut in the first crop do 
not in general grow again during the summer. Such stems,, 
as do grow, lack the firm, bright, healthy appearance of the 
first crop. The colour of the hay is always dark, and the 
various fibres and leaves lie in confusion. 

98h. Distinction between new and old hay. 

In the stack there is seldom any difficulty in determining 
whether the hay is old or new. The weather-beaten appear- 
ance or otherwise of the outside tells its tale pretty clearly. On 
a single truss however, apart from the stack, it is very difficult 
to form a correct opinion. Some London salesmen, whom the 
author has consulted on this point, agree in saying that they 
form their opinion chiefly, if not entirely, on their knowledge 
of the peculiarities of the growth of the crop in each year in 
the district, from which the market is supplied. (Hay, we may 
remind the reader, is always drawn from a not very extensive 
district round the market. It is too bulky to pay for lengthened 
carriage, except under extraordinary circumstances.) For in- 
stance, the crop of one year may be marked by abundance of 


herbage, tliat of anotlier year by absence of that feature ; or 
that of one year,, as in the hot dry season of 1868, may be 
distinguished by being universally well saved and also scanty 
in quantity, whilst in another year the crops may be all heavy, 
or in another year the hay on account of prevailing wet 
weather may be, as a general rule, badly saved. More than 
one of these peculiarities may be present in a crop, and may 
serve to distinguish it very easily from the growth of the 
previous year. It never happens that the growth in two 
■successive years presents exactly the same features. As hay 
is not kept above two or at the outside three years, the difficulty 
•of bearing in mind the peculiarities of each crop during such 
very limited period is not great. The wine merchant, who 
recognises by the bouquet the vintages of many years, has a 
far more difficult task in his trade. The salesmen appear to 
prefer this method of distinguishing old frotu new hay to any 
of the other distinctions, which the author will presently en- 
deavour to point out, because it is independent of those changes 
in colour, smell, softness, dryness, &c., which are caused by the 
process of heating or fermentation, to which hay in this country 
is usually subjected. 

At a distance, however, from the district, in which the crop 
is grown, this special knowledge, on which the salesmen seem 
to rely, would fail. There may have been for instance heavy 
rain in one district at the proper season, and in consequence a 
heavy crop with abundance of herbage ; whilst the crops in 
another district from a difference in weather may be light. 

To aid the general reader, who cannot be expected to possess 
the above-mentioned special knowledge, we shall endeavour to 
point out some distinctions, by which in most cases, though 
perhaps not positively, new and old hay can be distinguished. 
Two great difficulties are met with at the outset. Changes 
are very rapidly produced in new hay by heating or fermenta- 
tion, which cause it to simulate in almost every respect the 
appearance of old hay; and secondly well saved old hay, which 
happens not to have heated at all, very closely resembles new 

New hay, apart from any change, which may be produced in 
it by heating, is marked by green colour, by the perfect fresh- 


ness of its perfume, by tlie sappiness of its fibres, by the 
preservation of the natural colour of its flowers, and by the 
absence of consolidation. If, however, no fermentation takes 
place in the stack, the green colour of the grass, the freshness, 
though not the perfect freshness of its perfume, and the natural 
colour of its flowers may remain for almost any length of time. 
The sappiness of its fibres, however, will gradually and sensibly 
diminish, as the year draws on. In some seasons the outside 
of the fibres may be quite dry in perfectly new hay ; but if the 
outer coat be peeled off, the inner stem will be found to be 
sappy. In old hay the inside of the fibre will be as dry or 
nearly as dry as the outside. Sap is retained longest at the 
knots. Hence in cases of doubt the fibre should always be 
examined at the knots. If the inside of the knot is dry, it 
affords some proof that the hay is old. 

Old hay is usually marked by loss of green colour, by absence 
of fresh perfume, by dryness of its fibres, by loss of colour of its 
flowers, frequently by greater consolidation, especially towards 
the centre of the stack, and in some cases by a musty smell. The 
outer trusses however often retain almost all the peculiarities of 
new hay. Hence it is much more difficult to give an opinion 
about one truss than about a load. 

All the above-mentioned peculiarities of old hay may however 
be found in new hay, when it has been in stack for a couple of 
months or even less, and has heated. For instance the green 
colour of its grasses may be lost by a few days' fermentation, 
and so likewise the colour of its flowers. The perfume will also 
change from that of a new mown grass to the smell (in extreme 
case) of mow-burnt hay. Again consolidation is due to heating, 
not to the gradual effect of weight and time, as is often supposed. 
New hay immediately after fermentation will be nearly as much 
consolidated, as it will ever be ; whilst a stack, which does not 
ferment, will scarcely have sunk at all at the end of a couple of 

Fermentation or heating we must remark, though a farmer 
would probably smile at so simple a remark, is not a process 
continually going on or even going on for any considerable 
length of time in a stack. Owing to the state of the grasses, 
aided perhaps by the state of the weather and other circum- 


stances, fermentation takes place, runs its course, and tlien 
ceases. If it exists to any great degree, or if it lasts for any- 
considerable length of time, tlie chances are that the stack 
catches fire. Stacks of hay do not heat evenly or equally all 
over. The heating generally commences in the centre, and 
runs to one side or the other according to the wind or other 
local circumstances at the time. The opposite side may not 
be affected at all. The outer part is seldom much affected 
even on the side, to which the heating runs. 

Old hay, as a general rule, is harder than new; but in 
exceptionally dry and hot seasons, the grasses composing new 
hay may be so dried and even burnt ap, that from the very 
first they are as hard and dry as the fibres of old hay. On the 
other hand a great deal of mow-burnt hay, whether old or new 
will handle quite soft. Again, the climate at the particular 
time, at which the stack is cut and brought to market, will 
affect the moistm^e and flexibility of the fibres. The author 
has known two-year old hay in hot damp weather handle and 
twist as flexibly as grass. Further, a stack of old hay, when 
first opened and cut and thereby exposed to the air, will often 
sweat in particular states of the weather, and the hay in the 
trusses will handle like new hay. After a few days, however, 
the effect of the renewed sweating will go off, and the hay will 
again handle hard. 

The weeds often found in hay generally afford valuable infor- 
mation as to its age. The sap remains longer in their strong 
and coarse fibres, than in the more delicate stems of the grasses. 

Of these the Black head (Centaur ea nigra) y^gure No. 29, may 
be taken as an example. Its stalk, but more especially the 
pods containing the seed, long retain moisture, and may thereby 
prove the hay to be new, when the state of the grasses might 
lead a person to think that it was old. The leaves of the Rib 
grass (Plantago lanceolata), figure No. 28, also afford some 
indication. In new hay they are brown, soft, and flexible, whilst 
in old hay they are black and friable, i.e. break and crumble to 
pieces on the application of friction. These latter indications 
may, however, be present in new hay after it has heated. 

The degree in which all the above signs respectively 
exist, will obviously vary much according to the month in 


whicli tlie examination is made. They must tlierefore be 
applied with discrimination. 

These remarks on the distinctive differences between old 
and new hay may seem at first sight to the reader to be so full 
of qualifications as to be neither very clear nor explicit. The 
subject is, in fact^ a difiicult one, and does not admit of drawing 
any sharply defined definitions. Apart from a special know- 
ledge of the growth of the year and the preceding year, no one 
rule can be given for distinguishing old from new hay. The 
author believes he has laid before the reader all the distinc- 
tions and the necessary qualifications to those distinctions, 
which exist. The intending purchaser must balance one fact 
or appearance against another ; and with care and practice 
and the assistance of the above data, he will probably after a 
time be able to form a pretty correct opinion. The best means, 
however, of acquiring a thorough knowledge on this subject is 
to give up a few mornings to going round a hay market with 
a respectable and intelligent salesman. 

98c. New V. old hay, as regards feeding. 

New hay, as is well known, has a tendency to cause scouring ; 
but in November well-saved samples are suSiciently dried to 
render them innocuous in this respect. In the author's opinion 
new hay may be given safely after that date to hunters, which 
are not limited in their oats, though he is quite aware that 
popular opinion is opposed to this view. Hay of one year is 
■desirable, though not essential, to hard condition. After a 
year and a half, hay, he thinks, loses much of its nutritive 
qualities. It becomes over-dry and, if the expression may be 
used, stale. Well-saved samples may retain their perfume for 
two or even three or four years ; but, nevertheless, they have 
lost much of their feeding qupvlities. Rose leaves and lavender 
kept in closed jars, will retain their scent for twenty years, 
although so dried up as to crumble to dust in the hand. 

9Sd. Irish hay. 

It is the custom of Irish farmers to leave the hay out in the 
fields for at least two months in cocks, until it is so thoroughly 
dried that it does not afterwards heat. Much of the nutriment 



however is extracted out of it, as we miglit expect, by tlie 
effect of the sun, wind, and rain during that long period. 

As the hay does not ferment, there is but little difficulty in 
distinguishing old from new. The state of the weeds generally 
pretty abundantly found in it affords the best indication of its 
age. Great reliance may be placed on the state of the Rib 
grass (Plantago lanceolata) figure No. 28. For the first month 
or so it remains almost green, for the next three months it is 
brown, for the succeeding three it is black, but pretty flexible. 
After this time it breaks and crumbles away with a little fric- 
tion. The Black or Hardhead, No. 29 (Centauvea nigra) a harsh^ 
stubborn weed, retains the moisture in its stalk for the first 
three months. After that period moisture will only be found 
in its knots and in the pod. After six months the moisture has 
left the knots and remains only in the pods. About March the- 
sticky moisture, which has hitherto glued together the seeds in 
their pod, has dried up and the seeds are easily separated from 
each other when the pod is opened. Another plant known as 
the Silver weed or Goose-grass {Potentilla anserina) No. 34 
affords excellent indications of the age of hay. It is easily 
recognised by its growing in bunches. In new hay the under 
side of the leaf is white. An alteration in colour gradually 
takes place, until at the end of nine months the under side is 
quite black, and the leaf crumbles to pieces on friction. Colts- 
foot No. 35 {Tussilago farfara) the under side of the leaf of 
which is at first white, affords indications similar to those given 
by the silver weed. The Thistle retains something of its green 
colour and is sappy till spring. In old hay it will be found exces- 
sively shrivelled, dry and brittle. The Dock retains its colour 
and sap for about four months, and after that period gradually 
becomes dry, brittle, deep red and eventually black. 

98e. Clover hay. 

Clover hay is much relished by horses. It is very useful in 
putting on flesh, but militates against very hard condition and 
good wind and is therefore not recommended for horses doing 
fast work. The most valuable hay is that made from clover 
only ; but the crop is often, indeed usually sown with rye-grass. 


and hence there is frequently, especially in the first cutting, a 
large admixture of the latter in it. 

The produce of the first cutting is the best, that of the second 
is much coarser. The third growth is not often made into hay. 
It consists chiefly of leaves, as the stalks do not grow a third 
time. It is generally fed down. 

The most common defect in clover hay is mouldiness or a 
tendency to it, indicated by loss of colour in the flowers and 
general blackness. It is in fact a difficult crop to save well on 
account of the great amount of juice in its fibres and leaves, 
especially in the first cutting of the year. 

98f. Green forage. 

Green forage is laxative and cooling, and therefore well suited 
for sick or young horses, especially when first taken up from 
grass. The quantity given to the latter should be gradually 
diminished, as the system becomes accustomed to more stimu- 
lating diet and the warmth of stables. 

Green forage, if given to horses in fast work, is very liable to 
cause bowel complaints. From its bulk and laxative action it 
militates against the hard condition necessary for fast or full 
work. It is not however so objectionable for cart horses, whose 
work is slow ; yet it causes even these to sweat much and easily, 
and not unfrequently, especially in early spring, brings on bowel 

Green forage of whatever sort should be young and fresh. 
Grass, rye-grass, lucerne and sanfoin are to be preferred, when 
they can be obtained. Vetches and clover are also used. Green 
forage, when old, loses much of its succulence, and vetches in 
particular become heating. If stale, it is apt from rapid 
decomposition to produce colic and intestinal disease. 

Clover, vetches, and other plants of the trefolium variety 
contain an acrid principle, which is apt to affect the kidneys. 
Grass, rye-grass, lucerne, and sanfoin are free from this objec- 
tionable property, and are therefore more suitable for sick 
horses than the varieties of Trefolium. 

Green forage should always at first be given rather sparingly. 
Many horses die every spring from neglect of this precaution. 


98g. Carrots. 

Carrots are often very acceptable to sick horses, and are 
especially valuable at those seasons of the year when fresh grass 
cannot be procured. New carrots are the best. None but 
sound roots should be selected. They should be sliced long- 
ways. If cut transversely they are apt to cause choking. They 
may be given by themselves or mixed with oats or mash. But 
the sick horse, whose appetite is very capricious, will more often 
be tempted by the carrot alone. 

98/2.. Gruel, 

Gruel made from oatmeal is palatable and refreshing to a 
tired horse. The stomach seems to assimilate it more readily 
than hard corn. The very best fresh coarsely ground oatmeal 
should be used. 

Good gruel is made by putting about a double handful of 
oatmeal into a pail and pouring- on it a little cold water. After 
being well stirred, a gallon and a half of hot but not boiling 
water must be added, and the whole stirred again. Boiling 
water should not be used, because it produces a more starchy 
compound than is suitable for the stomach of the horse in an 
exhausted condition. The temperature should be reduced to 
that of new milk before it is given. If the horse is very much 
over-tasked, it may be advisable to add to it a wine glass 
full of spirits or a pint of ale. ^ 

Gruel may also be made from boiled linseed, and many 
persons prefer it to oatmeal gruel. It should be prepared by 
boiling about one pound of linseed in two gallons of water. 
The fluid should be strained, and forms a nice drink. The 
residuum may be utilised by mixing it with bran in the form of 
a mash. 

98 1. Brtin. 

Bran, when fresh ground and wetted, is useful as a laxative. 
It acts mechanically on the lining membrane of the stomach 
by causing a slight irritation, which increases the secretions and 
thereby quickens the passage of the contents of the intestines. 

In the cavalry a bran mash is usually substituted for the 


feed of oata on every Saturday evening, partly because the 
horses are not exercised on Sundays, and partly as a preventive 
to constipation, which might otherwise arise from being kept 
on hard food exclusively year after year. 

Whether from this practice or not, it is certain that troop 
horses do not require those periodical doses of physic, which in 
many stables are supposed to be essential to the maintainance 
of health. 

A bran mash should be made as follows : — The bran should 
be placed in a clean stable pail, and as much boiling water 
poured in as the bran will absorb. Half an ounce of salt may 
be added, and the whole should be covered up to keep in the 
steam, until sufficiently cool. A pound of well-boiled linseed is 
a valuable addition. 

Dry bran in small quantities is said to have an astringent 
effect. It is often given after physic, if over active, to stop its 
further action. A handful of flour, however, in water will 
answer this purpose better. Bran should invariably be fresh 

98/. Linseed. 

Linseed is the seed of the flax plant, and is a valuable food 
for horses in low or debilitated condition. It is slightly laxa- 
tive, is soothing to excoriated mucous surfaces, and has a 
marked effect in improving the horse's coat. It maybe given 
boiled either in the form of a mash with the addition of bran, 
or may be mixed with the oats, or given in the form of gruel. 

98Jc. Boiled foods. 

Boiled foods fatten, but do not give strength and firmness 
to the muscles. They are therefore unsuitable for saddle or 
carriage horses, though perhaps they may answer for animals 
in slow work. Even in these, however, they are apt to produce 
colic, indigestion, and sometimes rupture, probably from the 
facility with which this description of food may be bolted with- 
out due mastication. 

981. Straiv. 
Straw must be either wheaten, oaten, or rye, and should be 


clean, dry, and not mucli broken in the thrashing. Steam 
thrashed straw is inferior to that thrashed by manual labour, 
inasmuch as it is more broken. 

Wheaten is generally prefered to oaten straw, and certainly 
looks nicer in the stable ; but there is no real objection to the 
latter, except that, when new, horses are apt to eat it. This 
however may be prevented by a proper arrangement of the 
bedding. Rye straw is very good, but in most localities its 
cost is a bar to its use. 

Barley straw is inadmissible. It is apt to induce disease of 
the skin. 

98m. Artificial foods. 

All food to be useful must supply the special nutrient mate- 
rials required by the particular animal. For most horses the 
ordinary articles of food, namely, hay and corn, answer best. 
Some animals, however, have delicate digestions, others are 
troubled with want of appetite. Stomachics mixed with the 
food of the one may assist digestion, whilst tonics may be 
useful to the latter. Again, in animals as in men it sometimes 
happens, that there is some want of nutrition in some part of 
the system, which must be supplied before the animal will 
thrive or put on flesh. A harsh coat for instance iudicates 
a want of oily material in the system, which may often be 
beneficially supplied by giving boiled linseed. In other cases 
the special want may be of fibrinous material in the blood, 
and then doses of iron will be useful. These instances might 
easily be multiplied. 

After a severe debilitating illness, when the system is 
thoroughly exhausted, nothing will be found to answer better 
than a quart of strong beef soup daily, either given as a drink, 
if the patient will take it in that way, or mixed with corn. The 
same recipe will in some cases, but not in all, answer in 
putting flesh on a horse, which, though in good health remains 
persistently thin. 

Most of the artificial or patent foods advertised in the present 
day are compounded of a great number of stimulating and 
fattening ingredients, by means of some one of which the 
special need of the system may very possibly be supplied. But 


it is as well to remember tliat most artificial stimulants cease 
to have any effect after a time. 

The chief objection to the use of such foods, even in cases 
where they act beneficially, consists in the excessive price at 
which they are sold. The component parts of these foods are 
easily ascertained by analysis, and indeed in most cases are 
well-known. The owner of horses may as well make them for 
himself, as pay a hundred or two hundred per cent, over their 

On this subject the author has ventured to extract the fol- 
lowing sensible remarks from the valuable work on the ' Horse 
in the Stable and the Field,^ by Stonehenge, pp. 231-2 : — 

*' During the last five or six years various artificially prepared 
foods have been introduced to the notice of the public, under 
the names of ' Thorley^s Food for Cattle,' ^ Henri's Horse and 
Cattle Food,' &c. The advertisements of the patentees would 
lead to the belief that their horse and cattle foods contain more 
real nourishment than the various kinds of food which have 
hitherto been given to horses and cattle ; but chemical analysis 
shows the incorrectness of these statements. 

" The following observations in ' The Field ' of the 18th of 
February, 1860, put the matter in its true light, and show that 
as a mere article of food, these preparations are far from 
-economical : — 

" It is not surprising, when artificial foods should thus come 
to be adopted as so much fattening power, that various mix- 
tures should be employed largely impregnated with stimulating 
substances. They are thus made extremely palatable to the 
animal, who naturally enough thrives upon the good things 
provided for him. We will not now stop to inquire how far 
this stimulus may be permanently beneficial, even admitting 
the temporary advantage ; our object is simply a cash account. 
If the price of cake, ranging at about £10 a ton, forms the 
limits from which any ordinary return can be expected, how 
•can an article, sold at a price realising from 300 to 400 per 
cent, on the cost price of the materials of which it is composed, 
ever bring any return at all ? 

^^ Such savoury condiments, dished up at from £40 to £50 a 
ton, have no more fattening powers than the ordinary cakes 



and meal, of wliich, indeed, their bulk is principally composed. 
Locust beans, the different oil cakes and Indian corn, form the 
basis of these cattle foods so often paraded before the public, 
with which sundry stimulants, making a kind of currj^-powder 
concoction, are mixed up. This, though it may be highly 
agreeable, yet at the price above stated, forms a most costly 
addition to the ordinary feeding cost, and an animal once 
pampered on such material can hardly fall back on ordinary 
food ; hence the price of fattening is greatly enhanced, but 
without any increase of the saleable carcase, for there is a 
natural limit in this direction. 

" A compound at £40 a ton will make no more flesh than oil- 
cake at £10 ; but if the farmer approves of, and will have, the 
compound, let him simply mix the materials himself. There is 
no secret in the composition, for the test is at hand in a simple 

^^ The following is the ordinary formula — 

^^ ^ To make one ton of meal.' 

Locust Bean, finely ground, at £6 a ton 6 
Indian Corn at £7 a ton 
Best Linseed Cake at £10 a ton 
Powdered Turmeric at 8d. a lb. 
Sulphur at 2d. a lb. 
Saltpetre at bd. a lb. 
Liquorice at Is. a lb. 
Ginger at Qd. a lb. 
Aniseed at 9d. a lb. 
Coriander at 9d. a lb. 
Gentian at 8d. a lb. 
Cream of Tartar at Is. 8d. a lb. 
Carbonate of Soda at 4d. a lb. 
Levigated Antimony at 6d. sl lb. 
Common Salt at hd. a lb. 
Peruvian Bark at 4s. a lb. 
Fenugreek at 9d. a lb. 


qrs. lbs. 


s. d. 

a ton 6 



. 9 



. 3 





6 8 


6 8 


8 4 






1 6 




7 6 


6 8 


3 4 






1 3 




16 G 

Total . 

. 20 12 18 5 


" ' Looking at this composition, it will be evident at a glance- 
tliat tlie chief ingredients are the ordinary commercial locust- 
bean_, Indian corn, and oil-cakes. 

"'These form its bulk, and constitute nine-tenths of the 
whole; the remainder being made up of condiments and 
stimulants, the sulphur and antimony being intended to act 
upon the skin in the production of a fine coat, and the fenugreek 
for a kind of mucilage to prevent any ill effects that might 
arise from the stimulating character of the food. 

" ' These ingredients have no doubt been selected with skill, 
and an animal may be expected, and not unreasonably, to thrive 
upon such savoury substances. For this precious article (which 
it unquestionably is) the modest sum of about 42^. a cwt. is 
demanded, or at the rate of £42 a ton, or upwards of 300 per 
cent, on the cost price, even4aken at the valuation given above, 
which for the one-tenth or stimulating portion might be con- 
siderably reduced, if the several materials were bought at 
wholesale prices, 

" 'We prefer, however, to take the ordinary trade valuation, 
in order to give the widest margin possible for the cost — this 
after all, being the simple point at issue. If a farmer wishes 
for the article, the use of which, containing as it does, so much 
stimulating matter, is very questionable, and chooses to pay 
from three to four times the intrinsic value, it is of course at 
his option to do so; but as the whole question of farming is one 
of paying, we will put it plainly : Can it pay to feed animals 
on substances costing from £40 to £50 a ton ? A knowledge 
of the constituent elements of these foods may induce a pause 
before the outlay is made. 

'' ' Some supposed great secret has no doubt with a few acted 
as a charm, on the principle of ''Omne ignotum pro magnifico;'' 
but the analysis at once dispels this illusion, and nothing 
remains but the cost and its result, mere matters of ordinary 
calculation.' " 

A small quantity of powdered ginger or any cheap aromatic 
spice mixed with the ordinary feed of oats or hay, will often 
cause a delicate feeder to relish his food, will assist digestion, 
and will probably answer as well as the highly advertised and 
^ery expensive patent foods. Some horses at first object to 


the taste of spice, and therefore a very small quantity only 
should be given to begin with. All such artificial aids to 
digestion should be discontinued, as soon as the system recovers 

98?^. Concentrated foods. 

These foods may perhaps be useful for a very few days, for 
instance, for cavalry employed on a raid in an enemy's country, 
where supplies cannot be possibly obtained ; but they do not 
answer for ordinary use. The stomach requires a certain 
amount of mechanical distension to enable it to carry on its 
digestive operations. Hence, as soon as the stomach becomes 
really empty, the concentrated food is useless. 



99. Reason of the need of grooming. 100. Structure of the 
shin, 101. Glands of the shiii. 102. Persjoiratioii. 103. 
Structure of the hair, 104. Shedding of the coat. 105. The 
WhisJcers. 106. Objects gained by grooming. 107. Use of the 
brush in grooining . 108. Method of grooming. 109. Neglect of 
grooming. 110. Subsidiary uses of grooming. 111. Improper 
means used to produce short and glossy coats. 112. Time for 
grooming. 113. Horses to be groomed immediately after exercise, 

114. Danger of allowing a horse, when heated, to stand undried. 

115. Gold produced by evaporation. 116. Extremities to be 
dried first. 117. Special precautions in regard to the bach and 
loins. 118. Of ^v ashing the shin. 119. Flannel bandages to tJis 
legs. 120. Of leaving horses to dry by evaporation. 121. Minor 
memoranda. 122. Grooming by machinery . 123. Time required 
to clean a horse. 124. Breahing-out after cleaning, 125. Con- 

99. Reason of the need of Grooming. 

The question is often asked, '^ Why does the stabled horse 
require constant grooming, whilst the same horse turned out 
into a field does well enough without it ?'* 

The question cannot be answered in the form in which it is 
put. It is not the fact of living under cover, but the active 
work and the high feeding of the stabled horse, which necessi- 
tates grooming. Cavalry horses in camps for instance require 
grooming just as much and in some respects more than they do 
in barracks. It is the work and the food, not the shelter which 
constitutes the difference between the domesticated animal and 
the horse in a state of nature. 


By work^ and especially by fast work^ tlie secretions of the 
glands of the skin are enormously increased. Furthermore, 
the horse, which is worked hard, must be fed on highly nutri- 
tious food; and from this cause, also, the secretions of the skin 
are largely increased. Nature must be assisted by artificial 
means to remove these increased secretions, or the pores of the 
skin will become clogged and the health will be deteriorated. 

The greater the action of the skin, the greater must be the 
attention paid to it. As long as the horse remains in a state of 
nature, taking only the exercise required for gathering his food, 
and feeding only on laxative diet, grooming is not needed, 
because the debris of the food and the excretions of the system 
are carried off mainly by the action of the bowels and kidneys. 
The cart horse, whose work is slow, can get on with very little 
grooming. The hunter and the racehorse, on the other hand, 
whose whole systems are developed to the utmost, require much 
more grooming than is necessary for carriage and ordinary 
riding horses. 

Grooming or, in other words, cleanliness of the skin is not, 
as many suppose, a mere matter of appearance, or of a rough 
or smooth coat ; but it is essential to the general health and 
condition of the domesticated animal. This fact will become 
more plain after we have considered the structure of the skin 
and its glands. 

100. Structure of the Skin. 

The skin is a dense, yet porous, membrane investing the 
whole body. It is composed of two layers, namely, the outer 
or upper, called the cuticle or scarf skin, which is hard and 
insensitive, and an under or inner layer, called the cutis or 
true skin, which is sensitive and vascular. These two layers 
are easily separated, as is seen in cases of slight burns or in 
the vesicles raised by a blister. 

The cutis, or true skin, is thick and full of blood-vessels, 
nerves, and absorbents. From it the layers of cells which 
constitute the cuticle, or outer skin, are formed. Each cell is 
originally round and filled with moisture ; but as the moisture 
evaporates, the cells become flattened, and being laid in a series 
one over the other, they form the cuticle or outer skin. 


The outer scales are constantly being cast off in tlie form of 
dandriff or scurf, and are as constantly renewed by the secretion 
of new cells from the true skin below. 

The skin varies very much in substance. In parts much 
exposed, as in front of the knee, it is very thick ; in parts less 
exposed, as behind the knee, it is thin; whilst on the inside of 
the thigh, where it is not exposed at all, it is very thin. 

101. Glands of the shin. 

In the skin, having their origin a little below the true skin, 
are two sets of glands, namely, the '^ sweat ^' and the ^' oil " 

The Sweat glands secrete perspiration, and terminate by long- 
necked tubes on the surface of the skin. Though each gland 
is minute in itself, yet collectively they form one of the largest 
secreting organs in the body. Erasmus Wilson, in his work on 
the skin, says that he has counted as many as three thousand 
in a square inch of skin taken from the palm of a man's hand. 
The number of sweat glands, however, varies greatly in different 
parts of the body. 

The Oil glands secrete an oily material. They open some on 
the surface, but mostly into the tubes of the hairs. Each hair 
tube is furnished with one or more of these glands. Wherever 
there is much friction or motion in the skin, the oil glands are 
very numerous, as, for example, at the heels, and in the bend 
of the knee and hock. 

102. Perspiration. 

It has been said, and we believe correctly, that a horse in 
hard condition and hard work gives off through the pores of 
the skin, or, in other words, by means of the sweat glands, 
during the twenty-four hours, an amount equal to that excreted 
as dung. Perspiration in a greater or lesser degree is always 
going on, even when the animal is in a quiescent condition. 
When imperceptible it is called '^insensible'' perspiration, and 
when secreted in larger quantities as fluid it is known as 
«' sensible" perspiration. 

Excretion of worn-out materials through the skin, of course, 
goes on in some degree in the horse in a state of nature ; but 


the full development of tliese glands is only produced by hard 
work, high feeding, and grooming. They are then excited to 
a greater degree of energy than exists or is required in a state 
of nature. Hence artificial means, or, in other words, means 
greater than those supplied by nature, must be put in action 
by man in order to maintain the health of the skin. 

The healthy or unhealthy condition of the skin is very readily 
shown by the appearance of the hair, otherwise called the coat. 
If the skin is unhealthy, the coat is harsh and dry. Again, if 
the skin is not properly cleaned, dirt remains, not merely in the 
coat, as many think, but in the system. A very important set 
of drains, namely, the glands of the skin, are choked, and the 
whole system or, in other words, the general health, must in 
consequence suffer. 

The other drains of the body, namely, the lungs, the kidneys, 
and the bowels are in action in the horse in a state of nature as 
much as in the domesticated animal. Hence, they do not, 
except in disease, require any artificial stimulus. 

103. Striichire of the Hair. 

Hair invests every portion of the skin, with a few minor 
exceptions. It springs from the cellular tissue, on which the 
true skin rests. Each hair root is enclosed in a distinct sack of 
its own called a follicle. The base of the sack is supplied with 
blood-vessels, from which the materials for the formation of 
the hair are secreted. The manner of the growth of the hair 
is similar to that of the outer skin, namely, by cells. The cells 
are pushed up by new cells forming below. They gradually 
become flattened and elongated into fibres to form the central 
shaft of the hair, whilst the outer part is covered by flattened 
cells or scales overlapping each other like slates on the roof of 
a house. The cells are cemented together by adhesive matter, 
which is secreted as they grow. 

104. Shedding of the coat. 

Twice in the year, namely, in spring and autumn, the horse 
sheds his coat. At those seasons the nourishment of the old 
hair is arrested, the soft pulpy extremities shrink and di'y up. 


and the hair becomes detached and falls off ; whilst at the same 
time a new hair is formed and pushed up by its side. 

In autumn longer hairs are supplied as a protection against 
the cold of winter. In spring these long hairs are cast off, and 
shorter ones are supplied for summer use. It is not very 
evident^ why nature every year goes through this double course 
of shedding hair in the horse, when the same object might ap- 
parently have been attained by an increased growth of the 
summer coat at the beginning of winter. 

Probably in order to admit of longer growth the hairs of the 
mane and tail are not shed. Their roots are situated more 
deeply in the subcutaneous tissue. 

105. The Whishers. 

The whiskers have a similar origin to the hairs of the mane 
and tail ; but being supplied for the purpose of protection they 
are made stiff, so that whatever is felt at the tip may also be 
felt at the root. Into the root of each whisker hair runs the 
nerve, which supplies it with its delicate power of sensation. 

It is the fashion of the day to trim off these whisker hairs ; 
but it is wrong on principle, though probably the loss is of 
no great consequence to the domesticated horse. 

106. Objects gained by grooming. 

Grooming answers two principal and several subsidiary ends. 
First, it removes from the skin those particles of perspiration, 
dust and dirt which otherwise would impede and clog the free 
action of the sweat and oil glands. Secondly it removes the 
scurf or worn-out cells, which are no longer required on the 
surface of the skin; and which would, especially when 
cemented together by particles of sweat, add to the obstruction 
of the glands. The subsidiary uses of grooming will be 
adverted to hereafter. 

107. Use of the Brush in grooming. 

In order that grooming should produce the two above- 
mentioned principal effects, it is necessary that the skin be 
cleaned with a good bristle brush, strongly applied and well 
laid on. 


For these purposes rubbing tlie skin witb a wisp or rubber, 
though it may answer some of the subsidiary uses of grooming, 
is not sufficient. A wisp, especially a damp wisp, such as is 
often used, will not clean the skin. It might be supposed 
rather to plaster in the scurf and dirt. Such rubbing, however, 
does produce a certain beneficial effect, inasmuch as it is 
generally laid on with a good deal of force ; and the friction has 
undoubtedly a considerable influence in cleaning the skin. 

Against these arguments in favour of the brush it may be 
urged, that in racing stables the wisp and rubber, though the 
use of the brush is not altogether neglected, are largely 
employed. It would be absurd to say, that trainers do not 
understand their business. We think, however, that a distinc- 
tion may fairly be drawn between thorough breds in training 
■and other horses. The skins of the former are finer, their 
coats are shorter, and they are invariably dried and cleaned 
immediately after exercise, before the sweat has had time to 
<^ake in the pores of the skin or in the coat. Still we must add 
that we have seen many horses brought to the post from second 
rate training stables, whose coats have looked, as if they would 
have been none the worse for a more constant application of 
the brush. 

After the skin has been thoroughly cleaned with the brush, 
a wisp or rubber may be used with the view of giving it a last 
polish. It is not however at all essential. 

108. Method of grooming. 

The thorough cleaning of the skin of the horse is an operation 
requiring both skill and hard labour. To make his labour 
effective, and to produce the greatest effect with the least 
expenditure of power and in the shortest time, the groom 
should aid his muscular strength with his weight. He should 
therefore stand well away from the horse, and lean his weight 
on the brush, which thus used will penetrate the coat more 
effectually and with less exertion to the man, than if worked 
only by his muscular strength. 

The principal working of the brush should follow the natural 
direction of the hair. It will not penetrate it as deeply and 
thoroughly, when worked against it, as with it. To remove 


however external dirt or sweat, wliicli may have caked in the 
coat, it may sometimes be necessary to brush against the hair. 

109. Neglect of grooming . 

When grooming is neglected, the horse for the reasons 
akeady given soon loses flesh and condition, and generally 
deteriorates in health ; whilst eventually actual disease of the 
skin may be the result. 

Among the more common diseases arising from neglect of 
grooming are those, which are caused by the presence in the 
skin of parasitical insects, such as mange and lousiness. The 
insects inducing these disorders when not disturbed by the 
action of the brush breed rapidly. All such diseases are the 
sure and certain sign of neglect. These insects will not attempt 
to obtain a lodging in skin, where the pores and glands are in 
healthy action, and where they are constantly disturbed by the 
use of the brush. 

110. Subsidiary uses of grooming. 

Whilst good grooming is necessary for the maintenance of the 
health of the domesticated horse, it is also needed for several 
subsidiary ends. It is essential to the glossiness, and also to 
the shortness of coat, which horsemen so much love to see, and 
to the development of the highest powers of the animal. 

Glossiness of coat is due partly to the a,bsence of dirt, debris 
of worn out materials, and particles of perspiration among the 
hairs, partly to the mere mechanical effort of friction in polish- 
ing the hau', but mainly to the increased secretion drawn forth 
from the oil glands of the skin under the friction of good 

Short coats are due partly to the warmth produced in the 
skin by the frequent friction of grooming, and partly to the 
maintenance of an even and moderately warm temperature in 
the stable. Increase in the length of the coat is indeed a pro- 
vision of nature against cold. If such increase is not required, 
the winter coat is scarcely longer than that of summer. In 
some tropical climates for instance, w^liere the warmth in winter 
IS little less than that in summer, or in deep coal mines where 
the changes of the season are not felt, or even iu well managed 


stables^ where an equal temperature is maintained and tlie 
warmth of the skin is assisted by clothing and good grooming, 
we find but little difference between the length of the summer 
and winter coats. 

Different breeds of horses vary very much in the length of 
their coats. The high bred horse, which was originally brought 
from a hot climate, still retains much of the shortness of coat 
natural to his original habitat. Horses, however, even of the 
same breed vary much in the length of their coats, even though 
placed under exactly similar circumstances. This may probably 
be accounted for by greater or less strength of circulation in 
the particular animal. Age has also frequently a great effect 
on the length of the coat. Old horses, whose circulation is 
becoming languid, are generally supplied by nature with longer 
coats than younger animals. 

111. Impi^oper means used to 'produce short and glossy coats. 

Short and glossy coats, as a general rule, indicate good 
grooming and careful stable management, whilst long dull coats 
argue the reverse. But we must caution the reader against 
the practice of some servants of administering tonics and othei^ 
stimulants, which, by artificially exciting the system, produce 
temporarily a good external appearance, but in the long run 
are the fruitful parents of disease. 

112. Tim e for g rooming. 

The highest powers of the horse can only be developed by 
careful attention, not to one or two great points, but to every 
point which concerns his health and comfort. Of primary 
importance, in connection with health and comfort, is the time 
or times at which the operation of grooming is performed. 

Unquestionably the horse ought to be groomed, that is, to 
have removed from his skin in the morning* those insensible 
emanations of the pores which have accumulated during the 
night and the latter portion of the previous day. Equally, too, 
immediately after exercise he needs to have removed from his 
skin the more sensible emanations of the pores, commonly 
called sweat. 

In most stables, however, it is usual, when the master does 


not require the horse during the day, to combine these two 
occasions in one. The horse is taken out to exercise early in 
the morning, and cleaned afterwards. This plan answers pretty 
well, but it is undoubtedly inferior to that practised in cavalry 
and racing sta-bles, where the horses are cleaned in the morning 
and exercised after breakfast, and cleaned again after exercise. 
The other plan, however, saves much time and labour. 

If the master requires his horses during the day, the animals 
must, of course, be cleaned in the morning, and again after the 
ride or drive. 

Owners are often very much disappointed that their horses 
do not improve or thrive as much as they expect, when they 
use them least. The reason may perhaps be found in some 
degree in the fact that they are generally least groomed when 
least used. Every horse should be groomed, or, in other words, 
have the pores of the skin thoroughly cleansed at least twice 
in each day. 

A horse, which has not been exercised during the day, in 
some respects requires more labour to get his skin thoroughly 
clean, than if he had been at work. A little gentle perspiration 
every day, and occasionally a somewhat freer opening of the 
pores greatly assist the process of grooming. Indeed, it is very 
difficult, if not impossible, to keep a horse^s skin clean, unless 
the action of the brush is aided by bringing the glands of the 
skin into more active use by means of sensible perspiration. 

113. Horses to be groomed immediatelij after exercise. 

Not only is it necessary that the horse should be groomed 
after exercise, but it is essential that he should be groomed 
immediately after exercise. All the pores of the skin are then 
open, and the brush will more effectually clean the skin than 
if the operation is delayed until the skin has cooled and its 
pores have closed, and the perspiration has dried and caked 
over them. 

No horse which is heated or has been perspiring- should ever 
be allowed to stand undried one moment longer than is abso- 
lutely unavoidable. When a delay cannot be avoided, the evil 
consequences should be reduced to a minimum by clothing hiuL 
warmly and putting flannel bandages on his legs ; or where 


these advantages are not available^ by allowing tlie saddle or 
harness to remain on, and by preventing any draught from 
coming on the animal. In other cases the evil may be mitigated 
by getting a boy to lead him about briskly, until the servant 
is ready to attend to him. 

114. Danger of allowing a horse, when heated, to stand undried. 

Neglect of such precautions is likely to end in a chill, which 
may be followed by serious disease. When a horse is heated, 
his whole circulation is quickened, and an increased quantity 
of blood is determined to the surface of the body. A chill 
will drive this blood suddenly to the inward and vital parts. 

Nor is the evil confined to driving to the internal organs the 
blood, which may happen at the moment to be on the surface. 
It may be far greater, because, though the horse may be chilled 
externally, yet the excited state of the circulation continues for 
some time longer. The heart does not at once accommodate 
its action to the external change, but continues to send blood 
rapidly through the system. This continued supply, repelled 
from the surface, is forced on the already overloaded internal 
vessels. Hence may arise serious disease, such as inflamma- 
tion of the lungs or pleurae, bronchitis, or other inflammatory 
or congestive affections. 

115. Cold produced hy evaiioratlon. 

Many people are not aware of the extreme cold produced by 
evaporation, such as that resulting from the action of a draught, 
or of the sun or wind acting on a wet surface, such as the coat 
of a horse when sweating. On this principle, cooling drinks 
are made in hot climates by tying a wet flannel round a bottle 
and hanging it up in the sun or wind. 

A long thick coat, therefore, is no protection to a horse 
against catching cold. On the contrary, for the above reasons 
we believe it increases the liability. 

Though it is especially essential, for the reasons given in the 
preceding paragraph, that horses which are wet from sweating 
should be dried immediately on their return from work; yet 
the above remarks, though in a less degree, apply also to all 


horses, wliicli, from any cause, such as raiu, or tlie state of tlie 
road, return wet to their stables. 

116. Extremities to he dried first. 

It should be a standing rule that the legs should be dried 
before the body, both because the circulation gets feebler in 
proportion as the part is distant from the heart, and because all 
parts which, like the legs in the horse, or like the hands and 
feet in man, expose a large surface in proportion tg. their bulk 
to the action of external cold and evaporation, are peculiarly 
susceptible of chill. If two horses return from work at the 
same time, both sweating or wet, in charge of only oue servant, 
the leo-s of both should be dried and bandasfed before the 
bodies of either are touched ; but in such case it is essential 
that rugs be thrown over the bodies of both horses. 

117. Special precautions in regard to the hach and loins. 

Many a cough or cold is produced by injudiciously removing 
the saddle and exposing the heated back and loins to the cold, 
whilst the groom is employed about the extremities. It should 
be a standing rule not to remove the saddle or harness, until 
the servant is ready to dry the back. In addition to this pre- 
caution, if the horse is hot, a rug should during the intervening 
period be thrown over the loins and back ; and if very hot, a 
second rus' should be added across the loins. 


118. Of IV ashing the shin. 

Water has very little effect in cleansing the skin of a horse. 
The hair acts as a thatch, and water penetrates through it 
with difliculty, except it is out of order, and then it acts as an 
irritant. Besides this it tends to check the action of the oil 
glands, and to render the coat dry and harsh by removing the 
oily secretion. 

Water, therefore, should not be applied to the coat, except 
with the view of washing off external mud and so saving time 
and trouble to the servant. In all such cases, however, it is 
necessary that the part be dried immediately, or skin disease 
such as cracked heels, grease, and mud fever will probably 
soon appear. 


119. Of drying the legs. 

The legs should not be washed. The mud and dirt should 
be removed by rubbing the legs with loose wisps of straw and 
ordinary rubbers. This, though by far the best practice, is 
troublesome to servants. 

119a. Of ivashing the legs. Flannel bandages. 

The ordinary practice is to wash the legs, and wrap them in 
flannel bandages. The groom then cleans the body; and by 
the time he has done this, the legs have probably dried. He 
should then brush them out, exactly as if they had not been 
washed — for the water has not cleaned the skin, but has only 
removed the external mud and dirt. If this is properly done, 
there is not much objection to washing the legs. But the 
practice is open to much abuse, and often results in cracked 
heels, grease, and mud fever. 

120. Of leaving horses to dry by evaporation. 

We cannot close this chapter without warning owners of 
horses against the common practice of idle servants leaving the 
horses after exercise in the morning to dry by evaporation, 
whilst they get their breakfasts and indulge in a pipe afterwards. 
If horses are exercised in the morning, and the breakfast hour 
interferes with proper timely attention to them, they should at 
least be warmly clothed and have their legs bandaged, before 
the[servant leaves, and the time allowed for breakfast should be 
reduced to a minimum. Similarly at other times after the 
owner has had his horse out, the servant is apt to leave him 
to dry by evaporation, whilst he cleans the saddle, bit, or 

121. Minor mern^oranda. 

The nostrils should be carefully sponged out twice a day. 
The wings of the nostrils should be gently distended by the 
fingers and a well wetted sponge passed into the opening. 
This will remove the dust from the delicate lining membrane. 
The dock should be cleaned both morning and evening. The 
sheath likewise requires to be cleaned occasionally by passing 


the hand up it, and clearing away any sebaceous matter which 
may be adherent to it. Many a horse, which has been sup- 
posed to be suffering from disease of the kidneys, is merely 
irritated by a dirty penis, or by a collection of sebaceous matter 
encrusted on the point of the urethra, which interferes with the 
free passage of the urine. 

White and grey legged horses in dirty weather require to 
have their legs washed with soap and water in order to make 
the hair look clean. We have already stated that water has no 
real effect in cleansing the skin. Especial care should be taken 
that the legs are dried immediately after the washing. Such 
horses frequently suffer from cracked heels, grease, and rheu- 
matism from neglect of this precaution. 

122. Grooming hy machinery. 

In some large establishments machinery, somewhat similar 
to that used in hair dressers' shops for brushing the hair, has 
lately been set up for grooming horses. It appears to answer 
extremely well, and certainly saves an immense amount of time 
and trouble. 

123. Time required to clean a horse, 

A good groom ought to be able to clean a horse thoroughly 
in the morning or after ordinary work, when his coat is short, 
in half an hour. Fifteen or possibly twenty minutes more may 
be required after work, if the horse returns very hot or very 
muddy. If the horse has a very thick or long coat twenty 
minutes more may be added to the above periods. Not only 
ought the groom to be able to do it within these periods, but 
the master ought to insist that he does it thoroughly in that 

Some exceptions, however, must be made to the above general 
rules. There are some thick woolly coated animals, which 
cannot be dried after work in winter by any amount of time or 
exertion, which a servant can be expected to give. Such 
animals ought, however, to be clipped or singed. 

124. BreaJcing out after cleaning. 
Some horses break out again and again into a cold sweat 


after they have been dried and cleaned after exercise. They 
must be dried again at least the first and second time, after 
which it is generally safe to put the clothing on. 

Breaking out is usually connected either with a thick woolly 
coat, or with debility, or perhaps with both combined. The 
remedy in the first case is removal of the coat, and in the latter 
it will consist in good feeding, good grooming, and regular 
exercise in addition to removal of the coat, if need be. 

125. Conclusion. 

The effect of daily good grooming is readily recognised in the 
bright, clean, and healthy appearance of the coat. If the 
fingers are run through it, no trace of soil will be left on 

On the other hand, if the skin is not clean, the fingers will be 
soiled and white streaks of dirt and dust will be apparent in the 
parts through which they have passed. Scurf and debris of the 
perspiration will also be seen about the roots of the hairs. If 
the groom has absolutely neglected the horse, encrusted sweat 
and mud from the previous exercise will probably be found on 
the coat, especially under the belly and between the legs ; and 
the mark of the saddle, on account of the horse having perspired 
more freely under it than in other parts, may still be apparent ; 
or stains from where the horse has been 13'ing down at night 
will be left. With a view of testing the cleanliness or other- 
wise of the skin, the hollow of the side of the hocks, the knees, 
the points of the hips and shoulder, and the head and neck 
may be more particularly examined. 

Every owner ought occasionally at least to run his fingers 
through the coat of his horse before he mounts, or when he 
visits his stable after the horse has been cleaned on his return 
from work. He will also do well to see that the feet are 
properly washed out in the morning* or after exercise. It is 
in vain to expect that servants, however good they may be at 
starting, will long continue to give the time and labour required 
daily to groom horses, as they ought to be groomed, unless 
the master is able to and does aj)preciate the result of their 

Horse owners are cautioned against allowing the practice 


that prevails amongst grooms of forcing off tlie old coat in tlie- 
spring, wlien the process of shedding commences. Nature will 
complete this process in her own time, and any attempt to 
hasten it frequently results in leaving the animal bare in 
patches, and rendering him more susceptible to chills and 


126. In the previous edition the author referred his readers 
to his treatise, ^Notes on Shoeing/ pubhshed by Smith and Co., 
Waterloo Place ; but in the present edition he has reprinted 
the substance of that work at the end. 

The object of putting it at the end, instead of in this, its 
more proper place, has been to avoid alteration of the numbers 
of the paragraphs, which under this arrangement are the same 
as in the previous editions. 



127. Need of exercise. 128. Muscle. 129. Tendons. 130.. 
Ligaments. 131. Lungs and oilier organs of respiration. 132. 
Gradual luork. 133. Regidarity of ivorh. 134. Stage-coach 
horses. 135. Neglect of exercise. 136. Age, S^-c, to he con- 
sidered in regidating the amount of exercise. 137. Good feeding 
necessary. 138. Amount of exercise needed. 139. Grass-fed 
colts. 140. Corn-fed colts. 141. Irish colts. 142. Horses from 
dealers' stahles. 143. Exercise of riding or harness horses. 
144. Exercise of hunters. 145. Summering of hunters. 14G. 
But will leg s and feet stand continual ivorh? 147. Exercising 
ground in summer. 148. Artificial exercising ground. 149. 
Temporary ride during a frost. 150. Expense of keeping horses 
up through the summer. 151. Size of -stud required for hunting. 
152. Kind of exercise most suitable for hunters in summer. 153. 
Objections inade to harmless luorJc. 154. Horses in autumn to be 
occasio7ially exercised in deep ground. 155. Hard condition to 
he antecedent to fast work. 156. Of ttvo hours' so-called exercise. 
157. Of exercising in clothing. 158. Time for exercishig horses. 
159. Training of race horses. 

127. Need of exercise. 

As air is to the lungs or food to the stomachy so is exercise 
to the due development of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, 
and respiratory organs. 

In the horse, on account of the active exertions which we 
require from him, we wish to get the muscles as firm, the 
tendons and ligaments as strong, and the respiratory organs 
as vigorous as possible. We therefore give exercise more or 
less severe according to the use, for which the particular horse 
may at the time be required. 


In the ox and sheep and other animals_, which are used for 
food^ we wish to have the flesh less firm and more tender; and 
therefore we give little or no exercise. 

128. Muscles. 

Muscle is simply flesh. Anatomically considered, it is made- 
up of bundles of fibres laid parallel to each other. The tenacity 
or strength of the fibres depends chiefly on the use to which 
they are subjected. When disused^ they become soft, flaccid, 
and incapable of sustaining any great straiu. 

Muscular development is a very important element in the? 
strength of a horse. Muscles under nervous influence possess 
a power of contraction. By means of this power they act upon 
and control the tendons, and in fact regulate the movements 
of the body. Hence in one sense muscles are the real motive 
power in the animal frame ; but it must not be forgotten, that 
the muscles themselves are set in motion by the action of the 
nervous system. Hence if a nerve is paralysed, the muscle, to 
which it goes, loses its power of contraction. 

Muscles are occasionally ruptured by an over- violent strain 7 
but injury to them commonly consists in some of the fibres 
being torn across. The blood-vessels, however, which ramify 
about the fibres, are more frequently ruptured by any such 
strain than the fibres themselves. This result is marked by 
extravasation of blood in the part under the skin. 

129. Tendons. 

Tendons are dense, firm, fibrous, almost inelastic organs. 
They are attached at their upper extremities to the ends of 
muscles, and at their lower extremities are generally inserted 
into the eminences of bones. They possess no power of motion 
or contraction in themselves ; but are acted on by the muscles 
to which they are attached. Tendons are found wherever 
strength combined with lightness is required, and where muscle 
on account of its bulk would be inadmissible. 

Tendons, like muscles, strengthen and develop, when properly 
and regularly used. They lose in power and firmness, when 
not used. They require constant use in order to give them the 

EXEllCISE. 109 

strength, wliicli is needed to enable them to sustain the violent 
usage, to which in the horse they are so often subjected. 

The amount of use and strain, to which they ought to be 
subjected, must of course depend on the nature of the work for 
which the horse is intended. But before we subject any par- 
ticular horse to hard and severe training, it is always necessary 
to consider, whether his make and shape are such as to fit him 
for that work. 

Harness work causes the least strain, next to it comes ordi- 
nary riding, next hunting, whilst racing and steeple chasing- 
occasion the greatest strain. Many a horse, vrhich will not 
stand the training necessary for racing or steeple chasing, will 
stand for hunting. Many again, which will not stand the strain 
of hunting, may answer very well for ordinary riding ; whilst 
others, which are not sound enough for riding, may last for 
years in harness. 

130. Ligaments. 

Ligaments are of similar structure as tendons. Some liga- 
ments possess a certain degree of elasticity. The same remarks 
however generally apply to them as to tendons. 

Further and more detailed information in regard to the 
structure and organization of muscles, tendons, and ligaments 
will be found in Chapter XIII. 

131. Lungs and other organs of respiration. 

The power of the lungs to sustain long* and violent exertion 
is likewise very much a matter of habit. The lungs, unless 
accustomed to it, cannot sustain the violent work often required 
of them. 

If such work is required of a horse, some fast exercise must of 
course be given ; but the reader will do well to remember, that 
hard condition of the muscles and tendons ought to be ante- 
cedent to fast work. When the physical powers are fully 
developed, when the necessary condition of body is attained, it 
will not require any great amount of galloping to put the horse 
" in wind.^' It is however very needful, that the owner should 
take care that the animal, which he intends for fast work, 
possesses the necessary formation and capacity of chest. 


132. Gradual worh. 

Muscles, tendons, ligaments, and the respiratory organs may 
by patient, constant, and increasing use be gradually brought to 
perform safely an amount of work and to support a strain, 
whicli without such progressive training they would be wholly 
unable to stand. 

The power of doing work and of sustaining fatigue is, if we 
may use the expression, cumulative. Provided that the horse 
be kept in good condition, it increases from day to day and 
from year to year, until from age the animal powers begin to 

133. Megularity of luorlt. 

Regularity of exercise is also an important element in the 
development of the highest powers of the horse. The horse in 
regular work will suffer less in his legs than another ; for he 
becomes gradually and thoroughly accustomed to what is 
required of him. The whole living machine accommodates 
itself to the regular demands on it, the body becomes active and 
well conditioned without superfluous fat, and the muscles and 
tendons gradually develop. Horses in regular work are also 
nearly exempt from the many accidents, which arise from over- 

134. Stage-coach horses. 

As a proof of the value of regular exercise we need only refer 
to the stage-coach horses of former days. Many of these 
animals, though by no means of the best physical frame, would 
trot with a heavy load behind them for eight miles at the rate 
of ten miles an hour without turning a hair; and this work 
they would continue to do for years without ever being sick or 
sorry. Few gentlemen can say as much for their carriage 
horses. No horses in fact were in harder condition. 

135. Neglect of exercise. 

On the other hand, if exercise be neglected, even for a few 
days in a horse in high condition, he will put on fat. He has 
been making daily the large amount of material needed to 


sustain the consumption caused by his work. If that work 
ceases suddenly, nature will, notwithstanding', continue to 
supply the new material : and fat followed by plethora and 
frequently by disease will be the speedy consequence. 

136. Age J condition, 8fc., to he considcy^ed in regulating the 
amount of exercise. 

The amount of exercise to be given at any particular time to 
any particular horse must depend on many considerations, such 
as his age, feeding, condition, constitution, make and shape, on 
the state of his legs, on the purpose for which he is intended,, 
and in many cases on the amount of time at disposal for pre- 
paration. The art of the groom or trainer is to feel his way 
in each particular animal up to the fullest development of his 
powers without over-working or over-straining them. 

137. Good feeding necessary. 

All exercise causes an increased consumption of animal 
material. This consumption or waste must be repaired by 
good feeding. If the wear and tear of the body is not suffi- 
ciently replaced by new supplies introduced in the shape of 
food, the horse will obviously lose flesh; and under such circum- 
stances additional exercise far from producing strength or giving 
muscle will cause greater debility. 

138. Amount of eocercise needed. 

Having laid down the general principles, on which we think 
the amount of exercise ought to be regulated, we shall now 
endeavour to apply those principles to the various classes of 

139. Grass fed colts. 

All exercise for a young horse must at first be gentle, and 
the increase must be gradual. For horses of three or four 
years old just taken up from grass half an hour's walking- 
exercise is sufficient. In the second month the time may be 
increased to an hour, and the horse may carry a saddle, and 
during one fourth of the time he may be quietly lounged. 

From the beginning of the third month most j^oung horses 


may be ridden quietly for an hour, and perliaps trotted witli a 
light weight on them during half that time. From the fourth 
to the sixth month one hour and a half's ordinary work in the 
manege may not be too much. 

By the end of six months the great majority of young horses, 
thus gradually and systematically got into condition, should be 
fit for ordinary work. A few of the weaker and those reduced 
by strangles or other sickness will require further time and 

140. Corn-fed colts. 

Corn-fed colts may be brought into work earlier and quicker 
than those which have been fed on grass only. High feeding 
forces and develops the frame and strength, and consequently 
corn-fed colts are generally as much developed as grass fed 
animals a year or two older. Eace horses for instance are run 
at very early ages. Thorough-bred animals are supposed to 
come to maturity sooner than other breeds ; but this earlier 
development is, we believe, merely the result of the high feed- 
ing, of which well-bred animals generally have the advantage. 

141. Irish colts. 

In Ireland it is not uncommon to see four and even three 
year old grass fed colts in the hunting field. It is impossible, 
that the muscles, tendons, and bones at that early age, except 
where the system has been forced by high feeding almost from 
birth, can be sufiiciently developed to stand the amount of wear 
and strain incidental to such violent exercise. It is in fact no 
rare thing to find horses, which have been so used or rather 
abused, broken down at five years old. The same unfortunate 
results are also common enough in England. 

142. Horses from dealers^ stahles. 

Horses from dealers' stables generally require special care 
and attention to bring successfully into work. They should 
indeed be treated almost with the precautions recommended 
above for young horses. They are usually very fat and soft. 
They sweat freely, and in consequence are very liable to chills, 
coughs and colds, if neglected after exercise. Their respiratory 


organs also are unused to any violent exertion, and hence are 
very subject to disease, if injudiciously excited. The digestive 
powers of tlieir stomachs are also frequently debilitated and 
deranged by the constant use of tonics. 

143. Exercise of riding or harness horses. 

For horses in ordinary condition, such as those used for 
riding or driving, two hours' work in the course of the day, 
provided that in that time a distance of ten miles is traversed, 
is a fair quantum. 

When the' owner cannot give this amount of work to his 
horses, he should insist on his servants exercising them in the 
morning for such a period, as will make up this time and dis- 
tance each day. There is nothing servants dislike so much as 
properly exercising horses. It takes up, of course, a good deal 
of their time, and makes no immediate outward show. Far 
more horses in gentlemen's stables suffer from too little than 
from too much regular work. 

144. Exercise of hunters. 

Hunters generally g*et work enough during the season, but 
are seldom fit to go, till it is half over. We propose to con- 
sider, first, why they are not fit to go, and, secondly, how they 
may be got fit by the beginning of the season. 

It will be admitted that hunters are tolerably fit at the end 
of the season. It has been asserted in these pages, though 
many for various reasons will question it, that ^'condition" is 
cumulative, i. e. goes on and increases with time. 

If " condition " is cumulative, why should not a horse be in 
better form at the beginning of a season than he was at the end 
of the previous year ? Are there any insuperable difficulties 
in the way? Is the expense too great? Are not the wear and 
tear and liability to accident far greater in horses that are not 
fit to go than in those which are thoroughly fit ? Is it not a 
fact, that when a hunter has got thoroughly well seasoned, 
neither weak nor over fresh, he seldom comes to grief ? 

It is alleged, however, that there are insuperable difficulties 
in the way of maintaining hunters in condition through the 
summer, that legs and feet will not stand continual work, that 



horses hard wrought in winter require rest in summer, that 
ground suitable for exercise cannot be found, and, lastly, that 
keeping horses up through the summer is very expensive. 

We will take these objections seriatim. Whilst we fully 
admit, that the highest development of the powers of nature, 
such as that required for racing, cannot be maintained at their 
utmost for any length of time ; yet we cannot see the difficulty 
of maintaining a horse in condition through the summer, that 
is, in such condition that no preparation is needed for hunting, 
except a few gallops to improve the wind, if only the animal 
be well fed, well groomed, and exercised two hours a day. It 
is an advantage, or at least more profitable, if the owner can 
utilise the horse by riding him or working him in harness 
during the summer months. 

Officers' horses in cavalry regiments are so treated, and they 
are generally in better condition without any preparation at the 
beginning of the hunting season than the horses of most sport- 
ing men after a vast amount of preparation, physic, and work. 

145. ^^ Summering ^^ of hunters. 

The so-called restorative process of '^summering'' hunters 
is open to many objections. The animal after his four months' 
holiday comes up fat, gross, weak, and out of sorts. He 
requires physic and sweating to reduce his bulk, extra groom- 
ing to bring his skin into order, beans to give firmness to his 
muscles, and carefully regulated, and relatively to his condition 
severe exercise to develop his strength and wind, and after all 
he is generally not half prepared at the beginning of the season. 
All this, unless we are in error about officers' horses, is need- 
less waste of time and trouble, and, moreover, a severe and 
unnecessary trial to the animal's constitution. 

Again, if health is to be preserved, horses, which for eight 
months in the year are accustomed to be groomed, ought to be 
groomed during the remaining four. It is a fallacy to suppose 
that the horse, when thrown out of work, does not require to 
be groomed. In reality he needs it far more for some months, 
than when at work. The secretions of his body, which have 
made use of the pores and glands of the skin [vide Chapter VI, 
on Grooming) as their organs of excretion, continue to do 


SO for some time after those glands have ceased to receive the 
stimuli, namely, exercise and grooming", which originally 
brought them into activity. Hence they choke, and in conse- 
quence effete matters remain in the system ; and in the end the 
horse requires, as we might expect, two or three doses of 
physic to clear his system. 

Here then is a break-down of the theory of summering 
hunters. The so-called restorative process ends in an amount 
of constitutional disturbance, which requires physic to correct 
it. This constitutional disturbance caused by want of proper 
exercise and grooming during the summer months has been, 
we believe, the origin of the three doses of physic traditionally 
supposed to be essential to getting hunters into condition. 

146. But ivill legs and feet stand coiitinual ivorh ? 

But it maybe said, — granting that a horse maybe in better 
condition from having been worked through the summer, yet 
his feet and legs will not stand this perpetual strain and 

Feet, we answer, if of good conformation and properly shod 
never suffer from work. Joints, tendons, and ligaments may 
suffer, but feet from their construction are not likely to suffer 
either from age or work. The foot of an old horse is just as 
sound as that of a young one. 

The legs and joints, we admit, do suffer from work, or rather 
if over-worked fail before other parts of the frame. The ques- 
tion, however, is not whether they suffer from work, but whether 
they suffer more from regular than from intermittent work. 
Arguing from the structure of joints, tendons, and ligaments, 
we should conclude that intermittent, especially severe inter- 
mittent work, would affect them more injuriously than continued 
strong work. The severity of work is comparative to the power 
of sustaining exertion. Let a man not used to walking take a 
long walk and he will find it severe work, and his joints next 
■day will be stiff and sore all round. Let another man used to 
that degree of exercise take the same walk, and he will not find 
it severe. Severity of work then is in a great degree compara- 
tive to what the person or horse is accustomed to. 

Among the more common effects of work are wind-galls. 


thorougli-pins, and other enlargements about the joints. These 
all result from increased secretions of synovia thrown out by- 
nature to preserve the joints and tendons from the irritation 
caused by work. As in the case of the man alluded to above^ 
joints and tendons, which are accustomed to the required amount 
of exertion, will be less likely to suffer from irritation than those- 
not accustomed to such exertion. 

Sprains, also, which are another occasional effect of severe 
work, must be less likely to occur, when the ligaments and 
tendons are fully and regularly developed than when they are- 
in a weaker state, as must be the case at the beginning of a 
hunting season, when the horse has been idle through the 
summer. The same remarks apply to spavins, splints, and other 
exostoses, which result from irritation and inflammation in the 
bony structures. 

But it may be asked, " Do not horses, which have suffered 
from the severity of work during the hunting season require to« 
be laid up and rested V^ 

If a tendon or ligament is sprained, the horse must of course- 
be laid up and further treatment will be necessary ; or, again, if 
any disease is set up in the joints, rest and treatment will be- 

But supposing no such accident to have occurred, and suppos« 
ing that the tendons, ligaments, and joints merely show " work,^' 
their recovery will be promoted rather than retarded by fair and 
reasonable exercise, by good feeding and good grooming during- 
the summer. No doubt a horse, which shows '^ work," requires- 
abstinence for a time from severe work, such as hunting; but 
we question whether he will be the better for total cessation' 
from work. In all such cases the tone of the system requires 
to be stimulated rather than let down. 

147. Exercising ground in summer. 

Again, it is alleged that ground suitable for exercise cannot, 
be found in summer. Fairly soft ground may generally, we 
reply, be found in any neighbourhood up to the end of May. In 
June a newly mown grass field can always be obtained, the soil 
of which having been protected from the sun will be soft for at. 
least a month after. Some other field, which may have been. 


mown later, will probably bring us to tbe beginning of August. 
About this time a new stubble is generally available, and makes 
good exercising ground. 

If, however, in any particular locality it be impossible to find 
suitable fields, it is better to make artificially an exercising 
ground ratlier than run any risk of the horses being insufficiently 

148. Artificial eXGrcising ground. 

Good exercising ground may be made at no great expense. 
The first essential of course is drainage, both because all ground, 
on which water has lain, becomes very hard when dry ; and 
because a dry sound bottom is essential to the preservation of 
the tan, litter, or whatever material may be used as the basis 
of the artificial ride. 

Economy in the cost in the particular locality will necessarily 
regulate the choice of the material used in forming the ride. 
A circle of about four hundred yards will be sufficient. 

149. Temjyorary ride during a frost. 

During a frost a temporary ride sufficient to trot horses round 
may always be formed by means of refuse litter from the dung 

150. Exjoense ofkeejmig horses up through the summer. 

Lastly as regards the expense of keeping hunters up through 
the summer. — The owner of a large stud may say " I have too 
many horses to be able to work them through the summer, and 
it would cost a fortune to feed them high and keep servants to 
groom and exercise them.'' 

Our answer is very short. '^ Keep fewer.'' It is better to 
have six horses, that can go, than a dozeu that can't go ; and 
not only is it better in point of enjoyment, but it is also cheaper. 

151. Size of stud required for hunting. 

A good horse in good condition ought to go three days a 
fortnight with hounds in most countries. At this rate only four 
horses would be required to hunt six days a week. Accidents, 
however, and illnesses will occur, and it is necessary to make 


allowances for these ; though much fewer accidents will occur 
with horses thoroughly in work than with others_, and illnesses 
with good stable management ought to be very rare. 

Making all allowances, six hunters and perhaps a hack, if 
the distances to cover are great, ought to see a hard riding man 
through six days a week from the beginning to the end of the 

If the owner wishes to have a second horse out every day, 
it may be necessary to add two more to the above number. 
Masters of hounds, we may observe, very seldom keep more 
than the above proportion of horses for their huntsmen ; and 
it is quite certain that gentlemen's horses during the day do not 
generally do more work than the huntsman's. 

152. Kind of exercise most suitable for hunters in summer. 

The system of throwing hunters out of work in summer is, 
for reasons given above, we believe, little more than a prejudice 
founded on ignorance, custom, and supposed economy. When 
the hunting season is over, the kind of exercise best suited to 
the particular animal should be adopted. 

Saddle work may suit some, harness may be better adapted 
to others, whilst a few may require to be led. We only urge 
that horses should get sufficient exercise of some sort ; but we 
believe that on the whole light harness work answers the best. 

153. Objections made to harness luorJc. 

Many owners object to saddle horses being put into harness 
because it is apt, they think, to make them go heavy in hand. 
Heavy harness work no doubt has this tendency, because horses 
in drawing large loads lean on the collar in order to assist the 
draft by their weight ; but light harness work is not open to 
this objection. Nothing, for instance, can be more suitable for 
hunters in summer than a pair horse brougham, provided the 
coachman has " hands." Coachmen, however, very generally 
have heavy ^^ hands ;" and the complaint of the ill effect of 
harness work will more often be found to be due to this cause 
than to any inherent effect of draft. 


154. Hunter's in autumn to be occasionally exercised in deep 


Whilst it is obviously desirable, as a general rule, to select 
sound ground for exercise, whilst it would probably be inju- 
dicious to gallop a horse in a deep ploughed field, yet some 
exercise in deep ground at a smart trot with or without cloth- 
ing according to circumstances should not be neglected in the 
preparation of the hunter in autumn. It is as necessary to 
accustom a horse to the ground, in which he will have to go, 
as it is to accustom him to the pace required of him. 

155. Hard condition to he antecedent to fast work. 

Before quitting this portion of his subject the Author desires 
to repeat, that horses cannot be galloped into condition. If a 
horse is weak, fast or severe work will only make him weaker ; 
if he has a big belly, fast work will produce disease ; if he is 
soft, fast work will make him run up light. Hard condition 
must be antecedent to galloping; and if the condition is really 
hard, very little galloping is necessary to put the horse in 

156. Of ^'tiv 0-hour s' '' so-called exercise. 

It has been stated above, that two hours' exercise during 
the day, provided that in that time a distance of ten miles is 
traversed, is suflBcient for the purposes of health and for the 
maintenance of the condition required for the ordinary purposes 
oE riding and driving. 

It is necessary however to give a caution against what 
servants often call two hours' exercise. In most establish- 
ments it will be found, that it means little more than an hour 
and a quarter, and all the time at a walk. Servants are gene- 
rally supposed to go to the stable at six o'clock in the morning, 
but are usually somewhat later. Sweeping out the stable, 
watering, feeding and saddling occupy some twenty minutes, 
and it may probably be the half -hour before the horses really 
leave the stable. They are generally brought in again by a 
quarter to eight, that is, in time to allow the servants to tie 
them up, unsaddle and rub down their legs before their break- 


fast^ whicli is usually at eight o'clock. This is what is called 
two hours' exercise in most establishments, but a great many- 
do not come up even to this very moderate mark. 

157. Of exercising in clothing, 

A question is often asked, whether horses ought to bo exer- 
cised in clothing? In moderate weather it is better that they 
should be accustomed to go without it. It is false in principle 
to habituate a horse to the need of an artificial protection, 
which on other occasions it is impossible to give him. It may 
indeed be urged, that horses are usually taken to exercise at 
an earlier and more chilly hour than they are ridden by their 
owners. On the other hand, it may be replied, that horses at 
exercise need clothiug less than at other times, because they 
never need and certainly never ought to be kept standing; 
whereas in the uses to which the owner puts his horses, it must 
occasonally, if not frequently happen, that they are kept stand- 
ing for a considerable time, perhaps even when heated. Horses, 
however, which have been recently clipped or singed, ought 
to be exercised in clothing. A single rug or hood will be 
sufficient under ordinary circumstances. More harm than good 
is caused by exercising in too heavy clothing. 

When it is desired to sweat a horse, the question of clothing, 
or no clothing, or double clothing, will of course depend on the 
amount of flesh and coat, which the particular animal happens 
to carry. 

158. Time for exercising horses. 

It is the practice in most stables to exercise the horses in the 
early morning, for the servants after exercise to go to break- 
fast, and for the horses to be cleaned after breakfast. The 
object of this arrangement is to sa've the servants the trouble 
of grooming the horses a second time. 

Apart from any questions connected with grooming, which 
were discussed in the previous chapter, the practice of exer- 
cising horses in the early morning is objectionable. During 
a great portion of the year the air at that time is generally 
cold and raw. It is injudicious to pull a horse suddenly out 
of a warm stable into the chilly air of early morning. Nine 


o'clock is quite early enougli to take tlie liorses out. When 
they return from exercise, tliey can then be cleaned at once ; 
whereas if they are taken out in the morning, they are always 
left to stand for nearly an hour, whilst the servant gets his 
breakfast. Again in the early morning the owner is seldom up 
and about, and in consequence the regulated period of exercise 
is often cut short by one half. Other abuses, such as a resort 
to the public house, and tying the horses up outside, are more 
likely to occur at an early than at a later hour. On the other 
hand, when the horses are taken out at nine o'clock, the owner 
has the opportunity without trouble to himself of checking the 
time of going out and returning. 

159. Training of race horses. 

The treatment and training of race horses is a somewhat 
different subject, and one which is beyond the scope of the 
present treatise. The condition of race horses is not, as in 
other horses, cumulative. The condition, in which they are 
required for racing, is the very highest. The system cannot 
for long be sustained at an extreme pitch. The object of the 
trainer is to bring his horse to the very highest pitch of con- 
dition on a given day; whilst the object of the owners of 
hunters and other horses is to have their powers fully developed 
and sustained for a lengthened period. 



160. Introduction, 161. Temperature of stables . 162. Arti- 
ficial ivarming of stables. 163. Of stables in summer. 164. 
Registei^ing tliermometer. 165. Stables, both cold and close. 
166. Damp stables. 167. Change of stables. 168. Horses 
brought from grass into stables. 169. Horses to be cleaned 
immediately after exercise. 170. Best time for exercise. 171. 
Of drying horses, when very hot or ivet. 172. Warm, baths, 
173. Artificial removing of coat. 174. Singeing. 175. Clipping. 
176. Shaving. 177. Hair not to be removed from legs in rough 
hunting countries. 178. Manes and tails. 179. Bedding. 
180. Of horses, which eat their bedding. 181. Bedding to be 
tahen outside every morning . 182. Litter sheds. 183. Clothing. 
184. Hand rubbing the legs. 185. Flannel bandages. 186. Wet 
linen bandages. 187. Of putting on bandages. 188. Bandages 
to joints. 189. Persistent coldness of legs. 190. jPee^. 191. 
Arrangement of horses in the stable. 192. Kiching in the stable. 
193. Sleeping ivMlst standing in stable. 194. Weaving. 195. 
Crib-biting. 196. Wind-sucMng . 197. After a hard day's ivork. 
198. Physic. 199. 5?'a7t mashes. 

160. Introduction. 

In the preceding chapters an endeavour has been made to 
lay down the broad principles, which are the basis of good 
stable management. 

These essentials, to recapitulate, are : 1st, an ample supply 
of pure fresh air at all times in the stable; 2nd, judicious water- 
ing and feeding ; 3rd, good forage ; 4th, good grooming ; 5th, 
good shoeing; 6th, sufficient and well regulated exercise. 

These are no doubt simple recipes for successful stable 
management, — too simple perhaps for many, who believe that 
there is a mystery in stable management known only to a few. 


Yet from neglect of these common and obvious requirements^ 
few horses look as well as they ought to do. Many become 
sick or lame, and thus entail trouble, expense and loss, which 
might easily have been avoided. 

To ensure the highest development of health and strength, 
not one or two or even three of these essentials are sufficient, 
but all must be combined. You cannot have strength in a 
chain, if any one link be defective. 

The present chapter will be devoted to the practical applica- 
tion of the principles already set forth. 

161. Temperature of stables. 

Whilst purity of air in a stable is absolutely essential, the 
maintenance of an even and moderately warm temperature is 
also a matter of great importance. The horse is a native of a 
warm climate, and both thrives and puts up flesh in warmth. 
His food will go further and his coat will look better in a warm 
than in a cold stable. 

In spring, autumn and winter a stable should, we think, be 
kept as comfortably warm as possible without making it close 
and offensive. Warmth is good for horses, but purity of air is 
more essential. Good air must never be sacrificed to warmth. 
Cold air will but produce a staring coat, whilst foul air is the 
ready parent of disease. 

The best test of the purity of air in a stable is the sensation 
felt on first going into it from the external air. The best time 
for testing the sufficiency or otherwise of ventilation is the early 
morning before the stable has been cleaned and aired. 

In a well drained, well paved, well ventilated, and cleanly 
kept stable the temperature may generally be maintained at 
from fifty to sixty degrees. Ill drained, ill paved, badly venti- 
lated or dirty stables cannot with safety be kept as warm as 
those of which the sanitary condition is more favourable. 

Many varying circumstances, however, of situation, whether 
bleak or sheltered, of thickness of walls, of ceiling or absence of 
ceiling, of rooms overhead, of adjacent buildings and such like 
considerations must modify any general rules as to temperature. 
Some regard too should be paid to the state of the external 
atmosphere. With the thermometer for instance at zero out of 


doors, a stable would be injudiciously warm at from fifty to 
sixty degrees, althougb that temperature may be taken as a fair 
average for most seasons of the year. 

162. Artificial IV arming of stahles. 

When the weather is cold and more warmth is desired, — 
instead of shutting up too closely the stable and thereby de- 
stroying the purity of the air, — it is better to have recourse to 
additional clothing or to artificial heating. The latter is very 
seldom applied to stables, but we feel sure that it would in the 
long run be much better economy to go to the expense of fires 
than to run the risk of the many diseases which are generated 
by foul air. An open fire, though more expensive than a stove, 
is of far greater service, because, whilst it gives warmth, it also 
assists the ventilation. 

163. Of stables in summer. 

In summer time stables generally require to be kept as cool 
as possible. Doors and windows can scarcely be opened too 
freely. In some cases where the stables have a southern aspect, 
an awning along the front will be found advantageous. 

The question of the best aspect for a stable has been already 
considered in Chapter No. I. 

164. Registering thermometer. 

A registering thermometer to show the extremes of heat and 
cold is a useful adjunct to a stable. The cost of this instrument 
is but a few shillings. Servants do not understand the danger 
oi impure air. Frequently of an evening, when they think that 
there is no fear of the master again visiting the stable, in their 
ignorant anxiety for the horse's health and for the glossiness of 
his coat, they stop up every opening, through which the pure 
invigorating air can enter. A registering thermometer is some 
check on this practice, though of course it is very inferior to 
an occasional visit from the master in the morning before 
the stable is opened. 

165. Stables J both cold and close. 
It is quite possible to have a stable both cold and close. Such 


stables are generally also damp. They are most objectionable 
and are the constant som*ce of disease. 

166. Damp stahles. 

The horse in his best and highest form is the native of a dry^ 
warm, sunny country. He loves both warmth and dryness. In 
damp stables he loses all life and spirit ; and debility, generally 
followed by disease, soon supervenes. 

New stables should be thoroughly aired and dried before 
horses are put into them. 

167. Change of stahles. 

Horses rarely suffer in health from a change even suddenly 
from warm to cold stables, provided they are dry ; but a change 
from cold to warm stables generally produces coughs and 

In like manner horses turned out to grass from warm stables 
seldom catch cold, whilst those brought into warm stables from 
the open almost invariably suffer. 

168. Horses brought from grass into stahles. 

When horses, which have been lying out at grass or in open 
yards, are brought into stables, every door and window should 
for many days be left wide open, and the temperature should 
only slowly and gradually be increased, and during this transi- 
tional period any symptoms of disease should be carefully 
wa,tched for. 

169. Horses to he cleaned immediately after exercise. 

No one point in stable management should be more strongly 
insisted on, than that the horse be not allowed after exercise 
and especially after fast exercise to stand without being at once 
dried and cleaned. The reasons for this were given in the latter 
part of Chapter VI, on Grooming. 

In private stables, when horses are exercised in the morning, 
it is the common but injurious practice for servants on their 
return to tie them up and leave their legs wet, whilst they 
get their breakfasts. An hour or more is often let slip in this 


As morning is tlie most convenient time for exercise, and as 
servants require breakfast, the evil perhaps cannot be altogether 
avoided ; but it may be much reduced by the master insisting 
that the legs are dried or bandaged and the horses clothed, 
T)efore the servants leave, and that not more than half an hour 
is spent at breakfast. 

170. Best time for exercise. 

Though it is usual to take horses out in the early morning 
on account of the time and trouble thereby saved, yet the really 
best time for exercise is after breakfast. 

In the morning the servant is often late in starting and in a 
hurry to get back to his breakfast. Hence the quantum of 
• exercise is cut short. Again the climate in winter time is less 
bleak and cold at a later hour, and the servant, having had his 
breakfast, can at once on his return get to work at his horse. 
The animal too has then had his morning feed and water some 
two hours or more, and is therefore more fit for fast exercise, a 
point of some importance in the preparation of a hunter in the 
autumn. The servant also has more time to clean out the 
stable properly in the morning, and the master can better ensure 
a proper length of exercise. Other reasons specially connected 
with grooming in favour of exercising after breakfast have been 
already given in the chapter on that subject. See also Chapter 
YIII, on Exercise. 

Whilst the horses are at exercise, the doors and windows of 
the stable should be thrown wide open, so that during that time 
the interior of the building may get the advantage of a thorough 
■change of air. 

171. Of drying horses, when very hot or ivet. 

It is always an object of much importance to get a horse, 
which returns very hot or very wet after hunting or other 
severe exercise, dried and cleaned as soon as possible. Two or 
three men therefore should be set to work at once on him. 
When the sweat is running off profusely, a scraper will answer 
better than a wisp or cloth. 

172. Warm laths. 

On exceptional occasions, when a horse returns from work 


more than usually dirty, wet, or tired, there is no objection to 
washing him all over with warm water, or giving him, as it is 
termed, a bath. After such washing the horse should be 
thoroughly dried, and then warmly clothed all over and flannel 
bandages applied to his legs. 

The warm water is probably refreshing at the moment to a 
tired animal, and also soothing to any little irritation about the 
joints or other parts ; but the chief object of this mode of 
cleaning off the outside dirt is first to save the servant time 
and trouble, and secondly to enable the horse to lie down and 
rest an hour sooner than he otherwise would. 

But though under exceptional circumstances such treatment 
may in the first instance be beneficial, it must be remembered 
that water does not really clean the skin of the horse. As soon 
therefore as the animal has sufficiently rested, his skin must be 
cleaned by the application of the brush in the usual manner. 

173. Artificial removal of tJie coat. 

With good grooming, good stables and the maintenance of 
an equable temperature few well-bred horses, except in old age, 
ought to require the artificial removal of their coats. When 
however it is requisite, there are three means, by which it may 
be effected, namely by singeing, by clipping, and by shaving. 
Each has its advantages, according to circumstances. 

174. Singeing. 

Some horses sweat much in autumn and are worth nothing, 
until their coats are off. Let such be singed. Singeing cannot 
be begun too early, whilst clipping must not be done^ until the 
coat has fully grown and set. 

The only real art in singeing is to begin early enough and to 
remove the fresh growth every week. Gas answers best for the 

175. Clipping. 

Other horses are the better for being worked in autumn in 
clothing or with their coats on, and will be more fit at the 
commencement of the hunting season on account of the extra 
sweating so caused. Let such be clipped or shaved. The 


horse's coat should be fully set, before it is removed by 

176. Bhaving, 

Shaving is a very neat and effectual mode of removing the 
coat. Some nicety however is required in hitting off the right 
time for the operation, namely, about a week before the coat 
sets. If done sooner, the coat grows again, and the horse may 
require to be singed afterwards. If deferred later, he may be 
bare all the winter. The part of the back under the saddle 
should not be shaved, but clipped. 

177. Sair not to he removed from the legs in rough hunting 


In rough hunting countries it is not desirable to remove the 
hair from the legs of hunters from the swell of the arm or 
thigh, downwards. 

178. Manes and tails. 

Manes and tails should be brushed, not combed. A comb 
pulls out the hairs, and will soon make a mane or tail thin. A 
switched tail may always be produced by combing it at the 

Almost any mane may be made to lie on the side desired by 
frequently damping and brushing it, or if need be, by plaiting 
it with lead. Civilians prefer the mane being laid to the off 
side. With troop horses it is always laid to the near side, with 
the view of enabling the dragoon to take a lock of it in his hand 
before mounting. 

The practice of mounting with a lock of the mane in the 
bridle hand is good, because it lessens the chance of giving the 
horse a chuck in the mouth from the bit. Most horses, which 
are unsteady on being mounted, have become so from having 
received such chucks. The saddle also is less likely to shift 
from its proper position, when the rider is assisted in mounting 
by having hold of the mane. 

179. Bedding. 
One great item in a horse's comfort and consequently in his 


aptitude to carry flesli is a good bed. Every horse should be 
bedded down at mid-day. Where straw is abundant, there is of 
course no difficulty in doing this ; but where the allowance of 
straw, as in troop stables, is limited to eight pounds a day per 
horse, there is some difficulty in combining daily bedding down 
with good beds. • 

As regards economy of straw, it is essential not to give the 
horse a chance of eating it. With this view no fresh straw 
should be placed within its reach. The fresh straw should be 
brought in first, and put not merely at the bottom, but also in 
rear of the stall ; and then the old litter should be brought in 
and put at the top and in front. The horse will not readily eat 
it, and by the following morning the new straw will have 
become somewhat tainted, and may then be mixed and dried 
along with the rest. Servants, however, generally prefer to 
put the new straw on the top ; partly because it makes the stall 
look nicer, and partly because it keeps the clothing cleaner. 

Again, great care should be taken in the morning to 
thoroughly shake up and cleanse the bedding from dung ; and 
any parts, which may have become rotten, should be thrown 
out. Good straw rapidly deteriorates, if these precautions are 
mot taken. On the other hand, careless servants often throw 
away along with the bad parts much good bedding, which 
might be dried and used again. 

Bedding should be shaken up and turned over at least twice 
in each forenoon, so as to expose every part to the drying and 
purifying influence of the sun and air. It is, however, a mis- 
take to expose it over-much to the action of a very hot sun, as it 
makes it too dry and brittle. 

180. Of horses J luMcli eat their hedduig. 

Some horses eat their bedding to an extent, which is not 
merely inconvenient on account of the difficulty of maintaining 
their beds, but which is absolutely injurious to their wind. It 
is noticeable, that horses, doing little work and standing idle 
during the greater part of the day, are especially apt thus to 
gorge themselves. 

When the ordinary devices of muzzling or of giving the horse 
only the oldest and worst litter for his bed have failed, we know 



of but one remedy, namely, the substitution for straw of some 
article, wbicli he cannot eat. Sawdust makes an excellent bed, 
and in many places it may be obtained at half the cost of straw. 
About 100 lb. per week is sufficient to keep up a bed for one 
horse. Care must, however, be taken to entirely remove and 
renew the sawdust at least once a week. Sawdust is an ab- 
sorbent of urine, and also a deodorizer.. From this latter 
quality its impure state is often not recognised. It is not a 
chemical agent, but only a deodorizer, see par. 323. In Ire- 
land black bog mould is often used. Sea sand, when obtain- 
able, answers very well, and makes a cool and pleasant summer 

181. Bedding to he taken outside every morning. 

Whilst we think that all horses ought to be bedded down at 
mid- day, we must, on the other hand, insist on the necessity of 
every stable being swept out perfectly clean every morning, and 
all the bedding removed outside, nor should it be replaced 
under the horse until mid-day. The paving of the stalls will 
never be perfectly dry and sweet, unless it is exposed to the 
drying and purifying influence of the air for at least four or five 
hours each day. Cleanliness and dryness of the floor of the 
stable are essential items in good stable management. 

182. Preservation ofhedding. 

A shed outside the stable should be provided for the reception 
of the litter in wet weather (par. 16a). If, however, there is 
no such convenience, the litter should, nevertheless, be removed 
from under the horses and well shaken up and cleansed, and 
placed temporarily in a spare stall or in the passage, until the 
horses are cleaned. It had then better be replaced under the 
horses, because if retained long in a mass it will heat and fer- 
ment and deteriorate. Wet weather should not be admitted as 
an excuse for allowing the bedding to remain in the stalls, or 
in other words for the stalls not being properly swept out and 
cleansed in the morning. 

In no case should the litter be stored under the manger. 
Strange to say, servants generally do store it under the manger, 
though the least reflection might convince them, that in this 


position more than any other it must taint the air which the 
horse has to breathe, whilst the ammonia arising from it must 
be injurious to his eyes and lungs. 

In fine weather the litter should always be placed in the 
open air rather than under a shed. 

183. Clothing. 

Good large heavy rugs, weighing eight pounds, answer quite 
as well as what is technically called clothing, and have the 
advantage of being about half the price. The rug should be 
hollowed out over the withers, and in addition to the ordinary 
roller the two ends in front should be brought together and 
secured by a broad strap and buckle. 

For most horses one rug in summer and two in winter are 
sufficient. Old horses, as a general rule, require more clothing 
than younger animals. Breast-cloths, especially where large 
rugs secured in front are used, are unnecessary. 

All clothing ought to be brushed and exposed to the purifying 
influence of the sun and air for some hours daily. Advantage 
may be taken of the period of exercise and grooming for this 
purpose. The clothing of horses, as is the case with the clothes 
of men, absorbs the emanations of the body, and therefore 
requires to be frequently cleansed and purified. Separate suits 
for day and night are very desirable. 

In hot summer weather the rug may be taken off, and a 
linen sheet, chiefly as a protection against flies, may be substi- 
tuted for it. 

If horses are exercised in clothing, a separate suit should be 
kept for the pm*pose. It is not desirable that the horse should 
stand all day in the clothing, which has absorbed his perspha- 
tion and other emanations, whilst at exercise. If, however, 
separate suits are kept for day and night, this extra suit will 
not be needed, as the horse may be exercised in the night suit, 
which can afterwards be dried and aired during the day. 

184. Hand ruhhing of the legs. 

Hand rubbing of the legs is very useful in relieving any 
little fulness arising from over-work or in other cases from the 
absence of proper exercise. The pressure and friction thereby 


given excites tlie blood-vessels and absorbents to increased 

185. Flannel handages. 

Flannel bandages are useful in several ways. By tbeir pres- 
sure they act to a certain degree like band rubbing; and again 
by their warmth they operate as a mild f omentation^ and thereby 
reduce heat^ swelling, and shght inflammation. Ordinarily they 
are used as a means of saving the servant the time, which would 
otherwise be required to dry the legs_, when wet. 

186. Wet linen handages. 

Wet linen bandages are useful in reducing the heat of super- 
ficial inflamed parts. They do so both by the actual cold of 
the bandage, and still more by evaporation. 

The mode in which warm and cold bandages produce their 
effects will be described more fully in Chapter 'No. XYII under 
the heads of fomentations and cold applications. 

187. Ofj^utting on handages. 

Few servants understand how to put on bandages. They 
need adjustment according to the purpose for which they are 
required. Those intended to give pressure of course require 
a certain degree of tightness, whilst those intended for warmth 
should only be tight enough to prevent then' slipping down. 
Servants, however, nearly always put on bandages too tightly, 
forgetting or not knowing that each succeeding fold increases 
the pressure underneath. The bandage should be rolled up, 
before it is applied, and the winding on should begin from the 
lowest part upwards. 

188. Bandages to joints. 

It is difficult to bandage any joint, except the fetlock, so as 
to give pressure, or restrain motion. If it be desired to prevent 
motion, as in some cases of broken knee, the better plan is to 
apply splints; or to blister lightly the neighbouring parts with 
a view of making them tender and stiff, so that the patient 
may be disinclined to move. 

As a general rule, where joints are bandaged, it is essential 


that the horse be tied up by the head to the rack to prevent 
his lying down. The patient in the act of lying down or getting 
up nearly always bursts a tight bandage. 

If the object of the bandage be only to maintain warmth in 
the part after fomentation, as in cases of sprain in the hock_, or 
on the other hand to reduce the heat of the part, it may be 
conveniently effected by a covering made of felt or of several 
plies of flannel cut to the requisite shape and sewn together, 
with a hole for the point of the os calcis, and fastened in front 
with a number of straps. This covering may be kept moist 
with hot or cold water according to circumstances. 

189. Persistent coldness of legs. 

When, in spite of friction and bandages, the legs remain 
persistently cold, as is often the case in various debilitating 
diseases, a mustard embrocation or ammonia liniment may be 
advantageously rubbed on the parts, and the bandages may 
then be reapplied. Some further directions on this subject, 
which is connected with disease rather than with stable manage- 
ment, will be found in succeeding chapters. 

190. Feet. 

Feet, if the shoeing is good, as a general rule require nothing 
but cleanliness to keep them in health. They should be picked 
out and washed clean every morning and again after exercise. 

191. Arrangement of horses in the stable. 

The arrangement of horses in a stable, especially where bales 
only are used, is a matter of some importance. Some horses 
take k special dislike to others, and will constantly bite, kick 
at, or fight with them; whilst they will stand quiet next to 
particular animals. A vicious horse should be put in a corner 
stall, and if possible, should have a spare stall next to him. 
A horse which is given to bite his neighbours, may, if put in 
a corner stall, be still further restrained by passing the collar 
rein through a ring driven into the side wall instead of through 
the ordinary ring in the centre of the manger. Again any 
horse, that feeds slowly, may advantageously be placed in a 


corner stall ; and his more voracious neighbour should be tied 
up short as soon as he has done feeding. 

192. Kicking in the stable. 

Some horses by kicking in the stable are constantly laming 
or disfiguring themselves^ and endangering the lives or limbs 
of their attendants or of other horses_, besides smashing par- 
titions and walls. Kicking is a very troublesome vice, and 
many plans may perhaps be tried, before one can be found, 
which will stop it in any particular animal. There is in fact 
no one recipe to stop kicking, but among many remedies which 
may be tried, some one will generally be found to be effectual. 

When the common remedies, such as a log fastened to the 
hind leg, or a piece of furze hung up in rear have failed, it is 
well to try the effect of a strap connecting one or both hind 
legs with one fore-leg; or both hind legs may be strapped 
together, but some horses, notwithstanding their hind legs are 
tied together, manage to kick by raising both hind legs at the 
same time. A block of wood or gutta percha made to fit 
exactly into the hollow of the heel and fastened in front by a 
strap frequently effectually prevents kicking in the stable. 

Most horses may be stopped from kicking, when being 
groomed, by strapping up one fore-leg in the manner recom- 
mended some years back by Mr. Earey ; but in this case it is 
essential that a good substantial bed should be kept under the 
horse, as otherwise he may injure himself by slipping or falling 
on his knees. 

It is not uncommon to find, that horses, which have been 
stopped from kicking by the use of one of these plans, learn 
after a time to kick in spite of it. Another plan must then 
be tried. 

In the great majority of cases, however, where horses are 
vicious, the servants are the real culprits. Ill tempered or idle 
or even timid servants cause horses to be, or allow them to 
become vicious. With good servants and gentle treatment 
very few horses give, or at least long continue to give trouble. 

193. Sleeping, when standing in the stable. 
Some horses have an awkward trick of sleeping, when stand- 


ing ill tlieir stable^ and in consequence occasionally fall down 
and cut their fetlocks. The habit has probably arisen from the 
horse having been at some time or other cast in the stall. 

The remedy is of course to induce the horse, if possible, to 
lie down. A loose box offers the best chance of effecting this 
object. If this fails, the only preventive to injury is a thick 
padded boot running completely round the fetlock in addition 
to a good substantial bed in front, so that the parts may not 
be injured, even if the animal falls. It is essential that the 
boot should go completely round; because a boot covering only 
the anterior part may slip, and thus leave unprotected the part 
which needs protection. If the horse suffers in his legs from 
not lying down, he may be put in slings at night ; or a very 
broad strap may be fastened from one heel post to the other, 
against which the animal may lean. This latter plan gives 
very little trouble, and often answers exceedingly well. 

194. Weaving, 

Weaving or constant oscillation from side to side by motion 
of the fore-legs accompanied with a corresponding motion of 
the head from side to side is a curious and favourite trick of 
some horses. No particular harm seems to result from it, nor 
does it appear to be catching among other horses. As a general 
rule horses do not weave, unless they are tied up; but some will 
go through the motions, even though loose. 

The trick arises from nervousness at the approach or presence 
of any one. Though the animal may appear to be always 
weaving, yet such is not the fact, as the owner may easily 
satisfy himself by placing the horse in some stable, where he 
can watch him without being seen or heard. 

195. Grih-hiting. 

Crib-biting is a serious evil, and generally increases rather 
than diminishes with age. Several causes give rise to it. It is 
sometimes learnt by young horses catching at the manger or at 
any rail which may be within their reach, when they are being 
groomed. In other cases it may originate in mere playfulness 
or want of occupation. The use of deal or any unseasoned 
wood, which horses like to gnaw, for stable fittings is apt to 


induce the trick. But most commonly crib-biting arises from 
some acidity or chronic irritability of the stomacli^ which pro- 
duces a craving for something to appease it. 

Crib-biting, if much indulged in, damages the teeth, and is 
said in some instances to do so to a degree which interferes 
with feeding. But inasmuch as mastication is performed by 
the posterior teeth, it is not probable that the domesticated 
horse can suffer any great inconvenience from injury to the 
incisor teeth. The office of those teeth is principally to nip off 
the blades of grass, a duty which is not often required in the 
stabled animal. Crib-biting however from the amount of wind 
sucked into the stomach often seriously interferes with the 
digestion, and hence is a common cause of flatulence and colic; 
whilst again by impairing the digestion it often prevents the 
horse carrying flesh. 

A strap drawn tightly round the neck is much recommended 
as a preventive. If sufficiently tight it will prevent the horse 
from swallowing the air, which is his chief object in cribbing; 
and on this account it often hinders him from pursuing the 
habit. It is however a question, whether a strap, drawn tight 
enough to prevent the trick, may not do injury to the muscles 
of the throat and thus produce serious mischief. It has also 
been recommended to place a ball on a strap to give more 
pressure on the windpipe. The use of a swinging manger in 
the box and the absence of any projection likely to be seized 
by the teeth has been found to prevent this habit. It will 
however, probably recur when opportunity offers. 

Crib-biting is generally supposed to be very catching. 'No 
doubt the trick is sometimes learnt by one horse from another; 
but inasmuch as it generally arises from derangement of the 
stomach, this cannot be the case to any great extent. In all 
cavalry regiments a few crib-biters may be found ; but though 
no trouble is taken to separate them from other horses, it is 
not found that the habit extends. 

196. Wind-sucMng. 

Wind-sucking is similar in its causes and effects, and requires- 
the same treatment as crib -biting. 


197. After a hard day's vjorh. 

After a hard day's work the horse should,, if possible, be 
given a loose box. If he seems fatigued or has fasted long, 
a pailful of gruel given at once, before the operation of cleaning 
is begun, will be acceptable and easy of digestion. Whilst 
being" cleaned he may be given some hay, of which he will eat 
a little, and which will revive the powers of his stomach, and 
get it into a state fit to assimilate the corn. As soon as cleaned^, 
he should have his feed of corn mixed with about a pound of 
linseed boiled to a jelly, and afterwards his hay as usual. 

After he has been thoroughly dressed and cleaned, dry 
flannel bandages, in lieu of those originally put on after wash- 
ing or rubbing down his legs, should be applied and left on 
during the night. The warmth and pressure derived from them 
will help to reduce any little swelling or effusion or '^ gum- 
miness '' arising from the day's work. 

On the following morning, after being thoroughly groomed 
and his legs hand-rubbed, the horse, if standing in a stall, may 
be taken out for half an hour's walking exercise ; but if in a 
loose box the exercise may be dispensed with. At mid-day he 
should be again thoroughly groomed and his legs hand-rubbed. 
Nothing refreshes the horse more, or sooner restores the ener- 
gies of the system, than grooming and hand-rubbing. If the 
legs continue puifed, the bandages may be reapplied. 

A diuretic ball is commonly recommended after a hard day's 
work as a means of reducing puffiness of the legs and joints.. 
That it will produce this effect the author does not question,, 
because it will excite increased action in the kidneys, and in this 
way draw off any superfluous secretions from the system. But 
inasmuch as those secretions rem.ain in the system on account 
of debility or want of tone in the vital powers, it seems to him 
that the remedy is in a wrong direction. The horse requires 
not depletion, but tone. The vital powers will best recover 
themselves under the influence of rest, good feeding, good 
grooming, hand-rubbing, and pure air and a little walking 


198. Physic. 

Some few words on Physic can hardly be omitted in a treatise 
on stable management, though physic will scarcely ever be 
required, if the management be really good. 

Some owners of horses give physic periodically, others only 
when preparing for fast work a horse that has been out at grass 
or is from any cause out of condition. Three doses of purgative 
medicine are by many supposed to be necessary for the prepara- 
tion of a horse for hunting. 

Sensible men do not give physic, unless it is needed ; and 
they avoid giving it, when the object sought can be attained by 
other and less injurious means, such as by an alteration of diet 
or exercise. 

Most physics are poisons more or less strong, and why put 
ever so small a quantity of poison into the system unnecessarily ? 
It is probable enough that horses do occasionally require 
medicine ; but there is no sense in giving it, when not 

The physic given on these periodical occasions is usually 
purgative. If the stomach and intestines are healthy and have 
nothing in them which needs to be forcibly ejected, why dis- 
arrange them by thrusting on them medicine ? 

The old-fashioned answer, we presume, would be '^ to prevent 
their getting out of order. ^' How the disturbance of a healthy 
system can be supposed to effect this, we must leave to others 
to explain. Few horses on the average enjoy such good health 
as troop horses, and yet from, one year's end to another they 
never, unless really ill, get physic. 

Let medicine then be restricted to those cases, in which it 
is really required, and even then let it be given as sparingly as 

If proper and timely notice is taken of the premonitory symp- 
toms of ailments, little active treatment will ever be necessary. 
Bran mashes instead of corn for a day or two, deprivation of 
hay, a cooler stable, and above all a loose box, with plenty of 
pure fresh air will probably do all that is needed, and will do it 
much better and more safely than physic. 


199. Brail mashes. 

Whilst tlie periodical administration of purgative medicine is 
injurious, it is yet good practice to give horses on Saturday 
evening, if Sunday be a day of rest, a cold bran mash in lieu 
of the evening feed of corn. Bran mash is cooling and slightly 
laxative, and therefore a fitting preparation for a day of rest. 

A IV arm bran mash for a sick horse is made by pouring 
boiling water on bran in a pail, and covering it with a cloth to 
retain the steam. A handful of dry bran thrown on the top of 
the mash will answer the same purpose. 




200. The Blood. 201. 8erum. 202. Grassamentum. 203. 
Red corpuscles. 204. White corpuscles, 205. Coagulation of 
hlood, 206. Arterial and Venous blood. 207. Colour of Blood, 
208. Arteries. 209. Veins. 

200. The Blood. 

Blood is essentially tlie aliment or food of the body. By it 
all parts are sustained and replenished, whilst from it are drawn 
all secretions, including all material required for the repair of 
wounds or injuries. Its specific gravity is about 1 '050 in health, 
but varies in certain diseases. Its ordinary temperature is about 
99° Fahrenheit. In quantity the blood is supposed to amount 
to about one eighth of the body. It contains a variety of 
substances, but its ultimate analysis corresponds pretty closely 
with that of flesh. Throughout life it is always circulating in 
the heart, arteries and veins. The theory of its circulation has 
been described above in Chapter I. Its reaction is constantly 

Blood consists of a clear fluid, principally composed of water, 
holding in solution, about eight per cent, of albumen and two 
or three parts in a thousand of the elements of fibrin, with a 
small quantity of salts of potash and soda, lime, mag*nesia and 
other matters. Floating in it also are found red and white 
corpuscles, the red exceeding the white in number as about 
three or four hundred in health ; varying from eight hundred to 
one during fasting but in certain diseases of the blood the white 
corpuscles are greatly increased in number. In addition to 

BLOOD. 141 

these red and white corpuscles, the higher powers of the micro- 
scope reveal numerous minute molecules or granules similar to 
those found in lymph and chyle. 

Blood is recruited from supplies of new material furnished by 
the process of primary digestion in the alimentary tract. It also 
receives matters from the atmospheric air ; and lastly from the 
secondary digestion, as that process is called by which the 
tissues, which have served their purpose and become effete, 
are absorbed into the blood before being discharged from the 

Hence anything which interferes with the process of primary 
digestion, with respiration, or with the excretory organs, and 
perhaps also anything which disturbs the healthy condition of 
the nervous system, will affect the composition of the blood. 
Inflammatory diseases remarkably modify its character. 

Blood, when first drawn, appears to be homogeneous ; but on 
cooling it separates into two nearly equal parts, namely a fluid 
called Serum, and a red solid portion called Crassamentum or 

201. Serum. 

Serum is a thin yellowish or straw coloured fluid, somewhat 
thicker than water, consisting principally of water with an ad- 
mixture of albumen and salts. 

During life serum, or a fluid very like it, is frequently 
separated from the blood and effused, whenever the vessels 
become congested and over-distended. 

202. Crassamentum. 

The Crassamentum or Clot is composed of fibrin holding the 
red corpuscles in its meshes, caught as they are sinking to the 
bottom. It owes its colour to the red corpuscles. Fibrin, when 
deprived of them by washing in cold water, loses its colour and 
presents an appearance much resembling bleached muscular 
fibre. Fibrin, when exposed to the air, usually coagulates 
spontaneously, and it has the power of interlacing its fibres and 
of contracting on itself. It is soluble in alkalies and acids, but 
insoluble in water, oil, or spirits. It is a remarkable fact that 
fibrin as such does not exist in the liquid blood during circu- 

142 * CHAPTER X. 

lation, but is formed during coagulation by tbe union of two 
substances^ paraglobulin and fibrinogen, witb tbe aid of a, 

203. The red corpuscles. 

Tbe Red corpuscles are somewhat heavier than the other parts 
of the blood. In shape they are like flattened discs_, and often 
adhere by their surfaces to each other and form piles like 
rouleaux of coins, especially in inflammatory blood. Each 
corpuscle consists of a wall of tough elastic membrane enclosing 
a substance called Haematin, which is the red pigment of blood. 
One of the component parts of hsematin is iron. 

The main function of the red corpuscles is to act as carriers 
of oxygen to the tissues. The products generated in the 
tissues by oxidation are returned in the venous blood in the 
form of carbonic acid gas, urea, water and other effete materials. 
During the oxidizing process caloric is also set free. 

Many vessels in a state of health are too small to admit the 
red corpuscles; but when their coats under the influence of 
inflammation are distended, they do admit them. Hence a 
part hitherto devoid of colour may become red. 

204. Tlie ivhite corpuscles. 

The origin and functions of the white corpuscles are not 
clearly ascertained. By some they are regarded as identical 
with lymph and chyle cells, and it is thought that they become 
changed in the ductless glands and absorbents into red cells 
or corpuscles. During inflammation they are converted into 
pus cells, and it is also probable that they may become con- 
verted into the cell elements of new tissues. By others the 
walls of the white corpuscles after rupture are supposed to 
constitute the fibrin. In many morbid states of the blood of 
an inflammatory character the microscope shows the white cells 
to be in excess, and analysis shows that the elements of fibrin 
are also in excess. They are supposed to be generated either 
in the blood or in the lymphoid tissues of the body. 

205. Coagulation of hlood. 

The spontaneous coagulation of blood after being drawn is 

BLOOD. 143^ 

caused by tlie continued power of contraction in the fibrin. 
It is not completed, when it takes place at all, in less than from 
twenty to forty hours. The cause of the contraction and solidi- 
fication of the fibrin in the blood, whether in or out of the body, 
is not yet positively ascertained. Objections may be made to 
every theory yet propounded on the subject. Dr. Richardson's 
idea, that the coagulation is due to or at least attended by loss 
or evolution of the ammonia contained in the blood was, until 
lately, generally received; but is now much doubted. A small 
quantity of ammonia added to blood, wheu drawn from the 
body, will certainly prevent its coagulation; whilst on the other 
hand a clot of blood will dissolve, if treated with ammonia. 
We only know however positively, that rest, warmth, free 
access to air, and multiplication of the points of contact favour 
coagulation. The withdrawal of the influence of the living 
vessels is also in all probability largely instrumental in pro- 
ducing the result. 

Whatever however may be the ultimate cause of coagulation 
in blood, — it is certainly affected by many and various circum- 
stances, such as the rapidity or otherwise with which the blood 
is drawn, and whether it is taken from a large or small orifice, 
the temperature of the weather, the amount of fibrin contained 
in it, the condition of the animal, the amount of exercise 
he may have had immediately before being bled, the shape 
of the vessel into which it is drawn, whether shallow, deep, 
or narrow, etc. 

The older Veterinarians attached much importance to the 
appearance of the blood, to the presence or absence of a buffy 
coat, i. e. the absence of red corpuscles from the upper clot, 
etc., as indicative of various diseases or stages of disease ; but 
from the above it will be seen that the causes, which affect or 
modify its condition, are so numerous and varied, that but 
little reliance can be placed on its appearance after it is drawn. 

206. Arterial and Venous Mood. 

There are two kinds of blood in the body, namely. Arterial 
and Venous. Arterial differs from venous blood in the follow- 
ing particulars, 1st, it is redder, 2nd, it has a greater specific 
gravity, 3rd, its temperature is slightly higher, 4th, it contains 


more fibrin and oxygen, and less carbonic acid gas. It lias 
also a greater capacity for rendering heat latent. 

207. Colour of Blood. 

The colour of blood is not due, as has been often supposed, to 
the iron which it contains. The colour remains after the iron 
has been removed. Again the blood of many invertebrate 
animals contains iron, and yet is colourless. The degree of 
colour really depends on the gases in the blood. The carbonic 
acid gas found in venous blood distends the red corpuscles and 
therefore allows the hsematin or red pigment contained in them 
to appear through their coats ; whilst oxygen on the contrary 
shrivels up the corpuscles, and thus gives a light scarlet tint to 
the blood. 

207 a. The Heart. 

The heart is the great force pump of the body and may be 
described as a hollow muscular organ of about 6 J lbs. weight 
and about 8 inches in length from base to apex. 

It is in the form of a blunt cone and is situated almost in 
the centre of the chest inclined to the left side and is suspended 
from the dorsal vertebrae by the blood-vessels which spring 
from it. 

The heart is enclosed in a distinct sac of its own called the 
pericardium, a layer of which is reflected over the external 

The heart is divided into right and left sides by a longi- 
tudinal septum and into auricles and ventricles by a transverse 
septum, so that it will be seen that this organ has four distinct 
cavities, two on the right side for the reception of venous blood, 
and two on the left side for the reception of arterial blood. 

The beats of the heart are caused by the contraction of its 
muscular walls by which the blood is forced into the lungs for 
purification and through the system generally for the purpose 
of nutrition. 

208. The Arteries. 

The Arteries are elastic tubes formed for the purpose of con- 
veying blood from the heart to all parts of the body. The blood 


from tlie left ventricle of tlie lieart passes into the Aorta, and 
from tlience by innumerable channels to all parts of the body. 
The Pulmonary artery arises from the right ventricle and 
conveys venous blood to the lungs. The blood after being 
purified in the lungs by the action of the air is returned by the 
pulmonary veins to the left auricle of the heart as arterial blood 
for distribution through the body. 

The larger arteries are generally deep seated and run on the 
inner rather than on the outer sides of the limbs. So placed, 
they are better protected from the chance of injury. In passing 
over joints however they are most commonly found on the side, 
which is flexed by the motion of the joint. In this situation 
any abnormal extension is obviated and thus obstruction to the 
circulation is guarded against. For somewhat similar reasons 
arteries, when near the surface, such as those of the lips, ears 
and nostrils generally take a serpentine course. The extreme 
ramifications of the arteries form the arterial capillaries. They 
are infinitely numerous. In them the outward or arterial 
circulation ends, and the venous or return circulation 

Arteries frequently anastomose with each other. By this 
provision of nature a part still receives a supply, generally a 
sufficient supply of blood for its nutriment from the collateral 
circulation, even though the arteries which more immediately 
supply it, may happen to be divided. 

Arteries have three coats, connected together by areolar tissue, 
all of which are to a certain degree elastic ; namely, an outer 
coat of connective tissue mixed with elastic fibres, a middle 
muscular and elastic coat, and an inner cuticular coat. On 
account of the elasticity of its coats an artery expands or con- 
tracts according to the amount of blood circulating in it. 
Hence in a certain sense an artery may be said to be always 
full. The coats of the arteries are themselves supplied with 
blood by a minute system of vessels called the vasa vasorum. 

An artery, when opened, generally continues to bleed freely 
on account of the force of the circulation running through it, 
and the blood is forced out in jerks at each contraction of the 
heart. Hence it is difficult to stanch its bleeding. In order to 
do so, it is often necessary to take it up and apply a ligature at 



the point of injury, or a compress, or acupressure, or torsion, or 
styptics. In some cases, where the artery is only partly divided, 
it maybe possible to stop the bleeding by dividing it completely; 
because when it is cut right across, it contracts and retracts 
within its sheath on account of the elastic nature of its coats. 
The blood, which has escaped, forms a clot at the orifice, and 
another clot is formed inside the vessel extending from the 
orifice to the next collateral branch. This clot is conical in 
shape, and acts as a plug in preventing the fluid blood from 
escaping. Cautery either actual or potential is also useful as a 
means of stopping the flow of blood. There is not however 
much fear of an animal bleeding to death from the effect of even 
a severe wound of an artery, because the action of the heart is 
lowered by any considerable escape of blood, and the force of 
the circulation is thereby diminished. Arterial haemorrhage 
causes greater constitutional disturbance than venous. 

209. The Veins. 

The Veins are vessels which convey back to the heart the 
blood distributed by the arteries to different parts of the body. 
Veins are usually more numerous and larger than their corre- 
sponding arteries. In most cases there are as many as three 
veins to each artery. 

Veins are divided into superficial and deep-seated. The 
former are found immediately below the skin, and hence 
are sometimes termed subcutaneous ; whilst the latter generally 
accompany the deep-seated arteries. Veins like arteries fre- 
quently anastomose. Veins have their origin in the capillaries, 
from whence they gradually increase in size and run into each 
other and form larger and larger veins and ultimately lead into 
the heart. 

In structure the coats of the veins bear a general resemblance 
to those of the arteries. They do not however possess complete 
elastic coats. What elastic tissue they have is interwoven in 
their fibro-cellular tissue, which being in itself extensile and 
elastic enables them to recover the temporary extensions to 
which they are liable. The part of their walls, which corre- 
sponds with the muscular coats of the arteries, is composed of 
fibres resembling those of fibro-cellular tissue combined with 

VEINS. 147 

well-marked fibre cells of organic muscle ; by the agency of 
wbich tbe veins probably possess some power of independently 
-contracting on their contents. The coats of the veins are 
supplied with blood by a system of smaller veins called the 
venae venarum. 

As a substitute for the strongly developed elastic coats of 
the arteries, valves are placed in all veins, where they are 
subject to pressure from the muscles between or near to which 
they run. These valves prevent any return of the blood, which 
might otherwise arise from such pressure. In parts, which 
are not subjected to such pressure, there are no valves. In the 
foot for instance there are none, and but few in the viscera. 

It is probable that the veins are the principal agents in 
absorbing the waste and excrementitious parts of the body. 

The Pulse will form the subject of the next chapter. 



210. Imjportance of the inflications of the Pulse, 211. Causa 
of 'pulsation, 212. Number of pulsations per minute, 213. 
Tahing the pulse. 214. Irregularities of the pulse. 215. Range 
of the pulse in disease. 216. Auscultation as regards the pulse. 
217. Action of the heart. 217 a. Temperature. 

210. Imp)ortance of the indications of the Pulse, 

The Pulse in tlie horse as in other animals is an important 
guide in determining the healthy state or otherwise of the- 
patient. It indicates the number^ force^ regularity or other- 
wise of the Jieart's action, and the quantity of blood sent forth 
at each beat. 

In examining the pulse, the characters to be especially 
noticed are its frequency j regularity, and compressihiUty , As 
a general rule the number of the pulse corresponds with the 
heart's contractions. In certain cases however of heart disease 
the impulse is not conveyed far on account of the ventricles 
receiving only a small quantity of blood. 

211. Cause of Pulsation. 

The pulse is the beating of the arteries produced by the wave 
of the blood propelled into them by each contraction of the 
heart. The sensation, which the finger perceives, when placed 
over a superficial artery, indicates the rapidity, force and regu- 
larity of the heart's action, and also the relative quantity of 
blood flowing through the artery. 

As the volume of blood passing through the arteries, when 
the horse is in a state of good health, is considerable, the pulse 

PULSE. 149 

ra firm and regular. It is however greatly increased in fre- 
quency during any exertion. 

212. Number of Pulsations per minute. 

The number of pulsations per minute in an adult healthy 
horse^ the temperature of the air being about 60°, are from 
thirty-two to thirty-six. The pulse however in young subjects 
is generally quicker than in aged horses. It is also usually a 
few beats slower in low than in well bred animals. 

Although the above are the usual number of beats, yet the 
pulse may vary from twenty-six to forty beats in the minute, 
notwithstanding the horse may be apparently in good health. 

213. Taking tJie Pulse. 

The most convenient places for taking the pulse are the sub- 
maxillary, the radial, the temporal, the metatarsal, and the 
plantar arteries. 

The slightest excitement, especially when a horse is sick, 
will cause an alteration in the pulse. To ascertain therefore 
the true character of the pulse, both with reference to tone and 
number, the animal should be approached very quietly, and 
should be soothed for a minute or two, before the finger is 
applied to the artery. 

The fore and middle finger should be placed on the artery in 
a transverse direction. If it is placed obliquely, the impression 
will be erroneous as to the true character of the beat. 

214. Irregularities of the Pulse. 

A regular pulse with proportionate fulness is the best 
criterion of health. Irregularity usually arises from irritability 
or debility of the system. 

A strong and full pulse is present during health under any 
temporary excitement ; but this character is seldom found to 
accompany any morbid state, into which the animal may fall. 
The full pulse, which often accompanies disease, has always 
some vibratory hardness in it. 

The intermittent pulse. — A pulse is said to be intermittent, 
when it beats two, three, or four times regularly, and then 


ceases for a period of time equal to two or tliree beats^ before 
it goes on again. 

Irregularity in strength. — The pulse may beat with natural 
force two or three times in succession, and then the next beat 
or two may be feeble, and afterwards it may become strong 
again and so on. 

Intermittent and irregular. — The pulse may be both inter- 
mittent as to time and also irregular as to tone. 

The above changes indicate disease of the heart, either 
functional or structural, or both conjoined. 

Strong and full j or soft and full. — These conditions, though 
somewhat abnormal, are yet quite consistent with ordinary, 
though not perhaps with perfect health. 

WeaTc and small. — This condition is indicative of great 
debility, especially if the pulse is easily extinguished by 

Quickjfeehle J fluttering, or impercej)tihle. — This condition is 
indicative of speedy death. 

The iviry pulse. — A hard small pulse, as a wire is hard and 
small, indicates disease of a sthenic character, and is symp- 
tomatic especially of inflammation of the serous membranes and 
of white fibrous tissue. 

The thready pulse. — A pulse, which is small and soft, as a 
thread is small and soft, is termed thready. It indicates great 

The oppressed pulse. — The artery is full, but the beat is 
indistinct. It is indicative of congestion and inflammation of 
the lungs. 

The throhhing pulse. — In the region of any part, which is 
inflamed or congested or unusually excited from any irritation, 
the artery will throb more or less violently. The character of 
the pulse in the vicinity of local disease will indicate its 
intensity, and in some degree its nature. 

A remarhahly slow pulse indicates disease or injury of the 
brain or spinal cord. 

The double pulse. — A double beat caused by diminished 
arterial and increased venous pressure is the result of feeble 
action of the heart. This pulse is present in many of the 
septic diseases such as purpurea hsemorrhagica. 

PULSE. 151 

215. Range of the Pulse in disease. 

The number of pulsations per minute under different circum- 
stances in disease vary from twenty to one hundred and twenty 
or even more. 

The pulse may differ slightly on the two sides of the patient. 
When it is so feeble that it cannot be felt at the near or left 
submaxillary artery^ it may often be detected at the off or right 
side of the same artery. The pulse may frequently in disease 
be felt at the arm, when imperceptible at the jaw. 

It has been thought by some physiologists that the pulse is 
always a little stronger on the right than on the left side of the 

In treating disease we are not satisfied with reducing the 
number of pulsations,, unless we can also produce a soft pulse. 
Softening of the pulse is an indication that the nervous irrita- 
bility is subsiding. This character of softness is present in the 
decline of all inflammatory affections. 

216. Auscultation as regards the Pulse. 

It is highly important that the beats of the heart should be 
listened for, as its peculiar action may assist us in interpreting 
the pulsation of the artery. Again, in some cases, when the 
pulse is nearly or quite imperceptible to the fiuger, when, in 
other words, there is not sufficient force in the heart's action to 
propel forward distinctly a wave of blood, or when the wave of 
blood, which is propelled forward, is too small in quantity to 
make its passage felt in the artery, we may often gain much 
information by listening to the beats of the heart. 

Auscultation may also enable us to detect either structural 
or functional disease of the heart. The heart, however, in the 
horse is but seldom diseased primarily ; though it often becomes 
so, as a sequel of pleurisy or rheumatic affections. 

217. Action of the Heart. 

When the heart is healthy its rhythms are firm and strong, 
and its beats are as regular as the ticks of a clock, and the 
pulse is also firm and regular. 

In disease the action of the heart may be feeble and even 


lialf paralysed, or it may be violent and over-excited. It is not 
our intention here to enter into any consideration of the diseases 
or causes of the diseases and affections of the heart. We shall 
only note its action as regards the indications of the pulse. 

If the action of the heart is feeble,, the pulse will in conse- 
quence be feeble in tone, quick, fluttering, and often inter- 
mittent; and the impulse given to the wave of blood in the 
arteries may be so feeble that the pulse may be extinguished 
by the slightest pressure of the finger. 

The difference between the action of the heart in health and 
in some debilitating diseases may in many respects be compared 
with the exertions of a man in swimming. Whilst the man is 
strong and vigorous, his strokes are regular and true ; but 
should he become exhausted and be in danger of being drowned 
they become quick, irregular, and feeble. 

This comparison may perhaps afford some clue to the treat- 
ment required, when the pulse is quick, irregular, or feeble. It 
would be absurd in^the case of the drowning man to do any- 
thing which might still further paralyse his already flagging 
muscular energy. It is equally absurd to bleed or lower the 
horse in a case such as above described. 

If we are desirous of rendering assistance, we should not give 
depressants under such circumstances to either the man or the 
horse, but rather diffusible stimulants with a view of rousing as 
far as possible the nervous force, and thereby increasing the 
muscular energy ; until in the one case the man has reached 
the shore, and in the other case the heart has kept the horse's 
blood in circulation, so that it may be revivified and purified 
by the action of the air in the lungs. 

On the other hand, in the earlier stages of inflammatory 
attacks, especially in those of a sthenic type, or when fever is 
present, it often happens that the action of the heart is over- 
excited, and the pulse in consequence is unduly full and strong. 

To the inexperienced bleeding and other depletives naturally 
suggest themselves, as the appropriate remedies. Collapse of 
the power of the nervous system, however, sooner or later 
always follows excitement. Now if during the period of excite- 
ment extreme measures of depletion are resorted to, there is 
great reason to fear that the subsequent depression will be 

PULSE. 153 

excessive ; and prostration of tlie system and sinking and even 
death are likely to supervene. 

In suck cases it is of course needed to reduce^ if possible, tke 
over-excited action of tke keart ; but in lieu of depletives re- 
course may be kad to aconite or some suck medicine, wkick 
may act directly on tke keart and lower its action witkout 
taking- away any portion of tke vital fluid. 

No doubt cases do occur, wkere tke pulse is kard or 
oppressed, wken bleeding* under certain conditions as to tke 
strengtk and kabit of tke patient and tke stage and ckaracter 
of tke attack will be of benefit ; but relief by tkis means skould 
never be sougkt except under tke advice of a tkorougkly 
competent veterinary surgeon. Tke owner of a korse will 
always act wisely and safely in resisting tke entreaties of kis 
groom to be allowed to take '^ only a few quarts of blood.'^ 

217 rt. Temperature. 

Tke ordinary temperature of tke blood kas already been 
stated to be about 99° Fakrenkeit. In diseases of an inflam- 
matory nature or wken fever is present tke temperature of tke 
blood becomes increased above tke normal standard, and is an 
important guide in determining tke condition of tke patient. 

To ascertain tke temperature of a korse a small clinical 
tkermometer is necessary. Tkis is inserted in tke rectum, and 
must be allowed to remain for one or two minutes wken it may 
be witkdrawn and tke index kand will indicate tke exact tem- 
perature of tke patient. 



218. Of the Absorbent system, 219. Structure. 220. Func- 
tions of the Absorbents generally. 221. Functions of the lacteals. 
222. Functions of the Lymphatics. 223. Diseases of tlie Lacteals, 
224. Diseases of the Lymphatics, 225. Stimulants to the super^ 
ficial absorbent system. 226. Weed. 

218. The Abso7'bent system. 

Besides the arteries and veins there is yet another or third 
system of vessels in the body_, called the Absorbents. 

Although they play a very important part in the animal 
economy^ yet they are comparatively speaking little thought of 
or observed^ — probably because as a rule they perform their 
functions so regularly and well, that no disturbance sufficient to 
call attention to them takes place. When_, however, disease does 
occur in the absorbents, the effect on the constitution as well as 
on the vessels more immediately affected is not only very 
marked, but very rapid. 

For the purpose of description the absorbents may be 
separated into two divisions, namely, the Lacteals and the 
Lymphatics. Each class is further subdivided into vessels and 
glands. The lacteals are distributed in infinite numbers over 
the whole of the mucous membrane of the intestines. The 
lymphatics are found in almost all the structures of the body. 
The lacteals are merely the lymphatics of the digestive organs. 

219. Structure. 

In structure the Absorbents are very like the veins, a descrip- 
tion of which was given in Chapter X. Their walls have some 
power of contractility. They are furnished with valves, and in 


the smaller veins in particular tlie valves are very numerous. 
Some peculiarities connected with these valves will be noticed 
hereafter. The absorbents accompany the veins and arteries, 
but are more numerous in some than in other parts. They 
anastomose freely everywhere. Though with difficulty dis- 
tinguished in the dead animal, they are very readily seen in 
injected preparations. 

The Lacteals are very minute vessels, having their origin in 
the innumerable villi of the intestinal mucous membrane* 
Each villus gives rise to a lacteal. They afterwards unite and 
form larger vessels, which pass into and through the mesenteric 
glands, and thence on to the thoracic duct, and ultimately they 
discharge their contents into one of the large blood-vessels near 
the heart. 

The lacteal glands are situated in the mesentery. Each 
gland is composed of a plexus of lacteal vessels. The vessels 
passing out of a gland are less numerous and larger than those 
entering it. In the glands the contents of the vessels, otherwise 
termed chyle, undergo certain changes in composition. 

The Lymphatic vessels are larger than the lacteals. Numer- 
ous lymphatic glands are distributed over the body. All lym- 
phatic vessels at various points of their course run through 
these glands. Like the lacteals they all run into the thoracic 
duct, and their contents are ultimately discharged into one of 
the large blood-vessels near the heart. 

The structure and uses of the lymphatic glands are similar to 
those of the lacteal glands. 

220. Functions of the Absorbents generally. 

The function of absorption is necessary both for the purposes 
of nutrition, and also for carrying off the used up or no longer 
required or superfluous material of the system. It is by means 
of absorption that the body is constantly undergoing change, 
both receiving new material from the food, and eliminating 
waste products. 

It has been generally supposed that the lacteals receive the 
new material, whilst the lymphatics carry off the waste and 
effete products. In this latter function the lymphatics are 
undoubtedly assisted by the veins, which possess considerable 


powers of absorption. It is now, however, generally believed 
that the process of absorption of waste material is wholly per- 
formed by the veins ; and that the lymphatics as well as the 
lacteals are engaged in absorbing and elaborating organizable 
principles, which are capable of being still further employed in 
the animal economy. 

221. Functions of the Lacteals. 

The Lacteals absorb from the food the parts useful for nutri- 
tion. They contain a white milky albuminous fluid called 
chyle, abounding' in innumerable particles of oily or fatty 
matter. In passing through the various lacteal glands and 
especially in those situated in the mesentery the chyle under- 
goes considerable changes. The quantity of molecular and oily 
particles diminish ; and cells, to which the name of chyle cor- 
puscles is given, are developed in it, and it also acquires the 
power of coagulating. The chyle, as mentioned above, after 
passing through the thoracic duct is ultimately discharged into 
one of the large blood-vessels near the heart. 

222. Functions of the Lymphatics. 

The Lymphatic vessels absorb from the blood those elements, 
which are capable of being again employed in the animal eco- 
nomy. They contain a limpid colourless fluid. As in the case 
of the lactealsj the fluid, which they absorb, undergoes consider- 
-able changes in its composition in passing through the lym- 
phatic glands. After passing through the glands the fluid is 
carried by the vessels to the thoracic duct and ultimately 
discharged into one of the large blood-vessels near the heart. 
At the period of entering the thoracic duct the lymphatic fluid 
and chyle appear to be identical except in colour. Chemical 
analysis fails to detect any difference in their properties or 

223. Diseases of the Lacteals. 

In some cases the Lacteals appear to suffer from tor pidity 
The blood in consequence is not properly nourished, and as a 
result the horse falls off in condition. In other cases the 
lacteals become the seat of active disease^ especially of tuber- 


ciilar degeneration. The glands in the mesentery most often 
suffer from this cause. After a time the effused tubercular 
matter destroys their structure, and impedes the passage of the 
chyle through them. The abdomen in these cases is usually 
swollen, whilst the other parts of the body are wasted away. 
Ascites frequently supervenes. 

It often happens, however, that there are no outward signs by 
which we can positively ascertain the existence of any derange- 
ment or disease of the lacteal absorbents. We can only 
surmise that such must be the case when the horse falls off in 
condition without any other cause adequate to account for the 

The only treatment we can adopt in any case is attention tO' 
the general health, fresh air, good food and moderate exercise 
accompanied with the administration of tonics. A run at grass 
sometimes produces a beneficial effect. 

224. Diseases of the Lymphatics. 

The diseases of the Lymphatics appear to result from a 
vitiated condition of the blood from which they draw their 
secretions rather than from primary affection of the organs 
themselves. Whether the Lymphatics ever absorb ivaste mate- 
rial, as a normal duty, may be doubtful ; but it is certain that 
noxious matters in the blood are readily taken up by them, and 
when absorbed produce great irritation followed by inflam- 
mation and sometimes by total disorganisation of their struc- 
ture. Virus and pus are also readily taken up by them and 
carried as far as the nearest Lymphatic Gland. In the gland 
they occasion inflammation and suppuration, and eventually 
by this latter action in favourable cases are ejected from th& 

Disease may exist in the superficial lymphatic vessels for 
a length of time without affecting the deep seated vessels or 
glands ; but when it commences in the deep seated vessels, the 
superficial are always soon affected. As long as the disease is 
confined to the vessels, whether superficial or deep seated, there 
is no reason to fear danger ; but when it has involved the glands, 
it generally proves very intractable. 

Having regard to the origin of the disease affecting the Lym- 

158 CHAPTER xir. 

phatics, — the treatment required appears to consist mainly in 
attention to the general liealth and in the very best feeding. 
Diniodide of copper given internally in doses of one drachm 
twice a day is also very useful. As a local remedy great benefit 
is often derived from the application of biniodide of mercury to 
the surface and around the vessel affected. 

To the symptoms and treatment of Farcy, the most serious 
disease to which the Lymphatics are subject, a separate chapter 
No XXIX is devoted. 

225. Stimulants to the superficial absorbent system. 

Whilst the deep seated Absorbents are difficult to affect by 
treatment, the superficial absorbents and blood-vessels are easily 
excited to increased activity. Friction and pressure both excite 
their action. Hence hand-rubbing or bandages will often 
reduce swelled legs. Stimulants of various kindis applied ex- 
ternally and especially biniodide of mercury cause increased 
absorption. Purgatives by removing the contents of the in- 
testines, and diuretics by increasing the amount of urine, cause 
the absorbents to set to work to supply the deficiency, and in 
doing so they remove superfluous fluids from the system. 

22G. Lymphangitis or Weed, 

Weed is a very peculiar disease of the superficial absorbents. 
It is due primarily at least to irritation of the lymphatics 
of the part affected. Inflammation speedily follows, resulting 
in a sudden effusion of serum into the limb. The effusion 
generally arises from a plethoric state of the system induced 
by high feeding and want of exercise. The absorbents are 
unable to effect its removal with sufficient rapidity, and in 
consequence become swollen and congested, often to an 
enormous size. The case, though it looks ugly, is not so 

The treatment consists in rousing the absorbents to greater 
energy. With this view an ordinary dose of medicine may be 
given, followed by diuretics and tonics. Warm fomentations 
should be constantly applied to the part. In slight cases a 
little gentle exercise will often sufficiently arouse the activity of 
the absorbents. 



227. Mucous membrane. 228. Villi. 229. Epithelium. 230. 
Serous membrane. 231. Cartilage. 232. Fibro-cartilage. 
233. Inter -articular fibro-cartilage. 234. Fibrous tissue. 
White fibrous and yellov) fibrous tissue. 235. Areolar tissue. 
236. Fascia. 237. Muscle. 238. Adipose tissue or Fat. 239. 
Pigments. 240. Glands. 

227. Mucous membrane. 

Mucous membrane is everywhere continuous with the skin. 
It also lines all internal parts, which communicate either 
directly or indirectly with the air. It lines for instance the 
whole alimentary canal from the mouth to the anus, the nasal 
passages, etc. It is the medium, by which matters are 
eliminated from the system, or foreign substances are taken 
up into it. 

In structure Mucous membrane much resembles the skin. 
It varies in thickness in different parts. In the nose, nasal 
passages and lungs it is very thin, in the mouth it is compara- 
tive thick, whilst in the stomach and intestines it is found in 
folds. Everywhere it is soft and velvety in texture and 
abundantly supplied with blood-vessels, nerves and glands. In 
the digestive tract and in the spleen, liver and kidneys it is 
liberally furnished with absorbents. The secretions from its 
glands vary according to the part in which they are situated. 

Mucous membrane is everywhere furnished with an external 
layer of Epithelium, situated on the basement membrane and 
beneath this is a structure of vascular tissue of variable thick- 
ness ; which in different parts presents either outgrowths in the 
form of papillae or villi, or depressions and involutions in the 
form of glands or follicles. 


In mucous membrane tlie tissues essential to tlie production 
of a secretion exist in their most simple form, namely a simple 
membrane having on one surface blood-vessels and on the other 
a layer of cells. The secretion of the membrane, called mucus, 
is elaborated in these cells. 

228. Villi. 

Villi are the eminences seen on mucous membrane and when 
magnified appear like the pile of velvet. 

Villi are extremely vascular and sensitive, and are largely 
concerned in the process of absorption. 

They are plainly seen on the surface of the tongue. 

229. Epitlieliuyn. 

Epithelium consists of a layer of cells arranged in one or in 
many superposed layers on a basement membrane. The 
epithelial tissue covers the free surface of the body, i.e. the 
skin, and mucous membrane ; and one variety of it is found 
lining serous and synovial membranes. In these cases it 
receives the name of Endothelium. The functions of epithelium 
are secreting, protective, and sensorial. In this membrane 
the nutrient blood-vessels are contained, whilst in the cells 
the secretion derived from them is elaborated. There are 
several varieties of Epithelium in different parts of the body. 

230. Serous memhrane. 

Whilst Mucous Membrane lines all surfaces that communicate 
directly or indirectly with the air, Serous Membrane on the 
other hand lines all closed cavities, i.e. those excluded from 
the air with perhaps one exception, namely the opening of 
the Fallopian tube into the abdominal cavity; and it also 
surrounds or envelopes all organs, which move in the perform- 
ance of their functions. It secretes a halitus or fluid for the 
purpose of preventing friction between the different parts. 

Serous membrane is formed of fibro-cellular tissue, inter- 
woven so as to constitute a membrane ; the free surface of which 
is covered with a single layer of flattened endothelial cells. It 
is abundantly supplied with nerves, arteries, and blood-vessels. 

Serous membranes are of two kinds, viz. 1st, those which 


line visceral cavities, sucli as tlie peritoneal, pericardial, pleural, 
etc. ; and, 2nd, tlioso called synovial, wLicli line joints and 
slieatlis of tendons, bursoe mucosse, etc. 

In the first named tlie fluid secreted is identical in general 
and cliemical characters with the serum of the blood or with 
very dilute liquor sanguinis. It is probable that it is in great 
measure separated from the blood by simple transudation 
through the coats of the vessels. 

In the second or synovial membrane the fluid appears to be 
a process of more elaborate secretion by means of the endothe- 
lial cells on its surface. It is dense and viscid, and contains 
abundance of albumen. It is commonly known as joint oil. 

231. Cartilage. 

Cartilage is a semi-transparent homogeneous substance, pos- 
sessing very considerable strength and consistency combined 
with some elasticity. In colour it is pearly white, but turns 
yellow when dried. It is insensitive and non-vascular. At least 
no vessels containing red blood can be discovered in it, even by 
the aid of the microscope. It is, however, covered with a thin 
film of synovial epithelium, from the blood-vessels of which it 
is freely supplied with nutriment. 

Simple cartilage, such as that which covers the articular 
surface of bones, consists of numerous granular nuclei em- 
bedded in a structureless matrix. This description of cartilage 
is termed articular, and serves to facilitate the gliding motion 
of bones, and also acts as a cushion between them, preserving 
their articular surfaces from attrition and the bones themselves 
from concussion. 

When the articular cartilages of a joint have been eroded 
or destroyed by inflammation or other disease in the organ, 
a sort of repair is set up by nature, which consists in the 
deposit of fibro-cellular tissue in the place of the cartilage. 
This new material is, however, no sufficient substitute. It 
generally binds together the ends of the bones, and so prevents 
further irritation and inflammation, but the joint is stiffened. 
In other cases this fibro-cellular deposit does not take place, 
but the exposed surfaces of the bones become soldered together, 
and the joint is firmly and permanently anchyloscd. In other 



instances condensation appears to take place at tlie ends of 
bones, wliicli under tlie influence of friction subsequently 
become smooth and polislied. 

Cartilage is found in various parts of tlie body, and seems to 
be employed by nature wherever some degree of elasticity 
combined with strength is required. 

Cartilage may be either temporary or permanent. Tempo- 
rary cartilage is that which is intended afterwards to be con- 
verted into bone. In the early stage of foetal life cartilage 
exists as the sole foundation of the skeleton, bone being in due 
time deposited in its meshes and substituted for it. Permanent 
cartilage in particular parts is sometimes absorbed, when the 
horse grows old, and bone is deposited in its place, as for 
instance between the metacarpal bones. Cartilage once ab- 
sorbed is never reproduced. 

The disease to which cartilage is most subject is inflamma- 
tion, which is very readily set up in it by concussion, pressure, 
or contusion ; also by extension to it of inflammation existing 
in subjacent or neighbouring bone. The result is frequently 
absorption of the cartilaginous tissue, and the deposit of bone 
n its place. Cartilage may be broken by an accident. In such 
cases the reunion, when it takes place, will be by means of 
osseous deposit, not by any new growth of the cartilage itself. 

232. Fihro-cartilage, 

Fibro-cartilage is intermediate in its structure and uses 
between cartilage and fibrous tissue. It is found in various 
parts of the body, and consists of both the white and yellow 
varieties, the latter being of a very elastic nature. It builds 
up such organs as the external ears, the nose, larynx, etc. 

233. Liter- articular fihi'o- cartilage. 

Inter-articular fibro-cartilage consists of pads of white fibro- 
cartilage placed between the articular surfaces of certain im- 
portant joints for the purpose of acting as buffers in pre- 
venting concussion. 

234. Fibrous tissue — WJiite and Yelloio, 

All ligaments, tendons, fascia, and the meshes of areolar 


tissue are formed of fibrous tissue. It is of two kinds^ namely 
Wbite and Yellow. 

White fibrous tissue is inelastic. It consists of threads 
placed parallel to each other and loosely connected together by 
areolar tissue. The fibres are exceedingly minute, transparent 
and undulating. According to their arrangements they com- 
pose thiu layers or membranes_, tendons, or ligaments. 

In the membranous form white fibrous tissue is seen in peri- 
osteum and in the fascia covering the various organs. In the 
collected form it is seen in tendons. The fibres are collected 
into small fasciculi, and thence into larger bundles, generally 
ranged side by side. The fasciculi are held together by areolar 
tissue. Ligaments are similar in structure to tendons, but 
mixed with a certain amount of yellow elastic tissue. Capsular 
ligaments are similar in structure to the above, although their 
form is somewhat flatter and more extended. Tendons being 
composed wholly of white fibrous tissue are inelastic, but liga- 
ments and capsular ligaments on account of the admixture of 
yellow tissue in their structure possess a certain amount of 

Yellow fibrous, otherwise called elastic tissue, is composed of 

still finer threads, which have a tendency to divide transversely, 

as if made up of cells. It possesses the valuable property of 

elasticity. It is so elastic that it may be drawn out to double 

its natural length without losing its power of returning to its 

original dimensions. It is found in a small quantity in all 

ligaments, more largely in the ligamentum nuchse and between 

the vertebras, in the middle coat of the arteries, and in all parts 

in which much power of motion is required. The fascia of the 

abdomen, for instance, which is very elastic in order to allow 

of any sudden expansion of the part, is principally composed 

of it. 

235. Areolar tissue. 

Areolar tissue consists of threads of white and yellow tissue 
woven inextricably together. It is generated in cells, which 
elongate and join in lines. It is but very slightly vascular, 
though many blood-vessels pass through it en route to the skin. 
Its toughness and elasticity are admirably proportioned to the 
mobility of each part. 


Areolar tissue is tlie most universal of the constituents of the 
body. Under the name of superficial fascia^ it spreads under 
the skin and ties it down to the deeper parts_, and it also forms 
a nidus for fat. It separates and yet connects muscles and 
other parts. Hence it is also called conjunctival or connective 
tissue. As parenchyma,, it constitutes the matrix of the mosl 
solid organs, and it forms pads for the protection of and smooth 
capsules for the motion of such organs as the eye. 

The spaces or areolae^ of which it consists^ communicate 
freely with each other. Hence it permits the transmission of 
air as seen in cases of emphysema, or serum as in cases of 
anasarca, or blood as in ecchymosis, and other fluids also over 
a great extent of space. Areolar tissue is sometimes called 
cellular membrane. 

236. Fascia. 

Fascia is a tendinous expansion, and differs from a tendon 
only in that the fibres in the latter are in a collected form. 

237. Muscle, 

Muscle or Muscular tissue is what is ordinarily called flesh. 
It constitutes the chief bulk of the soft external parts of the 

Muscle is of two kinds, namely Voluntary and Involuntary. 
The muscles of organic life, such as those of the digestive tract, 
the trachea, bronchi, bladder, urethra, etc., belong to the In- 
voluntary class. They are not so red in colour or so large as 
the voluntary muscles, nor are they attached to bones. The}'' 
are further distinguished by being " unstriped," that is, they 
have not the striped appearance, which marks the voluntary 
class. The Voluntary muscles move all those parts which are 
under the control of the will. They are larger, and redder than 
the involuntary muscles, and present a striped appearance. 

Muscles consist of fibres, which are collected into bundles 
and are connected together by areolar tissue. Each fibre may 
be divided lengthwise into fibrillse. Each fibrilla is made up 
of a number of square or slightly rounded cells arranged like a 
strino- of beads. Each fibre is clothed with a fine transparent 
sheath called myolemma, and it ends abruptly in a tendinous 


tliread. In tlie Yoliintary class tlie fibres generally run tlie 
whole length of the muscle. 

Besides the voluntary and involuntary muscles^ there is also 
another set_, which are partly dependent on the will and partly 
involuntary^ called Mixed muscles. Such are the diaphragm, 
pharynx and sphincters. 

Nerves are abundant in muscular fibres, and so also is the 
supply of blood. It courses freely through the blood-vessels 
which lie parallel to the fibres and through their capillaries. 
The red colour of muscle is due to the blood in it. The growth 
of muscle is duo to increase in the size, but not in the number 
of the cells of the fibres. 

The function of muscle is its power of contractility. Its 
contractions are the means by which the various parts of the 
frame are moved on each other. The entire of a muscle does 
not move at once, but successive portions contract, whilst the 
other fibres are at rest. The stimulus to contraction is the 
iuipression made on a sensitive nerve, the influence of which is 
conveyed to a motor nerve. Muscles during contraction become 
harder, .shorter and broader, but do not undergo any change in 
bulk. What they lose in length, they gain in breadth. 

Muscles are connected with bones by means of tendons ; or 
in other words the end of each muscle before its insertion 
becomes tendinous, and this tendinous end is inserted into a 
bone. The more fixed end of a muscle is called its origin, and 
the more moveable its insertion. 

Under the influence of strong work combined with good 
feeding and good health muscular tissue increases in size and 
hardness. In other words the flesh becomes full and hard. 
With good feeding without work muscular tissue, though it 
may increase in size, becomes soft and flabby, being in fact 
much infiltrated with fat. With bad feeding, especially when 
combined with hard work, muscle loses its development, and 
becomes wasted and pale, and its power of contraction is greatly 

238. Adipose tissue or Fat. 

Adipose tissue consists of a network of very minute cells, in 
Avhich is enclosed the oily or fatty matter. The walls of these 


cells_, wliicli are composed of areolar tissue^ are exceedingly thin. 
Capillary vessels^ from wliich tlie fatty matter is secreted^ are 
looped round each cell. 

Adipose tissue is found in almost every part of tlie body. It 
is mechanically useful in padding exposed parts. Its particleS;. 
though they do not move about among themselves^ as has been 
often supposed, yet yield very readily to pressure ; and on this 
account fat when placed as a cushion under any organ is very 
useful in obviating the effect of pressure on it. It forms for 
instance a cushion for the eye and for many joints. It lessens 
the brittleness of bones_, and also assists in retaining the heat 
within the body. When an animal is underfed_, the system 
appropriates to its own use the fatty material contained in the 
cells. Hence under such circumstances a fat horse soon 
becomes thin. 

239. Pigments. 

The coloring matter of the skin, hair, blood, bile or any 
other constituent of the body is termed its pigment. 

240. Glands, 

A Gland is an organ composed of blood-vessels, nerves and 
absorbents, and destined for the secretion or alteration of some 
particular fluid, as for instance the salivary glands secrete saliva, 
the lachrymal glands tears, and the sebaceous glands oil. 

Secretions are divided into two classes, technically termed 
recrementitious and excrement itious. The former are those, 
which after being separated or secreted are returned again to 
the blood for further employment in the animal economy. The 
latter are those, which are cast off as superfluous and incapable 
of administering to nutrition^ such for instance as the urine, 
perspiration, etc. 

Glands are infinite in variety as to size, shape and physical 
appearance. They all have absorbent vessels. When the 
secretion of a gland is very large, as in the kidneys and liver, 
its blood-vessels are also very large. All glands secrete from 
arterial blood, except the liver which is able to secrete from 
both venous and arterial blood. The blood in its passage 
through a gland is retarded by means of the convolutions of 


the capillaries about tlie minute ends of its ducts^ and hence 
time is given for the process of secretion. 

As the circulation in a gland is increased, so is its secretion. 
Thus in the first stage of inflammation a gland secretes more, 
because the circulation is increased ; whilst in the later stages, 
when the circulation is stagnant, the secretion decreases. 
Again in health we easily recognise the effect of strong exer- 
cise and consequent increased activity of the circulation in the 
greater secretion poured forth by the perspiratory glands. 

The number of very different secretions made by the glands 
from the blood must excite our wonder and admiration. How 
different for instance are serum, urine, bile and saliva. Each 
gland performs its office in a mysterious manner, elaborating 
principles, which exist in a latent state in the blood. 



241. Plan of the nervous sijsteni, 242. The Nerves. 243. 
Functions of the nervous system. 244. Influence of the nervous 
system in reference to disease. 245. Medicines acting on the 
nervous system. 

241 . Plan of the Nervous system. 

According to Bicliat tlie Nervous system may be separated 
into two great divisions. Tlie first or Oerebro-spinal system 
includes tlie brain and spinal cord and tlie nerves connected 
with, tliem and tbeir ganglia. This system is chiefly connected 
with, the processes of animal life. 

The second or Sympathetic or Ganglionic system consists of 
a double chain of ganglia, one on each side, placed along the 
spinal column from the cranium to the coccyx, and connected 
to each other by nervous cords. Each ganglion is connected 
not only with the one immediately before and behind it, but 
also with the cerebro-spinal system by one or two filaments. 
From these ganglia the nervous filaments are given off, which 
pass to the thoracic, abdominal and pelvic viscera. This 
system is concerned principally with the processes of organic 

The separation of the nervous system into two divisions is 
certainly convenient for the purposes of explanation; but the 
doctrine implied in it, namely that there are two distinct 
nervous systems is objected to by many authors. The pneu- 
mogastric nerves for instance, although belonging to the 
cerebro-spinal system, which presides over the processes of 
animal life, are yet associated with some important functions of 
organic life. 


The Cerebro-spiiial nerves have a white colour^ whilst the 
Sympathetic are yellowish grey. In them the outer layer of 
white substance is wanting. 

A ganglion is an independent nerve centre, consisting of 
vesicular nerve matter traversed by tubular and gelatinous 
nerve fibres, enclosed in a fine membrane of areolar tissue. 

242. The Nerves. 

Each nerve consists of a bundle of nerve fibres enclosed in a 
sheath. It is connected at one end, called its origin, either to 
the cerebro-spinal system or to one of the ganglia of the 
sympathetic system. The other end is distributed to various 
parts of the body. 

The nerve fibres of both the cerebro-spinal and sympathetic 
systems convey two kinds of impression, namely sensation and 
motion. The sensitive nerves convey impressions from their 
further or peripheral extremities to the nervous centres and 
from thence to the brain. The motor nerves on the other hand 
transmit impressions from the nervous centres to the parts to 
which they are distributed, producing muscular action and 
influencing various functions of the body. There are no 
characteristic distinctions between sensitive and motor nerves, 
except that the tubes of the sensitive are smaller than those of 
the motor. 

JSTerves of special sense differ from nerves of common sense 
only in their functions. Irritation of them does not produce 
pain, but gives rise to various phenomena peculiar to each. 

Nearly all nerves except those of special sense consist of both 
sensitive and motor filaments. They are distinct only at their 
origin. Afterwards they mingle together. Reflex action is 
produced by communication of impressions from sensitive to 
motor fibres. All reflex actions are involuntary. 

A motor fibre can only convey motor impulses, a sensitive 
fibre only sensation, whilst nerves of special sense can only 
convey impressions which produce peculiar sensations. In 
certain parts however of their course nerves form plexuses and 
anastomose with each other and interchange fasciculi. By this 
means each nerve passing off from the plexus has a wider 
connection with the spinal cord and more extensive sympathies. 


Again it is by this means tliat groups of muscles are associated 
for combined action. 

Nerve centres liave tlie power of originating the sensitive 
impulses^ by wliich muscles are excited to action and various 
functions are performed ; but few or no motor impulses proceed 
spontaneously from nerve centres. Nerve centres bave also 
the power of transferring the impressions,, wbicb reach them 
through the centripetal nerve fibres^ and thereby of diffusing 
impressions. Nerve force is by some considered to be allied to 

243. Functions of the Nervous system. 

The functions of the Nervous System are Ist^ Sensation^ 2nd^ 
Voluntary motion^ 3rd^ Co-ordination of motion^ 4Ah, Keflex 
action, Sth, the motions connected with the processes of nutri- 
tion, secretion etc. 

Stimuli applied to nerves first increase and then depress their 
excitability. Narcotics have the power of deadening or of 
entirely destroying the excitability of the nerves. The action 
of the nerves is also affected by temperature. 

244. Influence of the Nervous system with reference to disease. 

So far as regards the physiology of the nervous system. 
Beyond this the medical enquirer is almost lost. Very little is 
really known of the agencies at work in this system. Nervous 
influence is the most important and yet the most mysterious 
influence in life. The nerves themselves we can trace. We 
know that they are given off from or, as others think, run to 
the brain and spinal cord from all parts of the body. We know 
that sensation felt at one extremity of the body is transmitted 
with more than electrical rapidity to the brain and thence re- 
transmitted to the point at which the sensation is felt. The 
point of the nerve affected has no sensibility except as connected 
with the brain. Nerves are merely conductors of nervous 
impressions. They have no power of themselves of generating 
force. They require a stimulus in order to manifest their 

Disease of any part is, we know, connected in some way with 
disturbance of the nervous system of the part. Yet we cannot. 


we do not know how to treat tlie real malady ; we treat tlie 
effect_, as we best can. Take for instance a simple case ol; 
accelerated pnlse. The acceleration is doubtless due to nervous 
disturbance. Yet we cannot treat directly tlie real cause. We 
may give cooling drinks, reduced diet etc. and so we succeed 
in lowering the tone of tlie system. Indirectly and in time 
our remedies no doubt affect tlie nervous system ; but directly 
we are not able in tlie present state of knowledge to touch, the 
real cause. Besides which there is at all times great difficulty 
in ascertaining the causes, which tend to produce a lowered or 
excited state of the nervous system. 

245. Medicines acting on the Nervous system. 

Some medicines, we know, affect and depress the nervous 
system generally, and in certain cases Ave can give them with 
advantage ; but we know scarcely any, which will act specially 
in depressing the nerves of a particular part or organ. 

Other medicines we know excite the nervous system, and 
in regard to these our knowledge is a little more extended. 
We know that certain agents excite the nerves of particular 
parts. Belladonna, for instance when applied locally, will 
affect the nerves of the eyes specially and produce dilatation 
of the pupil. Strychnia acts powerfully on the nerves of motion, 
and produces spasms of the voluntary muscles. Strychnia is 
also a special excitant of reflex action. 

As regards external agents acting on the superficial sensitive 
nerves we are not so much in the dark. We can easily excite 
or depress them in any particular parts. Blisters for instance,, 
pressure, pain etc. all excite the superficial sensitive nervous 
system; whilst opium, cold, ether, chloroform etc. have a 
tendency to allay nervous irritation in the part, to which they 
are applied. 



246. Explanation of the term. 247. Loose hoxes and qidet. 
248. Draughts. 249. CleanlinesSj dryness, and stueetness of 
stable. 250. Warmth of the body . 251. Clothing. 252. Warm 
bandages. 2hZ. Cold bandages. 2h4i. Sweating bandage. 254 a. 
Fomenting bandage. 255. Fomentations. 256. Cold bathing 
to the legs. 257. Removal of the shoes. 258. Water. 259. 
Food. 260. Horses with free discharge from the nostrils. 
261. Utensils to be hept clean. 262. Hand-rubbing, etc. 263. 
Beds. 264. Change of box and air. 265. Apparatus for apply- 
ing a stream of cold ivater. 266. Instruction of servants in 

246. Explanation of the term. 

Of primary importance in tlie treatment of disease is ^^good 
nursing." By good nursing we mean an intelligent apprecia- 
tion of and kind prompt attention to the minuter wants and 
needs, whatever they may be, of the patient. These wants and 
needs will not only vary in each case_, but they will often vary 
from hour to hour even in the same case. 

Care and kindness however are not sufficient. All the care 
and kindness in the world, if through ignorance misdirected 
or misapplied, will not aid much in the restoration of health. 
It is impossible to lay down any exact rules for good nursing, 
but we hope to be able to give some general rules, which, when 
applied according to the circumstances of each particular case, 
may be useful in the treatment of sick animals. 

247. Loose boxes and quiet. 

In most cases the first and most important point is to place 
the patient in a detached cool well ventilated loose box in a 


quiet situation. The box should be fitted with a low half door, 
so that the animal may be able to lean his head over it. This 
is especially needed in all diseases connected with the respi- 
ratory passages. 

It is essential that the half door should be low, because sick 
horses generally droop their heads, and are unable to raise them 
over high "half" doors. If the patient carries his head very 
low, the door should be opened altogether, and a bar, gate, or 
hurdle placed across it. But in ordinary cases it is better to 
keep the lower half of the door closed, in order to prevent 
draught and chill about the legs. 

In affections of the eyes and nervous system the box should 
be darkened, and as much isolated as possible from passing 

In some few cases, such as those of wounds, when it is 
necessary that the horse should be tied up to prevent his 
biting the injured part, or in other cases where motion is not 
desirable, a stall will answer well enough; though even in these 
cases the cooler atmosphere of a detached box is preferable. 

248. Draughts. 

Whilst it is essential, that there should be ventilation enough 
to ensure purity of air in the box, it is also very important in 
most, but not in all cases, that no direct draught should come 
on the patient. As a general rule, sick and debilitated animals 
are far more susceptible of injury from such causes than horses 
in health. 

In the premonitory and early stage of feverish or inflamma- 
tory attacks the slightest draught appears to be most injurious 
and may bring on a fit of shivering-. The access or avoidance 
of an attack in this very early stage is often determined by care 
and attention on this point. 

When however inflammation or fever has developed itself, 
the horse is no longer sensitive of draught ; and provided he 
is well clothed, air may be admitted with the utmost freedom^ 
even to the extent of a decided draught playing over the body. 

When the crisis has subsided, the patient is again moderately, 
but not intensely as in the early stage, sensitive of draught. 
Much at this time must be left to the discretion of the attendant. 


If tlie animal seems refreshed by more air, lie may safely be 
allowed to liave it; but if on tbe other liand Ms coat begins to 
stare, we may be sure tliat tlie draught is doing barm. 

The above observations, it will be seen, refer to draught, 
not to temperature. In all cases it is desirable that the tem- 
perature should be cool, decidedly cool; but it is not advisable 
that it should be positively cold. 

249. Cleanliness, dryness, and sweetness of stable. 

The box must be kept perfectly clean, dry and sweet. For 
the latter purpose some disinfectant, such as MacdougalFs dis- 
infecting powder, may, if necessary, be used. The floor of the 
box should be kept as dry as possible. The practice of washing 
the floor is very objectionable, both because it makes the stable 
damp, and because it induces or at least accelerates decompo- 
sition in the debris, which always to a certain extent lodges 
between the interstices of the paving. 

If there are underground drains, water should be poured 
down them daily, in order to keep them clear. 

250. Warmth of the body. 

The warmth of the body and especially of the legs must be 
maintained by warm clothing and bandages, increased or dimi- 
nished according to the weather and the requirements in each 
case. Horses which are very weak, we may however remark, 
cannot bear heavy clothing. Neck and breast cloths, though 
not necessary or even desirable for horses in health, are some- 
times needed for sick animals. 

Friction may often be beneficially applied for the purpose 
of restoring warmth, especially in the legs. In some cases 
irritants, such as turpentine liniment, mustard etc., may be 
required for the above purpose. 

251. Clothing. 

All clothing should be put on loosely. Not only is greater 
ease given, but more warmth is obtained from loose than tight 
clothing. The surcingle especially, if used at all, should be 
slack. Blankets tied loosely in front and under the belly are 
however preferable to clothing fastened by the surcingle, for 


sick animals, especially in diseases of tlie lungs and pleur83_, 
when tlie parts involved are liable to suffer from or to be 
impeded in tlieir free action by even the slightest pressure. 

If it can be spared, a second set of clothing should be kept 
in use ; but in any case the clothing should be taken off and 
brushed twice daily. If the state of the patient renders him 
very sensitive of any chill, only a portion of the clothing should 
be removed at a time. In many cases, especially during the 
stage of recovery, the animal appears to be refreshed in a very 
marked degree by the admission of fresh air to the skin for 
two or three minutes at a time. Air under such circumstances 
no doubt acts as a tonic, and its effects may be compared to 
those of shower bath on the human frame. With a similar 
view under careful superintendence a damp hay wisp may be 
run once or twice over the skin morning and evening. 

252. Warm bandages. 

Bandages intended to give warmth are made of flannel, and 
should be wrapped loosely round the legs. Tight bandages 
check the feeble circulation, and moreover the caloric passes 
more easily through them than through looser folds. It is 
believed also that there is a stratum of warm air between the 
folds, which is very beneficial. With the view of producing 
or increasing this stratum, a little hay may be placed loosely 
round the legs before the bandages are applied. 

Bandages should be about three yards long. The bandage 
should be rolled up before it is applied, and the winding* on 
should be from the lowest part upwards. The bandages should 
be taken off two or three times a day, or oftener if the legs are 
cold, and some friction should be applied to restore warmth. 
Wlien flannel bandages cannot be obtained, a fair substitute 
may be extemporised out of hay bands. 

253. Cold handag&s. 

Cold bandages are usually made of linen, and must be kept 
constantly wet with water and be applied with moderate pres- 
sure. A chamois leather bandage retains damp longer than 
any other. 


Cold may be conveniently applied to tlie feet by putting 
them in a wet bran poultice, or by placiug wet swabs round 
tbem and felt pads in the soles. 

254. Sweating handage. 

A sweating bandage is made by covering a wet linen bandage 
with, oilskin. After it lias been applied for some days, an 
ordinary cold bandage sliould be substituted for it, as it is aph 
to cause tbe skin to become scurfy. A sweating bandage lias 
often a powerful effect in reducing enlargements. 

254f6. Fomenting handage. 

In causes wliere it is necessary to apply beat and moisture to 
any part of tlie leg below the knee or bock, the following is 
an excellent bandage to apply after ordinary fomentation. 
A flannel bandage soaked in hot water should be rolled round 
the limb and immediately covered with a sheet of oilsilk or 
some water-proof material. A dry bandage may be then 
applied over all. By this means heat and moisture will be 
retained for a long time. 

255. Fomentations. 

Fomentations to be really useful should be continued for at 
least one, or two hours at a time. The temperature of the 
water should not exceed 106°, or hardly as hot as the hand can 
comfortably bear. The temperature must be kept up to this 
point by the frequent addition of small quantities of hot water. 
The sponge or swab should not be allowed to touch the parts 
affected, but should be applied higher up, so that the water 
only may trickle down over the inflamed or injured surface. 
When the fomentation is discontinued, the parts should be 
loosely covered with flannel in order to obviate the risk of a 
chill. If flannel is not available, or the part is so situated, 
that it cannot be conveniently applied, ammonia liniment in 
cases, where there is no abrasion of the skin, may be lightly 
rubbed on. 

When servants cannot be spared for the tedious work of 
fomenting, a fair substitute will be found in wrapping the 
part round with spongio-piline dipped in warm water. This 


material, wliicli consists of thick woollen stuff covered with, 
oilskin, will long retain both heat and moisture. 

The leg below the knee may be conveniently fomented by 
putting it in a deep bucket of warm water. In all large estab- 
lishments it is well worth while to get a bucket made half as 
deep again as usual for this especial purpose. The water in 
such cases may require to be put in after the horse's leg is in 
the bucket. 

In most cases three or four fomentations in the course of the 
twenty-four hours are sufficient. 

256. Gold bathing of the legs. 

Cold water bathing of the legs is in many cases very beneficial. 
The cold gives tone to and braces up the structures, which may 
have become weak or deficient in vital energy. The value of 
cold, as a tonic, has not been, we think, sufficiently appreciated 
in such cases. A good jet for this purpose may be made by 
attaching a gutta-percha or rubber tube to the ordinary water- 
cock. If the necessary appliances are not available an ordinary 
watering pot with a rose will answer the purpose fairly well. 

257. Removal of the shoes. 

In most cases of serious illness, especially where fever or 
inflammation are present, ease and comfort will be given to the 
patient by removal of all the shoes. Exception however occur s^ 
where horses have flat or pumice feet. 

258. Water. 

Water should always be within reach of the patient, especially 
in feverish or inflammatory attacks ; and it is essential, that 
it should be changed at least three times a day, or oftener in 
warm weather. A piece of rock salt, which the horse may lick 
as often as he likes, should also be placed in the manger. Some 
medicines may be conveniently administered along with the 
water, which the patient drinks. 

259. Food. 

Food suitable to the requirements of each case must b© 



supplied. As the appetite of a sick liorse is generally very 
slight and capricious, only small quantities should be offered 
at a time; and that, which is not eaten, should be removed 
after having remained a few minutes before the patient. Sick 
horses often prefer to feed off the ground. 

A little grass or a carrot offered by the hand will often be 
taken, when a larger quantity put in the manger would be 
rejected. Sick horses very soon become tired of any particular 
food, and hence it is desirable to change their diet frequently. 
Cold bran mash, or warm in catarrhal affections, good sweet 
hay sprinkled with salt and slightly wetted, grass, carrots cut 
lengthways to avoid the risk of choking, lucern, bruised oats, 
malt mashes, linseed tea, linseed boiled to a jelly and added to 
a bran mash, gruel, and skim-milk are each for a time gene- 
rally palatable. Boiling water poured on slightly brown hay 
produces a tea, which is much relished by some animals ; and 
in some diseases the steam arising from it, whilst the infusion 
is being made, acts beneficially in soothing the inflamed mucous 
membrane of the nose. Locks of hay after being so treated 
are also occasionally picked out and eaten. After gastric or 
bilious fever stale bread given by the hand will often be taken, 
when everything else is rejected. After a debilitating disease 
skim-milk is very beneficial. 

During the height of fever the appetite is completely lost ; 
and food, even if taken, could not be digested. A liberal 
supply of water is grateful in such cases, and may be the 
means of introducing medicines suitable to the case. There is 
no use in attempting to force food on a sick horse, until he 
shows some inclination for it. 

When there is continued positive inability to swallow, some 
nutriment may be afforded by frequently giving oatmeal clysters 
in small quantities. 

Linseed oil at the rate of about two ounces in the course 
of the day mixed in the food is often very useful in improving 
the condition of debilitated animals. The quantity may be 
gradually increased up to four ounces, if the patient appears 
to relish it. In cases of emaciation glycerine at the rate of 
from four to eight ounces may be given daily. 

For reasons explained under the head of Forage, paragraph 


98, grass_, lucern and carrots are preferable to clover or 

2 GO. Horses ivitlifree discharge from the nostrils. 

A horse witli a free discliarge from tlie nostrils should as a 
general rule he fed from a temporary manger or bucket placed- 
near the ground, as the depending position of the head, whilst 
the animal is feeding, will facilitate the discharge. A wheel- 
barrow will serve very well, as a make shift for this purpose. 
But where the patient shows signs of head-ache, as is often 
the case especially in feverish attacks, this position, which 
would determine more blood to the head, is very undesirable. 
Steaming the head is very beneficial in catarrhal affections. 

When a horse has a discharge of a suspicious character as 
to its nature, he should be tied up suflficiently to prevent his 
throwing it about all parts of the walls of the box. 

261. Utensils to he hept clean. 

Mangers, buckets and all utensils used in a sick stable or 
box should be kept scrupulously clean. Particular care should 
be taken, that no sour bran mash be left in the corners of the 
manger. Hay, on which the patient has been breathing, should 
be thrown away and not offered to him at another time. 

262. Hand-riibhing , etc. 

Gentle hand-rubbing of the skin and also sponging of the 
nostrils and dock and in some cases the whole body with weak 
vinegar and water are generally refreshing to sick animals. 

The sheath should always be carefully cleaned at the outset 
of any serious illness, and this operation should be repeated, if 
the case is prolonged. 

263. Beds. 

A good bed is essential to comfort. Fresh clean straw 
certainly looks nicest, and has undoubtedly the advantages of 
cleanliness and sweetness ; but many practical men prefer a 
bed made of old litter collected from the dung heap, but of 
course carefully cleaned and dried. It makes a softer, firmer, 
and more substantial bed ; whilst on the other hand the long 

180 • CHAPTER XV. 

hard ends of tlie new straws_, especially wlieaten, are apt to 
irritate and annoy a weakly and sensitive patient. 

264. Change of box and air. 

If tlic animal's condition admits of Ms being moved_, it is a 
good plan to shift liim occasionally to a fresli box. 

Though a box in a quiet situation is needed for a sick horse, 
yet as he recovers his strength, he should be moved during the 
day to a situation, where he can see some of the traffic, which 
may be passing by. A little such excitement acts. as a stimu- 
lant and tonic to the system. 

265. A'pijaratus for applying a stream of cold water. 

A very convenient india-rubber apparatus is made for the 
purpose of bringing a constant stream or trickling of cold water 
on any part, which may require such treatment, as for instance 
in some cases of sprains or of affections of the brain. In cases 
of sprain of the tendons or ligaments below the knee or hock, 
the apparatus must be applied above the joint and the affected 
part below covered with a wet linen bandage. The water may 
be allowed to trickle for two hours at a time, twice or three 
times during the day. If the weather be cold the water may 
be made slightly tepid. When a force of cold water from a 
jet or hose is used, the application should never be continued 
for more than a few minutes at a time. In both cases the part 
must be afterwards dried and bandaged. 

266. Instruction of servants in nursing. 

A good groom to be a really good nurse ought to understand 
the reason of what he does. The kind of nursing proper at one 
time and applicable to one phase of symptoms may be inappro- 
priate at another time or under altered circumstances. 

He should begin by carefully observing the lisual appearance 
and habits of the horse ; for it is only by being familiar with 
the appearance and tone of the animal in health, that any diver- 
gence from the normal condition can be ascertained. The 
earlier variations, symptomatic of some coming cha,ng*e, such 
for instance as a slight pawing or a little increase in therespi- 


ration,, or a lioaving of tlie flanks, or a want of tlie usual liveli- 
ness or tone may otherwise pass unnoticed. 

Next lie should be taught, wvliat to observe in the symptoms 
of a sick horse. Especially he should note the temperature and 
moisture of the mouth, and the degree of variation which it 
presents from what has been usual in health ; also the warmth 
or otherwise of the legs and body, and whether there is any 
variation, and if so, at what times. Irregularity of temperature 
is a marked sign of disease. The respiration must be carefully 
observed, and whether it is more affected, when the animal lies 
down. The movements of the flanks generally afford the first 
indication of quickened breathing. The movements of the 
nostrils must also be noted. The colour and appearance of the 
visible mucous membranes will need particular observation. 

He should also observe, not merely whether the horse is in 
pain, but how his feelings are expressed. The nature of the 
cough, if any, should be particularly noted, and also the part 
from which it proceeds. In catarrhal affections the degree and 
nature of the running at the nose and the colour and appear- 
ance of the membrane of that organ will need frequent obser- 



267. Prevention of disease. 268. Erroneous ideas as to the 
causes of accidents and diseases. 269. Of accidents and diseases 
with their ordina^^y causes. 270. On the propagation of disease 
hy infection and contagion. 271. Prevalent ideas of infection 
and contagion a source of evil. 272. Diseases seldom transmitted 
hy infection or contagion. 273. Mode of 'propagation hy in- 
fection and contagion. 274. Distinction hetween inoculation j 
contagion J and irfection. 275. Distance at which hifectious 
diseases can he communicated. 276. Sequels of disease. 277. 
Disinfectants. 278. Ventilation. 279. Sich hoxes, 

267. Prevention of disease. 

As regards successful stable management, tlie prevention of 
disease is far more important tlian its cure. 

No disease occurs without a cause. As a general rule tlie 
cause of any disease may be found out ; and if ascertained, tlie 
disease may in most cases be prevented in future. 

It is not possible however to prevent tbe causes of every 
disease. Tbe climate in wbich. we live, and the nature of the 
work wliicb we require from horses, obliges us to run some 
risks j but in every case the risk ought to be reduced to a 

Suppose for instance a dog-cart and horse are sent on a cold 
wet winter's day to a railway station to meet a train. The 
horse may probably get somewhat hot in the drive over, the 
train may be late, and waiting at the railway station on such a 
day is not favourable to the animal's health. 

But the risk of injury will be much diminished, if the servant 
has started in good time and driven over slowly; if he has not 
forgotten to take with him a rug to put on the horse, in case he 


is kept waiting ; or i£_, AvlierL circumstances admit of it, lie lias 
kept the horse moving about instead of standing still. 

Again^ accidents will occur — in the hunting field for example. 
The nature of the work entails such a liability. But they will 
be much less likely to occur, when the horse is in good working 
condition of wind and limb, when he is fit to go without being 
unduly fresh or above himself, when the shoeing, etc., are good 
than when these favorable conditions are reversed. 

268. Erroneous ideas as to the causes of accidents and diseases. 

It is a very common, but very erroneous and mischievous 
idea, that accidents and diseases spring up spontaneously, that 
they are necessary black spots in the chapter of life, and that 
we are powerless to avoid them or to prevent their recurrence. 
So far from this being the case, almost all accidents and 
diseases may, if sufficient diligence and perseverance are used 
in the search, be traced to ascertainable causes; and in the 
great majority of cases the causes once ascertained may be 
guarded against and prevented in future. 

269. Of accidents and diseases with their ordinary causes. 

The subjoined list, in which are grouped together most of the 
more common diseases and accidents with their ordinary causes 
will perhaps make plainer the assertion put forward in the pre- 
ceding paragraph. 

1st. Diseases of the bowels and urinary organs, such as 
stomach staggers, colic, inflammation of the intestines and 
kidneys. — Ordinary causes. Bad forage or improper watering 
and feeding. 

2nd. Diseases of the chest, coughs, colds, etc. — Causes. Want 
of ventilation, overcrowding, exposure, and neglect. 

ord. Glanders and Farcy. — Causes. The immediate cause 
must be considered to be contagion ; but amongst the predis- 
posing influences may be mentioned want of ventilation, damp, 
bad drainage, overwork, bad feeding, neglect or improper 
treatment of other diseases, or in short any causes that pro- 
duce long continued debility. Horses of faulty conformation, 
especially those with narrow chests are especially liable to be 


4tli. Epizootics_, sucli as influenza and low fever. — Causes. 
Diseases of this class are generally admitted to be of a specific, 
contagious, or infectious character, and are popularly sup- 
posed to be in a great measure influenced by atmospberic 
peculiarities, but the precise nature of tliis is not well 
understood. Tbis mucb however is certain, that whilst 
epizootics run almost periodically and with great severity 
through badly ventilated, ill drained, dirty, badly regulated 
stables, they seldom seriously affect those where proper sanitary 
arrangements are enforced and where the stable management 
is good. 

6th. Diseases of the eyes. — Common ophthalmia generally 
arises from accidents. Occasionally it is due to an extension 
to the eye of inflammation already existing in the mucous 
membrane of the nose. True, or it is usually termed. Specific 
ophthalmia arises from constitutional causes, for a detail of 
which the reader is referred to Chapter LYII, on the Eye; and 
sometimes from hereditary predisposition. 

6th. Diseases of the skin, such as mange and ringworm are 
generally connected with bad grooming or bad forage, and 
sometimes with the use of barley straw for bedding. Some 
skin diseases are occasionally propagated by contagion. 

7th. Cracked heels and grease and canker nearly invariably 
proceed from neglect or bad management. No doubt certain 
horses are more predisposed than others to such affections; 
but these diseases, we believe, will never appear, where the 
stable management is really good. Thrush also is usually 
a disease of neglect. 

8th. Diseases of the feet, such as corns, sandcrack and 
quitter. — Causes. Bad shoeing and neglect. 

9th. Sore backs and broken knees. — Causes. Bad saddlins: 
and bad riding, and also as regards broken knees, bad shoeing, 
defective action and accidents. 

10th. Bites, kicks and wounds. — Causes. Carelessness of 
servants, and bad stable gear. 

11th. Sprains and diseases of joints. — Causes. Severe work 
or work for which the animal is physically unfit, or for which 
he has been insufficiently prepared ; and also accidents. 

12th. Strangles. — This disease seems to be almost inherent 


to tlie constitution of tlie liorsc. At some time or otlier it 
appears in most horses ; but its development at any particular 
time appears to be dependent in some cases on atmospheric 
changes_, and in other cases on dentition. 

13th. Accidents. — Causes may^ as a general rule_, be summed 
up under the heads of carelessness and bad management. Some 
few accidents however are confessedly unavoidable. 

14th. Laminitis^ weed and some other diseases^ though local 
in their development,, usually proceed from constitutional dis- 
turbance. Over-feeding and want of exercise in some cases^ 
and the reverse conditions^ such as over severity of work and 
bad feeding in other cases are the common causes of the 
derangement of the general health. 

From this enumeration it will be seen^ that diseases and 
accidents mostly proceed from preventible causes. Whenever 
therefore any disease or accident occurs^ the causes should be 
promptly and diligently sought out; and no owner of horses 
should rest satisfied, until he has found it out and has taken 
measures to prevent it in future. 

270. Oil the ijropagation of disease hy infection and contagion^ 

When a particular disease runs through a stable^ it does not 
by any means follow, that it has been introduced or spread by 
infection or contagion. On the contrary faulty stable accom- 
modation, or bad ventilation, or bad drainage, or neglect on 
the part of servants and such like causes, either collectively 
or sometimes even singly, are often sufiicient to develop wide 
spread disease among all the animals subject to the same cause 
or causes. 

When a disease breaks out suddenly in a stable and several 
animals are attacked at once, it usually depends on then' all 
being subjected to the same noxious influence. In a word 
similar causes produce similar efl'ects. The causes, whatever 
they may be, usually affect first those animals, which are weak 
and predisposed to disease of any sort, afterwards those which 
are less predisposed, and ultimately may affect all in the stable. 
The disease is then said to be, and is by many believed to be, 
infectious or contagious. 


Tlie earlier cases in any sucli attack do not in general arise 
either from infection or contagion. It must however be borne 
in mind^ that the vitiated atmosphere produced by the exhala- 
tions and secretions of a number of diseased bodies congregated 
in a badly ventilated place intensify the original cause and lead 
to the further reproduction of the disease. The mode of such 
reproduction will be explained hereafter. 

271. Prevalent ideas of infection and contagion a source of evil. 

The prevalent ideas reg'arding infection and con tagion^ though 
under certain circumstances true^ are nevertheless the source 
of much mischief ; because these agents are often accepted as 
the adequate and irresistible cause of disease,, and therefore no 
due or sufficiently diligent search is made for the real and active 

272. Diseases seldom transmitted by infection or contagion. 

Yery few cases of disease either in man or animals are under 
^ood sanitary arrangements transmitted by infection or con- 
tagion. Certain predisposing conditions are required to enable 
the poison^ whatever it may be^ to take effect. It requires for 
instance a certain proximity of the patient, a confined un- 
changed atmosphere, and as a general rule a delicate ailing 
or otherwise susceptible subject. If these conditions are 
wanting, diseases seldom spread from one animal to another 
under ordinary circumstances. 

^ Many complaints, however, which in a clean, well-aired, and 
well- drained and not over-crowded stable are quite unable to 
propagate themselves, become infectious or contagious under 
less favorable circumstances. The emanations from the sick 
hang thick and noisome in a foul, close, unchanged atmosphere, 
and by concentration and ferment acquire a positive power of 
disturbing health and reproducing disease. 

273. Mode of i^vopagation hy infection or contagion. 

We have already stated our belief, that i\\Q ordinary cause of 
a disease running* through a stable is simply that the same 
cause, whether it be miasma arising from bad drainage, or foul 
air arising from want of ventilation or from want of cleanliness 


or over-crowdingj or low sanitary condition arising from bad or 
insufficient food_, or debility caused by over-work or by neglect 
or any other such like cause^ affects all the animals placed 
under the same conditions. 

We do not however deny that diseases under circumstances 
favorable to their propagation may be communicated by sick 
to healthy animals, independently of the original cause of the 
disease. For instance a glandered horse, bought we will 
suppose at a distant fair and placed among healthy animals^ 
may communicate the disease to them. 

The mode,, in which such propagation of disease occurs, is 
believed to be as follows. In certain diseases there are given 
off from the patient's body, in his breath, in his perspirations 
and other secretions certain minute but invisible particles. 
Although not sufficiently tangible to be examined even by the 
microscope or to be subjected to analysis by the chemist, yet it 
is tolerably well ascertained that these particles, which form the 
matter of infection and contagion, contain, like many other 
animal products, the four organic elements of carbon, hydrogen, 
oxygen and nitrogen. In common with such bodies they 
possess under certain circumstances the power of ferment, and 
like the yeast plant have under favorable conditions remarkable 
powers of reproduction. 

When a sufficient particle of the matter of contagion is either 
through the lungs or through the skin or otherwise absorbed 
into a healthy body, it may under circumstances favorable to 
its development ferment and reproduce itself. This process 
may occupy according to the nature of the poison a few days or 
several weeks, at the end of which time symptoms of the disease 

Each infectious or contagious disease gives rise to a ferment 
peculiar to itself, which in due time develops symptoms similar 
to those of the original disease. 

274. Distinctio7i between inoculation, contagion and infection. 

To ensure the transmission of some diseases a tangible portion 
of the poisonous matter from a diseased animal requires to be 
placed on a mucous membrane underneath the skin, or on a 
fresh wound, or on some delicate absorbing surface. 


This is wliat is called Inoculation. In tMs way for instance 
smallpox may be produced in tlie liuman subject^ or glanders 
and farcy in borses and men. Under circumstances favorable 
to its development a very small portion of matter is sufficient 
to reproduce tbe original disease. 

Contagion is but a variety^ as it were_, of inoculation. In 
eitber case tbe poison is transferred from tbe sick to tbe sound. 
In tbe case of inoculation tbe passage of tbe matter is patent 
and obvious ; wbilst in diseases termed contagious^ it is suffi- 
cient tbat two animals sbould come in contact. Tbe particles 
of matter^ wbicb pass from one to tbe otber_, may be intangible 
and invisible. Tbe- fact tbat tbe matter lias so passed^ tbougb 
not demonstrable to tbe eye, is yet proved by tbe result. 

Infection is a term used to denote tbe spread of a disease 
by particles of matter floating in tbe air and absorbed into tbe 
system witbout actual contact of tbe sick witb tbe bealtby 

No broad line or distinction can be drawn between inocula- 
tion, contagion, and infection. Tbey glide insensibly one into 
tbe otber. Tbe difference is one of degree, not of kind ; for in 
all cases tbe poisonous matter is carried from tbe diseased to 
tbe sound animal. 

Infection, it will be observed, implies a greater degree of 
communicability tban contagion ; and similarly tbis latter tban 

Many diseases, wbicb under circumstances favorable to 
bealtb, sucb as good ventilation, cleanliness and good condition, 
can only be reproduced by positive inoculation, may under less 
favorable circumstances be communicated by contagion ; and 
under still less favorable circumstances by infection. On tbe 
otber band diseases, wbicb are in tbeir nature bigbly infectious, 
often become innocuous and unable to reproduce tbemselves 
under good sanitary arrangements. 

275. DistancGj at which infectious diseases can he communicated. 

Tbe question is often asked, to wbat distance does tbe power 
of infection extend ? It is not easy to give a definite answer to 
tbis question. Tbe emanations, wbetber proceeding from tbe 
poisonous miasma wbicb originally generated tbe disease, or 


from tlie exhalations or excretions of the bodies of the diseased 
animals, float through the air much in the same way as the in- 
visible scent of flowers. These emanations maybe conveyed a 
considerable distance in a concentrated and undiluted form 
under circumstances favorable to their transmission. But as 
a general rule just as scent, when separated from the body 
which gives it off, soon loses its power, so these morbid 
emanations in general speedily lose their active qualities and 
power of evil. A few yards of space, if in a thorough draught, is 
usually sufiicient to ensure such a dilution of the poison as will 
render it innocuous. Fresh air plentifully and frequently re- 
newed is the great antidote to all such poison. It cannot bear 
dilution without being disarmed of its power and rendered 

As however in the case of different scents, some of which 
after separation retain their powers much longer than others — 
the fox for instance can be traced by the hounds for a consider- 
able time after he has passed, even though a high wind be 
blowing — so it is probable that the emanations given off by the 
bodies of animals in certain diseases possess greater stability 
than others. The Jate cattle plague, known as the Rinderpest, 
is said to be a remarkable instance of this. The Royal Com- 
missioners in their report state their belief, that the emanations 
of the diseased animals could be conveyed in the open air for a 
distance of four hundred yards in a form sufficiently undiluted 
to reproduce the disease in healthy animals. The Author, 
however, thinks that there are great reasons for doubting the 
soundness of this opinion. 

276. Sequels of disease. 

When an animal has suffered from any disease, which has 
greatly lowered the system, it not unfrequently happens thathe 
becomes secondarily affected with some other disease of a still 
lower type. Thus for instance glanders or farcy often super- 
vene on an attack of diabetes, and carry off the patient. 

Again, when an animal without any positive disease becomes 
very debilitated, he will very readily take on some disease of a 
low type, such as low fever, purpura haamorrhagica, glanders or 
farcy ; and the result is often fatal. 


Sucli cases,, it will be readily seen, are not really broug^lit 
about by infection or contagion, but are simply malignant 
diseases induced by a low state of tbe system. Wlien several 
liorses at one time or about tlie same time are affected in any 
of these ways, tbe real cause will probably be found in bad 
stable management. 

277. Disinfectants. 

The particles of contagious or infectious matter, like other 
organic ferments, are very unstable in their composition and 
are easily acted on by various chemical agents. Such agents 
are called Disinfectants. They act either by poisoning or 
killing the ferment; or by abstracting the hydrogen from 
noxious gases and vapours, they break them up. Chlorine 
gas, carbonic acid and many other compounds are commonly 
used for these purposes. A fuller account of these agents is 
given towards the end of the next Chapter on the Action and 
Uses of Medicines. 

Disinfectants however and deodorizers, whose action is some- 
what similar, though very valuable assistants, should never be 
allowed to take the place of free ventilation. It is true, that 
they have as explained above, a very beneficial effect in killing 
or breaking up the poisonous particles ; but they are not suffi- 
cient thoroughly to purify the air. Free ventilation or in other 
words a real and actual change of the air, whether in the stable 
or in the sick chamber, is absolutely necessary. 

It is a well ascertained fact, that in hospitals, where much 
reliance has been placed on the use of disinfectants, disease 
has often spread with greater rapidity and virulence than in 
buildings, where no such agents have been used, and where 
in consequence thorough ventilation has been more carefully 
attended to. Disinfectants and deodorizers are useful auxili- 
aries, but they must never be regarded as substitutes for 

278. Ventilation. 

Wherever a number of sick animals are collected under ono 
roof, especial and extraordinary care is needed to prevent the 
air becoming contaminated. The fetid breath and unhealthy 


secretions and evacuations of diseased animals require a very 
large supply of air in addition to tlie free use of disinfectants 
to dilute and counteract tlieir injurious tendencies. 

On tlie otlier hand whenever by imperfect ventilation or 
over-crowding"^ by want of cleanliness or by bad drainage 
these emanations are allowed to accumulate, concentrate and 
ferment, they operate most injuriously not only on the sick 
animals, but also on healthy horses standing within reach of 
the poisonous miasma. 

Whilst the Author expresses these views with great confi- 
dence as regards horses in good health, it must be remembered, 
that all animals, when their systems are from any cause lowered, 
are prone to take on disease of any kind, especially of that 
kind, whatever it may be, which is prevalent at the time. 

279. Side boxes. 

It is never desirable to congregate a number of sick animals 
under one roof, for reasons which from previous explanations 
will be at once apparent to the reader. 

The door of each box intended for a sick horse shoidd open 
directly into the air, and the party walls should be carried up 
completely to the roof, so that no communication may exist 
between it and the next box. 

Sick boxes should be constructed with a view to thorough 
and easy ventilation. They need more ventilation, than might 
at first sight seem to be required. The system of ventilation 
and construction recommended for stables in Chapter I will be 
found to answer well. 

All boxes used by sick horses should be frequently white- 
washed, and every possible means should be adopted to keep 
them thoroughly clean. But when a box has been occupied by 
a horse affected with any malignant disease, it is not sufficient 
to whitewash it. The walls ought to be thoroughly scraped, 
and then with the paving should be washed with chloride of 
lime ; after which ordinary whitewash may be used. 

If the paving is at all defective, and there is reason to think 
that there has been any soakage of urine or other debris through 
it into the soil, it should be taken up and the soil covered with 
quick lime, before it is relaid. The wood work, mangers and 


racks should also be waslied with soap and water and repainted. 
Similar precautions should be taken in regard to the buckets 
and other utensils. 

It is well known^ that in the wards of hospitals^ which have 
been many years in use^ the walls^ unless plastered with non- 
absorbing cement; often become impregnated with deadly 
matter; and under the influence of the emanations given off 
from them patients^ who might under better sanitary arrange- 
ments have recovered; sicken and die. In such cases it has been 
found necessary to remove the whole of the plaster^ to scrape 
the walls; to remove and renew the whole of the wood work, and 
to take out all the windows and expose the whole building for 
a length of time to the purifying influence of the air. 

Sick boxes seldom require these extreme measures, because 
as soon as it is ascertained that a horse is affected with a 
malignant disease, it is usual to destroy hina. 



280. Object wltJiiuhich medicine is given. 281. Classification 
^■of medicines. 282. Mode in ivJiich medicines produce their 
• effects. 283. Furgatives. 284. Horses, difficult to affect with 
purgative medicine. 285. Superpurgation. 286. Purgatives not 
to he given to a iveak horse. 287. Aloes. 288. Aloes in solu- 
tion. 289. Linseed oil. 289 a. Croton farina. 289 &. Croton 
oil. 290. Saline substances. 291. Clysters or enemata. 
292. Diuretics. 293. Diaphoretics. 294. Depressants. 295. 
Bleeding. 296. Sedatives. 297. Aconite. 298. Digitalis, tartar 
' emetic, hydrocyanic acid, belladonna etc. 299. Nauseants. 
300. Stimulants and diffusible stimulants. 301. Narcotics. 
302. Antispasmodics. 303. Anassthetics. 303 a. Chloroform. 
■304. Tonics, mineral and vegetable. 30^. Blisters. 306. Caustics 
or Escharotics. 307. Astringents. 308. Demidcents. 309. 
^External dressings. 310. Digestive ointments. 311. Diluents. 

■ 312. Emollients. 313. Poultices. 314. Fomentations. 315. 
Spongiopiline. 316. Oo/cZ appflications. 317. Cooling drinks. 
318. Cooling lotions. 319. Alterative balls. 320. Febrifuges. 

■ 321. Fever balls. 322. Fever or Cough balls. 323. Disinfectants 
and Deoderizers. 324. Antiseptics. 325. ilfocZe o/ delivering a 
hall. 326. iJfoc?e of giving a drench. 

280. Object with ivJiich Medicine is given. 

Tlie object, witli which Medicine is given, is to produce an 
^altered, — it may be an increased or it may be a diminished 
•iiction of some organ of the body or of the system generally. 

281. Classification of medicines. 

Medicines may be roughly classed under the following heads, 

1st. Evacuants, which increase the secretions from the bowels, 



skin^ or kidneys. Tkey are respectively termed purgatives,, 
diaphoretics, and diuretics. 

2nd. Depressants, including sedatives and nauseants, wliicli 
lower tke action of tlie heart and nervous system. 

3rd. Stimulants, wliicli rouse and excite the action of the 
heart and nervous system. 

4th. ISTarcotics, which exert a primary stimulant, and secon- 
dary, but more permanent sedative effect. 

6th. Tonics, which impart tone and vigour to the system. 

The above medicines act on the system generally. The fol- 
lowing exert chiefly a topical action. 

6th. Blisters, which cause irritation of the skin. 

7th. Caustics, which decompose solid tissues and fluids. 

8th. Astringents, which constringe muscular fibre, repress 
undue granulations, and cause contraction and condensation in 
the part to which they are applied. In more familiar language 
they dry up sores and induce the formation of a scab. 

9th. Demulcents, which act locally by protecting, so far as 
they reach in an undiluted form, the lining of interior parts. 

10th. External dressings, which in cases of abrasions of the 
skin, wounds, sores etc., are useful in protecting exterior parts 
from the irritating effect of the air and from flies etc. 

11th. Emollients, which soften and relax the tissues and 
thereby lessen pain, and allow the blood congested in the part 
to flow away more easily. 

12th. Cold applications, which constringe the structures^ 
abstract heat, and moderate inflammatory action. 

282. Mode in luliich medicines 2^^'oducG their effects. 

Most medicines, which are taken internally, are absorbed into 
the blood and circulation generally. But though absorbed, 
they do not seem to be assimilated with it or with the 
structures of the body. On the contary they are speedily 
ejected from the blood by their appropriate excretory organs. 
This is especially the case with the large class of medicines in- 
cluded under the comprehensive title of evacuants. They seem 
to produce their principal effect during the process of ejection, 
— the organ, through which they are excreted, being excited to 
increased action. 


Medicines however do not produce the same effects in all 
states of the system. Their effects^ even if not positively 
determined^ are often much modified by any morbid changes 
which may have taken place. Some medicines indeed are 
completely changed, when introduced into the system. Alkalies 
for instance are neutralized, when they meet with the acid of 
the gastric juice. 

Again most medicines, which produce an effect on the skin, 
act also in a certain degree on the stomach, intestines or 
kidneys, because they are more or less absorbed into the system, 
especially if applied in large quantities. 

Some medicines are believed to produce their effects by 
acting on the nerves of the part, which absorbs or excretes 

Though we can explain in some degree, how medicines pro- 
duce their effects, yet we cannot explain why particular medi- 
cines affect particular organs — why for instance aloes acts on 
the intestines, and resin on the kidneys. It is only by con- 
tinued observations and experiments, that these effects have 
been ascertained to be facts. In applying medicine to the 
treatment of disease we endeavour to utilize our knowledge of 
facts, though we cannot always explain the reason of them. 

283. Purgatives. 

Some purgatives seem to act generally on the intestinal canal. 
The effects of others are confined to the large intestines, but 
the great majority produce their effect on the small intestines. 

Though the immediate action of purgatives consists in caus- 
ing evacuation of the contents of the intestines, they also pro- 
duce an effect on other organs ; because the intestines when 
excited to increased action draw off secretions from all parts. 
Thus a dose of purgative medicine will often reduce swelled 
legs, because the increased action of the intestines drains off 
the watery parts of the blood from other portions of the system. 
Again they often are useful in carrying off those noxious 
matters, which from impaired secretion during disease are apt 
to accumulate in the blood, and tend, if not removed, to keep 
up fever and inflammation. 


Altliough tlie active operation of purgatives is only tempo- 
rary, yet their results are often permanent. By their action 
the intestines are relieved from undigested materials or accu- 
mulated f^ces, the blood is freed from impurities, and the liver 
and other excretory organs are roused to healthy action. 

Before purg'ative medicine can be safely given, it is absolutely 
necessary that the horse should be well " prepared for physic/' 
that is deprived for at least thirty-six and if possible forty-eight 
hours of all food, except cold bran mashes, which are in them- 
selves laxative and tend to assist the action of the medicine. 
Physic does not take any effect, until it is brought into contact 
with the mucous linings. If the stomach and intestines are 
full, the purgative may never reach those linings. It may pass 
through with a mass of food, and its properties may not be 
extracted, or it may act violently in a mass on the part of the 
lining which it reaches. On the other hand when the stomach 
and intestines are somewhat empty, the medicine is diffused 
over a large tract of mucous surface and acts more speedily and 
more safely. 

After the administration of the medicine the patient should be 
freely supplied with tepid water. If however he refuses tepid 
water, he may be allowed water, from which the chill has been 
removed by allowing it to stand for a few hours in a warm room 
or kitchen. The diet must be restricted to sloppy warm bran 
mashes. A little walking exercise or a gentle trot for a few 
minutes will sometimes also be needed to cause the medicine to 
operate. With a similar view an enema may be given. 

Six or seven evacuations are quite sufficient, though grooms 
generally like to see a dozen. 

So far as the action of the purgative is concerned, a horse 
moderately purged may generally be put to work in about three 
days after the physic has ceased to operate, or " set '^ as it is 
technically termed. 

A dose of physic is very apt to carry off a weakly patient 
from over effect ; but in some cases of fever attended with great 
debility it may remain inoperative from want of tone in the 
system. Balls, which have been given several days previous, are 
sometimes found whole in the intestines after death. 

Some purgatives do not act directly on the intestines, but 


produce their effects indirectly by exciting organs in connection 
with them, such as the liver and glandular structures. 

The administration of purgatives is always attended with 
some danger, and therefore it is desirable to use the smallest 
quantity, which will procure the required effect. 

284. Horses, difficult to affect with j^urgatlve medicine. 

If it be found difficult to move the bowels of any particular 
horse with medicine, it is a good plan in addition to the usual 
preparation to put him on linseed meal and bran mashes for a 
further twenty-four hours before the administration of the dose. 
If in the end the physic does not act, the stinting of the food 
will probably have done nearly as much good as the medicine 
would have done. It is a mistake to give an increased dose in 
such cases, or to suppose that the medicine will do any harm, if 
it does not pass off visibly, by remaining in the system. Its 
effect is in reality simply negative. In many cases however the 
medicine is passed off by the kidneys. 

285. Siiyer -purgation. 

If the purging continues over long, and wheaten flour mixed 
with the water fails to stop it, some rice water gruel made 
rather thick may be given frequently and in small quantities at 
a time, and also hay and a little bruised corn mixed with dry 
bran. The patient should be kept very quiet and warm. His 
legs should be wrapped in flannel bandages, and his body, 
especially the belly, kept warm with clothing. Astringent and 
nutritive enemata are often recommended in such cases, but 
their utility is very doubtful. 

286. Pitrgatives not to he given to a weah horse. 

Purgatives rapidly reduce the strength — partly by causing 
the food to pass more quickly through the intestines and 
thereby giving less time for the absorption of its nutritious 
parts, partly by the increased secretions they draw from the 
system, and partly by the nervous prostration they induce. 

Purgatives therefore should not be given to a horse in a weak 
state, because he cannot bear further weakening ; nor except in 
very reduced quantities and with the greatest caution in diseases 


of tlie lungs or air passages. In tliese cases the animal is 
always weak on account of tlie blood not being properly purified 
in tbe lungs. And again on account of tlie active sympatliy 
existing between tlie mucous lining of tbe air passages and that 
of tbe alimentary canal, there is always reason to fear that the 
inflammation already established in the one may extend to the 
other. Under such circumstances physic is very likely to cause 

287. Aloes. 

Aloes is by far the best and safest purgative. Cape and East 
India are inferior to Barbadoes, chiefly on account of the 
greater proportion of resinous matter they contain. Aloes is 
usually and most conveniently given in the solid form as a ball. 
Four or five drachms are a sufficient dose for most horses_, if 
properly prepared ; but large heavy horses may perhaps require 
five or six. It usually operates in about twenty-four hours. 

The following prescriptions for an Aloetic mass are recom- 
mended in preference to those made up with oils or other 
fats : 

Barbadoes Aloes . . . . 8 parts. 

Glycerin . . . . .2 parts. 

Powdered Ginger . . .1 part. 

Melt together in a water bath and thoroughly incorporate. 
Dose from 6 to 8 drachms. 

iBarbadoes Aloes . . . . 1 lb. 

Treacle 1 lb. 

Ginger 2 oz. 

Melt in a water bath and stir while cooling. 
Dose from 8 to 12 drachms. 
In cases where the use of ginger is considered objectionable, 
the same quantity of powdered gentian may be substituted. 
The action of the medicine will be slightly increased. 

Aloetic medicine should not be made up in balls until 
required for use, but should be kept in a mass in a glass 
stoppered bottle. When divided into small portions, as in balls, 
it soon becomes dry and hard, and is then uncertain in its 
effects. A single ball can be made up by reducing the aloes 


(4 or 5 draclims) to powder in a mortar, and adding 2 drachms 
of ginger witli sufficient treacle to form a soft mass. The ball 
must then be wrapped in soft paper. 

288. Aloes in solution. 

Aloes in the solid form contains a resinous principle, and 
hence is sometimes excreted by the kidneys. In making the 
solution the resinous matter rises to the top, and may easily be 
skimmed off. Hence the solution becomes a purer medicine, 
and may preferably be given in some cases, where the ad- 
mixture of resin contained in the solid form would be injurious. 
Its action is also quicker. 

The solution is made by dissolving four or five drachms of 
aloes in a pint of hot water with two drachms of powdered 
ginger and an ounce of aromatic spirits of ammonia ; or half the. 
above quantity may be dissolved, and half a pint of linseed oil 
added with two drachms of powdered ginger. The drench 
should be well shaken, before being given. 

Practically however there is always an objection to giving 
drenches to the horse, when it can be avoided, because an 
uncertain proportion of the medicine is usually spilt and lost in 
the administration. 

The action of Aloes, whether in the solid or liquid form may 
be increased by combining it with gentian. Thus in lieu of 
five drachms, four drachms of aloes may be given with two 
•drachms of tincture of gentian. 

289. Linseed oil. 

Linseed oil taken internally is a purgative. It is less cer- 
tain, as a general rule, in its action than aloes ; but is preferred 
in some cases, because it produces less irritation of the intes- 
tinal linings than aloes. The dose is from 10 to 30 oz. 

289a. Grot on Farina. 

Croton Farina is a very powerful, but dangerous purgative, 
.and is only given in extreme cases of constipation. It acts 
rapidly and causes watery evacuations. It is difficult to stop 
the purgation induced. It sometimes causes inflammation of 
the intestines. The dose is from 20 to 30 grains. 


2895. Crotonoil. 

Croton oil is sometimes administered in cases of obstinate- 
constipation dependent on some functional derangements of tlie 
nervons system. 

Tlie oil may be given in doses of 15 to 25 minims either mixed 
witli linseed meal into a bolus, or with olive or linseed oil in a 
draught. In cases where neither ball nor draught can be given, 
it may be placed upon the tongue. 

Like Croton Farina this oil is a powerful and dangerous 
purgative and should only be administered in extreme cases. 

290. Saline substances. 

Saline substances, such as Sulphate of Magnesia or Epsom- 
Salts, are also used as purgatives. In addition to their pur- 
gative properties they seem to alter the condition of the blood 
and to diminish its tendency to coagulation in certain diseases. 
Hence in fevers they are often administered with benefit ; but 
as a general rule they are neither so safe nor so certain in their 
action as aloes. 

291. Glysters or Encmata. 

Clysters, otherwise called Enemata, soften and loosen the- 
hardened faeces, and also by mechanically distending the lower 
gut cause it to evacuate its contents. The excitement of the 
lower intestines sometimes extends forwards and rouses the 
small intestines to action. The water should be of the tempe- 
rature of new milk. The quantity of water thrown up at one 
time should not exceed half a gallon. No violence should be- 
used in forcing it up. Whether the instruments used are the 
ordinary syringe, patent pump, common bladder, or leather 
bag and pipe, the fluid should invariably be injected gently and. 
gradually. The object of an enema is not to wash out the 
patient's inside, but simply to rouse the powers of nature to 
evacuation. Purgative enemata usually consist of warm water 
only ; but if a more stimulating effect is desired common salt, 
oil, or solution of aloes or soap may be added. Before admin- 
istration the horse should be back-raked. 

Nutritive enemata, consisting of gruel or rice water, are* 


beneficial in cases, where the patient is unable or unwilling to 
take food by the mouth. They should not exceed a quart in 
quantity. If larger they will probably be ejected. 

Astringent enemata, made of two drachms each of catechu 
and opium, or a quart of starch in a gallon of water are said to 
be useful in checking diarrhoea. 

Sedative enemata are made by adding' about two ounces of 
opium to the water. They are said to be useful in allaying 
spasms in the intestines. Their utility is however extremely 
doubtful. Gaseous enemata, consisting of tobacco smoke, are 
also used for a similar purpose. 

Enemata consisting of two ounces of oil of turpentine diluted 
with a pint of olive oil are recommended by some Veterinarians 
for the purpose of killing worms in the large intestines. 

292. Diuretics. 

Diuretics are medicines, which act on the kidneys and cause 
increased secretion of urine. Like purgatives they are absorbed 
in the blood, but not being assimilated are ejected from it and 
excreted through the kidneys. During excretion they cause 
irritation, and hence produce increased secretion. The body 
should be kept cool during the period of their administration. 
Though the bowels cannot always be acted on, the kidneys are 
very easily affected. 

The diuretics in common use are resin, turpentine, etherous 
substances, and small doses of nitrate or acetate of potash or 
other saline matters. The latter however, if given in large 
quantities, are excreted by the bowels. 

Diuretics, though acting locally on the kidneys, affect the 
whole system, because the secretions, which they induce, are 
drawn from the system generally, as explained under the head 
of purgatives. Hence they are given in fevers with the view of 
removing from the blood, those deleterious matters which in 
such cases always accumulate in the system from suspension of 
the secretory powers. They are also employed to remove from 
the body excess of fluids or " humours,'^ as they are popularly 
called, as in cases of swelled legs. 

The kidneys themselves are rarely affected primarily. Affec- 
tions of the urine generally arise from derangement of the- 


digestive organs. If tlie kidneys get into a clironic state of 
torpidity the cause will probably be found in want of tone in the 
system. The true remedy in all such cases lies in good feedings 
air^ exercise^ and proper attention to stable duties rather than 
in the administration of diuretics. 

Diuretic balls are generally made of two drachms each of 
resin and nitre with one drachm of Venice turpentine, mixed 
in a mass with soft soap and linseed meal. 

293. Diaphoretics. 

The skin is the channel through which the system excretes 
-a large, though variable,, amount of refuse fluid matters holding 
in solution various salts and effete organic matters. It has 
been estimated that as large an amount of matter is passed off 
through the skin of a horse in high condition and active exer- 
cise as by all the other excretory organs. Hence exercise, 
occasionally at least sufficient to produce a good sweat, is essen- 
tial to health. 

During those diseases, in which the functions of the kidneys, 
lungs, or bowels are more or less disturbed, and when exercise 
• cannot be taken, it is often of great importance to maintain 
and if possible increase the action of the skin in order to pre- 
vent the blood from being poisoned by the accumulation of 
deleterious matters in it. 

Diaphoretics are medicines used to increase the action of the 
skin by stimulating the cutaneous glands and vessels. They 
answer well and are frequently used in the human subject ; but 
in the horse, partly on account of the hair with which the skin 
is covered, and partly on account of the tendency of the medi- 
<}ine to be passed off by the kidneys and bowels, they are not 
very available. The best practical method of causing diapho- 
resis in the horse is to administer diluents in large quantities, 
then to apply friction over the body, and to keep the animal well 
oovered with double clothing in a warm atmosphere. A Turkish 
bath, i! available, but this is rarely the case, will produce the 
^desired effect. 

294. Depressants. 
Depressants proper are those agents, which, such as blood- 


letting', depress tlie nerve force and system generally. Under 
the general head of Depressants however it is usual to include 
also Sedatives, which abate the nervous force without causing 
such positive general depression, and Nauseants which, as the 
name expresses, lower the tone of the system by producing 

It will readily be seen, that though a broad distinction may 
be drawn, yet no sharply defined line divides these agents. 

295. Bleeding. 

Bleeding' was, some years ago considered to be amongst the 
most powerful and certain of the depressants and was much 
employed by the older practitioners. That it does act as a 
•depressant is beyond doubt but such action mainly depends 
upon the weakening effects produced by the sudden reduction of 
the quantity of blood in the circulation. The idea that bleeding 
lessens the action of the heart is erroneous, because during the 
act of blood-letting the heart beats are increased in frequency 
but the contractile force of its walls is weakened. Consequently 
the pulse, although quickened, loses any vibratory hardness it 
may have, and becomes softer in character. 

When it is thought necessary to employ it, blood enough 
should be taken to produce a marked alteration in the character 
of the pulse. The blood should be drawn in a full stream, so 
^s to produce the effect as quickly as possible. If bleeding is 
resorted to at all, it should be in the very early stage of disease, 
before the strength fails. 

Bleeding however is not a safe remedy. As a general rule it 
:should be avoided ; and if there is any doubt as to its advisa- 
bility, it is always safer not to bleed. Far more horses are 
killed than saved by this remedy. 

Bleeding is always injurious, when the pulse is quick and 
weak. The prevalent idea, that a quick pulse necessarily 
indicates the presence of inflammation is wholly erroneous. 
Such a pulse far more often results from a weak and perverted 
state of the system, which bleeding will seriously, if not fatally 
aggravate. Bleeding is especially injurious in the later stages 
of diseases of the lungs and air passages, because in them the 


patient is always weak on account of the blood not being' 
properly purified in the lungs. 

296. Sedatives. 

The term Sedatives is applied to those depressants, which 
abate the nervous force without causing positive general depres- 
sion. Sedatives may be divided into two classes, namely those 
Avhich possess a general, and those which have only a local 
action. Aconite, which acts by lowering the action of the 
heart, is an example of the first; whilst warm water, which 
assuages local pain, may be taken as a type of the latter. 

297. Aconite, 

Aconite is a prompt and effectual sedative in febrile attacks 
and in acute inflammation. It moderates and lessens the 
action of the heart, and hence reduces the quantity of blood, 
which passes in a given time to any part. It has the advantage 
of not reducing the strength like loss of blood. In a large 
dose it is highly poisonous ; but the tincture may be safely 
given in doses of from ten to twenty drops frequently until 
the pulse is relieved. 

298. Digitalis, tartar emetic, hydrocyanic acid, and belladonna. 

Digitalis operates in much the same way as aconite, but is 
neither so safe nor so certain. In large doses it causes inter- 
mittent pulse, and in excess may produce coma and even death. 
It is apt to accumulate in the system, and symptoms of poison- 
ing may set in, after its use has been continued for some time, 
or even after its administration has ceased. Its action therefore 
should be carefully watched. The usual dose is a scruple three 
times a day. 

Tartarized antimony, otherwise called tartar emetic, though 
powerful in its effect on the human subject, acts but very 
slightly, if at all, on the horse. 

Hydrocyanic acid is also used as a sedative, but is not a safe 
medicine in inexperienced hands. Half to one drachm is the 
usual dose. 

Extract of Belladonna in doses of one drachm with one or 


two draclims of nitrate of potassa is also employed as a sedative 
but in reality its action is narcotic. 

299. Nanseants. 

Altliougli certain peculiarities in the position and structure 
of tlie stomach prevent the horse from vomiting except in rare 
instances, yet nausea sufficient to keep an irritable animal quiet, 
may be produced by giving one or two drachms of aloes every 
other day. In certain cases, such as broken knees, the impor- 
tant object of keeping the patient quiet is sometimes only to be 
attained in this way. 

300. Stimulants and Diffusible stimulants. 

Stimulants as external applications will hereafter be treated 
of specially in the chapter on Irritants. We therefore pass 
them over in this place. 

The internal stimulants used in Veterinary practice arc 
chiefly those known as Diffusible stimulants. They cause rapid, 
but only temporary excitement of the system. They are very 
useful in rousing and equalizing the circulation, which from 
any cause may have become languid or even almost paralysed. 
In shivering fits for instance diffusible stimulants may by this 
action ward off attacks of inflammation. Shivering, which is a 
marked premonitory symptom of such attacks, is produced by 
the blood being suddenly driven from the surface of the body 
to the internal organs. They also relieve the congestion of 
internal organs by exciting the general circulation. Hence they 
are employed in many diseases especially in inflammation of the 

Diffusible stimulants are of the highest value in febrile affec- 
tions, in diseases attended with great depression, during conva- 
lescence after serious illness, and in all cases of prostration etc. 
The ordinary dose consists of 

Spirits of Nitrous ether . . . IJ oz. 

Aromatic Spirits of Ammonia . . | oz. 

Solution of Acetate of Ammonia . o to 4 oz. 

Water • 1 pint. 



Aromatic Spirits of Ammonia . . 1 oz. 

Tincture of Gentian . . . 1 oz. 

Water 1 pint. 

The Carbonate of Ammonia is a very valuable diffusible 
stimulant and may be given eitlier in tbe form of ball or 
draught in doses of from 1 to 2 drachms. 

301. Narcotics. 

N'arcotics exert a primary stimulant, but more permanent 
sedative effect on the brain and nervous system. They are 
given with the view of relieving pain. Combined with other 
appropriate remedies they are useful in alleviating spasms and 
the pain of some wounds and injuries. 

Opium, Indian hemp, belladonna, camphor, and tobacco 
smoke are the narcotics in most common use. Belladonna, and 
camphor and opium are especially valuable in relieving pain. 
An ordinary dose may consist of 

Opium . . . . . 1 to 2 drachms, 
with or without Camphor . 1 to 2 drachms. 

in cases of inflammation of the bowels or liver, the above may be 
combined with half a drachm of Calomel. 

302. Antispasmodics. 

Antispasmodics are medicines, which act upon the brain and 
nerves, and through them on the system generally. By their 
action they overcome inordinate muscular action, such as 

They usually consist of a narcotic in combination with a 
diffusible stimulant and a slight purgative. An antispasmodic 
draught may be made of — 

Spirits of Nitrous ether . . . 2 oz. 
Tincture of Opium . . . . 1 oz. 
Solution of Aloes . . . . 4 to 5 oz. 

Oil of Turpentine . . . . 2 to 3 oz. 
Tincture of Opium . . . . 2 oz. 
Linseed oil 1 pint. 


303. Anesthetics. 

Anssstlietics^ sucli as cliloroform and etlier, are somewhat 
allied to narcotics ; but possess in addition the wonderful pro- 
perty of causing temporary insensibility to pain and external 
impressions. Although at present but little employed in Vete- 
rinary practice^ their use will probably become more extended. 

303a. GliloToform. 

Chloroform ought to be administered in all painful opera- 
tions, but is not needed in minor cases, such as firing over 
limited surfaces or castration. The depressing after-effects 
more than counteract any benefit derived from its operation. 

All complicated apparatus should be avoided. A flat sponge 
and a cloth on the under side are all that is needed. The horse 
should be cast, and the sponge held to his nostrils. Plenty of 
chloroform should be used, and it is essential that during its 
administration the animal should have plenty of air. The 
chloroform should be administered slowly. If given rapidly 
fatal consequences may be apprehended. 

Many horses become greatly excited after inhaling for a 
short time. The chloroform in such cases must be administered 
more rapidly, until the patient becomes still and his eyes open. 
The eyelids are generally closed until the last. The eyes 
should be repeatedly examined, and the sponge should be 
removed before the eye becomes totally insensitive to touch. 

If the pupil becomes dilated, and insensitive to touch (no 
matter how small may have been the quantity of chloroform 
used), its administration must be immediately stopped. But 
if no such results occur, the administration should be con- 
tinued, until the limb becomes flaccid. 

Some horses become unconscious with the administration of 
2 oz., whilst others with 8 oz. For veterinary purposes methy- 
lated chloroform answers as well as the pure, and is much 

304. Tonics, 
Tonics are agents which increase the general tone and 


vigour o£ tlie system without producing any sudden reaction. 
They are supposed,, after being first taken into the circulation, 
to act through the nervous system on the contractile involun- 
tary muscular fibres of the alimentary canal and circulatory 
system, thereby inducing a more healthy state of primary and 
secondary nutrition. 

They increase the appetite, the fulness and firmness of the 
pulse, the activity of all bodily functions and muscular power. 
Preparations of iron appear to be especially useful in improving 
the condition of the blood by increasing the amount of iron 
contained in that fluid. 

These beneficial effects however are only produced when the 
system has need of such artificial stimulus. When given to 
healthy animals tonics are likely to do more harm than good. 

They differ from diffusible and other stimulants in that their 
action is but slowly established, whilst their effects are tolerably 
permanent, and their administration is not succeeded by sub- 
sequent depression. 

Tonics, especially mineral tonics, should not be given to 
horses except under the advice of a well qualified Veterinary 
surgeon. Even in the human subject great care is required in 
their administration; but they may be more safely given, 
because the effect which they are producing can be ascertained 
daily by enquiry from the patient. In the horse, however, we 
have not this advantage. We may watch for, but we cannot 
positively ascertain their effect, until perhaps they have pro- 
duced a marked result, either for good or for evil. 

The medicinal tonics in ordinary use are divided into the 
two heads of mineral and vegetable. The first named comprise 
salts of iron and copper, and arsenic. They are generally given 
with the food. The vegetable tonics in common use are infu- 
sions of gentian, quassia, and cinchona (which contains the 
alkaloid known as quinine). Ginger, aniseed, and other 
aromatics have also a slight tonic effect. Mineral are far more 
powerful than vegetable tonics. 

The cordial balls so much patronized by grooms generally 
contain as their principal ingredient some mild tonic^ such* as 
gentian, cardamom seeds^ etc. 

The really best tonics for the horse, except after seriously 


debilitating illness^ are good fresh cool air, well regulated 
exercise, good feeding, and good grooming. 

Of mineral tonics the ordinary dose may consist of — • 
Sulphate of Iron, 1 to 2 drachms, with 2 to 4 drachms of 

Sulphate of Copper J to 1 drachm, with powdered Gentian 2 
to 4 drachms, 

Arsenious acid . . . . 5 grains. 

Though the above are the ordinary doses, yet it must be 
remembered that Mineral tonics are very powerful, and even 
dangerous medicines, unless their eifects are closely watched. 
Hence the amount and frequency of the repetition of the dose 
may often require to be varied under the ever changing cir- 
cumstances of the patient. 

Of Vegetable tonics the ordinary doses are — 
Quinine ^ to 1 drachm, dissolved in a few drops of sulphuric 
acid and a pint of water, 

Oak bark 2 to 3 drachms made into a ball with treacle and 

Powdered Gentian root 1 to 2 drachms, 

Tincture of Gentian 1 to 2 ounces in a pint of water. 
In some cases the above quantities may be doubled. 
Though in a far less degree than Mineral, Vegetable tonics 
are powerful for good or for evil, and the effects which they are 
producing require to be carefully watched. 

305. Blisters. 

Blisters, by means of their irritant action, produce inflam- 
mation of the true skin, and as a result, effusion of the watery 
parts of the blood. This effusion appears in the form of 
vesicles or blisters, which raise up the cuticle from the skin 

Blisters are used either as local stimulants ; or as irritants 



witli a view of causing an altered, and it may be a liealtliier 
action ; or as counter-irritants. 

When the first or mere stimulant action is desired, the 
blistering liquid is -applied sparingly. By such stimulation 
more blood is brought to the part affected, and increased action 
is the result. With this view blisters are applied to indolent 
wounds and ulcers, to parts from which the hair has fallen off, 
and to the coronet in order to stimulate the growth of the hoof. 
When an irritant effect is desired as in some cases of sprains of 
tendons or ligaments, the blistering liquid is applied more 
freely. When increased irritation is sought for, the liquid is 
applied freely over a considerable extent of surface. 

The agents in use for the purpose of producing stimulation, 
or irritation are of various degrees of severity from the tempo- 
rary superficial redness caused by simple friction to the deep 
and severe action of the actual cautery. 

Irritants, under which are included all classes of blisters, are 
much used in Veterinary practice and are so important, that we 
deem it necessary to devote a separate chapter to the consider- 
ation of their action and uses, — to which the reader is referred 
for further information on this subject. See Chapter XIX. 

306. Caustics or Eschar otics. 

Caustics act by chemically decomposing solid tissues and 
the fluids. This action destroys the vitality of the part. They 
are therefore much used in cases of unhealthy granulations, 
otherwise called proud flesh. 

Although they destroy the structure, with which they come 
in immediate contact, yet they cause irritation and increased 
action in the adjacent parts. Hence they are often made use 
of for the cure of indolent wounds and ulcers. 

Some of them possess the property of uniting with albumi- 
nous matters, which renders them effectual in coagulating blood 
and thus stopping haemorrhage, and likewise in producing an 
eschar or scab over painful or irritable sores or wounds. 

Caustics differ much in intensity. Those in common use 
are nitrate of silver, otherwise called lunar caustic, bluestone or 
sulphate of copper, sulphate of iron and zinc, sulphuric and 
hydrochloric acids, arsenic, corrosive sublimate, terchloride of 


antimony, and the hot iron or actual cautery. These agents 
are apt to be much abused, being frequently applied in too 
strong a form or in too great quantities. Inexperienced people 
in their desire for a decided effect too often forget the delicate 
nature of the living structures, with which they have to deal, 
and the pain which such rough treatment gives. 

Equable well applied pressure, though not a caustic, deserves 
to be mentioned in this place as a valuable agent in repressing 
unhealthy or excessive granulations. 

Nitrate of silver is the most convenient application for 
repressing* too luxuriant granulations, or for promoting healthy 
action in a sore. Corrosive sublimate is frequently used with 
advantage in quitter to promote healthy action in the sinuses. 
Red precipitate induces healthy action in a sore. Nitric acid 
applied by means of a piece of tow at the end of a stick is used 
in fungus on the sole of the foot. 

307. Astringents. 

Astringents partake, though only in a modified degree, both 
of the action of caustics and tonics. Like caustics they com- 
bine chemically with albuminous and watery matters, whilst 
like tonics they act on, brace up and constringe muscular fibre. 

When given internally they are useful in arresting excessive 
secretions of the mucous membranes and in bracing up relaxed 
parts. Hence they are often given in cases of diarrhoea. 

When applied externally, they are beneficial in several ways. 
They suppress excessive secretions, and hence hasten the for- 
mation of healthy cicatrices and promote the process of healing 
generally. They check the formation of unhealthy granulations ; 
whilst moreover their constringent action renders them service- 
able in reducing superficial inflammation, such as that arising 
from slight contusions, from inflammation of the mucous coat 
of the eye, etc. 

Internally opium, catechu, sulphate of zinc, acetate of lead, 
and rice water are administered. In profuse staling iodine has 
a very marked effect. 

For external cases alum, the acetate of lead and zinc, and 
sulphates of zinc, iron and copper are used. Ice, cold water 
and cold generally, though they have no chemical effect, deserve 


places among astringents by virtue of their action in bracing 
up muscular fibre. All caustics_, if mucli diluted, liave an 
astringent action. 

For an astringent powder equal parts of burnt alum and 
clialkj or of alum and pipeclay answer particularly well. In 
cases of indolent sores an ounce of sulphate of copper to a pint 
of water may be used. 

An astringent lotion may be made by dissolving in water as 
much powdered sulphate of zinc or acetate of lead as it will 
take up ; or equal parts of the above may be dissolved together. 
The lotion may be reduced in strength by adding water accord- 
ing to the nature of the wound to which it is to be applied. 
An ounce of salt dissolved in a pint of water also forms a very 
useful mild astringent lotion. 

308. Demulcents. 

Demulcents have a purely local action. When taken inter- 
nally they form a coating, so far as they reach in an undiluted 
form, to the mucous linings, and protect them from irritation. 
In sore throat, for instance in ourselves, we readily recognise 
the benefits of demulcents in protecting the mucous lining of 
the throat fi^om the irritating* effects of cold raw air. They 
are also serviceable in preventing acrid secretions from coming 
in contact with delicate and irritable surfaces. Hence they are 
given in cases of diarrhoea. 

Demulcents are made either of linseed boiled to a jelly and 
mixed with the food, or by pouring boiling water on the seeds 
in the proportion of one pint of water to an ounce of seed. 
The latter must be left to stand till cold, when a thick solution 
will be obtained. 

Another and perhaps better preparation is made by throwing 
the linseed by a handful at a time in'to boiling water. Each 
handful then gets well scalded at once. 

309. JExternal dressings. 

External dressings in cases of wounds are useful in protecting 
the parts from the irritating effects of the air, of flies, etc. ; 
and secondly in lowering the temperature of superficial inflamed 


For the first-named purpose cotton wool or strips o£ cotton 
dipped in collodion, or a rag wetted with goulard lotion or cold 
water answer well. Carbolic acid made into a paste with chalk, 
or collodion applied over the part with a camel's hair brush will 
often be found useful in forming an artificial eschar over a sore. 
For the second-named purpose a rag kept wet with water or 
with a refrigerating lotion may be used. 

To prevent attacks of flies, which in hot weather are espe- 
cially apt to be troublesome, the parts may be lightly smeared 
with spirits of tar, naphtha, petroleum, or diluted carbolic acid. 
In hot climates much of the success in treatment of wounds and 
sores depends on keeping off flies. Maggots in a wound will 
be best got rid of by dressings of equal parts of spirits of 
turpentine and oil. 

Under the head of external dressings are also included the 
applications used for mange, ringworm, lice, etc. These will 
be given under the heads of the diseases to which they 
respectively refer. 

Digestive dressings, for which some recipes will be found 
in the next paragraph, are also much employed ; but the benefit 
derived from their use is questionable. 

310. Digestive liniments. 

Turpentine Liniment is much employed as a rubefacient, 
and as a digestive on abraded surfaces. It is usually made 
as under. 

Oil of Turpentine . 1 part. 
Olive oil . . .4 parts. 
Compound Liniment of Turpentine is used, when a more 
stimulating effect is desired. 

Oil of Turpentine . 8 oz. 
Camphor . . 1 oz. 

Soft soap . . 4 oz. 

To be shaken together till mixed. 

310a. Digestive ointment. 

Common Turpentine . 1 part. 
Hogs' Lard . . 4 parts. 

Melt together in a water bath. 


311. Bilicents. 

When dissolved in a large amount of water demulcents act as 
Diluents^ whicli^ as their name indicates^ dilute the blood and 
other secretions. They are useful in certain diseases in dimin- 
ishing the irritating properties of unhealthy secretions. In 
irritability of the bladder, for instance, they are serviceable in 
diluting the urine and thus diminishing irritation in the mucous 
lining of that organ. 

312. Emollients. 

Fomentations and Poultices, otherwise termed Emollients, 
by virtue of their heat and moisture soften, relax, and soothe the 
parts to which they are applied. Hence they are used in cases 
of recent sprains, in colic or gripes, in enteritis, in bruises, and 
in all such cases. They are also serviceable in cleansing 
wounds in which dirt or gravel may have lodged. 

But simple as they are. Emollients may be used too freely or 
for too long, or until they unduly relax the parts, or in the case 
of wounds induce undue effusion and suppuration, and in some 
cases excessive granulations. 

The lymphy fluid poured out from the adjacent healthy 
structures is the material intended by nature for the cementing 
of wounds and for the repair of lacerated structures. From it 
the muscles, skin, bones, and all other parts are built up ; and 
hence in the treatment of wounds care must be taken not to 
interfere with the reparative material or ignorantly remove it. 

The simple rule appears to be, that Emollients are useful in 
the first instance in reducing the inflammation, and may in 
many cases bring about resolution. Or if the progress of 
inflammation cannot be checked, they may be advantageously 
continued with the view of bringing on the processes of effusion 
and suppuration. But as soon as this action has been induced 
the emollient should be discontinued, because the object of its 
application has been attained. 

313. Poultices. 

Poultices intended for the special purpose of giving warmth 
to a part are usually made of hot bran. Those intended for 


relaxation may be made of equal parts of moist bran^ linseed 
meal, and olive oil ; or of boiled carrots or turnips mixed with 
bran. For ill conditioned sores linseed answers best. If a sore 
is painful, opium may be added to any of the above. To soften 
the horn in inflammation of the feet, vinegar may be added to 
the bran. A poultice may be made an astringent dressing by 
the addition of sulphate of zinc. 

Poultices, though very convenient in the human subject, are 
not equally applicable in the horse, because they are not easily 
fixed, except on the feet. A poultice, unless made large, dries 
too rapidly, and is then apt to cause irritation instead of 
soothing. On the other hand, if made large it is heavy and 
difficult to secure. The poultice must not be tied so tight as 
to arrest the circulation or to leave a mark. With this view, 
a broad tape or a piece of list should be used instead of a string. 
An old stocking with part of the foot cut off makes a good 
poultice bag for the lower part of the leg. 

The substance of which the poultice is intended to be made 
should be steeped in hot water in a cloth. The water must 
then be permitted to drain off. 

314. Fomentations. 

Hot water makes the best fomentation, and is only open to 
the objection that its use demands from servants an amount of 
time and trouble which they are not very willing to give, unless 
closely superintended. Directions as to the mode of applying 
fomentations have been given in the chapter on nursing. 

315. Spongiojnline. 

For sprains and bruises, when the skin is not broken, a thick 
woollen substance covered with oilcloth, called Spongiopiline, 
which is manufactured for the purpose, forms a good, but still 
inferior, substitute for the more troublesome operation of 
fomentation. It should be soaked in hot water, and on account 
of its thickness and impervious covering will long retain both 
heat and moisture. 

316. Cold applications. 
Cold applications resemble fomentations in so far as that 


their action is locals but in otlier respects tlieir action is dia- 
metrically different. They constringe, harden, and brace up 
the parts to which they are applied. They reduce the calibre 
and increase the tone of the distended or relaxed superficial 
blood-vessels, rouse them to increased action and excite them 
to absorb the effused products of hypersemia. They also lower 
the heat of the part to which they are applied. Hence their 
value in the treatment of sprains after the first heat and tender- 
ness have passed away, and also in reducing bruises and 
removing simple superficial circumscribed inflammation. 

Of cold applications cold water is the most common and 
convenient. Poured from a height it is sometimes specially 
effective. Its temperature, if need be, may be lowered by 
dissolving in it ice and salt, or a mixture of equal weights of 
common salt, nitre, and muriate of ammonia. Vinegar is some- 
times mixed with the water, and is useful where an astringent 
and refrigerant effect is desired. Powdered ice is also a valu- 
able means of abstracting heat. An ingenious india-rubber 
apparatus is now made for allowing cold water to trickle down 
over any required part. 

317. Cooling drinhs. 

Cooling and refrigerant drinks, though less commonly used 
in Veterinary than in human practice, are refreshing and some- 
times palatable to sick animals. They often, also, exert a slight 
tonic action, and generally in addition increase the secretions 
of the bowels and kidneys. 

Cooling drinks are made by dissolving in water saline matters 
such as 4 drachms of nitre, or cream of tartar, or 4 ounces of 
the solution of acetate of ammonia in a gallon of water. Or 
acids such as 2 or 3 ounces of vinegar, or 1 or 2 drachms of 
hydrochloric acid may be mixed in the above quantity of 
water. Many horses, however, will refuse the water when so 

318. Cooling lotions. 

Acetate of Ammonia . . . . 4 oz. 

Spirits of Wine . . . . . 4 oz. 

Water . 8 oz. 

Mix and keep the part wet with a rag. 




Sal Ammoniac . 

Spirits of Wine . 
Water . 

1 oz. 

4 oz. 

4 oz. 

.8 oz. 

Mix tlie Sal Ammoniac and Vinegar together^ and tlien add 
the Spirits of Wine and tlie water. 


Sugar of Lead 



1 oz. 

2 oz. 

1 quart. 

319. Alterative halls. 

By slightly provoking the action of the excretory organs 
Alteratives are sometimes useful in enabling the system to rid 
itself of any waste materials or matters^ which if retained might 
cause disturbance of health. 

They may be made of — 

ISTitre^ Black Antimony, and Sulphur, 2 drachms each. 


A mass may be made of — 

Aloes in powder 1 oz._, Soft soap 1 oz., Linseed meal and 
treacle 6 oz. 

320. Febrifuges. 



1 drachm. 

Nitre . 


". 2 do. 

Made into a ball. 

Nitre . 


2 drachms. 

Epsom Salts 


1 to 4 do. 

Dissolved in a pint 

of water, 

Acetate of Ammonia . 

. 3 oz. 

Nitre . 

. . . 

2 drachms 



. 1 pint. 


322. Fever or cough halls. 

Aloes ...... 1 drachm. 

!N'itrate of Potassa . . .2 do. 

Extract of Belladonna . . Half to one draclim 

according to the size of the horse. To be mixed with tar into 
a ball. 

323. Disinfectants and deodorizers. 

True disinfectants act chemically by decomposing noxious 
gases and organic matters. Such are chlorine and its com- 
pounds^ sulphurous acid^ Macdougal's disinfectant^ Condy^s 
fluidj chloride of lime and soda, carbolic acid, etc. Their 
action is produced by their affinity for hydrogen, which is a 
constituent of most of the deleterious matters found in the 
stable. They appropriate to themselves this constituent, and by 
this means break up the poison. Most disinfectants are also 

Deodorizers generally, as distinguished from~disinfectants, 
act mechanically. They have an affinity for certain compounds 
floating in the air, and imbibe and absorb them. Such are saw- 
dust, powdered wood, charcoal, plaster of Paris, sulphate of iron, 
gravel, sand, and permanganate of potassa. 

Deodorizers may under some circumstances become so over- 
charged with noxious matters, that they may of themselves 
voluntarily give them off. Earth for instance, which is a most 
valuable deodorizer, may become so loaded with impurities as to 
become stinking. Similarly disinfectants can only combine 
with a certain proportion of noxious gases or organic matters, 
and then become inert and valueless. 

Along with plenty of fresh air and due regard to cleanliness 
disinfectants and deodorizers are useful means of purifying the 
air of stables and also in neutralizing those noxious emanations 
given off from the bodies and breath of diseased animals, which, 
if undiluted or undestroyed, may become fruitful sources of 
diseases. It must never, however, be supposed that they super- 
sede or even diminish the necessity for adequate ventilation and 
scrupulous cleanliness. 


324. Antiseptics. 

Antiseptics are agents used to prevent or hinder putrefaction. 
According to modem views Putrefaction is excited or occa- 
sioned by living microscopical animalculse or plants,, wliich 
floating in the air feed upon and decompose dead animals and 
vegetable substances. 

The class of medicines termed antiseptics act as a poison on 
these bodies and destroy their activity. They check that slow 
breaking up of organized bodies, which is termed putrefaction 
by destroying its causes. Sulphurous acid^ common salt^ 
salicylic and boracic acids, astringent metallic salts, vege- 
table substances rich in tannin, sugar, spirits, creasote and 
pitch oils, and carbolic acid are the antiseptics in common 

Antiseptics are used in veterinary practice in the treatment 
of unhealthy sores and wounds, and occasionally with the view 
of arresting caries and gangrene. 

They are occasionally administered internally in diseases of 
a septic nature for the purpose of checking the tendency to- 
putrescence. The administration of salicylic acid in doses of 
from 1 to 2 drachms in combination with tonics has been 
strongly advocated in cases of septicsemia and purpura hsemorr- 
hagica. Carbolic acid is also occasionally given. 

325. Mode of delivering a hall. 

There is a good deal of knack in delivering a ball. It should 
be delivered by the hand, not at the end of a stick or by a. 
balling gun. The tongue should be slightly drawn out and 
pressed to one side by the left hand of the operator, but it 
should not be pulled far out of the mouth. The head should be 
raised, whilst the ball is being put into the mouth; but the- 
moment the ball is at the root of the tongue, the head should 
be let down level with the body, because it is only in that posi- 
tion that the horse can naturally perform the act of swallowing. 

The head should not be let completely down, because in that 
position the skin and muscles of the neck are so relaxed that 
the passage of the ball down the throat cannot easily be watched. 
The do^vnward passage of the ball is best seen on the near side. 


because tlie gullet lies towards tliat side. If tlie ball does not 
go down at once, a gulp of water or a handful of grass should be 
given. Tlie throat must not be rubbed or pressed upon with 
the view of assisting the passage of the ball. Any such "assist- 
ance " will probably induce cough, and cause the ball to be 

To those who have not had much practice a balling iron is 
useful, because it prevents the possibility of injury to the hand 
from the horse's teeth. An old kid glove with the fingers cut 
off will protect the hand from injury from the sharp edges of 
the molar teeth. 

326. Mode of giving a drench. 

A proper drenching bottle or horn should be provided. In 
its absence a soda-water bottle will answer pretty well. The 
horse's head must be slightly elevated, and then the fluid 
should be poured down the throat very slowly. The head may, 
if necessary, be raised by means of a nooze in the mouth, 
attached at its upper end to the prong- of a stable fork. At 
the slightest sign of coughing the head must be released. 
Many drenches, it must be remembered, are of such a nature 
as to cause great irritation, if even a very small portion goes 
the wrong way. 

A practice existed some years ago, and may perhaps continue 
even in the present day among farriers, of giving drenches 
through the nose. It is both injurious and dangerous, and 
should be strictly prohibited. 



327. Theory of inflammation. 328. Nature of inflammation. 
329. Gauses of irritation. 330. Effect of irritation on the part 
affected. 331. Phenomena of inflammation. 332. Arrest of the 
circulation at the inflamed part. 333, Original seat of the 
stagnation. 334. Changes, ivhich occur in the blood after leaving 
the seat of inflammation. 335. Effects, ivhich result in the 
neighhouring farts from the stagnation of the circidation at the 
inflamed part. ' 336. Effect of inflammation on the general 
circidation. 337. Fever. 338. Effect of inflammation on the 
nutrition of the part. 339. Local, diffused and specific inflam- 
mation. 340. Acute, suh-acute and chronic inflammation. 341. 
Signs of inflammation, when established. 342. Fain. 343. 
Redness. 344. Heat. 345. Sivelling. 346. Throbbing. 347. 
Constitutional symj^toms. 348. Shivering. 349. Symptoms, 
indicative of the locality of the part attacked. 350. Sthenic and 
asthenic types of inflammation. 351. Results of inflammation. 
352. Resolution. 353. Second restdt or effusion. 354. Third 
result or formation of lymph and adhesion. 355. Fourth residt 
or formation of pus, otherwise called suppuration. 356. Fifth 
residt or idcertion and mortification. 357. Treatment of inflam- 
mation. 358. Treatment of the primary disease, or disturbance 
of function in the part affected, otherwise called the inflamed part. 
359. Treatment of inflammation, luhen established. 360. Treat- 
ment of acute local inflammation. 361. Treatment of sub-acute 
local inflammation. 362. Treatment of clironic local inflamma- 
tion. 363. Treatment of diffused inflammation. 364. Treat- 
ment of sthenic inflammation. 365. Treatment of asthenic inflam- 
mation. 366. Later stagesof sthenic and asthenic inflammation. 


S67. Inflammation seldom fatal. 368. After effects. 369. Treat- 
ment hi) depletives and violent counter-irritants. 370. Sjpecific 
inflammations. 371. Curative inflammation. 

327. Theory of inflammation. 

From tlie very earliest times the subject of Inflammation lias 
-occupied tlie attention and excited tlie interest of the Medical 
inquirer ; and the treatment of disease in general has always 
been largely dependent on the views, which have been current 
at the time in regard to this particular affection. The treat- 
ment of Inflammation itself has of course followed the ideas 
entertained as to its nature and causes. 

Until within the last fifty years the state known as Inflam- 
mation was universally regarded as one of exalted action and 
increased nutrition of the part affected. Hence depleting 
remedies were in repute. The seat of the disease was supposed 
by some to be in the blood, whilst by others the blood was 
regarded as the food and sustenance of the disease. Hence 
bloodletting was a favorite practice, whilst in internal attacks 
violent irritants or blisters to the skin were also freely employed 
^ith the view of withdrawing the blood from the interior to the 

These views gradually gave way to the idea, that nervous 
irritation at the part affected was the primary cause ; — that 
collapse of the power of the nervous system of the part rapidly 
supervened on the previous nervous exaltation ; — that then the 
vessels deprived of their usual nervous stimulus lost their con- 
tractile energy, and were unable to contract upon and propel 
forward the current of the blood ; — that from this cause stagna- 
tion of the blood followed, and congestion was induced ; — whilst 
from the congestion constantly increased by the fresh supplies 
of blood propelled into the part by the action of the heart arose 
the well known results of the disease. The vessels became over- 
loaded and over-distended, and in consequence the watery parts 
of the blood, followed in some cases by the fibrinous materials, 
passed out through the coats rendered thin by over-distension, 
— producing according to circumstances effusion of serum, exu- 
dation of lymph, suppuration, mortification, etc. 

With the occurrence of these views a great change took place 


in tlie treatment. Bleeding, strong depletives, and violent 
irritants or counter-irritants fell into disuse; and the object 
souglit was to improve the tone of the system and of the part 
with the view of enabling nature to regain her power and restore 
tone, and thus bring about restoration of the usual healthy 
current of the circulation. Mild irritants were therefore applied 
externally to the neighbourhood of the part attacked, and 
diffusible stimulants were given internally. 

These views in regard to the theory at least of the disease 
have again been of late years modified; but the treatment 
indicated above is still in a great measure applicable. 

Much difference of opinion still prevails as to the exact nature 
and causes of Inflammation, and as to the precise reasons of the 
various changes which occur in the tissue affected, in the blood, 
and in the neighbouring parts. If the reader wishes to in- 
vestigate thoroughly this the most debatable subject in medi- 
cine, he may consult the learned works of Goodsir, Yirchow, 
Bennett, Lister, Aitkin, Paget and others. 

Avoiding as far as possible all minute details and doubtful 
points, now under eager discussion among medical men, the 
Author hopes to be able to trace out intelligently, but very 
briefly, the broad principles and views now generally enter- 
tained in regard to Inflammation. 

The Vital principle or seat of vital activity was long supposed 
to reside in some one organ or tissue, — in the brain as some 
thought, or in the blood as others thought, or in the nervous 
system or elsewhere. It was supposed that there was some one 
central point or organ, from which all motion, activity and 
growth, all life in short was generated, — that each part derived 
its vital action from that centre, — that parts or tissues in them- 
selves, as apart from their relation to that centre, possessed no 
power of motion, activity, growth or development. 

These views have given way to a belief, that a vital principle, 
a power of activity, a power of selecting and adapting the 
various constituents of the blood for its own use, a power of 
growth and development, exists inherently in each tissue. 

Whether the living power of the tissue resides in its cells, as 
some think, or in its molecules as others think, is not necessary 



to discuss in this place. It is a sufficiently well ascertained 
fact^ that a vital power, a power of growth and multiplication 
does exist in the ultimate elements of each tissue. 

Except as regards the inherent vitality and power of self- 
action there is no great difference between the views now and 
those formerly entertained as to the growth of new matter and 
nutrition. By the cells, as is well known, the various tissues 
of the body are built up and nourished. The blood is the food 
of the cells. From it in each tissue they extract those special 
nutrient particles, which are essential to their growth, multipli- 
cation, development and life,— much in the same way as the 
cells of flowers select the colouring matters, which they require. 

But as regards the nature and treatment of inflammation, the 
belief now held, that each tissue has in itself a vital power, has 
led to the modification of many of the ideas formerly enter- 
tained as to that disease. It has caused it to be regarded 
more as a local and specific affection than as a constitutional 
disturbance. It has likewise enabled several of its phenomena 
to be accounted for, which were previously inexplicable. 

328. Nature of injlamniation. 

Irritation is the starting point of the state known as Inflam- 
mation. From some cause or other the part falls into a state 
of irritation. Irritation acting on the part, either directly or 
through the medium of the blood, causes it to undergo altera- 
tions as regards the composition, constituents and arrangement 
of its cells, which enable them to attract to themselves and to 
absorb a larger quantity of matter than usual, and to transform 
it according to circumstances. It also alters the relations of the 
cells to the neighbouring parts, whether blood-vessels or other 

Inflammation may be said to have begun from the moment, 
that this increased absorption of matters into the tissue takes 
place, and the further transformation of those matters com- 

329. Causes of irritation. 

All irritation may in a certain sense be said to be dependent 
on the nervous system. An external blow for instance produces 


irritation and pain tlirougli tlie medium of tlie nerves of tlie 
part. Nerves may however produce irritation and pain from 
<?auses other than external. 

Hence the irritation in the tissue, which produces its altered 
vital action, may in general language be said to be due to 
nervous influences. Much that concerns the nervous system, 
and the causes and agencies which influence it, is still a sealed 
book to the medical inquirer. We know however that many 
causes elevate it, whilst others depress it and some even to the 
extent of paralysis. We know also that prostration generally 
supervenes very rapidly on nervous excitement. This latter 
fact is very important in regard to the nature and treatment 
of inflammation. 

330. Effect of irritation on the i) art affected. 

The part directly affected by the irritation is the tissue itself. 
The blood is only indirectly affected from the changes, which 
occur in the performance of function in the tissue. The cells 
under the influence of irritation, or in other words under the 
influence of the disturbance of their normal functions absorb 
and appropriate material from the blood in greater quantity 
and in an altered way to what they would do in health ; and 
again they transform the material so taken up into matters 
different to what they would do in health. Hence the nutrition 
of the part is altered, — it may be increased, or it may be 
diminished; and as a further result, the condition of the 
■other tissues connected with the part is also altered. 

Among other results of the functional disturbance in the 
iissue is an alteration in the character of the blood. 

331. Phenomena of inflammation. 

Before proceeding further, we must turn aside for a moment 
to consider the phenomena of inflammation. The various 
changes in the circulation of the part are well seen on irritating 
the transparent vascular membrane of the web of a frog's foot. 
The first effect is contraction of the channels of the smaller 
vessels and increased rapidity of the circulation. 2ndly. The 
same vessels become enlarged, and the current of blood is 
slower, though regular. 3rdly. The flow of blood becomes 



irregular and oscillates. 4tlily. The current almost ceases and 
the vessels are distended with coloured corpuscles. 5thly. If 
the stagnation be not relieved_, the serum will be exuded 
through the walls of the vessels ; and perhaps ultimately by 
reason of ruptures occurring in the over-distended coats of the 
vessels the red particles of the blood may pass out. 

332. Arrest of the circulation at the inflamed ^ art. 

In the inflamed part the circulation is to a certain degree 
arrested, — to a greater or less degree according to various cir- 
cumstances. This arrest is due 1st to an altered vital relation 
between the tissues and the blood ; 2nd to increased viscidity or 
adhesiveness of the blood in the part ; 3rd to diminished action 
of the vessels themselves^ owing to nervous prostration, on 
account of which they cease to assist in the function of circu- 
lation ; 4th sometimes to a mechanical impediment, such as 
agglomeration of the corpuscles, a foreign body, or a clot of 
fibrin ; 5th to a tendency in the vessels themselves to become 
dilated or varicose at parts and contracted at other parts. 

333. Original seat of the stagnation. 

The various tissues in health derive their nutriment from the 
blood contained in the capillaries or minute vessels, which per- 
meate their structure. Hence in disease the disturbance of 
the regular functions of the tissue is first felt in those vessels. 
Hence again the blood contained in them is soonest affected 
and altered in character. Hence the stagnation or " stasis '* 
of the circulation commences in them earlier than in the larger 

334. Changes, which occur in the Mood after leaving the seat of 


There is stagnation and sometimes complete arrest of the 
blood in the inflamed part. In that part the blood, as stated 
above, is viscid and altered in its character. It leaves the part 
but slowly. The change in its character has been produced by 
the action of the diseased tissue on it. As soon as it gets free 
from that morbid action, it rapidly regains among the healthy 
tissues its fluidity and proper consistence. The vital processes. 


"by whicli nature restores the blood in a great degree, but per- 
haps not entirely, to a healthy condition are difficult to explain. 
An illustration may serve better than an explanation. If a 
clear stream runs through a muddy pond, it will issue out 
from it somewhat disturbed and thick; but after again running 
a short distance over a gravelly bottom and exposed also to the 
wholesome influence of oxydisation from the air, it will soon 
be as clear as ever. Again it must be remembered, that unless 
the seat of the inflammation is very extensive, the amount of 
blood, which has become altered in its character from the action 
of the diseased tissue, is very small when again mingled in the 
mass of the general circulation. 

335. Effects, which result in the neighhouring parts from the 
stagnation of the circulation at the inflamed part. 

But around the inflamed part there is an undue and unusual 
accumulation of blood. This accumulation is not in itself 
primarily a disease. It is simply the mechanical result of the 
stagnation of the blood at the inflamed part. The heart con- 
tinues in its usual state of activity and propels the blood for- 
ward through the various channels of the circulatory system ; 
but the blood, which would in due time come to and pass 
through the inflamed part, is necessarily arrested by the stag- 
nation and congestion, which has already taken place at the 
seat of the disease ; and consequently the vessels around the 
stagnation are dilated, and contain more blood than natural. 
As the current of blood continues to flow into the neighbouring 
parts, the vessels become more and more overloaded, congested 
and dilated. Hence also the strong and heavy throbbing felt 
in the arteries leading to the part. 

It is not however to be supposed, that there is complete 
arrest of the circulation in those parts. The vessels surrounding 
the inflamed part with their innumerable ramifications enlarge 
and thus permit to pass through them a considerable portion 
of the blood, which in health would pass through the vessels 
at the original seat of the disease. The vessels on the sides 
may however become so much paralysed from over-distension 
that their contents also may almost cease to flow, and thus the 
area of the disease may become extended. 


As however the seat of tlie inflammation is usually among 
the capillaries, which have innumerable ramifications in every 
direction, the check on the circulation is less than might at first 
sight have been expected, because collateral circulation is so 
readily established. 

The undue accumulation of blood thus arising we shall here- 
after term '' Hypereemia. '' 

336. Effect of inflammation on the general circulation. 

The general circulation is but little affected. The hyper- 
aemia in the surrounding parts is due to the simple mechanical 
cause detailed above. 

If, however. Fever supervenes, as it usually does in all serious 
and extensive attacks, the circulation will be quickened, some- 
times to an excessive degree. 

337. Fever. 

If the hyper^emia be excessive, or if the pain attending the 
original attack of inflammation be great, or if the patient be 
very irritable, or if the part attacked be very sensitive, we may 
expect symptomatic Fever to set in. 

Fever is general nervous irritability, from which arises a 
quickened state of the circulation. The pulse in consequence 
is always affected to a greater or less degree, and increased in 
frequency. The respirations are increased, and so also is the 
heat of the body. Fever is generally ushered in with shivering 
and accompanied with thirst. 

338. Effect of inflammation on the nutrition of the part. 

The effect on the nutrition of the part will be very varied 
according to the degree of the disturbance of the functions of the 
tissue affected, the amount of hypereemia in the surrounding 
parts, the health and condition of the patient, and on some other 
circumstances. The nutrition may be excessive, as indicated in 
some cases, by an over-rapid growth of granulations ; or it may 
be diminished, sometimes to an excessive degree, as indicated 
by a tendency to ulceration. Again the products poured forth 
may be unhealthy ; or they may be available for the repair of 
lesions. In some cases the disturbance of function in the tissue 


may be so g*reat_, as to induce mortification or death o£ tlie 

339. Local, Diffused, and Specific inflammation. 

Inflammatory attacks are divided into Local or circumscribed^ 
Diffused,, and Specific. The disease is said to be Local^ when it 
attacks an organ or definite part of the body. The eif ects pro- 
duced on the system will be severe and otherwise according to 
the importance of the organ attacked and other circumstances. 
Inflammation is said to be Diffused^ when it extends over a large 
tract of tissue^ such for instance as the cellular tissue^ or when 
it has no tendency to become circumscribed. Constitutional 
disturbance in a greater or less degree always attends diffused 
inflammation. Specific inflammation is the term applied to 
those caseSj which are caused by animal or blood poisons. 

The expression often used of ^'^ general" inflammation is not 
strictly correct. It is simply impossible that all the vessels can 
at one and the same time contain more than their usual quan- 
tity of blood. What is termed general inflammation is in 
reality fevei' attended by a quickened state of the circulation. 

340. Acute, Sub-acute and Chronic inflammation. 

Inflammatory attacks are also usually divided into the three 
heads of Acute, Sub-acute and Chronic. 

When the attack is sudden in its origin, violent in its action, 
rapid in producing its effects, and attended by fever, it is said 
to be Acute. Acute attacks are seldom of long duration. 

It is said to be Sub-acute when the symptoms mentioned 
above are less marked. Such attacks are often obstinate and 
prolonged, and in many cases produce disastrous changes of 

Chronic attacks partake of the nature of sub-acute. The 
name has reference to the abiding nature of the attack rather 
than to any other features. 

No sharp line of demarcation can however be drawn between 
these degrees of inflammation. They glide insensibly one into 
the other. 

341. Signs of inflammation, ivhen estahlislwd. 

From the consideration of the theory and primary stage of 


inflamniation_, we now turn to tlie consideration of tlie disease^ 
when it lias established itself in a part. 

The principal and usual signs in the part are hyperemia, 
pain, redness, heat, swelling, and throbbing. The whole or any 
part of these symptoms may be present. The first or hyper- 
femia has been already dwelt upon. We therefore pass on- to 
the next, namely Pain. 

342. Pain, 

The pain varies very much in different structures. Some are 
more sensitive than others, but as a general rule the pain is 
least, where the parts are capable of yielding and swelling ; 
and greatest where they are tense and firm, as in bones, 
tendons and ligaments ; or where the part, though soft in itself, 
is enclosed in unyielding structures, as is the case in regard to 
the interior parts of the foot. Hence many parts, which are 
ordinarily insensitive, become exceedingly painful under inflam- 
mation j and fever may be expected to supervene, when such 
parts are attacked. The pulse, for instance, is often more 
affected in laminitis than in many other diseases. 

343. Redness. 

Except in the visible mucous membranes, such as those of 
the nose, mouth, eyes, etc., we cannot see the redness on account 
of the hair with which the skin is covered. The redness is due 
to the greater quantity of blood contained in the vessels of the 
part affected, and sometimes also at a later stage to extravasa- 
tion of the colouring matter of the blood into the neighbouring 
textures. The redness in some cases remains long after the 
subsidence of the inflammation on account of the length of time 
which the vessels, after having been much over-distended, take 
to regain their tone, and also because the extra vasated material 
is but slowly absorbed. 

344. Eeat 

The temperature of the part is increased both by the greater 
quantity of blood present in the congested vessels and also by 
an actual increase in the temperature of the blood at the part. 
There must therefore be generation of heat in the inflamed part. 


This cannot be wondered at^ wlien tlie great changes, which are 
^oing on in inflamed structures, are taken into consideration. 

345. Sivelling. 

Swelling, which is always most appreciable in the soft exter- 
nal structures, is due in the early stage of the attack to the 
distension of the blood-vessels ; and it is also much increased 
in the latter stages by the effusion and exudation which take 
place through their coats. 

These products, though of very different kinds, are all 
derived from the blood. They are, first, serum or the watery 
part of the blood ; secondly, albuminous fluid ; thirdly, coagu- 
lable lymph ; fourthly, the blood itself. The swelling may be 
hard or may pit on pressure according to varying circum- 

Swelling of the part necessarily accompanies every attack of 
inflammation, but the amount may be so small as to be scarcely 
appreciable. This apparent absence of swelling is particularly 
noticeable in bones and other firm substances. 

346. Throhhing. 

Throbbing of the arteries is caused by a sort of regurgitation 
of the blood, which is partially arrested in its onward course by 
the congested state of the vessels at the seat of the disease. It 
is a marked sign of inflammation. 

Throbbing is useful in many cases in enabling us to deter- 
mine with more certainty, than we otherwise could, the real 
seat of the disease. For example inflammation in the interior 
of the foot is plainly indicated by throbbing of the plantar 

347. Constitutional symjjtoms. 

Inflammation, when tolerably severe or extensive, tells of its 
existence by other signs besides the local symptoms already 
detailed. It soon causes constitutional disturbance, which 
is recognised by shivering, cold extremities, dryness of the 
mouth and nostrils, constipation of the bowels and diminished 
action of the skin and kidneys. 

When the disease is complicated with or aggravated by fever. 


as in such cases it usually is_, it will be marked by furtlier 
symptoms, namely an accelerated pulse, quickened breathing,, 
and irregular temperature o£ the part at different times. 

Though in its origin the disease is always local, yet in some 
cases the constitutional disturbance may precede the visible- 
manifestation of the local symptoms. 

348. SJiivering. 

Shivering is a symptom of the greatest importance. It is 
generally present in the early stage of all serious attacks of 
inflammation. It often indicates some important change in the 
character of the blood, or is due to altered condition of the 
nervous system, or to the shock of an impending disease. No 
case, in which Shivering is present, should be ever neglected 
for an instant. Although the animal may be shivering, the 
skin may be hot and burning. 

349. SymptomSy indicative of tJie locality of the part attached. 

The symptoms vary very much according to the part attacked.. 
In all serious cases, such as inflammation of the brain, eyes, 
feet, lungs, or bowels, there are special characteristic symptoms, 
which mark each disease. These special symptoms will be 
noticed hereafter under the heads of those diseases. 

350. Sthenic and Asthenic types of inflammation. 

One more feature, and it is a very important feature in 
inflammatory attacks, yet remains to be considered. 

The attack maybe of a '^ sthenic^' or of an *"' asthenic" 
type. (20£voc, strength. AaQ^vog, want of strength, weak- 
ness.) This will depend partly on the cause, but mainly on the- 
constitution of the patient. The inflammation will probably 
be of a sthenic type, when it affects a vigorous animal ; whilst 
it will probably be asthenic, if the patient is of weakly con- 
stitution. Sthenic inflammation cannot be produced in a very 
weakly animal by any degree of nervous exaltation ; but the 
asthenic type may be generated in any animal by causes, such 
as bad food, malaria, etc., which lower the system. 

The sthenic type is indicated by a quickened, full, and not 
easily compressible pulse. There is also in general thirst. If 


an important internal organ is attacked, the appetite is usually 
lost from tlie first, the urine is scanty and high coloured, and 
the fa3ces are hard and knobby. But when the inflammation 
attacks even important structures remote from the vital organs, 
the appetite is often for some time less affected. In both cases 
there is restlessness and discomfort. The skin is hot and dry. 
The respiration is quickened, and the breath is hotter than 

Sthenic inflammation may also exist with a full and very 
slow pulse. In such cases it indica,tes an affection of the brain. 
The appetite often remains for some time, and occasionally the 
patient continues to eat in a half somnolent state. 

In attacks on internal organs the duration of the sthenic 
stage is often very brief, — after which the disease runs into 
the asthenic type. The fact has a very important bearing on 
the treatment to be adopted in such cases. On the other hand, 
when inflammation of a sthenic type attacks organs, such as 
the laminae, remote from the prime organs, the type may 
remain unaltered for a length of time. 

In the asthenic disease all the vital powers are from the first 
greatly depressed. The case assumes, what is technically called 
a '^ow" type. The pulse is soft and compressible, weak and 
quick, and the volume of blood flowing through the arteries is 
comparatively small. The nervous power of the heart is pros- 
trated, and it is unable properly to propel the blood through 
the system by strong well defined rhythms. The patient is weak 
and downcast. The appetite is impaired, and the animal gradu- 
ally cares less and less for his food, but it is not completely lost 
from the first as in the sthenic attack. 

Fever may be said to be present in sthenic inflammation, 
when the pulse, in addition to being quick, full, and not easily 
compressible, is also bounding ; and similarly in the asthenic 
attack, when in addition to being soft, compressible, quick and 
weak, the pulse becomes very quick. The heart appears to be 
endeavouring to make up for deficiency of power in each stroke- 
by more frequent beats. 

Most of the different varieties of inflammation, namely acute, 
sub-acute, local, diifused and specific may be present with 
either the sthenic or asthenic type. Chronic inflammation 


liowever, is always^ except perliaps quite at first, of an asthenic 

The Results of Inflammation, which will now be detailed, may- 
ensue equally from the asthenic as from the sthenic attack. 

•351. Results of inflammation. 

Inflammation accordincr to its deofree and other attendant 
circumstances may result in partial or complete resolution, in 
effusion of serum, in exudation of fibrinous material, in the 
formation of lymph and adhesion, in suppuration, in ulceration, 
or in mortification. 

352. Resolution. 

The most favorable termination of inflammation is resolution 
or simple subsidence of the congestion. In this case the blood 
is again set in more active motion. The cause of this effect is 
cessation of the irritation producing functional disturbance and 
the restoration of the nervous power at the original seat of the 
disease. The functions of the part being restored, the blood 
soon again flows in its regular course. The surrounding parts 
are then speedily relieved, and the abnormal heat, redness, 
swelling, etc. disappear. 

The effusion is very slight, and is soon taken up by the 
blood-vessels and absorbents, and the parts regain in all respects 
their normal condition and integrity. This result is in many 
cases a spontaneous act of nature, but in other cases it may be 
brought about, hastened, or assisted by art. 

353. Second result or Effusion. 

The second and very common result even of mild attacks of 
inflammation is effusion of serum or watery part of blood from 
the overloaded vessels into the textures of the part, producing 
a soft pitting swelling. 

Effusion generally gives relief to the pain and more acute 
symptoms by unloading the over-distended blood-vessels. In 
favorable cases the blood-vessels and absorbents soon take 
up the effusion, and the parts are restored to their normal 

This, however, is not always the case. The original disease 


may continue, and in sucli cases tlie undue amount of blood in 
tte part must increase ; and the watery effusion will tlien in 
consequence be poured out in increased quantities ; or under 
certain circumstances^, hereafter to be detailed, exudation of 
fibrinous material and the formation of lymph may take the 
place of the watery effusion. 

354. Third result or formation of Lymph and Adliesion. 

If the distension of the blood-vessels is great, the albuminous 
parts of the blood may pass out through their coats, and from 
it fibrin will be formed in the cells of the tissue. The material 
so generated is known as Lymph. Its more fluid parts are soon 
absorbed, and the lymph then becomes firm and solid. 

Lymph, if due to sthenic inflammation, has a tendency very 
rapidly to become organised. None of the other fluids derived 
from the blood under such circumstances are capable of this 
change. Lymph it the material by which wounds are repaired, 
broken bones are joined, and new parts of the body are built up. 

Hence in some cases lymph may be useful as a means of 
repair ; but in other cases it may be formed in structures, where 
from its adhesive qualities it may be a source of mischief, as for 
instance in the lungs, pleura, and many other parts ; or it may 
be deposited in excess of the quantity required for repair, and 
in this way, when consolidated, may be an evil. 

Lymph, however, if due to asthenic inflammation, is apt to 

355. Fourth result or formation of Pus, otheriuise called. 


The fourth result of inflammation is the formation of Pus. 
Pus is formed by the transformation of the cells and nuclei of 
the areolar tissue into those of pus, — the nutrient matter neces- 
sary for their formation being under the diseased action of the 
tissue exuded from the blood. 

The process of the formation of pus is known as suppuration. 
It is seldom attended with much pain, except when the matter 
is unable to gain an exit. The time required for the formation 
of pus is very uncertain. Sometimes it appears a few hours 
after congestion has set in, sometimes not until after many 
days, sometimes not at all. 


Healtliy pus is not offensive, but when the stagnation has 
proceeded so far as to injure the vitality of the part, the secre- 
tion is apt to become thin, acrid, and offensive. 

There is a marked difference between pus and lymph. Lymph 
consolidates, hardens, and builds up the part, on which it is 
deposited ; while pus, on the other hand, diffuses itself through 
the natural textures, and softens, separates, and breaks them 
down j and either makes an exit for itself externally, or if con- 
fined burrows internally and forms abscesses. 

Suppuration frequently supervenes on an undue and excessive 
formation of lymph. Lymph is apt to be deposited in quantities 
greater than required for the purposes of repair. From its 
tendency to accumulate and consolidate, it might, if permitted 
to remain, fill up and obstruct important organs and passages. 
Here nature ever bountiful even in disease interferes and pre- 
vents its undue accumulation by the production of pus, which 
breaks it up and causes its disintegration and removal. 

356. Fifth result J or Ulceration and Mortification. 

Ulceration generally arises from long-continued or excessive 
obstruction to the circulation in the part, which in consequence 
becomes deficient in nutrition and weak. The tissues then 
become softened, liquefied, and degenerate, and are cast forth 
as dead in minute particles. 

Mortification results from similar causes, but in this case 
parts visible to the naked eye perish and slough away. It will 
be seen that the two processes differ in degree rather than in 

357. Treatment of Inflammation. 

We shall now endeavour to sketch out the principles on 
which the state known as Inflammation ought to be treated. 
Inasmuch however as every organ and tissue in the body is 
liable to take on inflammation, and almost each of them has 
some speciality in its organization^ which may under varying 
circumstances demand some modification in the application of 
any general rules ; inasmuch too as inflammation is often com- 
plicated with, aggravated or modified by other diseases ; and 
further, inasmuch as inflammation, whether natural or artifi- 


cially induced, is frequently a means of repair, wMcli needs to 
be assisted and developed, — tlie reader must not expect to 
receive sharply defined instructions, but only a general idea of 
the sort of treatment necessary under the varying phases and 
circumstances of the state. At present however we shall only 
treat of inflammation as a disease. Its curative aspect will be 
considered hereafter. 

The cause of inflammation, as stated in the beginning of this 
Chapter, is irritation of the tissue affected, — of its ultimate 
elements, — in consequence of which their normal power of 
selection is destroyed, and that of their attractiveness is in- 
creased. '^ The removal of blood by bleeding cannot alter this 
state of affairs, nor can other lowering remedies, except in so 
far as that if the inflammation be superficial and circumscribed, 
local bleeding may relieve the congestion ; but if exudation has 
occurred, it cannot relieve this result. The exudation can only 
be absorbed by undergoing transformation. Now any such 
process demands strength, and is arrested by weakness." 

'^ The strong pulse, fever, and increased flow of blood in the 
neighbourhood of the inflamed part are the results, not the 
causes of inflammation. They may be regarded as agents em- 
ployed by nature for the restoration of the vital action of the 
diseased tissue. They may require to be modified, but no 
attempt must be made to get rid of them by such means as 
bleeding and depletives. " (Abridged from Professor Bennett 
on the Practice of Medicine.) 

In treatment, our aim will be 1st to check or diminish the 
inflammatory congestion, 2ndly when exudation has taken 
place, to further its removal, and ordly if this cannot be 
effected, to render its products as little injurious to the system 
as possible. 

The treatment of inflammation may, we think, be divided 
into two parts, namely 1st that of the primary disease, or 
functional disturbance in the tissue, and 2ndly that of the 
disease after it has established itself. 

358. Treatment of the primary disease , or disturbance of function 
in the fart affected, otherwise called the inflamed part. 

In the very earliest stage, namely that of irritation in the 


tissue or organ, tlie best treatment undoubtedly consists in 
removal of tbe cause, if it can be traced and found out. 

When the cause is external, such for instance as a hay seed 
lodging in the eye, it is both easy to see ifc and remove it. 
With the removal of the cause, the part affected will in general 
soon recover itself. In other cases we may see and know the 
cause, such as a blow, but may not be able to remove it. 
Knowing however the cause, we may take measures to lessen 
its effects. In other cases, such as inflammation of the bowels, 
though we cannot be perfectly certain of the cause, yet we may 
pretty safely assume it to be some obstruction in the intestines, 
and we may accordingly endeavour to effect its removal by 
suitable means. 

In most cases however we can neither see the cause, nor find 
it out. Hence as a general rule we can do little more than 
assist nature by placing the patient in the condition most 
favorable for the restoration of a healthy tone in the system and 

For this purpose in inflammation of Internal organs recourse 
should be had in the first instance to natural tonics. Of these 
the best and chief is cool fresh air in abundance. There is no 
other restorative at this stage to the tone of the part, to the 
nervous power, and to the circulation equal to this simple and 
easily obtained agent. With this view the patient should be 
promptly removed to a cool loose box and warmly clothed and 
his legs bandaged. 

As regards feeding, the appetite is the best criterion. In 
attacks on some internal organs, such as lungs, the appetite is 
generally lost from the first ; but in inflammation of some other 
organs the patient may be inclined to feed. Corn however 
should be withheld, and food of an easily digested character, 
such as grass, carrots, or bran mashes should be substituted for 
it. When the powers of digestion are enfeebled, as they always 
are either directly or by sympathy in serious internal attacks, 
food, if difficult of digestion, will not be assimilated, but will act 
as a foreign body, and cause further disturbance and increase 
of the symptoms. Still, so far or as long as the animal is in- 
clined to feed, a fairly liberal diet may be allowed, and indeed 
is essential to the maintenance or restoration of the tone of the 


system. Laxative diet is most suitable, and will also be useful 
in keeping open the bowels, wliicli in all sucli attacks, probably 
from want of nervous power, are apt to be constipated. 

If by these simple means tone can be restored, and the blood 
at the inflamed part can again be set in more active motion, 
the attack may be said to be over ; and the temporary con- 
gestion of the blood or hypereemia in the neighbouring part 
will soon pass away. 

This favorable result however does not always ensue. The 
remedies, to which we have had recourse, may not succeed in 
restoring the normal vital functions of the diseased tissue, and 
the proper flow of the circulation ; and we may soon have in 
the congestion of the blood in the part and neighbouring parts ; 
and in its altered character, a formidable, though in reality, a 
secondary disease. 

In cases of Superficial inflammation cold applications will be 
useful in the primary stage in checking the flow of blood into 
the part by causing the capillary vessels to contract, also in 
diminishing the congestion, in giving more tone to the tissue 
and in rousing its vital powers to healthier action. In severe 
cases fomentations will be required in order to allay the irri- 

359. Treatment of inflammation, ivJien estahlished. 

In the treatment of inflammation, when established, we shall 
have to consider 1st whether the attack is local, diifused or 
specific, 2ndly whether it is acute, sub-acute, or chronic, 3rdly 
whether it is of a sthenic or asthenic type. 

360. Treatment of acute Local inflammation. 

In the treatment of an acute attack of local inflammation our 
object is to reduce the violence of the disease. 

If the part be superficial and not very extensive, cold water 
dressings may be applied with the view of reducing the symp- 
toms ; but if the attack be severe or deep-seated, it is not 
probable that we shall be able to affect it sufl[iciently by such 
means. Fomentations, which act primarily by allaying irrita- 
tion in the tissues, and secondarily by relaxing the coats of the 
vessels and thereby allowing an enlarged passage for the blood 

240 CHAPTER XVI [r. 

will be needed. If by these means tlie irritation and subsequent 
congestion and hyperemia can be reduced^ the tissue affected 
will in favorable cases gradually recover its normal tone and 
vital powers, and the part will be restored to a healthy condi- 
tion. If this effect cannot be produced, we shall have as a 
result, either effusion of serum through the over-distended coats 
of the vessels, or oue of the other results of inflammation 
mentioned above. 

In the treatment of internal local inflammation, the above 
local remedies cannot be applied ; and we shall have to consider, 
whether the type of the disease is sthenic or asthenic. The 
treatment required will be found further on under the head of 
Sthenic and Asthenic inflammation. 

361. Treatment of suh-acute Local inflammation. 

Superficial local inflammation is seldom sub-acute. It is 
generally either acute or chronic. Sub-acute attacks are usually 
deep-seated as in joints, etc. It is not possible to define any 
specific treatment for sub-acute cases. The nature and organi- 
zation of the parts must be carefully considered. Cold dress- 
ings, which might seem to be indicated, will not answer in many 
cases. In sub-acute inflammation of the joints for instance, 
cold dressings might bring on rheumatism; neither do fomen- 
tations answer. Dry warm appHcations over the region of the 
part affected seem to answer best as a general rule. If treat- 
ment in sub-acute attacks does not bring about restoration of 
the parts to health, it is probable that the disease after a time 
will subside into the chronic form. Sub-acute inflammation 
seldom produces direct constitutional symptoms, though in- 
directly and after a time it may induce them through the 
medium of the changes, which it causes in the structure of 

362. Treatment of chronic Local inflammation. 
Our object in these cases is to rouse the tone and vital powers 
of the part to greater vigour. As a local application a stimu- 
lating liniment or a light blister may be rubbed on. Much 
attention however must be paid to improving and strengthening 
the general health. Good feeding, good grooming, plenty of 
fresh air, etc. are especially needed. 


Chronic inflammation is not easily amenable to treatment, 
far less so than the acute attack. The vital power of the 
diseased tissue appears to be depressed, and unable to rectify 
the disordered state of its functions. The inflammation is 
therefore lingering and abiding. It often continues for a 
length of time without terminating in any result. If any result 
does occur, it will probably be ulceration. 

363. Treatment of Diffused inflammation. 

Diffused inflammation may be sub-acute or chronic, but is 
usually acute. Inasmuch however as it generally produces 
constitutional disturbance, we shall have in regard to treatment 
mainly to consider the type of the disease, — whether it is of a 
sthenic or of an asthenic type. The signs by which the sthenic 
may be distinguished from the asthenic form, have been 
described above in paragraph 350. The one type will need a 
very different course of treatment to the other. 

We shall therefore divide this subject into the treatment of 
sthenic and asthenic inflammation, — premising however that our 
remarks also apply to those cases of local inflammation, which 
produce constitutional disturbance, as noted above in paragraph 

364. Treatment of Stlienic inflammation. 

In attacks of a sthenic character it is necessary in the first in- 
stance to lower the diet, — both on account of the primary 
disease, and of the constitutional disturbance resulting from it. 
There is however in general but little appetite. Aconite will 
be found a most valuable medicine in reducing the hardness 
and quickness of the pulse. It is believed to act by lowering 
the action of the heart, and in this way it allays the rapidity 
and force of the circulation, which is always increased in 
sthenic attacks. 

Bleeding and purgatives, which in many respects would 
appear at first sight to be the simplest means of relieving the 
symptoms, must not be resorted to (unless in very exceptionable 
cases), both because they unduly impair and lower the to4ie of 
the system, and because the sthenic stage often so quickly runs 
into the asthenic. 



Extra clotliing, bandages to tlie legs, hand- rubbing and otber 
means of restoring warmtb to the extremities have a most 
beneficial effect in equalising the circulation, the balance of 
which is disturbed by the congestion of a large quantity of 
blood in one part. Good nursing in all respects is of primary 
importance. The need of an abundant supply of cool fresh air 
cannot be overstated. 

Under certain circumstances, which will be detailed more 
particularly under the heads of various diseases, such as inflam- 
mation of the lungs, the application of mild irritants repeated 
somewhat frequently is useful in giving tone to the parts and in 
rousing the circulation. 

If the bowels are confined, as is frequently the case, a saline 
draught made of four ounces of acetate of ammonia and four 
ounces of sulphate of magnesia in a quart of water may be 
administered in the early stage. A slight effect on the bowels 
may be looked for in twenty-four hours. If necessary, the dose 
may be repeated. 

When the powers of nature begin to flag, as they generally 
do after a time, vegetable tonics and diffusible stimulants may 
be administered with great benefit. When the fever, which 
usually accompanies the attack has subsided, mineral tonics 
may be given. In the later stages the bowels generally 
become costive from want of tone. The remedy at this period 
will be found to consist, not so much in the administration of 
aperients, as in tonics and nutritious diet, milk, etc., if the 
patient can be persuaded to take food. 

365. Treatment of Asthenic inflammation. 

In attacks of an asthenic or low type our chief care must be 
devoted to sustaining, and, if possible, raising the tone of the 
system, which throughout is unduly and often excessively 
depressed. Throughout the attack diffusible stimulants, such 
as carbonate of ammonia in combination with salines may be 
o-iven with the greatest advantage. The mode in which these 
medicines act in such cases has been explained in Chapter 
XVII on the actions and uses of medicines. 

Every endeavour should be made to induce the patient to feed 


by tempting liis appetite with, grass^ carrots^ skim-milk or 
wliatever he may fancy. Vegetable tonics may be given with, 
great advantage. They give tone and vigour to the system, 
and often induce the animal to feed, when he would otherwise 
refuse all nourishment. If there is no fever, or in other cases 
when the fever has subsided, vegeto-mineral tonics, such as 
bydrochloric acid with gentian may be administered. 

Extra clothing, bandages to the legs, friction, and other 
means of restoring and equalising the circulation, fresh air, and 
good nursing, are of the utmost importance. Mild irritants, as 
mentioned in the preceding paragraph, are also sometimes 

366. Later stages of Sthenic and AstJienic inflammation. 

Throughout the later stages of both the sthenic and asthenic 
attack our main object is to sustain the strength of the patient, 
so that he may outlive the course of the disease. For this pur- 
pose it is necessary that the powers of nature should be assisted 
by most careful nursing, good nutritious diet, warm clothing and 
bandages, and above all by an abundant supply of cool fresh, 

The results, which may ensue, are the same in all attacks of 
inflammation, which do not end in resolution, namely eifusion 
of serum, formation of lymph, suppuration, ulceration, or even 

367. Inflammation seldom fatal. 

Inflammation ^er se, except that of the bowels, usually termi- 
nates favorably. If death eventually ensues, we commonly find 
that it does ijiot occur for some days or even weeks after the 
attack has subsided ; and even then results from the formation 
of extensive abscesses, hydrothorax, want of strength, or some 
such secondary cause. 

368. After effects. 

A severe attack of inflammation generally leaves behind it 
some trace of its effects in serous effusion, in the formation of 
lymph, in exudation, or in ulceration of the parts. 

Thus for instance in inflammatory diseases of the lungs and 


air passages tlie effused material may impede the freedom of 
the respiration ; in inflammation of the joints it may become 
consolidated and organized into bone and produce anchylosis ; 
in laminitis it may be deposited between the sensitive and 
insensitive laminae^ and may occasion an alteration of the whole 
structure of the foot. 

The chances of perfect restoration of the parts will very much 
depend on the strength and general health of the patient after 
the results of the disease have developed themselves. If the 
patient has been unduly lowered by depleting measures and 
violent counter-irritants^ it is probable that the system may not 
have strength and energy enough to take up the effused 
products^ and so bring about complete restoration of the parts. 
But if on the other hand the strength has been carefully hus- 
banded and sustained, we may fairly hope for a favorable 

369. Treatment by Depletives and violent Counter-irritants. 

The Author is aware,, that the views, which he has put for- 
ward in regard to the treatment of inflammation, are not those 
held by many veterinarians. 

Violent depletives, such as bleeding are now pretty nigh 
abandoned ; but violent irritants and counter-irritants applied 
to external parts are still in common use. As regards the first, 
it is urged that the system is unable to maintain two violent 
actions at one and the same time, and that therefore if a suffi- 
cient amount of irritation can be established in a safe external 
part such as the skin, the internal inflammation will be reduced 
and subdued. The rising of a blister is wont to be considered 
a favorable symptom, being supposed to indicate that the 
external has vanquished the internal inflammation, and suc- 
ceeded in drawing the blood from the internal organ to the 
surface. If on the other hand the blister does not rise, it is 
supposed that the internal inflammation must be very violent. 

It is difficult to conceive, that any sensible portion of the 
blood congested in a large vascular organ, such for instance as 
the lungs, can really be withdrawn by any such means to the 

Strong blisters are also used, not so much with a view to 


counter-irritation, as for the purpose of rousing tlie diseased 
parts to renewed activity by sympathy witli the effect pro- 
duced by the irritant in the neighbouring external part. The 
more violent the inflammation, the stronger and more extensive, 
it is argued, ought to be the blister. It is a rule in nature, 
that if any part can be excited to action, the neighbouring 
parts sympathise with it and are thereby roused to energy. 
On this principle it is supposed, that the blood which has col- 
lected and is stagnating in the inflamed organ, may again be 
set in more active motion by means of a blister applied to the 

From this view the author only differs as to the means taken 
to produce or to attempt to produce the desired effect. In his 
view, whilst a mild irritant repeated somewhat frequently, as 
recommended above, may be beneficial, a violent blister is more 
likely to cause paralysis of the functions of the part, than to 
restore tone and vigor. 

Again any such violent treatment renders the patient uneasy 
and prevents his resting ; and further, the absorption of some 
part of the irritant into the system, which is very apt to take 
place, causes great prostration of the vital energies. From 
such prostration and uneasiness the animal will probably refuse 
all food. 

We do not say, that an animal so treated will necessarily die, 
but we do say, that he is placed in a far less favorable position 
for recovery, than when his strength is husbanded by the avoid- 
ance of such violent measures. 

370. Specific inflammations. 

Specific inflammations, namely those attacks, which result 
from the presence of blood or animal poisons, such as glanders, 
farcy, ophthalmia, etc., will be treated of under the heads of the 
•diseases, to which they refer. 

371. Curative inflammation. 

Hitherto we have spoken of the state known as inflammation, 
as a disease to be combated, rather than ' as regards its other 
form, namely as a curative agent. 

Inflammation, or in other words an abnormal supply of blood, 


produced by irritation in tlie neighbourliood of a part, is neces- 
sary for the cure of all wounds (except those healed by direct 
union or adhesion) _, for the repair of fractures^ and for the 
building up of new material to supply accidental loss of tissue. 

The process, by which inflammation acts in these cases is as 
follows. More blood is brought to the part^ congestion ensues, 
and then exudation takes place through the distended coats of 
the vessels. Lymph is formed from the fibrinous material so 
exuded from the blood. Lymph^ as previously stated, has "a 
remarkable tendency to become organised. It generally 
partakes, when organised, of the nature of the structure into 
which it is exuded. Thus if a cavity in the flesh has to be 
filled up, the lymph when organised will act as a substitute, or 
if the broken ends of a bone have to be united, the lymph will 
knit them together and in due time become bone. 

Simple as this process may seem, there are many considera- 
tions connected with it, which will be treated of in the next 




372. Of inflammation artificially induced as siq^plemental to 
reparative action. 373. Of inflammation as a stiinulant to 
parts deficient i)i vital energy. 374. EMernal stimidation for 
the relief of inflammation in internal organs. 375. Counter- 
irritation. 376. Artificial infiammation as an excitant to the 
absorbent system. 377. Of Irritants used to produce Hypersemia 
or Inflammation. 378. Action of External Stimidants. 379. 
Friction and Heat. 380. Liniment of Ammonia or Turpentine. 
381. Tincture of Iodine. 381a. Iodide of Potassium. 382. 
Cantharides in reduced strength. 383. Mustard. 383«. Am- 
monia. 3835. Mustard and Ammonia. 384. Biniodide of 
Mercury {reduced strength). 384a. Perchloride of Mercury. 
385. Action of Vesicants. 386. Gantharides. 387. Biniodide 
of Mercury in full strength. 388. Setons. 389. Punching. 
390. Firing. 391. Application of Irritants. 

Inflammation as previously stated^ may be either a diseased 
or a curative action (see para. 371, in previous Chapter). 

In the present Chapter we shall endeavour to explain the 
advantages, and means of inducing inflammation artificially in 
certain cases. 

1st. As supplemental to curative reparative action. 

2nd. As a stimulant to parts deficient in vital energy. 

3rd. As a means of producing what is usually termed counter- 
irritation_, but which we think may more properly be regarded 
as stimulation. 

4th. As a means of exciting the absorbents to greater 
activity in the removal of newly-formed deposits. 


372. Of inflammation artificially induced as supplemental to 

reparative action. 

All parts of tlie body are formed from the blood ; the blood 
is the sustaining and repairing element of the vital frame. 
I'rom it are drawn the materials needed for the daily sustenance 
of the frame. From it in cases of injury an increased quantity 
of reparative material is required to be drawn for the repair of 
the injured part. 

This condition is known as inflammation. 

But it often happens that the inflammatory action, though 
violent, perhaps over-violent at first, becomes slack or subsides 
before the process of repair is completed. 

In such cases it will be necessary to apply Stimulants or 
Vesicants according to the requirements of each case, to main- 
tain or re-excite the inflammatory action needed to complete 
the process of repair. 

This want is especially apt to be felt in parts of low organi- 
sation, i.e. not endued with much nervous power, or many blood- 
vessels, such as tendons, ligaments, bones, etc. 

Artificial inflammation for the purpose of repair must never 
be induced until the original inflammation has completely 
subsided, and the parts have become cool. 

373. Of inflammation as a stimulant to parts deficient in vital 


Inflammation artificially induced is often needed to rouse to 
new and healthier action parts, which even though highly 
organised, have become through disease deficient in vital 
energy, for instance, the healing process in some ulcerative 
diseases is of so sluggish and languid a nature, that in many 
cases it is best treated by exciting a mild degree of inflamma- 
tion (hypersemia) in the surrounding parts. 

Again, it may be sometimes beneficial to bring more blood 
to parts, which though not diseased, are deficient in vital 
energy. For instance, if the crust of the foot be weak, much 
advantage often results from exciting by means of an irritant, 


hyperaemia in tlie coronary substance from which the hoof is 

Furthermore inflammation artificially induced has often a 
valuable effect in rousing to a new and healthier action, not 
merely the part to which it is immediately applied, but also 
the neighbouring structm*es. 

374. External stimulation for the relief of inflammation in 

internal organs. 

In cases, where the inflammatory action in internal organs 
is excessive, i.e. beyond the amount required for the purposes 
of repair — we can only act on the neighbouring parts, and we 
must endeavour by mild irritants, more properly called stimu- 
lants, to rouse them to increased action; and by their increased 
action relieve the more important parts unduly affected. 

When so stimulated, the blood-vessels and absorbents of the 
neighbouring parts will abstract and carry off some portion 
of the effusion, and other products of the inflammation existing 
in the internal organ. 

With this view, for example in inflammation of the lungs, 
many practitioners apply a stimulant to the skin of the neigh- 
bouring parts. By means of the stimulant the blood-vessels 
and absorbents of the skin are roused to increased action, and 
absorb a part at least of the excessive products of the inflam- 
mation in the internal organs. 

The plan of applying even mild irritants to the skin in cases 
of lung disease, during the acute stage is rapidly giving place 
to the system of treatment by hot fomentations. Many vete- 
rinarians consider that the irritation and nervous excitement 
frequently set up in a marked degree, and followed by corre- 
sponding depression renders the use of irritants inadmissible 
in most cases of acute pulmonary disease. 

In all such cases the stimulant must be mild. We cannot 
act by counter-irritation (see next para.). We can only 
stimulate the neighbouring parts to increased and healthy 
energy of action. We do not want to create a new disease, 
such as violent inflammation of the skin. 

If produced, it would paralyse for the time at least the power 
of the blood-vessels and absorbents of the skin. We merely 


seek to assist nature by stimulating the power of tlie blood- 
vessels and absorbents of the skin to increased action. 

Agaiuj all parts by constant irritation become exhausted and 
dormant. Hence^ it is always better to apply the stimulants 
at intervals. In the mean time the powers of nature revive, 
and after an interval the stimulant may be again applied with 
beneficial effect. Hence^ in such cases we employ stimulants 
of a somewhat mild nature. The effect produced is not per- 
manent, and is not intended to be so. The object of each 
application is to produce a short rally in the powers of the 

Further_, rapidity of action is of great importance in many 
of these cases. For this reason we employ mustard_, or mustard 
and ammonia in combination, which are very rapid in their 

375. Counter-irritation . 

In the old days of medicin-e it was supposed that inflammation 
in important internal organs could be relieved by what was 
known as counter-irritation. The idea was : 

That nature could not sustain two violent actions in neigh- 
bouring parts at one and the same time — that the more violent 
of the two would exhaust the less violent. 

On this idea a strong blister was applied to a safe external 
part, i.e. the skin, with the view of abstracting the abnormal 
quantity of blood, which was occasioning dangerous inflam- 
mation in some neighbouring- important part, such as the lungs. 
On this idea it was supposed that in inflammation of the lungs 
the abnormal quantity of blood in the lungs could be with- 
drawn by the action of a counter-irritant, fi'om those great and 
important organs to the skin. 

This idea is now known to be a fallacy, no such abstraction 
of blood from an internal inflamed organ can take place by 
means of an imtant applied to an external part. The skin is 
supplied with blood by superficial vessels. The internal organs 
are supplied by deep-seated vessels. 

We cannot act by counter-irritation in the sense in which 
that expression was understood in former days. But relief 
may be given, as explained in the preceding paragraph, by 


gently stimulating tlie blood-vessels and absorbents of tlie 
neiglibouring external parts to increased energy. 

376. Artificial inflammation as an excitant to the ahsorhent 


Stimulants are often beneficially applied to newly -formed 
deposits, with the view of exciting the blood-vessels and 
absorbents to greater energy in taking up the less solid parts 
of the new deposit. 

All newly-formed growths and deposits are derived, as the 
reader is aware from material exuded from the blood-vessels 
of the part aifected. Before such exudation can take place, 
there must necessarily be swelling and congestion of the blood- 
vessels, or what is usually termed inflammatory action. The 
growth and deposit is at first soft, because the effused material 
is liquid. In due time the more liquid parts are taken up and 
carried off by the blood-vessels and absorbents, and the more 
solid parts consolidate. 

In the treatment of such cases the first object is to check 
the increased action of the blood vessels by giving the animal 
entire rest and by applying cold bandages etc. When the 
excessive inflammatory action is subdued, the process of absorp- 
tion is at first generally pretty rapid. After a time however 
the energy of the part in most cases becomes deficient and the 
residuum of the deposit begins to consolidate. Stimulants 
may be useful in such cases in reviving the powers of the blood 
vessels, but it must be a rule, that the stimulant be not applied, 
until it is required, or in other words until the powers of nature 
begin to flag. In most cases stimulants may be safely applied 
immediately after the parts have become thoroughly cool. 

All abnormal growths however, even without any treatment 
have a tendency in time to become absorbed. 

Hence we frequently find the legs of an old horse almost free 
from the bony deposits, which disfigured them in the days of 
his youth. 

It will readily be seen, that the application of irritants or 
stimulants to parts, in which active inflammation is still present 
Is wholly erroneous. It is simply adding fuel to an existing 


Many quack remedies are recommended as specifics for the 
absorption o£ bony deposits, tumours and otber new growths. 
No such specific however exists. All we can do is to assist 
nature to take up the deposit or some part of it. 

The advisability or otherwise of attempting to hasten the 
process of absorption must depend on the ever varying circum- 
stances, which surround each particular case. It is impossible 
to lay down any general rule. The Author can only recommend, 
that, unless the new growth cause lameness or is a great 
eyesore, the time of absorbing it should be left to nature. 

377. Of Irritants used to produce Hyper aemia or Inflammation. 

Irritants may be divided into 2 classes. 
1st. External Stimulants, 
2nd. Vesicants. 

378. Action of External Stimulants. 

External Stimulants, or Kubefacients are those irritant 
agents, which when applied to the skin produce redness and 
superficial inflammation in a comparatively mild form. By the 
irritation which they produce, they excite the circulation and 
cause more blood to be brought to the part. Hence they are 
useful in some cases in accelerating the repair of injured struc- 
tures. They also give tone to parts, which from debility or 
other causes have become deficient in vital energy; and in 
cases of newly formed tumours, thickening of the skin, and 
such like ailments, they are useful in exciting the blood vessels 
and absorbents to greater energy in taking up and removing 
the abnormal growths and deposits. 

They are also frequently and beneficially employed on the 
revulsive principle in relieving hypersemia or congestion in the 
internal organs. 

A stimulant for instance applied to the sides has often a 
marked effect in relieving plem^isy. 

Friction, heat, liniment of ammonia, or turpentine, tincture 
of iodine, iodide of potassium, very mild preparations of can- 
tliarides and biniodide of mercury, are the stimulants in com- 
mon use. 


379. Friction and Heat. 

The mildest and one of the most valuable stimulants is 
friction by the hand. It is especially useful in mild superficial 
inflammation^ e.g. all horsemen are conversant with its bene- 
ficial effects in reducing swelled legs after a hard day's work. 

The objection to it is that it is troublesome and tedious to 

Its effect may be considerably increased by the moderate 
heat produced by the application of a flannel bandage after the^ 

380. Liniment of Ammonia or Turpentine. 

A useful stimulating embrocation for application to the skin 
may be made as follows : 

Strong Water of Ammonia . . 1 part. 
Water ...... 1 part. 

Oil of Turpentine . . .2 parts. 

Olive or Linseed Oil . . .4 parts. 
This may be diluted, if necessary by adding more oil, or its 
activity may be increased by the addition of more ammonia. 

Camphor . . . . . 1 oz. 

Rectified Spirits . . . .4 oz. 

Olive Oil . . . . .1 pint. 

Strong Water of Ammonia . . 2 oz. 
Dissolve the camphor in the spirits, and then mix the whole 
together so as to form a liniment. 

381. Tincture of Iodine. 

Tincture of Iodine is sometimes employed as a mild stimulant 
to promote absorption of effused fluids, or to remove abnormal 
growths. It should be painted on the part daily until soreness 
is produced. 

Tincture of iodine is prepared as follows : 

Iodine ....*. 1 part. 
Rectified Spirits . . . . 8 parts. Mix. 

The activity of tincture of iodine may be increased by the 
addition of 1 part of iodide of potassium. 

254 CHAPTER xrx. 

381a. Iodide of Potassium. 

Ointment of Iodide of Potassium composed of one or two 
parts of lard is a safe and mild stimulant. Tlie mode of 
application is very similar to that recommended above for 
biniodide of mercury in reduced strength. Its use may, if 
required_, be continued for a length of time. 

382. Cantharides in reduced strength. 

Although Cantharides is ordinarily used as a vesicant, it is 
frequently employed in reduced strength as a stimulant for 
the purpose of rousing the absorbents to increased action. 
For this purpose however biniodide of mercury is to be 

The preparation is usually made as follows : 

Powdered Cantharides . . .1 part. 
Olive Oil . . . . .12 parts. 
Digest in a Water bath for 3 hours and filter whilst hot. 

Powdered Cantharides . . .1 part. 
Dilute Acetic Acid . . .12 parts. 
Prepare as above. 

383. Mustard. 

Mustard is very rapid in its action as a stimulant. It should 
136 lightly applied and reapplied at short intervals, say in six 
hours. This process may be continued as long as, or until 
relief is gained. The mustard at each application should not 
be permitted to remain more than 20 minutes on the skin and 
should then be washed off. If suffered to remain on the skin 
it is apt to be absorbed, and then produces debilitating effect 
on the system. 

Mustard is much used by Veterinarians in affections of the 
lungs and air passages, in sore throat, in diseases of the liver, 
kidneys and bowels and in such like cases, when the immediate 
stimulating effect is considered to be of great importance. 

In all cases the action of the mustard requires to be most 
carefully watched. If the application produces excessive 
irritation and increased feverishness, it must be at once discon- 


tinned. Tlie pulse must be taken from time to time. A 
marked increase in its beats will tell us plainly tliat tlie appli- 
cation is doing harm ; whilst on the other hand, if it is relieving 
the congested condition of the part affected, the pulse improves 
in tone and becomes more tranquil. 

Mustard should be used with sufficient water to make it of 
the same consistence as that used at table. Household 
mustard is always much adulterated. If the seed be purchased 
and ground at home, a less quantity may be used, or a little 
flour may be added to reduce its strength. 

383«.. Ammonia. 

On account of its volatile character and severe action. 
Ammonia is very seldom used alone, but generally in combina- 
tion with mustard or other agents. One ounce of strong ammo- 
nia added to one pound of mustard will considerably increase 
its activity. 

3836. Mustard and Ammonia. 
See preceding paragraph. 

384. Biniodide of Mercury [reduced strength) , 

Biniodide of Mercury in reduced strength, i.e. one part of 
biniodide to twelve of lard, is a very useful stimulant. It is 
mild in its action, but its effect is tolerably abiding. It is much 
used to assist nature in taking up newly formed tumours or 
growths bursal otherwise called synovial enlargements, and in 
slight sprains of ligaments and tendons, and in thickening of 
the periosteum. 

If moderately employed, its effect is not so severe as to throw 
a horse out of work for more than a couple of days. This is a 
great advantage. It should be reapplied at short intervals, 
soon after the effect of the previous application has completely 
passed away. Practically it may generally be reapplied every 
nine days, until the needed effect is produced. 

384a. PercJdoride of Mercury. 

A preparation of Perchloride of Mercury, commonly known 
as corrosive sublimate, is a useful application in cases wliere 


actual vesication is not required, and is often employed to pro- 
mote the absorption of abnormal deposit. 
The formula for its preparation is : 

Perchloride of Mercury . . 1 drachm. 
Rectified Spirits . . . 1 ounce. 

Dissolve the Mercury in the spirits, and apply a moderate 
quantity with a stiff brush. 

385. Action of Vesicants. 

Under the head of Vesicants, otherwise termed Blisters, are 
included all the applications to the skin, which produce vesicae 
or watery effusions from the cutaneous blood vessels. 

Vesicants act much more severely than stimulants, and pro- 
duce a deeper seated inflammatory action of the true skin. The 
quantity and rapidity of the watery effusion vary with particular 
action employed. 

The Vesicants in most common use are Cantharides and 
Biniodide of Mercury. 

Setons and Firing, though they cannot be exactly classed 
as Vesicants have a similar action and may properly be con- 
veniently considered in the chapter of Irritants. 

386. Cantharides. 

The Vesicant in most use is Cantharides or Spanish Fly. It 
is in general safe and effective, and with proper care does not 
leave any permanent blemish. The irritation which it produces, 
is abiding, and hence, it is much used in cases of injury to parts 
of low vital or reparative power, such as tendons and ligaments. 
It has the advantage that if its effects fail before the process 
of repair is completed it can be repeated. 

On the other hand it is open to the objection that, when 
applied over a large service, or with too great frequency, or to 
parts in a weak or inflamed state, it is apt to be absorbed into 
the system. When so taken up it generally acts on the kidneys 
and produces great prostration of strength. 

Its effects however, if becoming too severe, may be dimi- 
nished by dressing the part with liniment of lead ; or the blister 
may be washed off, and the part dressed with oil. 

Before the blistering liquid or ointment is applied the hair of 


tlie part sliould be closely clipped or sliaved^ and the skin washed 

to remove grease or scurf. , 

To prevent the horse from gnawing the blistered part, his 

head should be tied up for 2 or 3 days, after which a cradle 

should be put on and the head may be let down. 

A blister of Cantharides may be made as under : 

Cantharides ... 1 part. 

Olive Oil . . . . 6 or 8 parts. 

To be digested in a water bath and the compound strained 

through muslin. 


Cantharides . . . 1 part. 

Lard . . . .6 parts. 

Great care should be taken in the purchase of Cantharides, 
as that sold in inferior shops is frequently adulterated. The 
Flies should be freshly powdered, and kept in a dark place or 
in a covered bottle. 

387. Biuiodide of mercury in full strength. 

Biniodide of Mercury in full strength, i. e. 1 part of biniodide 
to 8 of lard, commonly called ^''red ointment," is a vesicant. 

It is generally supposed to have a specific effect in exciting 
the action of the absorbents, and is therefore frequently em- 
ployed to assist nature in the removal of osseous and other 

It is sharp in its action, but very irritating, especially to 
nervous and high bred horses ; and for this reason should never 
be used, if any fever is present. But for the reduction of 
indolent swellings it is a valuable remedy. 

It is also useful in some cases, where the preparations of 
Cantharides are inadmissible on account of the facility, with 
which the active principle of the Spanish Fly is liable under 
certain circumstances (see preceding paragraph) to be absorbed 
into the system. 

388. Setons. 

Setons in common with other irritants produce hyperaomia in 
the parts to which they are applied ; but the results arising from 
the hyperosmia are somewhat different to those caused by firing 



or blisters. Setons act mainly on the deeper seated tissues and 
pro(iuce their effects by inducing the formation of pus from the 
lower layer of the skin rather than mere vesication or effusion 
from the superficial blood-vessels. 

By this action they appear to have a powerful effect both in 
promoting the repair of the deeper seated tissues when injured^ 
and also in removing abnormal deposits. 

According to the nature of the material employed setons 
produce a greater or less amount of irritation and suppuration. 

A silk thread for instance will cause but little irritation, 
whilst a horse-hair tape will produce a violent effect. Further, 
a greater or less effect may be induced according to the size 
and length of the seton, and the amount of skin detached along 
its sides. The length will of course depend on the extent, 
seat, and nature of the lesion. 

As compared with other agents, setons have in some cases 
the advantage of exciting the hyperaemia nearer to the seat of 
the disease, as for instance in sprains of tendons, and moreover 
they may be left in for any length of time, and consequently 
their action may be maintained as long as necessary. These 
properties are of great value in the treatment of disease or 
injury to tendons and other parts of low reparative power and 
also in some chronic affections. Setons if properly managed 
leave scarcely any blemish. 

Their use, however, is attended with some inconveniences, 
which will probably prevent their ever becoming a popular 
remedy. Their management requires great care and attention 
from stable servants. The seton should be pulled up and down 
every morning and evening. The matter or pus, which collects 
in the channel, must on each occasion be thoroughly and care- 
fully pressed out along the whole length, by running the fingers 
firmly but cautiously along the outside ; and the orifices them- 
selves must be frequently washed with warm water in order to 
keep them clean and open. If these details are neglected, the 
channel and orifices will soon become choked, and the pus will 
make exits for itself by large irregular holes, and permanent 
blemishes will probably be the result. In order to secure easy 
exit for the pus, it is desirable, if the seton exceeds six inches 
in length, that an intermediate opening should be made with 


the scissors. Tlie tape should be renewed every ten days, or 
it will become rotten and may break. It should be secured at 
both ends by a light piece of stick about three quarters of an 
inch long, or the two ends may be brought together and 

389. Punching. 

The old fashioned operation known as Punching was effected 
by an instrument closely resembling a saddler^s punch, which 
was driven tlu-ough the skin and subcutaneous tissues and 
through the periosteum. Into the hole so made corrosive 
sublimate, or other caustic was in some instances inserted. 

Some years ago punching was much recommended as a 
remedy for spavin, splint, and other such exostoses, but its 
effects are apt to be violent and uncertain. An undue amount 
of inflammation is frequently excited, which is likely to 
aggravate rather than to lessen the predisposition of the part 
to throw out ossific material, resulting in many instances in a 
permanent stiff joint. The more familiar remedies of blisters 
and setons are much safer and more successful. 

390. Firing. 

Firing otherwise termed the actual cautery, is the most 
powerful and rapid of all agents used to produce inflammation 

On account of its more energetic action it sometimes succeeds 
in producing the desired effect, even after other remedies have 
failed. Firing has also the great collateral advantage of 
compelhng the owner to throw his horse out of work for a 
considerable length of time. On the other hand, it has some 
considerable advantages. If at all severe, it produces a per- 
manent blemish. Again its effect, though exceedingly violent, 
is but temporary. Nature, as previously stated, is unable to 
sustain any very violent action for any great length of time. 
In consequence it generally becomes necessary after firing to 
apply a blister to keep up the irritation, and thus afford natm^e 
the means and the time needed to complete the process of 
cure. This is particularly apt to be the case in injuries of 
tendons and other structures of low reparative power. 


We liave stated above that only one degree of inflammation, 
namely, tliat intermediate between the excessively violent and 
the torpid stage, is suitable for the purposes of repair. The 
reader may therefore ask, how does so violent an irritant as the 
actual cautery answer this end ? This apparent contradiction 
however admits of explanation. 

In sprains of ligaments and tendons and such like cases we 
do not, and cannot apply the actual cautery to the seat of the 
disease, but only to a neighbouring part. We produce violent 
irritation in the outer skin, but the injured part partakes only 
in a modified degree of the excitement set up in its neighbour- 
hood. Firing is simply the means by which suflScient amount 
of active inflammation is set up in the injured part to enable 
nature to complete the process of repair. 

An opinion however, is prevalent, that much of the benefit of 
firing in cases of sprains of ligaments and tendons arises from 
its producing contraction of the skin, and thereby forming a 
permanent bandage round the injured part. There are great 
reasons however, to doubt, whether any such permanent con- 
traction of the skin takes place. The vitality of the skin is not 
destroyed by firing, and living skin is, we know, highly elastic. 
If the vitality were destroyed by the operation, the dead part 
would by the ordinary processes of nature be cast off, for no 
union can exist between a dead and a living portion of the 
body. It is argued however, that though the vitality of the 
skin is not destroyed altogether yet the new skin, which 
replaces that injured by the firing iron, is not true elastic skin, 
but a hard fibrous semi-tendinous material incapable of expan- 
sion, useful indeed in uniting the edges of the skin, which has 
been cut through in many places, but diflering widely from the 
original tissue. 

Admitting this to be true, we still think that there is an 
amount of elasticity in the portions of the skin not destroyed 
by the firing which must prevent its acting as a permanent 

Again the leg, for a long time after the wounds in the skin 
caused by the operation have completely healed, remains larger 
than usual. 

Now if the vitality of the skin were really destroyed by the 


firing, tlie skin would not contract on the leg, as it gradually 
became finer; and therefore far from acting as a permanent 
bandage, it would fit rather loosely round it. We must there- 
fore repeat our belief, that the benefit derived from firing 
arises simply from its action as an irritant, promising a ijiore 
than usually lasting effect. Of all notions connected with 
firing the most absurd is the idea, that it may be useful as a 
preventive against future lameness. There are people, who 
fire or as they term it, " just touch with the irons," the inside 
of the hocks of all their young horses to prevent their having 
spavins, and also the posterior part of the hocks to prevent 
their having curbs. What benefit they expect to derive from 
thus artificially exciting irritation and inflammation in a sound 
hock, it is hard to say. 

Others, with scarcely more reason, fire the hock after curb or 
spavin has completely formed, although no lameness is caused. 
There is no sense in this. Curb, though it generally produces 
lameness during the process of its formation rarely does so 
after the parts have consolidated. Again, if a spavin, when 
completely formed and consolidated, is so placed that it does 
not interfere with the movements of the joint, the probability 
is that it will never cause lameness. 

Frequently the results occurring from the application of the 
actual cautery are of a serious character. The shock produced 
by the violence of the ^'^ remedy ^^ is not unlikely to cause an 
excessive amount of irritation, especially if the patient be an 
animal of a highly nervous temperament. 

391. A'pijlication of Irritants. 

We have described above in general terms the action and 
mode of the application of the various Irritants commonly used 
in Veterinary practice. 

The important question now arises, namely what irritant 
should be employed in each case ? 

The answer to this question will be found more or less in 
succeeding chapters under the head of the treatment of the 
various diseases and injuries to which horses are subject. 



392. Nature of an Abscess. 393. Healthy Pus. 394. Un- 
healthy Pus. 395. Mode of formation of an Abscess. 396. 
Treatment. 397. Modes of opening Abscesses. 398. Various 
hinds of Abscesses. 399. Sinus. 400. Serous Abscesses. 400a. 
Capped Elbow. 

392. Nature of an Abscess. 

An abscess signifies a collection of pus in any of tlie]^tissues 
or organs of the body. In structure an abscess consists of an 
accumulation of pus, in tlie midst of and surrounded by a 
membranous layer of lympli, wbicli constitutes the walls^of tlie 
abscess. This wall varies in thickness and consistence, being 
in some cases scarely perceptible and in other cases forming 
the larger part of the abscess. 

Suppuration may occur in any of the tissues of the body, 
but it is most frequent in the glandular structures, the skin, 
muscles, and mucous membranes. Cartilage and tendons sup- 
purate only very slowly. Nerve tissues and arteries are but 
little susceptible of taking on the process of suppuration or of 
ulceration. Serous membranes, though they may suppurate, 
yet more generally under the influence of inflammation exude 
serum, or water, or lymph. 

Suppuration or the formation of pus may according to cir- 
cumstances be either a healthy or an unhealthy action ; though 
it is in all cases a morbid process. Suppuration may set in for 
various reasons. It may be a means of removing some poi- 
sonous matter from the blood, or some foreign substance 
impacted in the soft parts of the body. In all such cases it 
serves a beneficial end, and must then be regarded as a healthy 


A tendency to snppuration may also be generated by a 
disordered state of the blood after some lingering and weaken- 
ing illness, such as fever ; or it may be the result of inflamma- 
tion caused by blows. In other cases the tendency may be a 
consequence of breathing impure air, or of insuificient or bad 
food, or of disordered nutrition, or of any such causes which 
produce impoverishment of the system. Under certain circum- 
stances, hereafter to be described, the suppurative matter forms 

393. Eealthy Pus. 

Pus is a peculiar fluid, formed under certain diseased condi- 
tions of the system. Healthy pus is of a yellowish white 
color, free from offensive smell, and of the consistence of 
cream. It consists of serum holding a number of globules in 
suspension. Each globule consists of a cell wall enclosing 
nuclei, oil globules and small granules. Healthy pus is occa- 
sionally reabsorbed into the system without producing any bad 
effects. Nature sometimes cures an abscess in this way. 

394. Unhealthy Pus. 

There are several varities of unhealthy pus. It usually has 
-an offensive smell. It is called sanious, when it contains 
blood ; ichorous, when it is thin and watery ; and muco-puru- 
lent, when it consists of mucus -containing cells. Puriform 
matter is formed by the softening down of a fibrinous exuda- 
tion without the formation of true pus cells. If suppuration 
is too profuse, it will exhaust the vital powers. Unhealthy 
pus, if reabsorbed into the system, will produca very injurious 

395. Mode of formation of an Abscess, 

The formation of an abscess takes place in the following 
manner. A part from any cause, we will suppose, has become 
inflamed. In the centre of the inflamed part the products 
effused by the process of inflammation begin after a time to 
break up and liquefy ; or in other words there are signs of the 
commencement of the suppurative process. 

If there is a free depending exit for the matter, there is no 


need of an abscess ; but it often happens that there is no such 
exit_, and consequently the matter cannot get out. In such 
cases nature makes provision for its temporary retention and 
ultimate expulsion by means of an abscess. If the pus were to 
float about free among the tissues^ it might affect them very 
injuriously, and might act as a poison or at least as a foreign 

To obviate this_, nature, by means of the fibres of the lymph 
surrounding the outer circle of the inflamed part, forms a mem- 
brane with a smooth villous secreting surface. In this sac the 
pus is retained instead of floating about among the tissues. 
The contained pus however gradually seeks to reach the surface 
of the skin or a mucous membrane ; and then by means of pres- 
sure, which causes ulceration and rupture of the tissues between 
the cyst and the external air, the pus is evacuated. The sub- 
maxillary tumour in strangles is a very good example of an 

Sometimes the abscess is not able thus easily to discharge 
its contents ; but a communication is established with the sur- 
face by means of a narrow canal with walls of a membrane 
similar to that enclosing the abscess. This canal is called a 
Sinus. When the sinus is constricted at its external orifice, it 
is called a Fistula. In cases of long standing the walls of the 
sinus often secrete a thin, serous, and sometimes offensive 

The formation of an abscess, especially if acute, is often ac- 
companied with fever. The part is painful, red and swollen. 
Indications of relief are given by the tumour becoming softer 
and beginning to point ; and at the same time fluctuation may 
be felt in it. Ultimately the integument ulcerates, and the pus 
is discharged. As soon as suppuration occurs, there is abate- 
ment of the fever. 

396. Treatment of an Abscess. 

The treatment required is local. Herein often lies a difficulty. 
In very many cases we can do nothing, because the part, as 
for instance in the lungs, cannot be examined. Improvement 
in the condition of the animal will however assist in bringing 
about the curative process. 


When tlie parts can be readied, the best plan is to open the 
abscess at its most depending point, so soon as we judge by the 
softening of the external membrane and by the sensation of 
pulsation or fluctuation, that it is ripe or nearly ready to burst ; 
or in the case of a chronic abscess it may be necessary to open 
it to the bottom and to apply stimulants. If the abscess is 
internal, we must wait until by the operation of nature it 

If the suppurative matter has burrowed and formed sinuses, 
it will be necessary to afford it a free exit ; and in very many 
cases it will be necessary to cut the walls of the sinns completely 
through to the bottom, so as to convert it into an ordinary 
incised wound, which may be healed by granulation. 

If the abscess instead of becoming pyramidal and pointing to 
a surface, spreads in breadth and circumference, it should be 
opened at once, because in such case there is no tendency to 
become encysted or circumscribed. Abscesses under strong 
fascia should also be o2:)ened at once, because that membrane 
will resist for a length of time the ulcerative process, by which 
the suppurative matter gains its exit, and in consequence a 
sinus will probably form, unless an artificial opening is made. 
Abscesses, which are caused by the presence of irritant fluid, 
should obviously be opened without delay ; as well as those in 
loose areolar tissue, because in such cases there would be an 
undue tendency to spread. Abscesses in the neighbourhood of 
joints or of important organs should also be opened early, lest 
the ulcerative process should afi^ect those structures. 

The suppurative process, if it is unduly slow, may be assisted 
and hastened by the application of fomentations or poultices, 
or of a light blister; but it is essential that this latter agent 
should not be applied, until the abscess shows signs of 
coming to a head. Too early an application of such an 
agent is apt to disperse the matter, which is forming or about 
to form. 

For abscesses in internal parts we can do nothing more than 
place the patient in a condition favorable for their development 
by good feeding, good care, &c. 

It is hardly ever, we may remark, desirable to check or 
disperse the matter formed or seeking to form. The tendency 


to form an abscess is usually an indication, that there is some- 
thing in the system, which nature for her own wise reasons 
wishes to eliminate. 

397. Modes of opening Abscesses. 

An abscess in parts, which can be reached, is usually opened 
by the knife, when the proper time has arrived, i. e. — a little 
Ibefore it would burst naturally. Two advantages are gained 
by opening it artificially, namely, first the opening may be 
made at the point most favorable for the escape of the pus ; 
^nd secondly a slighter blemish is made by a clean incision 
than by the large irregular opening made by nature, i. e. by 
the process of ulceration of the integuments. 

Any pus, which remains after opening, should as far as 
possible be squeezed out gently, and the cyst or sac may be 
injected with warm water from a syringe twice a day for two 
or three days, and the edges of the wound must be carefully 
kept clean. In some cases irritation of the cyst may supervene 
with fever and pain and a discharge of sanious pus. To the warm 
water reccommended above some slightly stimulating lotion, 
such as diluted ammonia, may be added with a view of bringing 
:about a healthier action of the parts. In other cases, the 
presence of a foreign body may prevent the abscess from heal- 
ing, and possibly a sinus may result. Prior however to the 
formation of a sinus, such cases are best treated by applying 
stimulants to the surface or by injecting stimulating lotion. 
For the treatment of a sinus the reader is referred to the latter 
part of this Chapter. 

398. Various hinds of Abscesses, 

Abscesses may be divided into acute, chronic, and specific. 

The acute abscess may be taken as a type of the disease 
under ordinary circumstances. Though often attended with 
pain and fever, it generally runs its course quickly, and there- 
fore seldom needs any assistance to bring it to a head. Chronic 
abscesses are those, which slowly appear without any consti- 
tutional disturbance except swelling. The cause of their ap- 
pearance is often not very apparent. They frequently require 
to be stimulated by a blister in order to hasten on the needful 


processes. Specific abscesses are tliose, which, result directly 
from some disease, such as strangles. 

Abscesses are frequently a result of diffuse and violent inflam- 
mation in a part. They also occasionally occur as a consequence 
of phlebitis or pyaemia. They may occur in various parts of 
the body_, and especially in the mesentery after an attack of 
sti^ngles, when the tumour has not formed in the regular 

399. Sinus, 

A sinus is a hollow passage lined by a dense fibrous mem- 
brane and usually communicating with a suppurating- cavity. 
This passage always opens at one end on thie skin or on some 
free surface ; whilst the other end is at the seat of irritation. 
The sinus therefore is not the disease itself, but only the tube 
leading- from the diseased part to the external surface. Hence 
applications to a sinus are of no use, unless they reach the 
bottom of the passage, i. e, to the seat of the disease. 

When healthy action has set in at the seat of the disease, it 
often happens notwithstanding, that the lining membrane of 
the sinus continues to pour out an exudation. In such cases 
the only plan is to cut through its walls and to make a complete 
division. The surfaces must then be prevented from healing 
too quickly by inserting a pledget of tow between them. An 
ordinary incised wound will thus have been produced, and 
nature will then probably heal up the parts by granulation. In 
minor cases it may be sufiicient to inject the sinus with a stimu- 
lating or caustic lotion. 

400. Serous Abscesses. 

What is commonly called a Serous abscess is not in reality 
an abscess, but merely an effusion of serum into the cellular 
tissue. A true abscess must contain pus. Frequent fomenta- 
tions in the first instance and cold applications afterwards will 
often cause a serous abscess to disappear. Iodine ointment may 
also be applied, and iodide of potassium may be given internally 
with a view of promoting absorption. If these means fail, and 
a slight blemish is of no consequence, the knife may be freely 
used, and the wound treated as recommended in the latter part 


of tlie preceding paragraph. The depending orifice must be 
kept open for a time^ as otherwise the sac will fill again. 

400a. Cajp])ed Elbow. 

Capped elbow is a serous abscess of a condensed nature, 
situated at the point of the ulna and forming a soft fluctuating 

It is generally caused by the heel of the fore shoe in lying 
down, but may result from any other external injury. Capped 
elbow rarely produces lameness. 

The treatment consists primarily in reducing the inflamma- 
tion by fomentations, and then, if the tumour gets small by 
inducing absorption by means of an irritant such as the biniodide 
of mercury ointment. If the tumour be large and fluctuating, 
containing a considerable quantity of fluid, the cyst may be 
freely opened at the most depending part and treated as an 
ordinary serous abscess. 

It will be necessary to put on a three quarter-shoe or tip to 
prevent a recurrence of the injury. Occasionally setons are 
employed with benefit. 



401. Vefinition of JJlcevation and Sloiigliing. 402. Causes of. 
Ulceration. 403. Process of Ulceration, 404. Varieties of Ulcers. 
405. Treatment. 406. Healing 'process. 

401. Definition of Ulceration and SlougJiing. 

Ulceration is that process o£ nature, by wliicli she separates 
from tlie living structures those parts, which have lost their 
vitality. It consists in the progressive softening and disinte- 
gration of successive layers of the affected tissue. An ulcer 
may be defined to be a solution of continuity with loss of sub- 
stance, owing to some action going on in the part itself, which 
destroys the tissues. It is attended with the secretion of pus. 

Sloughing is the final throAving ofi^ of dead tissue from the 
surrounding structures. Ulceration is the process, by which 
the separation is effected. 

402. Causes of Ulceration. 

The cause may be arrest of nutrition in the part and cessation 
of the deposition of new material, whilst the old is carried off ; 
or it may depend on the process of absorption; or it may 
be an effort of nature for the elimination of dead matter. 
Again when from any cause the nutrition of a tissue is altered, 
and especially if congestion takes place, ulceration is likely to 
occur. Defective nervous influence is also a predisposing cause. 
The ulcer always commences where the vitality is least. 

Ulceration is also an occasional sequel of inflammation. 
When either by the violence of acute inflammation, or by the 
more gradual effect of chronic inflammation the nutriment, which 
ought to be supplied to a part by the free and constant flow of 


fresli blood tlirougli it, is arrested, — tlie tone and vitality of tlie 
part is lowered, and it is then in a state on wliicli ulceration is 
likely to supervene. 

Ulceration may however occur almost without inflammation, 
if the vitality of the part is sufficiently lowered, as in cases of 
ulcerated heels arising from horses being exposed to wet and 
cold. In other cases ulceration is found as a result of a pre- 
viously existing sore becoming indolent or unhealthy. An 
ordinary sore for instance forms, and from various causes it may 
become indolent, and in time the tissues affected lose to a greater 
or less degree their tone and vital power ; and ulceration may 
follow, as a result, in the manner described above. 

All tissues are liable to ulceration ; but blood vessels and 
nerves are not so subject to it, as other structures. Hence 
they can often be seen permeating an ulcerating tissue. 

403. Process of ulceration. 

Ulceration always commences at the surface of the diseased 
part, or in other words at the most extreme point of the capil- 
lary vessels. Here of course the vitality is least, and therefore 
that part is tlie fii'st to get into that low state, on which ulcera- 
tion is likely to supervene. 

When the ulcerative process is about to manifest itself on a 
mucous membrane, there will be observed a red point or two 
and a few small vesicles on the surface of the part, from under 
which a watery fluid or in some cases a thick gray slimy lymph 
exudes. The ulcerative process has now fairly set in. Particle 
after particle of the tissue, as each becomes dead, is removed as 
described above. Each fresh removal adds to the size of the 
ulcer. As the sore becomes larger, its edges will appear more 
ragged looking and swollen, and not unfrequently a fungoid 
kind of flesh will rapidly arise from the sides and bottom of the 
cavity. The appearance of any such growth is a very unfavor- 
able sign. 

404. Varieties of ulcers. 

Ulcers, according to the form they take, are described as 
fistulous, phagadenic, and sloughing. 

Fistulous ulcers are those, which run deep in various direc- 


tions, eating their way through and under the surrounding 
tissues in long narrow channels or fistulas. Phagadenic or 
spreading ulcers present to view a round shallow cavity with 
ragged edges and a disposition to spread superficially. Slough- 
ing ulcers are those^ in which considerable portions of the 
tissues come away at one time in flakes. 

Ulcers are also classed as healthy _, inflamed, weak, or indolent. 
A healthy ulcer has smooth edges, and a circular or oval surfact> 
studded with florid granulations secreting- healthy pus. Such 
ulcers are prone to cicatrize and contract. An inflamed ulcer 
presents ared surface, and the surrounding parts are hot, swollen, 
and red. The discharge is sanious and ofi^ensive. A weak ulcer 
has large, pale, flabby granulations, which have but feeble 
vitality. An indolent ulcer has a flat surface with raised, white, 
irregular edges and a thin sanious discharge. If granulations- 
are present, they are of a weak character. 

405. Treatment. 

The treatment consists mainly in attention to the general 
health. The causes, which have been detailed above, show 
plainly enough that ulceration results from a low state of 
vitality, either in the system generally or in the part imme- 
diately affected. Every means therefore, such as good feeding, 
good grooming, plenty of fresh air and the administration of 
tonics must be adopted in order to improve the general health. 
An ulcer seldom refuses to heal, unless the tone of the system 
is low and deficient. 

The best local treatment for a simple ulcer is a plain cold 
water dressing. The reparative process will not commence 
until the inflammation in the part is entirely reduced. As a 
general rule, ointments are injurious and retard the cure. If 
however the ulcer is indolent, moderate pressure round it will 
be useful with the addition, if need be, of a stimulating lotion. 
If this is not sufl&cient, a light blister may be applied somewhat 
frequently round the neighbourhood of the sore with a view of 
exciting a healthier action of the parts in its vicinity. If the 
ulcer is very irritable, a sedative lotion may be substituted for 
the cold water dressing. Other circumstances may require. 


tliat the dressing should be of an emollient, an astringent or'' 
<3austic character. 

If the ulcer arises from a plainly and purely local cause, such 
as the injury done to the underlying tissues by the pressure of 
a saddle on the withers, local treatment alone may be sufficient 
to bring about a healthier action ; but in all more serious cases 
we can only look for the commencement of the curative process 
by improving the general health and the tone of the system. 

406. Healing ])rocess. 

The healing process always begins at the edges of the sore. 
Its commencement is marked by several changes within the 
tissues contiguous to the ulcer. In the first place they acquire 
greater firmness ; 2ndly the exposed surface of the sore assumes 
a more healthy character, the edges and the granulations become 
more red, the granulations become covered with cuticle com- 
mencing from the edges, and thereby general contraction of the 
size of the sore takes place ; 3rdly the discharge, which exudes 
from the sore, acquires a greater consistency and becomes of an 
tilbuminous character. This healthy secretion gradually spreads 
over the ulcer, serving a double purpose, namely, it protects 
the raw surface of the sore from external agents, and again it 
by degrees becomes organized, and by successive layers in due 
time fills up the cavity. 

During the process of healing it however often happens, that 
the granulations become too luxuriant ; and in such case it will 
be necessary to check their growth either by pressure or by the 
a.pplicatiou of a caustic dressing. 




407. Of the organs of Mespiration. 408. Nature of the 
diseases affecting the 07'gans of Respiration. 409. Causes. 410. 
Coughs. — Gause of Coughs. 411. Distinctive signs of different 
sorts of Cough. 412. Cataerh or Common Cold. — Nature of 
Catarrh. 413. Causes. 414. Symptoms. 415. Treatment. 
416. Laryngitis and Sore throat. — Seat and nature. 417. 
Causes. 418. Symptoms. 419. Treatment. 420 Further 
treatment. 421. Signs of recovery. 422. After-treatment. 423. 
Bronchitis^ Pneumonia^ Pleuritis^ and Pleuro-pneumonia. — 
Structure of the organs affected. 424. Structure of the Lungs 
and Bronchiw. 425. Structure of the Pleurw. 426. Different 
seats of disease. 427. Certain formations of Chest predisposed 
to disease. 428. Bronchitis. — Nature, seat, and Causes. 429. 
Treatment. 430. Signs of Recovery. 431. After-treatment. 432. 
Pneumonia. — Seat and symptoms. 433. Subsidence oftlie attacJc. 
434. Increase of the attach. 435. Pleuritis or Pleurisy. — 
Nature and seat. 436. Symptoms. 437. Subsidence of attach. 
438. Increase of attach. 439. Pleuro-pneumonia. — Nature, 
seat and causes. 440. Symptoms. 441. Treatment op Pneu- 
monia^ Pleuritis, and Pleuro-pneumonia.— Treaiweyii^ of the 
premonitory symptoms. 442. Treatment of the attach. 443. 
Another mode of treatment. 444. Unfavorable terminations. 
445. Effusion. 446. Exudation and organi?:ation of Lymph. 
447. Suppuration and formation of Abscesses. 448. Gangrene 
and Mori if cation. 449. After- treatment. 



407. Of tlie organs of Res]piration, 

No class of organs in the body is of more importance than 
those which are connected with the functions of Respiration, 
None moreover are more liable to sudden and serious 

The proper breathing organs are the lungs and bronchi. The 
subsidiary organs are the nasal passages, the larynx, and the 

408. Nature of the diseases affecting the organs of Respiration. 

Most of the diseases of the organs of respiration are of an 
inflammatory character. Such for instance are Catarrh, Laryn- 
gitis, Sore throat, Bronchitis, Pleuritis, Pneumonia, and Pleuro- 
pneumonia. Other diseases, though not in themselves inflam- 
matory, yet generally result from attacks of inflammation. 
Such are Broken wind, Thick wind. Chronic cough, Nasal gleet, 
Roaring, etc. 

409. Causes of diseases of the organs of Respiration. 

Diseases of the organs of Respiration nearly always have 
their origin in preventible causes, — which may be briefly sum- 
med up under the great heads of insufficient ventilation, want 
of cleanliness in the stable, and bad stable management. 
Under this latter head we include not only neglect of servants, 
but also faults of the owner or rider, such as allowing* a horse 
when sweating to stand till chilled, or riding too far or too 
fast, or working a horse on a full stomach, or when out of 

G-reat and sudden changes of temperature, such as .from 
grass to stables, especially if accompanied by injudiciously 
sudden alteration of diet from grass to corn, — which is calcu- 
lated to produce plethora in the system and thereby increased 
liability to inflammatory attacks, — are also ready and frequent 
causes. Hence young horses, when first stabled, are apt to 

Some cases of disease no doubt arise from sudden atmo- 
spheric changes, but these with good stable management will be 
rare. Horses standing in town stables are more liable, as we 


miglit expect, to suffer from diseases of tlie respiratory organs 
tlian tliose in country districts. 

Diseases of the lungs and air passages constitute more than 
half the ailments, to which horses are subject. They prevail 
most during extremes of temperature, whether of heat or of 
cold, and are frequent in the spring and autumn, when the 
change of coat is taking place. 


410. Cause of Cough. 

Cough is a symptom of disease rather than a disease in itself. 
It arises from irritation existing in some portion of the respira- 
tory structures. 

The nature of a cough is a valuable guide as to the part in 
which the irritation exists ; and also as to the degree and stage 
of the disease from which the irritation arises. By applying 
the ear to the va^rious parts of the larynx, trachea, front of the 
chest, or to the sides whilst the animal is coughing, much valu- 
able information may sometimes be gained as to its seat and 

411. Distinctive signs of Different sorts of Cough. 

Coughs may be divided into seven classes, distinguished as 
under, namely, 

1st. The Hard dry cough, which arises from dryness of the 
membrane of the air-passages. It is found in the early stage 
of inflammatory attacks. 

2nd. The Moist cough, which marks the second stage of an 
inflammatory attack, when the inflamed membrane has again 
begun to throw out secretions. 

3rd. The Rattling or wheezing cough, which is found when 
the bronchial tubes are choked with mucus. 

4th. The Soft suppressed cough, which marks the presence 
of inflammation in the lungs ; and a suppressed, but somewhat 
harder cough, which denotes inflammation in the pleura. The 
peculiar suppressed character of these coughs is due to the 


pain wliicii tlie act of coughing produces on account of the 
inflamed state of the lungs or pleurae. 

6th. The Chronic cough, which is usually dry and short, 
and (except when associated with broken wind or roaring) of 
an intermittent character, indicates alteration of structure 
or confirmed irritability of some portions of the respiratory 

6th. A Short hollow weak asthmatical cough, which is 
peculiar to broken wind. 

7th. A Deep hollow cough, which is frequently found to 
accompany roaring. 

As the peculiarities of the various classes of cough afford 
very important indications as to the nature and seat of the 
disease existing in the respiratory organs, it is essential to 
acquire a knowledge of them. This, however, can only be 
done by much actual practice. 

The treatment which may be required in each case or stage, 
according to the cause from which the cough proceeds, will be 
detailed hereafter under the heads of the various diseases affect- 
ing the organs of respiration. 


412. Nature of Catarrh. 

Catarrh or common cold is acute inflammation of the mucous 
membrane, which lines the nostrils and upper air passages. 
It is the same affection as that known in the human subject as 
Cold in the head. It is attended by mucous or muco-puru- 
lent discharge from the nostrils, increased redness of the 
Schneiderian membrane, oozing of tears from the corners of 
the eyes, occasionally by swelling of the glands under the 
jaws, and a snorting cough with or without perceptible febrile- 

413. Causes. 

Catarrh in adult horses usually arises from some neglect or 
other in the management of the animal or of the stables, — from- 
what, for the sake of brevity, we may call preventible causes,, 
— probably aggravated at the time by sudden atmospheria 


changes. With young horses first brouglit into stables catarrh 
is of very frequent occurrence. It is also occasionally found 
as a consequence of or accompanying laryngitis or sore throat, 
because the inflammation set up in that disease very readily 
extends to the similar continuous membrane of the nostrils. 

Catarrh is commonly said to be epizootic; but this result 
need not be feared, except where predisposing causes, such as 
neglect and bad ventilation, render the animals susceptible of 
the disease. It is most frequent, as we might expect, during 
cold damp weather. 

414. Symptoms. 

The premonitory symptoms are loss of appetite, dulness of 
the eye, staring of the coat, a tendency to sweat upon slight 
exertion, and a little watery discharge from the nostrils. These 
premonitory symptoms are usually followed by slight feverish- 
ness, slightly quickened pulse and probably somewhat hurried 
breathing, and a hot mouth. The bowels are usually consti- 
pated. In most cases the throat is mdi^e or less sore, and 
cough may be present. 

In the early stage of the feverish symptoms the natural 
secretions of the part are, as is usual in inflammatory attacks, 
temporarily arrested ; but in the second or moist stage there is 
an increased discharge from the nostrils. 

If the disease runs on, the glands under the jaw become 
inflamed and swollen from sympathy with the inflammation 
existing in their neighbourhood. If the throat become posi- 
tively sore. Laryngitis may be said to have supervened. 

415. Treatment. 

The treatment requu'ed in the first instance is simply removal 
to a cool loose box with abundance of fresh air, extra warm 
clothing, flannel bandages to the legs, carrots, or green 
food, warm mashes, and laxative diet instead of corn. With 
proper care no case of incipient catarrh ought ever to be 
allowed to develop itself into any serious mischief. A very 
few days will in general see the patient restored to health. 

If however the running at the nose is considerable and the 
€ough troublesome, it will be advisable to steam the head fre- 


quently during tlie day ; and i£ the patient becomes feverisli, 
two to four drachms of nitrate of potass may be given in the 
mash or water, or a dose consisting of an ounce of sweet spirits 
of nitre and two drachms of nitrate of potass in half a pint of 
water may be given once or twice a day for two or three days. 
Active pm'gative medicine in this, as in all diseases in which, 
the respiratory organs are affected, is wholly inadmissible ; but 
if the bowels are constipated, instead of the previous medicine 
a dose consisting of two ounces of Epsom salts with half an 
ounce of nitrate of potass may be given twice a day, until the 
desired effect is produced. If there is depression with staring* 
coat and unequal heat in the legs, one ounce of spirits of 
nitric ether and four ounces of acetate of ammonia may also be 
administered in a pint of water morning and evening. 

Catarrh, if neglected, readily runs into laryngitis, bronchitisr 
pneumonia or other disease of the respiratory organs. In some 
few cases it becomes chronic, and is then known as nasal gleet. 
Grood nursing is imperative. The reader is referred to Chapter 
XY on Nursing. * 


416. 8eat and nature of Laryngitis and Sore throat. 

The seat of Laryngitis is in the membrane covering the 
upper part of the Larynx or box of the windj^ipe. When 
the Pharynx or back part of the swallow is affected, the dis- 
ease is termed Sore throat. Both affections proceed from in- 
flammation of the mucous membrane of the parts, and as both 
parts are usually affected at the same time, they generally exist 
in combination, and we may therefore for practical purposes 
treat these affections as one disease. 

417. Causes. 

Laryngitis and Sore throat generally have their origin in 
atmospheric causes. Humidity of the atmosphere is the most 
common cause ; but any sudden change, especially from dry to 
wet, is apt to bring on these affections. Inasmuch however as 
we seldom find horses at grass affected, it is evident that such 
changes, though predisposing causes, are rarely sufficient of 


tliemselves to induce these diseases. In further confirmation of 
tliis view we may remark^ that horses turned out to grass from 
stables even in cold weather rarely suffer from them. 

Artificial causes^ such as bad ventilation and bad stp^ble 
management are needed to aggravate the natural predisposition. 
The reader will readily understand^ that whilst a certain amount 
of bad air, containing ammonia and other emanations commonly 
found in badly kept stables, may not seriously affect the mem- 
brane, as long as its secretions are sufficient and healthy ; yet 
the same amount of noxious causes may be powerful enough to 
set up irritation in the part, when the membrane and its secre- 
tions are even in a slight degree deranged. 

Again, neglect on the part of a servant in allowing a horse on 
his return from work to stand in the stable without being dried 
at once or carelessness on the part of the rider in allowing a 
sweating horse to stand in a draught or in the sun, and all such 
acts of mismanagement are apt to bring on these affections, 
especially at those seasons of the year, when, as in spring and 
autumn, the skin is very sensitive. Horses, which are long in 
the wind-pipe or which have lost a vein, are predisposed to 
these diseases. 

Horses brought from grass and put into a warm stable are 
peculiarly liable to be affected in the membrane of the throat 
on account of the change from the pure cool air to the heated 
and often vitiated atmosphere of the stable. 

In some very few cases Laryngitis or Sore throat may be 
caused by the irritation arising from the accidental presence of 
some foreign body in or about the larynx or pharynx, or from 
external injuries. 

418. Symijtoms, 

The earliest symptoms of Laryngitis combined with Sore 
throat are cough and difficulty of swallowing solids or even 
liquids. The mouth is hot and the horse is disinclined to eat, 
or perhaps " quids " his hay, i. e. lets the masticated hay fall 
out of his mouth. He only sips his water, or takes it by small 
mouthfuls. The region of the gullet and fauces is hot and 
tender, and the least pressure on it often produces a paroxysm 
of coughing. The salivary glands throughout are swollen and 


tender. The difficulty iu swallowing arises from the irritated 
state of the membrane at the back part of the palate, over which 
the food must pass. The horse also uses much mastication in 
order to produce an amount of saliva, which may shield the 
irritated membrane during the passage of the food. Hence we 
find much slobbering from the mouth, and frequently in bad 
cases, when the animal drinks, a portion of the water comes 
back through the nostrils, and occasionally part of the food is 
returned in the same way. The cough peculiar to this disease 
is distinguished by its evidently proceeding from the top of the 
windpipe, and further by its being sharp and troublesome, not 
suppressed as in pneumonia. 

The pulse is quick and the respiration somewhat hurried. If 
the disease is not checked, the cough will become very hard 
and harassing, and we may expect increased fever to supervene. 
Fever however is only a concomitant symptom, and our atten- 
tion must not be diverted to it from the real disease. The fever 
will subside as soon as the irritation, which causes it, is 

The further progress of the disease is marked by the mouth 
becoming dry, the nostrils dilated, the parotid and submaxillary 
glands more swollen, and the breathing loud and laboured. In 
severe cases and especially when the disease is complicated 
with strangles, the breathing is of ten accompanied by a roaring 
. noise arising from a thickened state of the membrane, or from 
some pressure on the larynx caused by the formation of tumours 
or abscesses in its neighbourhood, and partly also from nervous 
irritability producing partial spasmodic closure of the glottis. 

Laryngitis and Sore throat, when the attack is very severe or 
long continued, occasionally have an after result in roaring or 
in chronic cough. The disease is sometimes, though but very 
rarely fatal ; and when such a result occurs, it is often due to 
neglect or maltreatment. Occasionally however a horse may 
be suffocated in spite of all our efforts to afford relief. 

419. Treatment. 

In the earliest stage the treatment consists in removing the 
patient to a loose box, with an abundant supply of fresh air. 
The diet must be restricted to soft food. The horse should be 


fed from a temporary manger placed so as to suit tlie lieiglffc, at 
wliich. in this disease he generally carries his head. Grass is by 
far the best food ; but when it cannot be procured, carrots or 
bran mash or linseed gruel may be substituted. Hay is wholly 
inadmissible as it cannot be properly masticated, and its long 
dry fibres will be certain to cause irritation in the throat. 

Active purgative medicine is injurious in this as in all other 
diseases of the air passages, because the patient's strength 
always fails very rapidly from want of due purification of the 
blood in the lungs ; and therefore he cannot bear any such 
lowering treatment. Aloes in particular on account of sym- 
pathy between the inflamed mucous membrane of tho throat 
and the mucous membrane of the bowels is very apt to produce 

If it is desired to produce a slight action on the bowels, two 
ounces of Epsom salts may be given morning and evening for 
two or three days in a pint of water with two drachms o£ ginger. 
If the salt does not act on the bowels, it will do so on the 
kidneys. It is however better to abstain from all laxatives in 
the shape of medicine. If the bowels are constipated, enemas 
may be employed with advantage. A tablespoonful of common 
salt may also with advantage be mixed in a bran mash. It will 
make the patient thirsty, and cause him to drink more freely. 

Febrifuges, in the form of small doses of half a drachm of 
belladonna and an ounce of nitre made up into a soft ball or 
dissolved in water, may also be given. 

"Warm water fomentations followed by the application of hot 
flannels to the throat will tend to allay inflammation, and this 
treatment may be followed by a stimulant such as the liniment 
of ammonia well rubbed in with the view of rousing the parts 
to a new and healthier action. Mustard may bo applied for 
the same purpose. When the disease is complicated with 
strangles, the persistent use of warm fomentations and hot 
flannels to the throat and the opening of any tumours or 
abscesses, as soon as they begin to point, will aflord immediate 

The strength must be supported as much as possible by care- 
ful attention to the appetite and good nursing. Grass, carrots 
or warm mashes may be oifered in very small quantities at a 


timei Demulcent drinks^ sucli as linseed tea^ hay tea, or gruel 
are useful and often acceptable. Water should always be within 

Steaming of the head with the vapour arising from boiling 
water poured on hay in a bucket is generally very beneficial. 
If there is much irritability of the membrane, it will be 
advisable to sprinkle a little chloroform or ether on the hay. 
The patient will inhale it along with the steam. In many cases 
the effect of this treatment in allaying irritation is very 

The warmth of the body must be maintained by clothing, 
and the legs should be wrapped in flannel bandages. At inter- 
vals according to the circumstances of the case the bandages 
should be removed, and hand rubbing applied until warmth is 
restored. Other minutise essential to the patient's comfort 
have been already detailed in Chapter No. 15 on Good Nurs- 
ing. The great majority of cases will yield to the above treat- 

Another, and it is very good practice when it can be managed, 
but there is often a good deal of difiiculty in effecting it, 
consists in cauterising the inflamed membrane by applying to 
it a sponge, neatly tied on the end of a stick, saturated 
with a solution of twenty grains of nitrate of silver to an 
ounce of water. The attack, if taken in time, may often by 
this means be cut short. The horse's mouth must be kept 
open by means of a balling iron, whilst the operation is per- 

420. Further Treatment. 

If the above remedies fail in arresting the attack, it will be 
advisable to apply a blister of biniodide of mercury over the 
larynx and extending halfway down the trachea. 

In the advanced stages much benefit is derived from the 
administration of sulphate of copper in doses of one drachm in 
a pint of water, or one drachm of sulphuric acid in a similar 
quantity of water, once or twice a day ; or a wine glassful of 
either mixture may be given from a drenching bottle every hour 
or two, so as to act as a gargle. The astringent action of these 
medicines may have a very beneficial effect on the membrane of 


the throaty as they pass over it^ and they will likewise act as 
tonics on the system. Great care is necessary in the adminis- 
tration of a drench in laryngitis and sore throat on account of 
the great irritability of the membrane of the larynx and pharynx. 
The horse's head should be let down immediately^ if there is 
any attempt at coughing. 

In very bad cases the swelling of the parotid glands and the 
sedema of the rima glottidis is sometimes so great^ especially 
when the disease is complicated with strangles_, as to cause 
imminelit danger of suffocation. Relief must then be sought by 
the operation kno^vn as Tracheotomy. If abscesses form and 
point internally, they may require to be laid open. 

The accompanying fever is best treated by small doses of 
nitre in the water or in a mash. The bowels must be kept open 
by the use of laxative food, or if need be by clysters. In all 
cases throughout the attack, the patient's head should be let 
down. Our great object is to maintain the strength, so as to 
enable the patient to outlive the attack. 

421. Signs of Recovery. 

The first sign of recovery is a slight mucous discharge from 
the nostrils, indicating that the inflammatory action is subsid- 
ing. There will also be some slobbering of saliva at the mouth,^ 
and the cough will become softer ; and the mucus discharged 
from the inflamed surfaces will be coughed up and got rid of 
partly by the nose and partly by the mouth, and in due time 
the cough will cease. The swelling of the parotid glands and 
of the glands under the jaws will also gradually subside. The 
concomitant fever mentioned above will cease of itself along' 
with the irritation, which produced it. 

422. After-treatment. 

The after-treatment will need much care and attention. 
Some deposit on or thickening of the membrane generally 
remains after the attack has subsided, which may cause the 
horse to become a roarer; and in order to assist nature to 
remove it and thereby lessen the chance of any affection^of the 
wind, it is advisable to apply a strong blister of biniodide of 
mercury, or to insert a setou. Mineral tonics may also be 


^'iven. Tlie patient sliould remain in a cool loose box_,. until 
all irritation lias completely passed away. 

Again wlien tlie liorse is thorouglily convalescent^ tlie owner 
must not be in a liurry to get liim into fast work^ because tlie 
membrane of the larynx and pliarynx will continue to be for 
some time very susceptible of irritation and inflammation. 
Great attention must also be given to the ventilation of the 

When the discharge from the nostrils continues for a length 
of time, even after the horse has in other respects recovered, 
the case must be treated as one of Nasal gleet. See Chapter 



423. Structure of the organs affected. 

Before treating of Bronchitis, Pneumonia, Pleuritis, and 
Pleuro-pneumonia it will be necessary to glance briefly at the 
-structure of the organs aifected in these diseases. 

424. Structure of the Lungs and Bronchise. 

The lungs are contained in the chest or large cavity in the 
anterior portion of the body. The sides of the cavity are 
formed by the ribs, its top by the spine or back bone, its front 
by the sternum or breast bone, whilst posteriorly it is separated 
from the stomach and intestines by a flexible curtain called the 
•diaphragm. Further protection is afforded to the cavity by the 
shoulder blade bones. 

The lungs consist of two soft elastic masses, which fill the 
cavity of the thorax. The right mass of the lungs has four 
lobules, whilst the left has only three. The interior walls of 
the cavity and the lungs themselves are covered with a fine 
serous membrane called the pleura. The lungs are in constant 
motion during life, enlarging and diminishing during the acts 
of inspiration and expiration. The mass of the lungs is made 
of innumerable minute cells, connected together by cellular 


The liiugs are connected witli tlie external air by means of 
tlie nostrils, larynx, and trachea or windpipe. This latter 
organ runs at first as a single tube, but after entering the 
chest it divides into two branches called the Bronchial tubes. 
They are similar in structure to the windpipe. They divide 
again and again, and subdivide and ramify through the lungs,, 
gradually becoming more and more minute. They terminate 
all through the lungs in the minute air cells. Over the surface 
of these colls the capillary ramifications of the pulmonary 
arteries are spread in exquisite minuteness, and here the blood 
imbibes from the air its oxygen. The pulmonary veins receive 
from the surface of the cells the blood, which has been thus 
oxydised, and return it to the heart. 

If the air supplied to the lungs is impure, the oxydisino^ 
process cannot be efficiently performed. Again if from disease 
or other cause the passage of the air through the lungs is 
impeded, and the supply is thereby lessened, the purification 
of the blood will be imperfect. 

It is chiefly on this latter account, that we have so often im- 
pressed on the reader the necessity of an ample supply of the 
best and purest air to all horses suffering from diseases of the 
respiratory organs. A supply, which may be quite sufficient in 
health, when the air has free course through every part of the 
lungs, may be very insufficient when portions of the respiratory 
system are impeded. 

Each lung, as stated above, is divided into two great divisions 
or lobes. Disease may exist in one lung or in one lobe without 
materially affecting the other ; but this is very seldom the case 
in horses, because all inflammatory diseases run their course 
very rapidly, and therefore in a very short time the whole sub- 
stance of the lungs is generally involved. Hence it is quite 
common for horses to die after suffering for only two or three 
days from diseases of the pleurce or lungs. 

425. Structure of the Pleurw. 

Every part of the entire substance of the lungs as well as of 
the cavity of the chest is lined with a fine serous shinino- 
lubricating membrane called the Pleura. This membrane 
prevents the different portions of the lungs from adhering to 


each other, and also prevents the lungs themselves from adher- 
ing to the sides of the cavity of the chest. Thus by means of 
the Pleurae their free and easy motion without friction is ensured 
at each respiration. The portion of the pleura, which lines the 
ribs, is termed the pleura costalis ; whilst that which invests the 
lungs, is called the pleura pulmonalis. 

426. Different seats of disease. 

Inflammation may attack one or all of these structures, namely 
the bronchi, the lungs, or the pleurae. The disease takes its 
name from the part aifected. Thus if the bronchi only are 
attacked, the disease is called Bronchitis ; if the pleurae only, 
Pleuritis j if the lungs only. Pneumonia ; whilst if both lungs 
rand pleurse are simultaneously attacked, the disease bears the 
compound name of Pleuro-pneumonia. 

Bronchitis is often found as a separate disease ; but in bad 
-cases it may become complicated with pneumonia. Pleuritis 
and Pneumonia, though occasionally found as separate dis- 
eases, more often occur in conjunction, constituting Pleuro- 

427. Certain formations of Chest predisposed to disease. 

Though we believe, as stated above, that diseases of the respi- 
ratory organs generally have their origin in preventible causes, 
yet we must at the outset admit that certain formations of chest 
entail a greater liability than others to disease. Even here 
however the owner is mainly responsible. It is his own fault, 
if h© subjects an animal to work and wear, for which his physical 
formation renders him unfit. 

A shallow and flat-sided chest for instance does not afford 
sufficient capacity for the lungs to enable the animal to per- 
form fast work. If such work is required of an animal so 
formed, there will be great liability to disease of the Respiratory 



428. Nature J seat and causes. 

Broncliitis consists in inflammation of tlie Bronchial tubes. 
There are two forms of the disease, namely inflammation of 
the larger tubes, and 2ndly inflammation of the smaller tubes, 
called capillary bronchitis. The latter attack is far the more 
dangerous, because the inflamed and thickened state of 
the membrane of* the minute tubes or the increased secretion 
of mucus in them prevents the blood from being properly 

Bronchitis usually commences with slight catarrh and cough, 
and the horse is off his feed and a little feverish. At other 
times there are no catarrhal symptoms, and the only noticeable 
sign is feverishness and quickened breathing. This state of the 
breathing, if not carefully looked for, may easily escape obser- 
vation. Hence grooms so often declare that the breathing is 
perfectly regular, whilst the practised eye of a man, who is 
accustomed to observe, sees at once the mischief, which is going 

The first positive sign of Bronchitis is indicated by quickened 
breathing, accompanied with a slight whistling or liissing sound 
heard on auscultation at the sides of the chest, or else by a 
deeper and more noisy sound in front of the chest. The 
whistling sound is technically known as Sibilus, and marks 
inflammation of the smaller tubes ; whilst the deeper sound, 
which is known as Rhonchus, indicates inflammation of the 
larger tubes. The peculiarity of these sounds arises from the 
passage of the air over a dry inflamed membrane in the tubes. 
During this, or the " dry stage, " the pulse is harder and quicker 
than natural, and as the disease progresses, it becomes quicker 
and smaller, until in very bad cases it can be no longer felt. 
The breathing is also much quickened, and the membrane of 
the nostril is red and inflamed. 

About the second day the dry state of the bronchial membrane 
is succeeded by a moist state, with an increased secretion of 
mucus accompanied with a suppressed cough. This chang-e, 
though it has no particular significance, is yet often indicative 


of relief, inasmuch as it shows that one stage of the inflamma- 
tion has passed. It is the result of the effusion_, which always 
(except when the attack ends in resolution) takes place in 
inflammatory attacks, when the blood-vessels of a part have 
become over-loaded and over- distended. (See Chapter XYIII, 
on Inflammation.) The pulse, which during the dry stage had 
been harder and quicker than natural, now becomes decreased 
in volume and increased in frequency. Should the Schneiderian 
membrane, which had been red and inflamed, become moist, and 
at the same time the secretion from it of a more natural 
character, it is a very favorable symptom. 

If the mucus, which is now secreted, is not freely expectorated, 
it will accumulate either in the larger or smaller tubes, accord- 
ing to the locale of the attack. In the larger tubes it affords 
conBiderable impediment to the respiration. The sound of the 
air passing through them is known as the " great '' mucous rale. 
If the smaller tubes are attacked, the sound is more subdued 
and wheezing-like, and is known as the " small " mucous rale. 
The distinction between those two sounds will require to be 
very carefully studied. 

Increase of the attack is marked by hurried breathing, dilata- 
tion of the nostrils, heaving of the flanks, much fever, a highly 
inflamed state of the Schneiderian membrane, and rapid prostra- 
tion of the strength. A peculiarity of the breathing may also 
be noticed, namely that the act of inspiration is performed with 
difficulty, whilst that of expiration is effected with comparative 
ease. The breathing also may be quicker than the pulse. 

In pm^e Bronchitis the throat is not affected. The disease is 
in the bronchial tubes, either great or small, but not in the 
larynx or trachea. If, however, bronchitis supervenes on a 
previous attack of catarrh or sore throat, the larynx and trachea 
will necessarily be involved. 

The causes of Bronchitis are similar to those of catarrh and 
sore throat. 

429. Treatment. 

At the very earliest symptom the patient should be removed 
to an airy loose box, warmly clothed, bandages apphed to his 
legs, and his food restricted to grass, carrots, or bran mash. If 


the legs are unequal in warmth and tlie coat is inclined to stare^ 
it will be advisable to give an ounce of spirits of nitric ether 
with four ounces of acetate of ammonia in eight ounces of water 
both morning and evening. If these precautions are taken 
sufficiently earlj^ the threatened attack will probably be averted. 
A good servant will always notice the slightest deviation from 
health in the horses under his charge ; whilst careless ignorant 
servants seldom see anything wrong, until disease has fully 
established itself. 

When Bronchitis has unmistakably set in, our efforts must 
be employed in assisting nature daring the progress of the 
disease, luhich must run Us course, and in attempting to bring 
about the moist stage as quickly as possible. Sedative medicine 
should be avoided ; indeed, in this disease the administration of 
medicines is frequently attended with difficulty. In the early 
stages salines may be given, such as half an ounce of the 
chlorate or nitrate of potass in the water or mash daily. 

After a time the pulse usually becomes weak and the patient 
is prostrated. Diffiusible stimulants, such as carbonate of 
ammonia in doses of one drachm, or sweet spirits of nitre or 
sulphuric ether, in doses of half to one ounce, repeated every 
four or six hours are now indicated, and may be continued, if 
their administration does not distress the patient, until signs 
of relief are apparent. If the horse if inclined to drink, half 
an ounce of nitre, may be dissolved in each half pailful of water 
until the kidneys are freely acted on. 

Inhalation of the steam arising from boiling water poured 
•over hay will also be found to give much relief, and should be 
made a main point of treatment. The steam relieves the 
irritated membrane and tends to loosen the mucus, and thereby 
relieves the cough. A small quantity of chloric ether may also 
at intervals be poured on the hay, and Avill assist the above 

Aloes and strong purgatives for reasons already given are 
inadmissible. If the bowels are constipated, two ounces of 
Epsom salts with half an ounce of nitrate of potass may be 
.given twice a da^-, until a slight effect is produced; but it is 
better to rely upon the effect of enemas and laxative food. In 
.some few cases there may be yellowness of the eye and of the 



membrane of tlie mouth. This will be found to be caused_, not 
by torpidity of the liver, as might be supposed_, but from over- 
action of that orgaU;, which is sympathetically excited. No 
treatment is required. 

When_, as is often the case_, notwithstanding hand-rubbing 
and bandages,, the legs remain persistently cold, the best plan 
is to apply ammonia liniment to them and then to replace the 

The chest should be well fomented by means of a blanket 
wrung out of hot water and applied to the sides. This may 
be covered with a waterproof sheet to keep in the heat and 
moisture, and after each fomentation the surface should h& 
slightly stimulated with weak ammonia liniment to prevent any 
untoward action from the effects of cold air on the partially 
dried parts. 

If signs of recovery do not become apparent, the disease will 
probably extend to the lung tissue or to its covering membrane, 
and we shall probably have the case complicated with Pneumonia 
or Pleurisy. A horse may die of pure Bronchitis, but in fatal 
cases the disease generally runs into pneumonia or pleurisy 
before death. 

430. Signs of recovery . 

Nature assisted by the above remedies generally brings about 
a favorable change in a few days. The pulse, although still 
quick, becomes more distinct, the breathing more tranquil and 
regular, the feverish symptoms decrease, the cough becomes of 
a stronger character, and there is a discharge of mucus from the 
nose. The membrane lining the nostrils assumes a more 
natural color, the mouth feels more moist and cooler, the animal 
lies down comfortably, and the appetite returns. 

An early and copious mucous expectoration and a change 
from the small crepitation to a mucous rale, or in the later 
stage an abundant muco-purulent expectoration with the return 
of the natural respiratory murmur in the chest, and a continu- 
ance of warmth in the legs are very favorable signs. Sometimes 
a slight diarrhoea is the turning point of the disease, and it is 
not advisable to check it unless it becomes severe. 


431. After-treatment. 

The nasal discharge should be encouraged by steaming the 
head. In some cases the collection of the mucus in the bron- 
chial tubes^ notwithstanding the subsidence of the acute attack, 
is very troublesome ; and the breathing becomes heavy and ac- 
companied with a wheezing noise^ especially when the animal 
coughs. The steaming recommended above will assist in its 
removal and in due time the mucus will be got rid of by cough- 
ing^ and then the cough will cease. The body and the legs 
must be kept warm by clothing and bandages, whilst the box 
should be freely ventilated. Grood nursing of the patient in 
every way is of primary importance. 

If thorough recovery appears to be retarded by persistent 
debility, some vegetable tonics may be beneficial in restoring 
tone to the system. As a rule, however, they are not required 
after this disease. 

431a. Congestion of the lungs. 

A congested condition of the capillary vessels of the lungs 
may exist independently of the presence of actual inflammation 
or it may accompany Pneumonia or may be present during the 
progress of many other inflammatory affections. It is especially 
prevalent as a result of extreme exertion, such as a hard day^s 
hunting when the animal is not in proper condition. 

This state of pulmonary hyperaemia may also be caused by 
the influence of badly-ventilated, and ill-drained stables, 
confinement oil board ship, etc., as the result of actual insuf- 
ficiency of pure air, producing a partially arrested condition of 
the function of the lungs. 

The symptoms of pulmonary congestion are characterized by 
an oppressed, almost indistinct pulse, beating with great 
rapidity and ranging from 80 to 120 beats per minute ; the ears 
and legs are very cold, the patient is much distressed and stands 
with the fore-legs wide apart and elbows turned outward, the 
nostrils are distended, the body is covered with cold perspira- 
tion, and to these distressing symptoms are added laboured 
respiration, a wildly-beating heart, and redness of the visible 
mucous membrane. 


4316. Treatment. 

The first principle to be observed is at once to get the 
patient into a well-ventilated loose box, to clothe the body 
warmly, and well hand-rnb and bandage the legs ; if this fails 
to restore heat to the limbs they must be placed in hot 
mustard and water or well rubbed with liniment of ammonia 
and double bandages applied. 

Diffusible stimulants are indicated in this disease for the 
purpose of equalising the circulation ; two ounces of spirits of 
nitrous ether with half an ounce of the aromatic spirits of 
ammonia may be given in a pint of water, or carbonate of 
ammonia from one to two drachms in a pint of ale or stout. 
If much plethora exists and the case is one of a serious nature 
five or six quarts of blood may be withdrawn from the jugular 
vein. On no account should mustard be applied to the sides, 
but if the congestion is not speedily relieved, they may be well 
fomented as recommended for Bronchitis. 

Above all, perfect quiet must be observed, the diet should be 
easy of digestion, light and laxative, such as small mashes, 
boiled linseed, carrots, or green food, etc., and a pail of water 
in which an ounce of nitrate of potass has been dissolved should 
be within reach. 

432. Seat and symptoms of Pneumonia. 

Pneumonia is inflammation of the substance of the lungs, but 
generally the bronchia are also involved. 

The premonitory symptom as in bronchitis is often a slight 
catarrh. Sometimes however the attack comes on very suddenly 
without any observable premonitory symptoms. At other times 
it starts almost imperceptibly, the animal being only slightly 
off^his feed and his mouth hot. Pneumonia frequently super- 
venes on bronchitis. It may also supervene on severe catarrh, 
but does not often do so. If it does, the nasal discharge will be 
at first arrested and the membrane of the nose will be dry. As 
long^as there is a free discharge from the nostrils in catarrh. 


there is, we may remark, scarcely any reason to fear Pneumonia. 
Occasionally pneumonia occurs suddenly as a result of extreme 
exertion in the liunting*-fleld or under such-like circumstances, 
and it is then due to the congested state of the blood in the 

The attack itself is generally ushered in by sudden fits of 
shivering, followed by coldness of the ears and extremities and 
other usual signs of inflammation and a staring coat. The 
coldness of the extremities is a marked sign throughout the 
disease. The horse is evidently uneasy and turns his head 
frequently round to his chest. The pulse is oppressed and 
quick, and generally ranges about sixty beats in the minute at 
the commencement ; but if the attack progresses unfavor- 
ably, it will become quicker and may reach a hundred, 
and will become gradually smaller and smaller in volume. 
The temperature rises rapidl}^, frequently to 104 or 105° 

In the early stage the nasal linings are paler than usual, but 
as the disease progresses, they become purplish and then of a 
leaden hue. The respiration becomes disturbed, as soon as the 
disease is established. 

A very prominent symptom, which marks this disease, con- 
sists in the horse persistently standing with his fore-legs wide 
apart and his elbows out. He retains this position, because it 
affords greater expansion to the chest and therefore greater 
ease than any other position. Horses affected with this disease 
or with pleuro-pneumonia never lie down, except it be for a 
moment at a time, or in extremis ^ when death from suffocation 
in general rapidly supervenes . The head throughout the attack 
is inclined downwards with the nose protruded and the nostrils 

Cough may or may not be present. If present, it is sharp 
in the first instance j but as the attack progresses, it becomes 
of a subdued character, because the act causes pain in the 

With increase of the disease the breathing becomes quicker 
and more laboured. In proportion as the membrane lining 
the air tubes and cells becomes thickened, the animal is 
obliged to breathe more quickly to purify the blood. The 


breathing is also performed irregularly. The inspirations are 
delayed in order to prevent tlie pain consequent on the disten- 
sion of the inflamed lungs ; but the expirations are hurried and 
laboured in order to get rid of the air, which is causing pain. 
The legs, ears and muzzle are cold, and in bad cases deadly 

If during the early stage of the attack the ear be applied to 
the chest, a confused humming noise accompanied with a 
harsh dry murmur instead of the gentle respiratory sound 
peculiar to health will be heard. The duration of the dry 
stage is very uncertain. As the inflammation progresses, the 
dry murmur will give way to a moist rattle. This stage 
may last from twenty-four to forty-eight hours, at the end 
of which time a decided change for better or for worse will 
occur. During this time the breathing will become quicker 
on account of the increasing congestion in the air cells. 
The pulse, though still oppressed, will become weaker and 

Pneumonia may attack one lung or one portion of one lung 
or both lungs. The extent and position of the attack may be 
ascertained by auscultation. 

433. Subsidence of tlie attack. 

Subsidence of the attack is indicated by the return of the 
pulse to something like its normal condition, by restoration 
and continuance of warmth in the extremities, by a moist state 
of the nostrils, or the appearance of healthy mucus, and by 
general relief of the symptoms of inflammation and by a dis- 
position to lie down. 

It is necessary however to caution the inexperienced against 
mistaking the earlier symptoms of effusion of serum into the 
thoracic cavity for those of amendment. The means of dis- 
tinguishing them will be found further on under the head of 
Effusion in paragraph 445. 

434. Increase of the attacJc. 

If on the other hand the disease continues to progress, the 
mouth and nose will become cold, the nostril of a leaden hue, 
and the pulse fluttering and indistinct. The attack may ter- 


Tninate in effusion of serLim_, otherwise known as water on the 
-chest, or in exudation of lymph from the pleural surfaces (these 
however are more frequently the result of pleuritis or pleuro- 
pneumonia) in partial hepatization of the lungs, or in tubercles, 
abscesses, gangrene, etc. 

A very unfavorable symptom is afforded by the discharge 
from the nose becoming of a brownish colour. It indicates a 
high degree of congestion in the blood-vessels of the lungs. 
The change of colour proceeds from oozing of the colouring 
matter of the blood through the over- distended coats of the 

Occasionally the patient dies from congestion of the lungs 
about the 4tli or 5th day, or even as early as the 2nd day, 
before any of the latter described stages are reached. 

Horses sometimes die of congestion of the lungs from hard 
riding or from plethoric state of the system. In these cases 
the cause of death is sanguineous congestion of the lungs, i. e. 
from the blood-vessels pouring out some of the constituents of 
the blood into the air cells. 

We reserve our notice of treatment, and of after-results, 
until after the consideration of the symptoms of the kindred 
diseases, Pleuritis and Pleuro-pneumonia. 

435. Nature and scat of Pleurisy . 

Pleuritis or Pleurisy is inflammation of the pleurae or delicate 
serous membrane which forms the covering of the lungs and 
also lines the cavity of the chest. The disease is generally 
brought on by the same causes as those which produce other 
diseases of the respiratory system, and which have been pretty 
fully detailed above ; but sometimes it is occasioned by some 
abnormal violence to the chest or by its being punctured. In 
these latter cases the disease will be confined to one side 

436. Symjptoms. 

A premonitory symptom of some approaching disease is 
given by loss of appetite, by quick short respiration and a 


quickened pulse ; but tlie first decided symptom of affection of 
the pleurte is usually the emission of a sharp clear grunt, when 
the animal is disturbed or turned round in his stall, or on the 
application of pressure to his side. The pain, of which this 
grunt is the expression, is due to the inelastic nature of the 
pleurae, which on this account become under inflammation 
exceedingly sensitive of any motion. If pressure be applied 
to the intercostal spaces, it causes pain and often produces the- 
peculiar grunt. The pulse is at first about 60, but soon 
becomes hard and wiry, and gradually increases to eighty and 
in bad cases to a hundred beats in the minute or even higher ; 
but it is not so full and oppressed as in pneumonia. On 
account of the pain in the pleura the patient frequently looks: 
round to his sides. Cough is generally present, but it is 
always of a short suppressed character, because the act of 
coughing causes pain. The nostrils are dilated to aid the 

The respiration is short and quick, because the horse endea- 
vours to supply his lungs with air with as little expansion of 
the chest as possible. He is also very restless and looks round 
to kis sides with an anxious eye of pain, and frequently paws 
the ground with his foot. He does not lie down, but often 
attempts to do so. There are often patches of sweat on the 
skin over the region of the disease, and the muscles of the part 
are affected with twitchings. The membrane of the nostrils 
is not much altered in colour at first, but as the disease pro- 
gresses, it becomes of a deep red colour. 

A further marked sign of the disease is given by a regular 
elevated line or ridge along the lower border of the ribs from 
the point of the hip to the lower part of the sternum, caused 
by the animal employing the muscles of the abdomen instead 
of those of the ribs to expel the air. The temperature in this 
disease, like that of pneumonia, rapidly becomes increased. 

If the ear be now applied to the sides of the chest, a friction 
sound such as that caused by gently rubbing the dry hands 
together may be at first for a short time detected. This 
peculiar sound arises from the dry roughened pleura of the 
lungs grating against the equally dry roughened pleura of the- 


Pleuritis is also marked by great irregularity in tlie tempe- 
rature of tlie extremities^ portions of wliicli maybe cold, wliilst 
otlier portions are hot, and frequent alternations of temperature 
occur in the same part. 

In a period of time varying from two days to a week in 
favorable cases tlie dryness of the pleura is relieved by an 
effusion of serum from the overloaded vessels. The occurrence- 
of the moist stage has not in itself either a favorable or un- 
favorable significance. It is merely the course, through which 
every inflammatory attack passes, which does not at once end 
in resolution. At this the second or moist stage the friction 
sound, noted above as characteristic of the disease in its first 
stage, disappears ; and the cough becomes loose and moist, 
and the extremities for a time become warm. The pulse- 
becomes less frequent, smaller and weaker, the breathing 
less laboured, and the membrane of the nostril loses its 

In from about twenty-four to forty-eight hours after the 
occurrence of the moist stage we may look for a decided change- 
either for better or for worse. 

437. Subsidence of the attach. 

Subsidence of the attack will be indicated by the breathing 
becoming less hurried, by the pulse becoming softer and more 
distinct, the temperature becoming lowered, and the cough less 
frequent, and by the extremities continuing warm. As in most 
acute diseases recovery, when a favorable change once takes 
place, is tolerably rapid. 

438. Increase of the attach. 

On the other hand persistence of the attack is indicated by 
the extremites, which had on the occurrence of the moist 
stage become warm, again becoming and continuing cold, by ay 
deep scarlet colour of the membrane of the nose, by a dis- 
charge of straw-coloured serum from the nostrils, by a thready 
wiry pulse, and by a rapid increase in the symptoms of inflam- 
mation, which will soon terminate either in effusion of seruui, 
otherwise called water on the chest, or in exudation of lymph, 
causing in some cases extensive adhesion of the pleura of 


tlie lungs to the pleura of tlie ribs; or very frequently in 

As in pneumonia^ it is necessary to caution the inexperienced 
against mistaking the earlier symptoms of either of these results 
for those of subsidence of the attack. 

We reserve our notice of treatment until after the considera- 
tion of the symptoms of Pleuro-pneumonia. 


439. Nature, seat, and causes of Pleuro-pneumonia. 

Pleuro-pneumonia is inflammation affecting both the lungs 
and pleur83. The disease may attack one lung or one portion 
of one lung, but it more often attacks both lungs at once. The 
pleurge are generally involved to the same extent as the lungs. 
The position and extent of the disease must be ascertained by 
auscultation. The causes of pleuro-pneumonia are the same as 
those of other diseases of the Respiratory System. 

440. Symptoms. 

The symptoms in the early stage are those of pneumonia 
with the addition of the friction sound and elevated ridge 
across the cartilages of the ribsj which ivere noted above as 
characteristics of pleuritis. The pulse is more affected than in 
pneumonia, and less so than in pleuritis, and may probably 
range about 70. 

In the second or moist and in the later stages the symptoms 
are also similar to those which have been already detailed under 
the head of pneumonia and pleuritis, and are in fact, as we 
might expect, a combination of both. Thus whereas in pleuritis 
the effusion or exudation is poured out into the cavity of the 
chest, and in pneumonia the substance of the lungs is affected 
by the out-poured fluid, in pleuro-pneumonia both results may 

A peculiar low form of pleuro-pneumonia often prevails as an 
epizootic in large towns, the early symptoms of which are very 
obscure. The animal merely shows dulness and loss of appe- 
tite and increased frequency of pulse. The respiratory move- 


ments are at first so little affected^ tliat unless tlie practitioner 
is on his guard and tests tlie state of the lungs by ausculta- 
tion^ the disease may gain a head before its real nature is 


441. Treatment of the Premonitory 8ijmi:)toms. 

From the details given above, it will have been perceived that 
these diseases are cognate in their causes and nature. Hence 
the treatment required is also very similar. 

When any of the premonitory symptoms, such as slight 
catarrh, feverishness, dulness, or loss of appetite appear, we 
must at once have recourse to an abundant supply of cool fresh 
air, abstinence from corn, laxative diet, entire rest, extra 
clothing, and warm bandages to the legs. In all cases it is 
desirable that the patient should at once be removed to an airy 
loose box. Diffusible stimulants are also beneficial. 

If these simple remedies do not altogether avert, or at least 
bring about subsidence of the attack within a very short time, 
we must have recourse to medical treatment. 

442. Treatment of tlie attach. 

During the first or dry stage sedatives such as from ten to 
twenty drops of Fleming's tincture of aconite may be given every 
four to six hours, if the fever be high (but not otherwise), until 
relief, as indicated by the pulse becoming softer in character 
and lower in number, is obtained. 

Neutral salts dissolved in water have a marked effect in 
relieving the feverish symptoms. For this purpose two ounces 
of sulphate of soda or one ounce of nitrate of potassa may be 
dissolved in a pailful of water, and the patient may be allowed 
to drink as much as he pleases. If he finishes the pailful, 
another may be given him. If the bowels are constipated, as 
is often the case, two ounces of Epsom salts dissolved in water 


with lialf an ounce of nitrate of potassa may be administered 
twice a day. The constipation may however be relieved often 
permanently by repeated enemas of warm soap and water. 

If the legs notwithstanding friction and bandages remain 
persistently cold, a mustard plaster may be applied to them and 
washed oif after fifteen minutes and the bandages reapplied, or 
they may be rubbed with turpentine liniment. 

Diffusible stimulants which were recommended above during 
the premonitory symptoms, are not suitable during the dry 
stage or at least during such portion of it, as aconite is admin- 
istered with the view of lowering' the pulse. Bat when the 
strength begins to fail, as is often the case after the dry stage 
has continued for some time, and during the second or moist 
stage diffusible stimulants such as carbonate of ammonia in 
doses of from one to two drachms combined with small doses 
of gentian and ginger once or twice a day, or an ounce of 
sweet spirits of nitre repeated every four or six hours are very 
beneficial and may be given from time to time, as may be 

During both the dry and moist stage much relief will be 
afforded by frequently fomenting the sides with woollen blankets 
wrung out of hot water and covered with a waterproof sheet 
as recommended for Bronchitis ► After each fomentation the 
partially dried parts may be gently rubbed with liniment of 
ammonia with the view of preventing the effects of the cold air, 
and covered with light warm clothing. 

The system which was formerly adopted of applying repeated 
applications of mustard, or mustard and ammonia, to the sides 
and chest in lung diseases is rapidly becoming discontinued ; 
but as it is still adopted by some practitioners the author 
considers the following remarks with reference to the 
application of these external stimulants may be useful. 

The stimulating effect caused by these agents is produced 
very rapidly. It will be sufficient to allow them to remain on 
the skin about ten or fifteen minutes, after which they should 
be washed off. If the mustard is allowed to remain on longer, 
it loses its stimulating action and is apt to be absorbed into the 
system, where it will act injuriously. When the effect of the 
stimulant has passed off, say in a couple of hours, it may be 


repeated and again waslied off as before. These applications 
may be used occasionally, if relief appears to be gained by them. 
If ordinary household mustard, which is usually largely adul- 
terated with flour, be used, half a pound or about that quantity 
will be required at each application ; but if the mustard seed is 
purchased whole and then ground, about two thirds of that 
quantity will be safficient. In these cases however as in most 
others much must be left to the discretion of the attendant, 
who ought to watch the symptoms and the effect produced. 
The skin of some horses is much more easily acted on than 
that of others. 

As the disease progresses, it is of the utmost consequence to 
sustain the strength of the patient as far as possible by giving 
him soft nutritious food, by most attentive nursing, and by 
warmth applied to the body by means of clothing, etc. 

It is necessary to call the particular attention of the reader 
to the distinction in regard to diet, which exists between the 
premonitory and the later stages of the attack. In the former 
the patient must be deprived of all corn and fed on laxative diet. 
Such timely measures combined with a loose box will probably 
ward off the impending attack, or at least prevent its becoming 
serious ; whilst on the other hand Avhen the disease has fairly 
established itself, the strength of the patient needs to be sus- 
tained in order to enable him to throw it off and survive its 
debilitating effects. When however the disease has established 
itself, the appetite always fails and the difficulty is to get the 
patient to take any nutriment. His appetite must be tempted 
by whatever may seem at the moment to be palatable. A 
handful of grass, a carrot or two sliced longways, or a few 
mouthfuls of bran mash, or of oatmeal gruel made fresh, as 
required, or a few bruised oats may be tried. Skim-milk, at 
this stage will be found very useful in sustaining the strength. 
In cases, where much debility is present, half a drachm of 
quinine dissolved in an ounce of water and a few drops of sul- 
phuric acid may be given twice daily in a pint of port 

As a general rule these diseases terminate quickly and favor- 
ably and without any after injurious effects, when treated as 
recommended above. It is only when the system is unduly 


lowered^ or tlie fever is aggravated by the use of violent blisters^ 
that we have reason to fear an unfavorable termination. 

443. Another mode of Treatment. 

In the treatment of these diseases it is frequently customary 
to have recourse to the free use of violent external irritants. 
The Author in previous Chapters on Inflammation and Irritants 
has given at length his reasons for disapproving of such practice. 
But inasmuch as the application of such remedies is very 
common, he deems it right to lay before the reader the usual 
mode of applying them. 

Blisters are generally applied after the more acute febrile 
symptoms have been somewhat got under. When used earlier, 
they increase the violence of the symptoms without producing- 
any corresponding advantage, as regards the internal inflam^ 
mat ion. 

In each case care and circumspection are needed to apply the 
irritant to the proper part. The seat of the attack must be 
ascertained by auscultation and by taking notice of the other 
signs detailed above ; and the blister, seton, or firing iron must 
then be applied to the neighbourhood of the part affected. 

In Bronchitis the throat and windpipe as far down as the 
chest, in Pneumonia, Pleuritis, and Pleuro-pneumonia both 
sides and chest are usually acted on. 

The injurious effects likely to result from the application of 
cantharides over a large surface have been already noticed. In 
Pleuro-pneumonia therefore, where the parts affected are very 
extensive, it is better to use mustard, if any such treatment 
is decided on. 

Bleeding, formerly so much in repute in the treatment of 
these diseases, is now seldom resorted to. 

444. Unfavorahle terminations. 

Some cases however in spite of all our care will terminate 
unfavorably, and we shall then have to deal with those results, 
which have been mentioned above, namely effusion or water on 
the chest ; exudation of lymph causing either condensation of 
the connecting tissue of the lungs and also of the air cells, or 


extensive adliesioii of tlie pleura of the ribs to the pleura of the 
lungs; or more rarely suppuration and the formation of 
abscesses ; or sometimes gangrene or mortification of the parts 
attacked. r 

445. Effusion. 

When Effusion takes place from the overloaded vessels^ the 
acute symptoms are at first greatly diminished_, and the inex- 
perienced may be led to think that the patient is going to 
recover. Warmth returns to the extremities, the pulse though 
still quick is less frequent and it becomes soft, the appetite 
partially returns, and the general appearance indicates that the 
acute pain has subsided. The fact is, that the tension is taken 
off the coats of the blood-vessels by reason of the effusion ; and 
thus for a time, until the water occupies some considerable space 
in the chest, the breathing is not so much laboured. 

As soon however as that result takes place, the breathing* 
becomes more laboured, and the difficulty increases with the 
increasing amount of the effusion. The degree to which tho 
water has formed, may be ascertained by careful auscultation, as 
no respiratory sounds will be heard from that part of the lungs, 
which is surrounded by water ; whilst above that point, the 
usual sound will be plainly perceptible. 

From the commencement of the effusion, although many of 
the urgent symptoms at first subside, yet others remain 
throughout, which distinctly negative the idea of a real 
recovery. The pulse is still quick and wiry, the breathing- 
quick in number, although at first less laboured, the extremi- 
ties, which had temporarily regained their warmth, again 
become cold, the coat is harsh and dry, and there is a want of 
pliability in the skin. The most marked feature however con- 
sists in the patient still standing persistently with his fore-legs 
wide apart. 

As soon as the effusion has taken place to any considerable 
extent, there will be in most cases a dropsical swelling between 
the fore-legs under the sternum, and the ridge along the 
abdomen will become more and more distinct, and a straw- 
coloured serous discharge will be seen from time to time to 
trickle from the nostrils. The expiration also will be more 

^04 CHAPTER xxn. 

markedly performed by a double action^ i. e. the abdominal 
muscles will be brouglit into play to assist in tlie expiration of 
the air. As tbe weakness increases^ tlie liair of the mane and 
tail will become very loose^, and may be easily detaclied. 

All sound of the percolation of the air necessarily ceases 
below the point, to which the serum or water has risen. In 
some cases the distended vessels continue to pour out serum, 
until it has risen in the pleural cavities to such an extent as to 
cause death from suffocation. The water may indeed be 
drawn off through a tube inserted into the chest, and tempo- 
rary relief will be gained; but inmost cases it quickly re-forms. 
This practice has latterly got into disuse for the above reason. 

All cases of effusion do not however terminate thus un- 
favorably. . The effusion may 'be only slight, and in such cases 
the lower part only of the lungs is pressed upon, whilst 
sufficient remains for respiration. Nature then by means 
of the absorbents and blood-vessels takes up the whole or 
part of the effusion. Any consolidated deposit, that may 
remain, will necessarily more or less impede the freedom of 

The degree in which Nature takes up the effusion, is princi- 
pally dependent on the tone of the vital powers after the acute 
attack has passed away. If those powers have been weakened 
by depletive treatment, by blisters and such like remedies or 
by neglect, Nature may probably be unable to take up the 
deposit. But if on the other hand by judicious management, 
good nursing, attention to the appetite, and by the absence of 
violent remedies those powers have been husbanded and assisted 
there is reason to hope that nature may be able to absorb all 
the effusion and deposit. In these cases however her powers 
will require to be assisted by very careful and well-directed 

446. Exudation and organization of Lymph, Adhesion, etc. 

If the attack terminates in Exudation, the lymph may be 
deposited either between the lungs and the sides of the cavity 
of the chest, or in the lungs, or it may affect both parts. Lymph 
as previously stated is adhesive in its nature, and has a marked 
tendency to become consolidated and organized. 


In virtue of this property i£^ as in pleuritis, it is deposited 
between the pleura of the lungs and the pleura of the ribs, it 
has, when suffered to remain, a tendency to cause the one part 
to adhere to the other. This result is known as Adhesion. 
If the adhesion of the lungs to the ribs affects a large surface, 
their free motion and expansion is necessarily interfered with 
and the horse must ever after be unsound in wind and unfit for 
fast work. 

If as in pure pneumonia the lymph is exuded into the lungs, 
it will, if it becomes organised, consolidate and choke up a 
portion at least of the air cells and passages, and render the 
animal unsound. Lymph may be exuded even to such an extent, 
as to cause suffocation. 

In PI euro-pneumonia the exudation may take place either 
into the substance of the lungs, consolidating- their structure 
and causing them to become hepatised ; or between the pleurce 
of the lungs and ribs ; or it may affect both structures. 

In severe cases of Bronchitis lymph is sometimes exuded and 
deposited in the bronchial tubes ; and if it becomes organized, 
it will produce diminution of those channels and the wind will 
be affected. 

In all the above cases the degree of permanent mischief will 
depend on the length of time, which the lymph remains in the 
structures affected rather than on the amount of the deposit. 
If the vital powers on the termination of the acute attack are 
unable to take up and absorb the lymph, it will become con- 
solidated and will produce the mischievous effects detailed above. 
If on the other hand by judicious treatment and nursing Nature 
is given a fair chance, she will in favorable cases take up the 
whole or a large portion of the lymph exuded. With a view 
of stimulating the action of the absorbents small doses of one 
scruple of iodide of potassium with ginger and gentian may be 
given with benefit three times a day. 

447. Suppuration and format imi of Abscesses. 

In some cases, where the attack, whether arising from pneu- 
monia or pleuro-pneumonia, has been very intense and especially 
where in addition the patient has been unduly lowered, suppu- 
ration may take place and abscesses will form in the lungs. 



Tlie presence of an abscess^ as soon as it has opened into a 
broncliial tube_, may be detected by tliose experienced in auscul- 
tation on tlie application of tlie ear to the chest either by a 
rushing sound as the air rushes into the hollow space ; or by 
the absence of any sound of percolation of air through the part_, 
when the abscess^ as is often the case, is filled with matter. 
Even beyond the parts immediately affected and in fact destroyed 
by the abscesses, it is more than probable that the whole 
structure of the lungs must be more or less disorganized by the 
violence of an attack sufiicient to induce suppuration. 

The formation of abscesses is, however, more easily known by 
foetor of the breath and by the animal coughing up muco- 
purulent matter. 

448. Gangrene or Mortification. 

Gangrene, or Mortification may occur in any part of the 
structures, which have been subjected to disease. It is in 
plain language death of the part, and the result is invariably 

449. After-treatment. 

From what has been stated in reference to the effusion of 
serum and exudation of lymph, it will readily be seen that the 
maintenance of the strength is the great object in the after- 
treatment. Good nursing, good fresh air, warm clothing, with 
the greatest attention to" feeding and in some cases the use of 
stimulants and tonics are necessary. The patient must be kept 
in a cool loose box, and his appetite, which is generally very 
capricious, must be tempted with grass, carrots, bran mash 
mixed with linseed, skim-milk, stale bread, or anything else he 
will take. 

If tonics are required, iodide of iron in doses of a drachm 
once or twice a day, or sulphate of iron or of copper in drachm 
doses with two drachms of gentian may be given daily. It is 
usually advisable to change the tonic after a few doses. Excess 
or unsuitability of a tonic is> indicated by a want or falling off 
of the appetite. In cases, however, which are progressing 
favorably, Nature had better be left to herself; and tonics 
should only be resorted to, when the symptoms really indicate 


tlie need of tliem. In some cases medicine may be required 
to regulate tlie bowels,, but it must be of a very mild character, 
such as small doses of linseed oil. If mucli debility remains, 
a pint and a half of good stout may be given twice daily in 
addition to tlie tonics and other dietetic treatment. 

As a rule, if the animal can be induced to feed, we may hope 
for the best. As strength returns, and when the pulse has 
fallen to its natural level, a little led exercise may be given. 
Bruised oats, which are easy of digestion, may be allowed 
in small quantities. If all goes well, we may look for complete 
convalescence in about six weeks, and the horse may then be 
gradually brought into work. 

The nature of the work, for which he will be fit, will be 
entu'ely dependent on the amount, if any, of alteration which 
has taken place in the structure of the organs. The extent of 
those alterations may be ascertained partly by auscultation, 
partly by the movements of the flanks in respiration, partly by 
the nature and sound of the cough, if any, and lastly by testing 
the state of the respiratory organs by galloping the animal. 



450. Cheonic Cough — Nature and seat. 451. Treatment. 
452. Thick Wind — Natu/re and causes. 453. Treatment. 454. 
HoAEiNG — Nature and seat. 455. Causes. 456. TJie Larynx. 
457. Cause of the immoveahility of the Arytenoid Cartilage. 458. 
Other causes of derangement of the Larynx. 459. Treatment. 
460. Class of horses predisposed to Roaring. 461. High Blowers. 
462. Grunting. 463. Whistling — Nature, seat, and causes. 
464. Treatment. 465. Broken Wind — Symptoms and seat. 
466. Causes. 467. Emphysema. 468. Treatment. 469. Class of 
horses predisposed to Brolcen Wind. 470. Pulmonaej Con- 

450. Nature and seat of Chronic Cough. 

Chronic cough is a very troublesome affection. It may have- 
its seat either in or about the larynx^ in the respiratory passages, 
or in the lungs. 

It usually arises from morbid sensibility of the nerves of the 
larynx, or from irritability left in its lining membrane or in the 
bronchial tubes after pneumonia, bronchitis or influenza. Or 
it may be connected with indigestion, and indeed it may be said 
to be a symptom of that affection. An intimate connection, as 
the reader is aware, exists between the nervous system of the 
stomach and that of the lungs. Hence any derangement of 
the former is apt to set up irritation in the latter. Thus horses 
suffering from worms are often affected with Chronic cough. 
It also constantly accompanies Broken wind ; and in some cases 
it exists without any appreciable cause. In horses subject to 
this disease very trifling causes, such as the change from the- 



atmosphere of the stable to the open air, or the mere act of eating 
or of drinking, or a change of weather, or a little unwonted ex- 
citement, such as a trot, or a sudden blow, are often sufficient to 
produce irritation and consequently cough. 

Chronic cough, when following bronchitis or influenza, is 
usually accompanied by an extra secretion of mucus ; but we 
sometimes find it when the membrane is particularly dry. 

451. Treatment. 

The treatment of the malady must depend on the cause from 
which it proceeds. 

When the Cough proceeds from irritability of the larynx, 
considerable benefit even in cases of some standing will be 
found to result from the application of external irritation to the 
throat. Blisters are usually employed for this purpose, but 
the Author has seen much better results from setons. The 
action of a seton can be maintained for any length of time, 
which is an object of great importance in dealing with a chronic 
affection ; and furthermore the horse may be worked as usual, 
whilst the seton remains in. If setons are objected to on 
account of the blemish likely to remain, repeated applications 
of the biniodide of mercury ointment may be beneficially 
applied. With a view of allaying the irritation, which gene- 
rally accompanies the passage of food down the throat, it is 
useful to mix boiled linseed with the corn ; and five or six 
pounds of carrots may be given with the other food daily ; or 
to horses in slow work steamed food may be given. The 
tendency to irritation is diminished by giving food and water 
often and in small quantities at a time. 

If the cough proceeds from the lungs, or as a sympathetic 
affection, the real cause, which is usually indigestion, must be 
treated. Careful attention to the diet, abundance of pure air, 
occasional alterative medicine, general good stable management, 
and, if need be, tonics, offer the best chance of restoring the 
digestive powers to a healthy state. The best and most nutri- 
tious food only should be given. Any distension of the belly, 
.such as that caused by the use of bulky forage always affects 
unfavorably the free movement of the lungs ; whilst bad food 
will be certain to aggravate the indigestion. With a special 


view of avoiding any undue distension of tlie stomacli botli 
food and water should be given in small quantities at frequent 

In very many cases^ whether the cough arises from irritability 
of the membrane of the larynx^ or from the lungs in sympathy 
with the digestive organs much benefit will be derived from 
the administration of tar either in water or in balls. For 
the purpose of impregnating the water it will be sufficient to 
pour a quart of the best Archangel tar into a large cask, from 
which the water may, when required,, be drawn ; or two drachms 
of tar may be made up into a ball with gentian and given 

If the Cough has followed bronchitis, pneumonia, or influenza, 
and is accompanied with an extra secretion of mucus with 
occasional discharge from the nose after coughing or with a 
wheezing noise, — mineral tonics such as a drachm of sulphate 
or iodide of copper with two di'achms of gentian given daily 
for a week will be beneficial ; or cantharides in doses of five 
grains gradually increased to ten with two drachms of gentian 
and one of ginger may be tried. The effect produced must 
however be carefully watched. If the cough notwithstanding 
continues, a change of treatment may be desirable, and the box 
may be fumigated with tar. This may easily be effected by 
putting some tar in an iron ladle and plunging a bar of hot 
iron into it. 

In many cases of Chronic cough arsenic is very beneficial. 
It maybe commenced in doses of two grains twice a day mixed 
with two drachms each of nitre and sulphur slightly wetted and 
mixed with the corn. The dose of arsenic may be increased 
gradually to four grains and continued for a week or so. After 
which it should be intermitted for ten days, when it may be 
again repeated. 

Chronic cough may be, if we may use the expression, inter- 
mittent in its character, that is, it may be absent for a time, 
and then return as a dry, hacking, half suppressed cough, 
repeated several times in succession, although the horse may not 
otherwise be out of health. In such cases a ball made of half 
a drachm of camphor, one or two drachms of nitre, one scruple 
to half a drachm of calomel, and one drachm of aloes with tar 


and Venice turpentine sufficient to make a ball will be useful 
every evening for a few nights^ after wliich it may be discon- 
tinuedj and repeated after an interval ; or the following may 
be given niglit and morning for a week witli benefit, viz. 
extract of belladonna and camphor of eacli lialf a drachm, with 
two drachms of tar, with sufficient linseed* meal to make a 

Horses affected with Chronic cough, if kept in good condi- 
tion, often continue for years to perform even moderately fast 
work j whilst on the other hand, if the condition falls off, the 
malady always increases and is apt to degenerate into Broken 

When however this affection accompanies or rather is the 
result of serious derangement of the Pulmonary system, such as 
Broken wind, it is obviously incurable, because the cause, from 
which it proceeds, is incurable. 


452. Nature and causes of TJdcJc Wind. 

Thick Wind generally arises from thickening of the mucous 
membrane of the finer bronchial tubes and air cells, caused by 
acute or chronic inflammatory disease either of the bronchial 
tubes or of the lungs. In the latter case the bronchial tubes 
are also usually involved. It may also be produced by inju- 
dicious and violent exercise after watering-, or when the stomach 
is full, or when the animal has been kept on soft food. It is 
also found in horses of a pampered plethoric habit. In these 
cases it is probably due to nervous irritability of the lungs^ 
sympathising, as they readily do, with the condition of the 

On account of the thickening of the mucous membrane the 
horse labours much in his breathing, especially when the respi- 
ration is accelerated by work. The importance or otherwise 
of this disease mainly depends on the degree of thickening, 
which has taken place and the extent of lung affected. These 
points can in some measure be ascertained by auscultation over 
the region of the chest, after the horse has been made to exert 
himself. This disease is distinguished from Broken Wind by 


tlie inspirations and expirations being performed witli equal 

453. Treatment. 

Treatment can only be palliative. Active measures are useless, 
Good condition^ regular work^ and very careful watering and 
feeding will mitigate the evil. When however the disease 
arises from a plethoric state, medicine either purgative or 
diuretic is useful. Exercise and an occasional sweat will also 
be needed. 

Fat young horses made up for sale are often affected in 
their breathing to an extent, which may easily be mistaken for 
thick wind ; but in such cases moderate diet, exercise, and a 
course of physic will generally be sufficient in a short time to 
relieve the symptoms. 


454. Nature and seat of Roaring. 

Roaring is a very peculiar noise made usually in the act of 
inspiration, especially when the breathing is accelerated. In 
so;ne cases it may be made both in expiration and inspiration. 
The sound is caused by obstruction in some part or other of 
the respiratory passages, and usually in the larynx. 

455. Causes. 

The obstruction may be in the nose and may consist of a 
tumour, or it may arise from some accidental injury to or 
distortion of the windpipe ; or it may possibly be caused by a 
band of- lymph across the trachea, such as may sometimes 
become organized after a severe inflammatory attack ; or by 
thickening of the membrane of the bronchial tubes produced by 
inflammation, or by direct inflammation of the delicate mem- 
brane covering the larynx, which in consequence may afterwards 
become permanently thickened. A similar result may follow 
from the inflammation caused by a deep-seated abscess in 

But the most common cause is paralysis and consequent 
atrophy of the crico-arytenoid muscles, which control the carti- 


lages forming tlie upper and left side of the larynx or box of 
tlie windpipe. The exact seat of the obstruction must be 
ascertained by auscultation, whilst the noise is being made. 

456. The Larynx. 

The Larynx is composed of five separate pieces of cartilage, 
which under the influence of the muscles attached to them 
expand or contract the aperture during the respiratory process. 
The cartilages^ which form the right and upper sides of the 
larynx seldom get out of order ; but that on the upper and 
left side not unfrequently becomes immoveable or partially so, 
and the muscle attached to it becomes wasted, and it then forms 
an obstruction to the free ingress of air to the lungs. 

457. Cause of the immoveahilitij of the Arytenoid Cartilage. 

The immoveability of the Arytenoid Cartilage is due to 
paralysis of the nerve of its muscle. This latter effect is 
generally the result of disease of the lungs. The nerves of the 
larynx are derived from the pneumogastric nerves, which 
supply the organs of respiration and dig'estion ; but the left 
inferior laryngeal or recurrent branch, which is the motor nerve 
of the left side of the larynx, is given off lower down and nearer 
to the lungs than the corresponding branch on the right side. 
Hence we often find the nerve on the left side affected by any 
disease in the lungs, whilst the nerve on the opposite or right 
side is not affected. 

In confirmed cases of roaring atrophy and fatty degeneration 
of the whole of the muscles of the left side of the larynx will 
be found in a greater or lesser degree, the principal muscle 
affected being the crico-arytenoideus-posticus, one of a pair of 
powerful dilators of the larynx. The rest of the laryngeal 
muscles are more or less constrictors in their action. Occasion- 
ally the muscles on the right side are found to be involved, but 
these cases are comparatively rare. 

Besides the fact of the left recurrent nerve being given off 
low down in the chest accounting for its liability to become 
functionally deranged, if not actually paralysed, as a result of 
pulmonary disease, in its course upwards it passes through a 
mass of bronchial lymphatic glands, and as these glands are 


extremely liable to become affected by any unheal tliy condi- 
tion of tbe air passages or lungs, it is higHy probable tbat in 
very many cases tbe nerve becomes primarily affected at tbis 
particular part of its course. 

From these considerations the reader will see the intimate 
connection between roaring and disease of the lungs. 

458. Otlier causes of derangement of the Larynx. 

Occasionally the derangement of the Larynx is due to other 
causes. Among the most common of these is the system of 
tight reining up. In our endeavour to give an arched ap- 
pearance to the neck_, we sometimes in horses not naturally so 
formed produce distortion of the larynx, and consequently 
obstruction to the free ingress of the air. Horses, in which 
the branches of the lower jaw are not set sufficiently wide 
apart to allow of the head being freely and easily bent, often 
make a roaring noise, if the head is reined in, when they are 
ridden ; and a continuance of this forced position may induce 
thickening of the membrane and ultimately roaring. 

459. Treatment, 

The treatment to be adopted and the chance of a successful 
result in any particular case must depend on the position and 
cause of the obstruction. These points we must endeavour to 
ascertain by auscultation at various points of the respiratory 
organs, whilst the horse is making the noise. 

If due time has been given for the subsidence of any tempo- 
rary thickening or irritation of the parts, which may have arisen 
from a previous recent inflammatory attack in the organs of 
respiration ; if after careful examination we fail to find any 
mechanical impediment in the nose or fauces ; and if the noisy 
breathing does not proceed from the chest, — we may pretty safely 
assume that the roaring is produced by paralysis of the nerve 
of the muscle of the Arytenoid cartilage, which, being then 
partially or nearly immoveable, offers an obstruction to the free 
admission of the air. ' In such case, and nine tenths of the cases 
do proceed from this cause, active treatment is useless. Firing 
along the line of the throat has of late been much recommended ; 
but it is not easy to see how this irritant can restore to activity a 


muscle^ wliose nerve lias become paralysed from antecedent 
pulmonary disease. 

As however in broken wind and chronic cough, hard food and 
regular work with high condition exercise a favorable influence^ 
and may for a length of time render a roarer useful for many 
purposes ; but with all our care the disease, when arising from 
the above cause, generally increases until the animal becomes 

If the Roaring proceeds from a tumour in the nose, it may 
be possible to remove it. If it be caused by an obstruction in 
the air tube, arising from an injury or from the effect of an 
operation, it is possible that relief may be obtained by the 
aj)plication of a blister or seton. Bands of organized lymph 
across the trachea, or a band of that material round its interior 
are, we believe, irremoveable, though instances are recorded in 
which they are said to have been excised. In recent cases, 
arising from distortion of the larynx produced by tight reining* 
up, the best treatment consists in removal of the cause and doing 
aAvay with the bearing rein, followed if necessary by the 
application of a blister or seton to the upper part of the 

If the Roarinn;' arises from a thickened state of the membrane 
of the bronchial tubes, such as may often be found after catarrh, 
laryngitis, etc., relief may very probably be gained in recent 
cases by applying irritants, such as biniodide of mercury, 
repeated at intervals, to the exterior of the part affected, or a 
seton may be inserted on both sides. 

460. Glass of horse 'predisijosed to Roaring. 

Large horses, especially those, which are long in the wind- 
pipe, are more predisposed to roaring than smaller animals. 
Ponies are seldom if ever affected. 

Roaring is in some cases hereditary, probably where the make 
and shape of the sire or dam predispose their progeny to this 

461. High Blowers. 

The noise, which some horses make by flapping the alae of 
their nostrils, has occasionally been mistaken by inexperienced 


people for roaring. It lias, however, no connection with, disease 
of any sort. It arises from powerful muscular development in 
the part. If a horse so formed be pushed to his speed and 
-continued at it for some time, it will be seen that he can 
intermit the noise at his will ; and when he really becomes dis- 
tressed at the pace, he will have something else to do than to 
flap about his nostrils, and the sound will then cease alto- 

462. Grunting. 

Grunts, very similar to those given by roarers when threatened 
with a blow, are sometimes emitted by horses with big bellies, 
especially by those just taken up from a straw yard. The cause 
in such cases may be sudden pressure on the diaphragm from 
the stomach. Horses also, which have been long in dealers' 
j'ards and have been frequently examined as to their wind, will 
sametimes grunt on being approached, on account of fear of a 

Such grunts have often no connection with roaring ; but the 
horses, which emit them, should be examined as to their wind 
with more than ordinary care. Grunting and roaring usually 
.go together, though, as above stated, they may be uncon- 
nected. ' 


463. Nature, seat, and causes of Whistling. 

Whistling' is a modification of the noise known as Roaring-. 
The peculiar sound, wdiich is that of air passing through a 
narrow channel, arises from abnormal contraction in some part 
of the air passages. The seat of the contraction may be in the 
larynx, or it may be caused by thickening of the membrane of 
the windpipe from previous inflammation of that organ. The 
causes of Whistling are very similar to those of roaring. 

464. Treatment. 

The treatment is similar to that of Roaring. 
In some cases a whistler may be capable of more exertion 
tlian a roarer; but in other cases an opposite result may be 


found. The public generally attach less importance to whistlin 
than to roaring*. 



465. 8yrii]ytoms and seat of Broken Wind. 

Broken Wind is indicated by a short weak hacking pretty 
constant cough^ by a very peculiar double action of the flanks- 
and by a prolonged effort of the abdominal muscles in the act 
of expiration _, by a difficulty in performing the operations of 
respiration^ by a craving after food, by flatulence and a pendu- 
lous belly. A mucous rale, caused by an increased secretion 
from the bronchial tubes, may often be heard, if the ear be^ 
applied in front of the chest. 

466. Causes. 

Horses with narrow chests and protruberant bellies, if also 
gross feeders, are especially subject to this affection. Sometimes 
it gradually steals on a horse, commencing with chronic cough ; 
whilst at other times it comes on suddenly, perhaps after a hard 
gallop, when the horse was not fit for it ; and sometimes it 
occurs without any obvious cause. 

Broken Wind is found occasionally, though but very rarely,, 
as a sequel of pneumonia and other diseases of the respiratory 
organs. It more frequently follows on Chronic cough and 
Chronic indigestion, accompanied by excessive' distension of the 
stomach. In both cases however we believe that an impaired 
condition of the nerves supplying the lungs and air cells is the 
immediate cause of the affection. 

In the one case want of tone of the nervous power in the 
lungs is simply an after-effect of inflammation in the cellulai' 
tissue ; whilst in the other it is probably due to the intimate 
sympathy, which exists between the nerves of the digestive 
organs and those of the lungs. 

As regards the effect of inflammatory action on the cellular 
structure, it is probably not necessary to enter into any detail ; 
but the second named cause will need some explanation. 

Excessive distension of the stomach and bowels ordinarily 
arises from the use of either innutritions or of bad forag-e. In 


tlie one case tlie animal in his endeavour to obtain sufficient 
nourislinient consumes an excessive amount of bulky food. In 
tlie otber tbe distension is caused by tlie generation of gases in 
tlie stomacli_, sucb as are readily produced by tbe use of musty 
or mildewed liay_, by damp or sprouting oats^ or stale green 
forage. Indigestion may also arise from bad management, sucli 
as working a liorse on a full stomacli or witb his belly full of 
water. Greedy feeders and liorses with a depraved appetite are 
also specially liable to suffer from indigestion. 

When from these or such like causes the nerves of the 
stomach get out of order, their communications and extensions, 
which ramify through the cellular structure of the lungs, are 
also liable to become deranged and in some cases paralysed. 
From such derangement of the nervous power the coats of the 
air cells are no longer able to contract upon and expel the air, 
which at each inspiration enters the cells as usual. Hence a 
larger portion than natural of the air remains in the cells, even 
after the intercostal muscles have performed their duties in the 
ordinary course of expiration. In order to expel it, the animal 
is then obliged to bring into play the abdominal muscles as 
auxiliaries. Hence arises the prominent sign of Broken wind, 
namely a double action of the flanks. These effects ensue 
equally, whether the paralysis of the nerves be due to previous 
inflammation of the lungs, or to indigestion. 

During catarrhal affections the disease is often temporarily 
increased, and also at sudden changes of the weather, especially 
during fogs and easterly winds. 

In some cases Broken wind is supposed to arise from a 
weakened power in the diaphragm, in consequence of which the 
abdominal muscles are called into play secondarily to assist in 
the act of expiration. 

467. Bm^lujsema. 

Broken Wind is occasionally complicated with the condition 
known as Emphysema. It consists in the retention in the 
inter-lobular cellular tissue of the lungs of a portion of the air, 
which ought to be completely expelled at each expiration. 

By some Veterinarians it has been supposed, that the inability 
to expel the air is due to rupture of the coats of the air cells, on 


account of whicli tlie air escapes eitlier underneatli tlie pleurae 
or into tlie substance of tlie lungs. Post-mortem examination 
however generally fails to sliow any sucli lesions. The reten- 
tion of the air is more probably caused by general weakening 
of the structure^ owing to want of nervous power — a result of 
the later stages of the original disease. 

468. Treatment. 

The peculiar symptom of flatulence, which is present in every 
broken winded horse, shows pretty clearly that in the great 
majority of cases the disease is due to disordered state of 
the digestive organs rather than to previous disease of the 

As regards treatment in incipient cases, especially in those 
which result from derangement of the stomach, there is reason 
to hope, that removal of the causes and reversal of the con- 
ditions, which have induced the malady, may check its progress, 
although we must not hope altogether to get rid of the disease. 
Careful feeding and watering and regular exercise are essential. 

But when Broken Wind has become chronic, whether it has 
arisen from inflammatory attacks on the respiratory organs or 
from indigestion or from emphysema, — where, in short any 
alteration has taken place in the structure of the lungs, — the 
disease is obviously incurable, and active treatment is worse 
than useless. 

Eelief however always follows any improvement in the hard 
condition of the animal for work. But on the other hand it is 
not easy to get into condition an animal with functional derange- 
ment of the lungs, and perhaps a disordered stomach in addition. 
The best care, the greatest attention to diet, grooming, ventila- 
tion and exercise are needed. A broken winded horse should 
never be left idle for a day. G-ood hard nutritious food is 
obviously indispensable. Mineral tonics and especially arsenic 
may be administered with benefit in many cases with the view 
of restorino: tone to the stomach. 

With judicious management a horse even with confirmed 
broken wind, though he will never become sound, may remain 
for years available for slow work. 

320 CHAPTEE xxm. 

469. Class of horses j)7vdisposed to Brohen Wind. 

Broken Wind, tliougli occasionally found in valuable liorses, 
as a sequel of pulmonary disease, is most common among in- 
ferior animals, because they are more often subjected to the 
causes, sucli as bad or innutritions forage or careless feeding, 
which so frequently induce it. All horses however are liable to 
it under the influence of those causes. Hence we often find 
hunters, which have been summered in a straw yard, affected 
with this disease. 


Prolonged disease of any sort, but especially of the liver, or 
even long-continued debility, sometimes leads to derangements 
of tbe lungs, which ultimately induce Pulmonary Consumption. 
The disease is the same as Phthisis or Consumption in man. A 
deep loud cough in the first instance with falling off in the 
condition and an unhealthy state of the coat are marked signs 
of the disease. In the later stages the hair becomes easily 
detached, and tubercles form in the lungs. 

In Pulmonary Consumption we can hardly hope for much 
benefit from treatment. Careful feeding, moderate exercise, 
g'ood grooming, tonics and attention to the general health afford 
the best chance of arresting the development of the disease ; 
but when tubercles have formed in the luDgs, the animal had 
better be destroyed. Their presence may be judged of from 
the nature of the discharge, which may be coughed up through, 
the nose, together with rapid falling off of the animal in con- 

Pulmonary consumption, though not often found in horses 
in this country, is very common among the stud bred horses 
in India in conjunction with liver disease. The ^^half caste'' 
in India suffers from the same complication of diseases. 



471. Nature of Influenza. 472. Causes. 473. Symptoms. 
473a. Pink Eye. 474. Convalescence. 475. Complications. 476. 
The Liver. 477. Respiratory Mucous membrane. 478. The 
Lungs. 479. The^ Alimentary Canal. 481. The Kidiieys. 482. 
The Heart. 483. ifeaf of the Month. 484. i^rt^ftZ termi^iations 
of Complications. 485. General Treatment. 486. After-effects. 

471. Nature of Influenza. 

Influenza is a specific disease^ cliaracterised by febrile and 
''Catarrlial sympfcoms_, accompanied by loss of appetite, great 
'prostration of strength, and often complicated witli disease of 
:tlie liver, lungs and mucous membranes generally, and some- 
!times witli affection of tbe heart or bowels. In all cases the 
nervous system is affected to a great extent, and indeed most 
•of the more prominent symptoms may be regarded mainly as 
results of depression of the nervous centres. The cause of this 
depression is the presence of a specific poison in the blood. 
Influenza generally prevails as an epizootic. 

472. Causes. 

Influenza has its origin in some peculiar condition of the 
atmosphere, which exercises a specific injurious influence on the 
health of animals. Of the exact nature of this condition we are 
ignorant. Atmospheric causes however, though the real agents 
in generating this disease, are rarely sufficient of themselves to 
develop it. 

Other debihtating or poisoning influences, such as bad venti- 
lation, dirty stables, an insufficient supply of nutritious food, 
'bad forage or debility, or on the other hand an excess of food, 



even thougli the quality be good^ combined with, an insuffi- 
cient amount of exercise^ are needed to aggravate the 
injurious atmospheric influence. Cold damp seasons_, espe- 
cially in spring and autumn^ also adversely affect the general 

From all or any of these causes the health is lowered. The 
adverse atmospheric influences whatever they may be_, which 
tend to propagate and disseminate the disease^ under these 
circumstances find a suitable medium for the development and 
growth of the specific organic poison which is the active agent 
in the production of this affection. The reader will find some 
further remarks bearing on the generation of Specific diseases 
in Chapter No. 16 on Infection and Contagion. 

Influenza is said to be^ and probably is in some degree and 
under certain circumstances^ infectious. Added to already 
existing predisposing causes, the effluvium from the body and 
breath of a horse and still more from the bodies and breath of 
many horses affected with this or indeed with any other disease, 
when absorbed into the lungs or deposited on the mucous 
membranes of other horses, must be a powerful determining^ 
cause in all imperfectly ventilated stables. 

But the disease can hardly be in reality highly infectious, 
because we often find its career cut short at a time when many 
horses are suffering from it — probably from cessation of the 
original atmospheric cause. 

473. Symptoms. 

Influenza in different years and in different places varies 
much in its intensity and in some of its symptoms. In some 
seasons it assumes more of an inflammatory character, whilst in 
others it takes a low form. The description of symptoms given 
below will have reference to the general type of the disease 
rather than to the particular features, which may be abnormally 
present in any particular outbreak 

In mild cases for the first two or three days the horse is 
observed to be dull, weak and dispirited, generally sweats on 
exertion, the bowels are slightly constipated, the faeces are paler 
than usual, and there may be occasionally cough. If the patient 
is promptly removed to a loose box and carefully treated, these 


symptoms may pass off (probably in tbe form of catarrh, and a 
disposition to oedema in the legs) without the necessity for 
recourse to any active treatment. 

More often however they are followed by others of a more 
urgent nature. The horse refuses his food, his coat looks un- 
healthy, the urine becomes scanty, the fasces pale and scanty, 
the surface of the dung pellets is glazed and perhaps partially 
coated with mucus, the mouth becomes hot and unnaturally 
dry, or it may be pasty, particularly at the back of the tongue, 
and the mucous membrane altogether and especially round the 
gums is of yellowish red hue, as is also the conjunctival mem- 
brane of the eyelids. The temperature rises perhaps to 103^^ F. 
The pulse is quick and oppressed, perhaps 70 per minute, but at 
the same time feeble, and the breathing is quick. The horse 
appears to be suffering from intense headache, and if made to 
move, he staggers in his walk. These symptoms point very 
clearly to the nervous centres being functionally deranged^ 
especially the brain. 

These symptoms may remain much the same for two or three 
days, except that the pulse may become a little quicker and more 
feeble, the respirations quicker and shorter, and the temperature 

Some simple fever medicine may be given ; but if the' horse 
is well nursed, and proper attention is paid to the ventilation 
he will most likely recover without the assistance of medi- 

At other times the disease is ushered in and accompanied by 
weeping of the eyes, swelling of the eyelids and of the legs ana 
under the belly, and all other usual signs of extreme debility. 
Even in the very early stage the patient may be so prostrated, 
as to require the assistance of several men to remove him to a 
loose box. 

In these cases the strength requires to be supported at once 
by the administration of stimulants, such as carbonate of 
ammonia and camphor and ginger, with ale or porter, nutritive 
gruels, &c. With care and good nursing the threatened attack 
may probably pass off in a few days. 

The discharge of purulent matter from the nose in the early 
stage is a good sign, and indicates that the disease is becoming 


milder. Favorable progress is also marked by the urine being 
discharged more frequently and in greater quantities and not 
so highly coloured^ and by the dung becoming of a proper con- 
sistency and soft instead of being voided in pellets. A slight 
tendency to oedema in this stage is also a favorable sign. It 
is one of nature's means of giving relief, and often prevents the 
occurrence of mischief in important internal organs. But in the 
later stages it is a symptom of the inability of nature any longer 
to continue the conflict with the disease. 

Should the disease, whether it has commenced in the one way 
or the other, not take a favorable turn, the mucous membranes 
will become seriously involved. This will be indicated by the 
Schneiderian membrane being heightened in colour. The dis- 
charge from the nose, instead of being purulent, will be sup- 
pressed and scanty, or it may be serous and straw coloured. The 
throat will become sore, as indicated by a difficulty in swallowing 
even water. The breathing becomes quickened and the patient 
may cough somewhat frequently. The suppressed character of 
the cough points to the mucous membrane of the bronchias 
being involved. 

In other cases an unfavorable turn is indicated by the occur- 
rence of fits of shivering, by the breathing being somewhat 
embarrassed, by the pulse being increased in frequency and very 
small in volume. The fits of shivering may or may not recur. 
Profuse perspiration sometimes supervenes on the rigors, and 
always temporarily relieves the breathing. 

The treatment up to this point consists in diffusible stimulants 
and plenty of cool fresh air. If the patient's constitution is 
good, a favorable change may be expected. 

If the attack at this juncture does not take a favorable turn, 
the symptoms will probably become more intense, and pneu- 
monic, hepatic, cardiac or enteric complications may set in. 
The membrane of the nose may become mulberry red, and in 
very bad cases the discharge may be tinged with streaks of 
blood. In some cases there may be a discharge of muco-pus 
from the eyes. The legs often swell, and there may probably 
be swellings in the sheath and under the belly. A tendency 
to oedema often exists about the larynx and glottis, and serum 
may be effused into the air cells or into the parenchymatous 


structure of tlie lungs, or along tlie spinal cord, or in tlie ven- 
tricles of tlie brain. The animal may wander unconsciously 
round his box, and look at his sides and paw occasionally with 
his fore-feet as though in pain. 

At this critical stage great care and caution are needed in 
the management of the case. Stimulants may be employed, 
but powerful sedatives are very injurious. The nervous centres 
are already paralysed, and digitalis, belladonna and such like 
agents wdll only increase the mischief. The feeble flickerino* 
flame of life must be roused, not extinguished by sedatives. 
Even spontaneous diarrhoea is to be dreaded, and far more the 
super-purgation which is likely to result from a dose of aloes 
given to an animal in this stage. 

At this stage the disease often assumes an intermittent form, 
and the patient alternately gains strength for a time and re- 
lapses. Even if the animal survives, chronic cough, defective 
respiration, skin disease, rheumatism or paralysis are often after 
results of such extreme developments of Influenza. 

When a case is about to terminate fatally, the pulse will be 
found to falter and sink, and as a finale cold sweats will break 
out. Death generally occurs about the Gth day, but the case 
may be protracted to about the 14th day. 

Throughout the attack it must not be forgotten, that the 
inaction of the bowels is often mainly dependent on want of 
sufficient nervous tone and energy. There is often no undue 
hardness of the fgeces, but rather the contrary. The proper 
action of the bowels will best be restored by increasing the vital 
action by. the administration of stimulants and tonics. In 
some cases enemata are useful. 

There is sometimes a strong disposition to gangrene in wounds 
in horses suffering from influenza of a low type. Ulcerous 
sores or simple wounds take on an unhealthy action from no 
apparent cause, and this action extends to neighbouring parts, 
and gangrenous sloughs may result. Great caution should 
therefore be used in applying strong blisters or setons in 
influenza, even if for other reasons they were not objectionable. 

473(x. Piiih Eye. 
The term '^ Pink Eye" has of late years been applied to a 


particular form of Influenza manifested by symptoms of a 
peculiarly marked nature^ notably that of a remarkably clear 
pink coloured condition of tlie conjunctival membrane accom- 
panied by a swollen or oedematous state of tbe conjunctivae. 
From tlie fact of tbese features being of so striking a character, 
the disease has frequently been described as a special affection, 
but it is now generally recognized as being merely a modifi- 
cation of the catarrhal form of Influenza. 

In addition to the conjunctival peculiarities we find as a rule 
a considerable amount of general oedema present. The limbs 
will be swollen from effusion into the connective tissue, and 
this dropsical condition will frequently be found extending 
along the course of the abdomen. The violence of the febrile 
symptoms of course depends upon circumstances, but as a rule 
the fever runs high, the pulse will range from 60 to 100, but 
as a rule is less feeble and of a better tone than it is in the 
ordinary catarrhal or pneumonic form of the disease. The 
temperature is generally considerably elevated often as high 
as 105° F. and the respirations are accelerated. A marked 
stiffness of gait is generally present together with the ordinary 
catarrhal symptoms in a greater or lesser degree, such as nasal 
defluxion, cough, &c., which have already been described. 

It may be remarked that in this particular form of Influenza 
there is a remarkable tendency towards the formation of 
fibrinous clots or thrombi in the cavities of the heart and in 
the larger arteries especially in the pulmonary system. This 
peculiarity is probably due to either the excess of fibrinogenous 
matter in the blood, or to the weak action of the heart, or both 
combined. From this disposition to the formation of thrombi 
it is not difficult to account for the occasional sudden termina- 
tion of the disease by death which frequently occurs in a 
marked, and unexpected manner. 

The treatment of Pink Eye like other forms of Influenza, 
must consist primarily in good nursing, a cool, well ventilated 
loose box, warm clothing without being heavy, bandages, and 
such dietetic and general treatment as has already been 

The reader must understand that the disease cannot be cut 
short by any special mode of treatment, it must run its course. 


and the general principles laid down for tlie various modifi- 
cations of tlie affection may be followed to the extent indicated 
by the prevailing symptoms. Purgative medicine is inadmissi- 
ble, but if much constipation is present ten ounces of linseed 
oil may be given, but we should rely principally upon 
laxative diet and enemas to relieve the bowels. Diffusible 
stimulants and salines are valuable, especially the spirit of 
nitrous ether, nitrate of potassa and sulphate or carbonate of 
soda. On no account must sedatives be given although much 
fever may be present. « 

474. Convalescence. 

When a patient is recovering from a severe attack of In- 
fluenza, we must not expect any great and rapid amendment. 
The change will be gradual. We must tax our patience, and 
be satisfied to look on and seek to aid nature in the gradual 
restorationof the system. After a bad case there will be during 
convalescence frequent changes, slight accessions of fever, ine- 
quality of heat and cold on the surface of the body and legs 
and slight shiverings. The appetite will only slowly return 
and will be capricious in character. It is always a good sign 
to see the horse lying down and comfortable in that position, 
especially if the breathing is not accelerated by it. 

The treatment during convalescence is simply good nursing, 
and carefully regulated administration of tonics. 

475. Gomplications 

Attacks of Influenza are often complicated by various other 

476. The Liver, 

In most cases the liver is functionally deranged. Of this, 
the peculiar condition of the visible mucous membranes, the 
colour and consistency of the faeces and the colour of the urine 
afford sufficient evidence. In decided hepatic complications 
the mucous membrane has a dirty yellowish-red aspect, the 
urine is highly coloured and scanty, the faeces are often in a 
more fluid state than natural and sometimes are offensive in 
smell. The mouth feels pasty and dry. Constant pawing is 


also a concomitant symptom. The animal may evince pairt 
on pressure being applied to the region of the liver. 

In the early stage, when the liver is simply torpid, half a 
drachm of calomel will be useful. This may be followed by 
half a pint of linseed oil. Enemata of tepid water are beneficial 
in promoting the action of the bowels. 

It is not however to be supposed, that in all or even in most 
cases these measures will be successful in relieving the hepatic 
complications, which often accompany Influenza ; but they offer 
the best chance of relief, and indeed are as strong and active,^ 
as the animal in his debilitated condition can bear. 

Should the horse die under these circumstances, the liver on 
post-mortem examination will be found to be much enlarged, 
of a dark brown colour, very soft in consistency, fi^iable, granu- 
lated and easily broken down by the finger. It may likewise 
become ruptured, and death may take place from that cause. 
The spleen and mucous coats of the intestines are usually also 
involved. The spleen is often found after death to be greatly 
enlarged and softened. 

477. Respiratory Mucous membrane. 

The Mucous membrane of the air passages is generally more 
or less affected, and there is a peculiar straw-coloured discharge 
from the nostrils. This discliEW'ge is often apparent, before the 
breathing has been noticed by the groom to be affected. The 
breathing however is altered and is short and quick. This 
change, though it may escape observation at the nostrils, is 
perceptible enough at the flanks. The straw-coloured discharge 
indicates an inflamed state of the mucous membrane, which is 
very liable to extend to the ramifications of the bronchiae. 
After a time there will be noticed an unusual dilatation of the 
nostrils, which do not fall to their usual calibre during the act 
of expiration. As the attack progresses, the breathing will 
become quicker, and the nostrils more fixed and dilated in 
order to admit all the air possible. 

If the character of the discharge changes to the natural? 
secretion, it is a favorable sign of recovery. 


478. The Lungs. 

Influenza very often induces inflammation of tlie lungs of a 
sub-acute kind and also pleuritis. From general debility and 
want of nervous power there is a peculiar disposition in such 
cases for the blood-vessels to allow the serum to escape. By 
the pressure of such effusion the air cells are diminished in 
calibre^ and hence arises quickened breathing. The pleurae 
subsequently become involved^ and water or serum collects in 
the chest. 

On account of this tendency to oedema and outpouring of" 
serum_, roaring and thick wind are frequent after-consequences 
of influenza. We are never certain, that a horse, which has 
been affected with this disease, is not a roarer nntil we have 
tested his wind. 

The general symptoms attending these pulmonary complica- 
tions and those indicating relief or increase are the same as 
those already described in the Chapter on Diseases of the- 
Organs of Respiration, No. 22. The treatment is also the 
same, but the reader mnst bear in mind, that the patient is 
already from other canses in a very debilitated state, and that 
sedative medicine is inadmissible. 

In laryngeal, tracheal and bronchial complications the inha- 
lation of the vapour of hot water is useful ; and mild irritants- 
such as mustard and ammonia may be employed over the region 
involved with the view of inducing an outpouring of serum 
under the skin, which may relieve the membranes lining those- 
important organs. 

If the legs are cold or unequal in temperature, as is usually 
the case, friction and woollen bandages and in some cases stimu- 
lating liniments are useful. The temperature of the legs and 
body is very changeable in this disease. 

479. The AUmentarij Canal. 

The Alimentary Canal is always more or less involved in. 
Influenza. In the early stage, disease of the mucous membrane 
is indicated by constipation of the bowels and a peculiar dry 
state of the dung pellets, which however in a short time become 


glazed on tlieir surfaces and partially covered with mucus. 
This latter sign indicates^ that the blood-vessels of the intes- 
tines are in an inflamed condition, and it warns us of the 
danger of administering strong purgatives. If this condition 
of the blood-vessels increases_, it is probable that dysentery may 

In this stage the pulse becomes small and very quick, and so 
feeble that the slightest pressure on the artery seems to ex- 
tinguish it. The patient will wander round his box and will 
often exhibit signs of abdominal pain. Death generally follows 
these latter symptoms. 

In cases, where the Bowels are especially implicated, the 
evacuations will probably be offensive and dark coloured, or they 
may be mixed with blood, and after death blood may be found 
outpoured. The contents of the intestines, even though the 
patient may have passed no dung, may be found in a fluid state, 
and food and medicine balls, which have been taken some days 
previously, will often be found on post-mortem examination un- 
dissolved in the stomach. These symptoms shew the extent, to 
which nervous paralysis has affected the system. 

481. The Kichieys. 

The functions of the Kidneys, as indicated by variations in 
the quantity as well as in the quality of the urine voided during 
the different stages of the disease, are always more or less 
affected. At first the secretion is scanty, in a short time it 
becomes high coloured and gradually gets darker. As the 
disease declines, it becomes more copious. If the patient 
continues to progress favorably, it resumes by degrees its 
natural character. 

482. The Heart. 

The depression of the power of the nervous centres, which we 
have noticed above as the main characteristic of Influenza, 
always affects the action of the Heart. 

The heart in order to perform its functions normally, requires 
to be supplied with a due amount of nervous force. Its rhythms 
will then be firm and* strong, and its beats as regular as the 


ticks o£ a clock ; but if tlie supply o£ nervous poAver is deficient 
and irregular, tlie action of tlie heart will be feeble in tone, 
quick, fluttering, and often intermittent ; and tlie impulse to tlie 
wave of blood in tlie arteries will be so feeble, tliat tlie pulse 
may be extinguislied by tlie slightest pressure of the finger. 
These symptoms indicate the need of diffusible stimulants 
rather than of depressants. 

Again having regard to the theory put forward in the 
early pages of this Chapter, that the original seat of the disease 
is in the blood, and that the nervous centres are only second- 
arily depressed through vitiation of their proper nutritive 
stimulus, namely the blood, it is obvious that it is of the great- 
est importance to maintain, as far as possible, the free circula- 
tion of the blood — both in order that the vitiated fluid may be 
purified by the action of the air in the lungs, and also that a 
better supply of blood may be given to the brain and nervous 

Effusion of serum, arising from congestion of the blood in 
the vessels of the heart, is sometimes found in the pericardium. 
The congestion is due to want of nervous power in the heart to 
propel forward the blood. In such cases sudden death may 
occur, when the patient in other respects is doing well. 

An intermittent pulse, so long as its beats are fairly strong, is 
not a bad symptom. It often occurs during convalescence, and 
may then be taken as an indication of returning health, and 
that the heart is endeavouring to regain its power — though 
perhaps somewhat exhausted by the attempt, and hence the 
occasional intermission of its beat. In the last stages, when the 
strength is failing, an intermittent pulse is of course a very bad 

483. Temperature. 

During the incubation of the disease the temperature of the 
body becomes elevated, increasing with the febrile symptoms, 
but decreasing with the subsidence of the affection. The con- 
dition of the temperature is an important item and is tested by 
the clinical thermometer as explained in paragraph 2170-. 

By placing the finger in the mouth increase of heat may 
be detected. Any sudden marked decrease of temperature 


is a bad sigD. Towards an unfavorable termination of a case, 
the mouth, and also the exhaled breath will feel colder than 

It is always a good sign when the mouth resumes its natural 
moist feel and its membrane regains its natural pale red 
colour instead of being brown or yellowish brown. 

484. Fatal terminations of ComjpUcations. 

Influenza may terminate fatally by affecting some one or 
other organ principally, or by general affection of nearly all the 
internal organs. Sometimes the lungs and pleurge bear the 
brunt of the disease, and then we have breaking up of these 
structures. Sometimes the liver is greatly diseased, or the 
spleen. At other times the bowels only are affected, and their 
lining membrane is found of a deep mulberry colour in parts, 
and almost in a state of gangrene in other parts with a blush 
of inflammation varying in intensity through the whole canal. 
Thus in some cases, which appear to be going on favorably as 
regards the state of the pulse and respirations, the animal sud- 
denly becomes worse and sinks to the great surprise and mor- 
tification of the practitioner. 

485. General Treatment. 

The treatment has been in some measure described along 
with the various phases of the symptoms and complications. 
The great aim however must be to support the patient through 
the disease, and enable nature to get rid of the morbid material 
engendered in the blood. 

Good nursing is the primary requisite. The details of the 
management included under this head have been already ex- 
plained in Chapter No. 15. 

The medical treatment consists mainly in the absence of 
drastic purgatives and strong sedatives. Saline agents however 
such as sulphate of magnesia in doses of from one and a half to 
two ounces or the hyposulphate of soda in one ounce doses for 
several days, or acetate of ammonia in doses of four ounces with 
an ounce of nitric ether once or twice a day will act beneficially 
in lowering the state of fever, and in maintaining the fluidity of 


the bloody wliicli in Influenza always becomes dark coloured, as 
tlie disease proceeds. 

If there is much fever_, a dose of from half to one drachm of 
tartarized antimony dissolved in water may be added to the 
above medicine. When however the fever is accompanied with 
much prostration, it will be advisable to give spirits of nitric 
ether in doses of from one to two ounces at intervals of about 
four hours combined with half an ounce of the aromatic spirit 
of ammonia. This medicine may be given in either well boiled 
oatmeal or linseed gruel or in a pint and a half of good stout 
if the prostration increases. Two drachms of nitrate of potassa 
may be advantageously added. Or if preferred the following 
maybe given in the form of either ball or draught. Carbonate of 
ammonia one to two drachms, camphor one drachm and ginger 
two drachms. Nitrated water should always be kept in the 
box and frequently changed. 

If there is much yellowness of the membrane of the mouth 
or of the conjunctiva in the commencement of the disease, half 
a drachm of calomel may be given and repeated on the following 
day, and followed by a diffusible stimulant. This may be fol- 
lowed by ten to twelve ounces of linseed oil if constipation be 
present and also by enemata. 

If much oedema be present, diuretic salines combined with 
diffusible stimulants are useful. Gentle friction and bandages 
are also valuable adjuncts. 

If the throat is sore and swallowing diiSicult, it will be 
necessary to apply fomentations and an irritant to the throat, 
or, if the lungs are affected, to the chest. The application 
however must be mild, and only to the extent of exciting a 
smart friction — not to the extent of blistering. 

The warmth of the body and legs must be maintained by 
clothing and bandages. Water, fresh water should always be 
within reach. 

Signs of recovery are indicated by restoration of the action 
of the bowels and of the secretions of the skin, by the discharge 
from the nose assuming a healthy character, and by its membrane 
becoming of a proper colour, by the mouth regaining its usual 
state of moisture and by the disappearance of the yellow browu 
tinge, and by the animal lying comfortably down. 


As the disease abates^ the medicines should be gradually with- 
drawn. The debility, which supervenes, will require most 
careful nursing, and if the appetite is capricious, tonics will be 
needed. As however the after-treatment is the same as that 
required after pneumonia and pleuro-pneumonia, the reader is 
referred to the latter part of the Chapter on those affections. 

It may be well to mention that the iodide of iron or copper 
combined with gentian and ginger makes a very good tonic 
during convalescence and if the patient is very weak, and 
emaciated a pint and a half of good porter may be given twice- 
a day with gruel, nourishing diets, green food or carrots and 
an hour's grazing or gentle exercise as the condition of the 
patient indicates. 

In prescribing for the various phases of this disease the 
author would observe that the medicinal treatment is suggested 
for the purpose of counteracting certain symptoms and should 
be employed with discrimination. In very many cases more 
harm than good is done by pouring medicines down horses' 
throats with the view of checking a disease which nature 
intends should run a certain course. 

486. Aftereffects. 

Horses recovering from Influenza are often attacked with a 
skin disease, which consists in the skin being wholly or partially 
covered with little flattened lumps. In chronic cases the cuticle 
desquamates and leaves as many bare spots as there were lumps, 
but more often the lumps disappear spontaneously in a short 

Rheumatism is an occasional after result, as are also roarins*, 
whistling, and chronic cough. Paralysis from the effect of 
serum effused round the spinal cord, or vertigo from serum 
effused into the ventricles of the brain are also found as results 
of the oedematous swellings ; but these latter symptoms gene- 
rally pass off, as strength is regained. 



487. Nature and Symptoms of Nasal Gleet. 488. Ordinary 
causes and seat. 489. Treatment. 490. Special causes. 491. 
Treatment f ivlien arising from special causes. 492. TrepJiining, 
and after-treatment. 

487. Nature and symptoms of Nasal Gleet. 

Nasal Gleet is tlie name given to a clironic discharge^ some- 
times continuous, but more often intermittent, of mucous or in 
certain cases of muco-purulent matter from one or both nostrils. 
Usually tlie discharge is only from one nostril. It appears to 
proceed from some peculiar irritation set up in one particular 
part such as from a blow or from other external injury and to 
be local in its origin. It seldom proceeds from both sides. 
Occasionally, as a sequel of severe colds, the discharge may come 
from both sides; but such cases are much more amenable to 
treatment, than those in which the discharge proceeds from one 
side only. 

The discharge usually falls freely away from the nostrils, and 
is not of that glue-like adherent character which is peculiar to 
glanders. In ordinary cases the matter is white and about the 
thickness of cream, generally uniform in character, but some- 
times curdy, clotty, or lumpy. Occasionally it is yellowish in 
colour. When however the discharge is connected with disease 
of the teeth, it is generally fetid. 

In Nasal Gleet the submaxillary glands may or may not be 
swollen. If it is caused by extensive disease of the bones of 
the head or of the fangs of the teeth, the submaxillary gland 
will probably be much enlarged ; but if the discharge proceeds 
from increased and diseased action set up in the mucous sur- 
faces lining the nose or sinuses, there will probably be no 

■^36 . CHAPTER XXV. 

imder-enlargement of the glands. It is to be observed, that 
the swelling, if any, is of a diffused character, and not adherent 
to the bone. Sometimes, when there is much disease of bone, 
the Schneiderian membrane is greatly inflamed. Occasionally 
we find ulceration present. The ulcers however are simple in 
•character and unlike those of glanders. In ordinary cases 
however it betrays no symptom of acute inflammation ; but on 
the contrary its surface is of a pallid hue, and it is free from 
pustules or ulcerative indications. These symptoms clearly 
distinguish this affection from glanders ; or perhaps we should 
rather say, there is an absence of those specific appearances, 
which accompany and mark glanders, and which will be detailed 
at length under the head of that disease in Chapter 29. 

488. Ordinary causes and seat of Nasal Gleet. 

Common Nasal Gleet is usually a sequel of neglected catarrh 
ov of influenza of a chronic character. 

In catarrh the discharge usually proceeds from the 
lining membrane of the nostrils. In nasal gleet it is the 
result of inflammation of the lining membrane of one or 
jnore of the sinuses of the head, usually the frontal or sub- 
maxillary. In many such cases the inflammation loses its acute 
character, and perhaps subsides altogether in its primary seat, 
i. e, in the membrane of the nostrils ; but it lingers and becomes 
-chronic in the lining membrane of the above mentioned sinuses. 
There is then established a discharge known as Nasal Gleet. 
This result is especially apt to ensue in animals in a weakened 

Subsequently the membrane becomes thickened and may 
continue to pour out purulent matter for a length of time. The 
discharge is usually intermittent, because the sinus does not 
overflow, except when it is full. Again it may often happen, 
that the animal, either by putting its head down to feed off the 
ground or by violent effort of sneezing, may half or completely 
empty the sinus ; and then after the relief thus given by mature 
there will be an intermission in the discharge, until the sinus 
has refilled. In other cases the opening of the sinus may for 
a time be blocked up by a plug of inspissated mucus. 

The fact and seat of any such collection of matter may be 


ascertained with some degree of, but not witli perfect precision 
by gentle percussion. A dulness of sound indicates pus or 
fluid in a sinus. Sucb dulness will be apparent by carefully 
comparing tlie sound produced by percussion against one sinus 
relatively to another. 

Nasal gleet may also proceed from chronic inflammation and 
thickening of thelining membrane of the nose ; and occasionally 
from special causes, which will be detailed hereafter. 

489. Treatment of Common Nasal Gleet. 

Before the disease has really become chronic, the congestion 
of the membrane may generally be relieved, and the membrane 
itself brought into a healthy state by the frequent inhalation of 
steam. Blisters frequently repeated over the region of the 
sinus or sinuses affected are also very useful. 

If however either from neglect or in spite of treatment the 
discharge becomes chronic, and Nasal Gleet, as defined above, 
is fairly established, — there can scarcely be said to be any 
treatment, on which we can place full reliance. Attention to 
the general health, good care, moderate but not violent exercise, 
and the administration of mineral and vegetable tonics, such as 
sulphate of iron or copper daily combined with gentian, and 
continued for ten days, and then after the interval of a week 
repeated, are very beneficial in improving the state of the 
system. Or in lieu of the above, five to ten grains of cantharides 
with two drachms of gentian may be similarly given. Improve- 
ment in the general health is the great object in the treatment. 
Nasal Gleet like all chronic diseases, is very difficult to cure ; 
but nature, when fairly assisted, often enables the part to throw 
off the morbid action. 

In some cases it may be advisable to open the sinus or sinuses 
affected. The mode of doinq- so and the nature of the after- 
treatment will be found below in paragraph 492. 

If however there is reason to believe, that the discharge 
proceeds only from the lining membrane of the nostrils, (as 
mentioned in the latter part of the preceding paragraph) and 
that the sinuses are not affected, cold water may be thrown up 
the nostrils twice a day by means of a large syringe. Or a 



solution of sulphate of zinc in the propoi'tion of one drachm to 
a pint of water may be injected twice a day. 

490. Special causes of Nasal Gleet. 

If after a fair amount of time_, and especially if the "animal 
improves^ or has been throughout in good condition, the Gleet 
shows no signs of permanent abatement, we have reason to 
suspect the existence of some special cause. 

1st. The fanof of a diseased tooth or disease of the alveolar 
processes may be causing inflammation of the maxillary sinus 
and of its lining membrane ; or 2ndly a cavity in one of the 
teeth may be allowing small particles of masticated food to find 
their way into the sinus. 

As these two are the most common causes, the teeth should 
in all cases at once be carefully examined, the mouth being 
kept open by a balling iron. If the examination cannot be 
made, whilst the horse is standing, he must be cast. 

Or 3rdly, During some act of coughing in catarrhal or 
laryngeal affections a portion of hay may have become impacted 
in the folds of the turbinated bones, where it will produce 
irritation and inflammation ; or 4thly, The lining membrane of 
the sinuses may become inflamed from the effect of blows, 
kicks or other external injuries ; or 5thly, There may be a 
polypus in the nose. 

491. Treatment. 

When any such abnormal causes of irritation exist, the 
lining membranes of the parts affected become inflamed, and 
throw out an increased and sometimes a greatly increased or 
altered secretion. The blood-vessels and absorbents of the parts 
are unable to take up and carry off the secretion ; and hence as 
it has no means of escape, it collects in one of the sinuses, in the 
neighbourhood of which it has been secreted. In addition to 
the secretions of the membrane there is usually, when either the 
teeth or alveolar processes are involved, some fetid matter 
intermixed^ arising from decay and breaking up of 'the osseo- 
dentine tissue. 

The fact and seat of any such collection of matter may be 


ascertained by percussion in the manner previously described in 
paragraph 488. 

The remedy in such cases is to make an opening by a trephine 
into the sinuses affected and release the collected matter. 
After the matter has been released, the sinuses will require to 
be washed out with tepid water by means of a syringe ; and 
perhaps the membrane may require further treatment, as 
described in the next paragraph. 

If the cause lie in disease of a tooth, it may be possible to 
remove it; but in many cases this is not practicable. If the tooth 
cannot be drawn, and also in cases of disease of the alveolar 
processes, we can hardly hope, that any remedial measures will 
be speedily effectual in arresting the discharge from the irri- 
tated membrane — because we cannot remove the caase of the 
irritation, namely, the sloughing away of the osseo-dentine 
tissue. But when we have ascertained the cause of the discharge 
to be disease in the teeth or alveolar processes, we shall at least 
have the satisfaction of knowing, that the diseased action is not 
connected with glanders. 

After a time, — it may not be, until after a considerable time, 
— when such parts of the tissue, as are disposed to do so, have 
sloughed away, the discharge may probably cease ; but in other 
cases the irritated membrane may continue to discharge, and 
further treatment, as described in the next paragraph, will be 

When the irritation of the membrane is due to any of the 
other special causes mentioned above, namely, the impaction of 
food in the folds of the turbinated bones or to external injuries, 
we sometimes find, that the opening out of a vent for the matter 
by means of a trephine, combined with proper after-treatment, 
effects a cure. But these cases are often very intractabje. The 
cause is frequently not discoverable during life. 

Polypi in the nose have hitherto been treated somewhat 
barbarously by torsion. It would be desirable to try the effect 
of electro- cautery (under the influence of chloroform) for their 
removal, as of late successfully employed by Dr. Thudichum of 
St. Thomases Hospital in the human subject. The detail of his 
mode of treatment is explained in a pamphlet published by 
Churchill and Sous, New Burlington Street, London, 1869. 


492. TrejpMning and after-treatment. 

The operation of opening a sinus or trephining^ tliougli by no 
means difficult to any one who has had the advantage of 
experience in it, had better in all cases be performed by a 
professional man. "We therefore do not deem it necessary to- 
give any directions on this head. 

The management of the after-treatment will however probably 
rest with the owner or his servants, and we therefore subjoin 
the necessary details. 

After being opened, the sinuses will need to be freely in- 
jected for some days with warm water in order to clear out the 
collected matter j after which in some cases it may be necessary 
to inject some mild stimulant, such as sulphate of zinc in the 
proportion of one or two drachms to a pint of water, or 
carbolic acid, one part to fifty parts of water. 

The action of the stimulant will at first excite increased 
discharge, but it will probably become of a more healthy 
character. If the discharge continues to increase, the stimulant 
may be discontinued for a few days, and warm water again 

In many cases the lining membrane of the sinus will be found 
to be greatly thickened, and perhaps a quantity of inspissated 
pus may be lodged within it, which will be gradually got rid 
of by the action of the injection. Care must be taken not to 
allow the skin to close completely the orifice, before the dis- 
charge has for some days entirely ceased. This may be done 
by inserting a common cork. 

Daring treatment the patient should be fed well. If the head 
is hot, it should be frequently bathed with cold water. Mineral 
tonics should be freely administered throughout. 

When in spite of all our treatment the diseased action of the 
mucous membrane continues, it becomes a question, whether it 
is advisable to keep the animal. A horse with an unhealthy 
discharge from his nostrils cannot with safety be kept near 
others or worked with them. We cannot tell, when such a case 
may run into glanders. The animal is therefore practically 
useless, and had better be destroyed. 



493. Nature of Strangles. 494. Causes, 495. Symptoms, 
496. General treatment. 497. Treatment of the Local swelling. 
498. Opening of the Abscess, 499. After-treatment. 500. 
Treatment hy Depletives. 501. Is the disease infectious ? 502. 
General remarks. 

493. Nature of Strangles. 

Strangles is a disease usually attended with an eruptive fever 
frequently associated with catarrhal symptoms generally 
appearing about the period of adolescence. The local symptoms 
usually manifest themselves in^ or in connection with one or 
other of the glandular structures. Most commonly the sub- 
maxillary and parotid glands become inflamed, and suppuration 
afterwards takes place in the connecting tissue and its neigh- 

In favorable cases the tumour usually occurs in the sub- 
maxillary space, and terminates in an abscess in the cellular 
tissue and textures covering the glands. 

When the glands attacked are near the surface of the body, 
the matter in the abscess, which usually forms, is enabled 
easily to gain an exit by the ordinary processes of nature ; or, 
if need be, with such assistance as may be given by the lancet, 
and the system is thus freed without difficulty from the suppu- 
rative matter. 

If however the glands attacked are in the mesentery, or if, 
as is more rarely the case, abscesses form in the liver, lungs or 
kidneys, the matter has no ready means of escape and may 
become absorbed into the system, where it will act injuriously 
on the already debilitated system of the patient. When this 
occurs, the animal often falls into a kind of low fever and 
generally sinks under its effects. 


The first development of the suppurative action is generally ^^ 
as stated above, around tlie submaxillary glands ; but if cbecked 
in tliat part by improper treatment, abscesses may form else- 
where externally, or in the internal glandular structures. 
Mischief also sometimes arises even in simple cases, when the 
animal is too weak or too deficient in vitality to be able ta 
throw out the eruption. 

Strangles, though a debilitating disease, in general leaves no- 
injurious effects. On the contrary the patient usually thrives 
well afterwards, especially if the suppurative process has gone 
on favorably. If however the eruptive fever is checked by 
injudicious treatment, or the animal is too weak to throw out 
the eruption, he will not do well. 

494. Causes. 

There are various theories as to the cause of this disease, but 
none which satisfactorily account for it. By some it has been 
thought to be generally connected with dentition, by others 
with atmospheric causes, by others with cessation of the growth 
of the frame. It is certain however, that horses occasionally 
have the disease, after the teeth are fully completed ; also that 
in some seasons almost all the young horses in the stable have 
it, whilst in other seasons almost all escape it ; and again three 
year old animals, in whom cessation of the growth of the frame 
cannot be occurring, most often suffer from it. 

Strangles has also been said to be a disease incidental to 
domestication; but this can scarcely be the case, as we not 
unfrequently find horses at grass affected with it. They how- 
ever generally have it in a very mild form. It usually however 
occurs, when horses are first brought into stables. 

495. Symjptoms. 

The horse is sick and off his feed, and perhaps has a slight 
catarrh with feverish symptoms. In a day or two the glands 
under the jaw or behind the ear begin to swell. Partly from 
the effect of the fever which accompanies the attack, and partly 
from sympathy the throat also becomes sore ; and hence arises, 
difficulty in swallowing with much slobbering and occasionally 
some acceleration of the breathing. 


When the tumor forms regularly in the submaxillary space, 
and is of the ordinary size, the abscess generally comes to 
maturity without much trouble or inconvenience. 

If however the tumor is situated high up towards the 
parotid glands, the distress in the breathing will often be very 
great, and the feverish symptoms will run high. The noisy 
breathing, which forms so marked a feature in most severe 
cases, and from which the disease obtains its name, is owing 
j^artly to the tumor, formed in the neighbourhood of the 
parotid glands, pressing on the larynx, and partly also to the 
inflamed and swollen state of the lining membrane of the 
larynx, which becomes inflamed by sympathy. The tumor 
often becomes exceedingly large, and the patient may get 
excessively weak from being unable to masticate his food. In 
some cases the animal may be in danger of suffocation from 
obstruction of the breathing caused by the size and situation 
of the tumor. 

Again from general derangement of the secretions of the 
body owing to the eruptive disease existing in one part, the 
pores of the skin cease to act properly, and in consequence the 
skin becomes dry and the coat is harsh and staring. 

496. General Treatment. 

As usual with eruptive diseases. Strangles runs a specific 
course. The great object in treatment is to assist nature to 
develop the eruption fully and quickly. If the eruption is 
checked in the external part, in which it usually first appears, 
it is very apt to fly to another, and perhaps to some internal 
glandular structure. 

Hence instead of treating this disease with depletives, as 
some of its symptoms, and especially the fever might seem to 
indicate, we must endeavour to keep up the strength of the 

Herein however lies the chief difficulty. The horse is sick 
and not inclined to feed. His throat is sore, and at best he 
can take nothing but soft food. Hence good nursing becomes 
the main point in the treatment. 

The patient's appetite must be carefully watched and tempted 
with anything that he will eat. In bad cases grass is not only 


tlie besfc, bat is often tlie only food_, tliat the animal can be 
tempted to swallow or to attempt to swallow. Carrots cut 
lengthways are the best substitute, when grass cannot be 
obtained. Bran mash is sometimes palatable for a day or two, 
but in general it soon becomes distasteful. Linseed gruel may 
also be offered. If the patient is able to eat it he should be 
supplied with corn softened by boiling water being poured over 
it with the addition of bran and linseed. Whilst it is desirable 
to give the animal, whatever he will take, it is also necessary 
that the food should be offered him in a softened condition. 
Hay, put into a bucket and boiling water poured on it, is also 
palatable. The steam arising from it will also be found to be 
beneficial by soothing the inflamed surfaces. A little scalded 
crushed oats, or a small barley or malt mash is often eaten 
with relish. Stale bread may also be offered. 

Warm clothing must be applied to the body, and bandages 
to the legs. At intervals, if the legs get cold, the bandages 
should be removed, and the parts rubbed with the hands, until 
warmth is restored. The patient should be placed in a cool 
well ventilated box with abundance of air both day and night. 
Cool fresh air in this in common with all diseases, in which the 
respiratory passages are affected, is of the utmost importance. 
If the bowels are constipated, they must be relieved by the 
use of laxative food, or if need be by injections ; but no strong 
purgative medicine must be given, both for fear of checking the 
eruption and also on account of its tendency to reduce the 
strength and perhaps bring on superpurgation. If any medi- 
cine is needed, half a pint of linseed oil may be given^ and 
repeated after twenty-four hours, if necessary. 

The fever, which accompanies the eruptive attack, will disap- 
pear as soon as the disease has run its course. Should it how- 
ever be excessive, it may be advisable to allay it with ordinary 
febrifuges, but no lowering treatment is admissible. 

497. Treatment of the Local swelling. 

From the general disease we now turn to the treatment of the 
Local swelling. Our object must be to induce the process of 
suppuration or formation of matter. The best plan is to keep 
the part warm with layers of flannel. Fomentations do not 


answer well,, because a chilly wliich may check the formation of 
matter^ is apt to supervene, when the fomentation is discon- 
tinued, as it must be at times. 

If the suppurative process needs further assistance to bring it 
to maturity, a poultice of boiled carrots or turnips applied to 
the part and retained in its position by an eight tailed bandage 
will be beneficial. 

Blisters have been recommended, but are objectionable in the 
early stage at least, because they tend to disperse the swelling 
instead of developing the abscess. When however the tumor 
has begun to soften, a light blister will assist in bringing on the 
desired action in cases, where the progress is unduly tardy. 

498. Opening of the Abscess. 

When a tumor is pointing externally, it should be opened, as 
soon as it is nearly ready to burst, at its most depending point, 
so as to afford the best and freest exit for the matter. It is 
better to open the abscess, than to leave it to burst, because the 
opening may be made at the most favorable point, and because 
incised wounds heal more rapidly than irregular openings and 
are also less liable to leave a blemish. 

As soon as the abscess is opened, the matter will squirt out 
with great force. The incision must be kept open, and the 
abscess gently pressed and occasionally injected for a few days 
with warm water by means of a syringe in order to clean away 
any matter which may be adhering to its sides. Or a small 
piece of tow may be put into the opening and removed occasion- 
ally to prevent the wound closing too soon. 

But when the abscess is deep seated, great caution is necessary 
in the operation for fear of injuring with the lancet any of the 
blood vessels in its neighbourhood. Any considerable flow of 
blood may prove fatal to an animal already in a weak and 
debilitated state ; and again if the lancet should cut through 
the duct of the salivary gland, we may have a very troublesome 
fistulous sore, discharging saliva. The operation should not be 
attempted, unless the pressure of the tumor produces great 
distress in the breathing ; or unless it is so situated, that it is 
probable that the pus, which will escape on its bursting inter- 
nally, will cause suffocation. If we can gain time for a day or 


two, tlie abscesses will probably point, and may then be opened 
with, safety. 

Before operating, the back part of the mouth should be 
examined by the hand. The tumor may probably be felt, and 
perhaps the pressure of the finger may cause it to burst into the 
fauces. In such cases there will be considerable temporary 
distress in the breathing and a profuse discharge of matter 
through the nose and the mouth ; after which there will be 
immediate relief, and the animal will get well. Occasionally a 
tumor so situated will burst of itself, probably during a fit of 
coughing, with similar results. 

If however the examination of the back of the mouth does 
not lead to this favorable result, and it is determined to operate 
on a deep seated tumor, the following plan will be found to 
be the safest. The skin only should be cut through opposite 
the supposed centre of the abscess, and then a passage should 
be worked through the integuments by the finger to the apex of 
the abscess, and the knife should be cautiously used to separate 
the parts. On reaching the abscess, if we have been successful 
in divining the proper place, the finger will go at once through 
the attenuated membrane, which covers it. Nature almost 
entirely absorbs the membrane at the point, at which an abscess 
is about to burst. 

Occasionally it happens, that the tumor is so placed on the 
side of the throat, that by pressing on the windpipe it causes 
extreme difiiculty in breathing. In such cases it may be 
necessary to open it, even though not fully matured ; and if it 
can be laid well open with safety, the operation will give relief. 
In extreme cases relief to the breathing can only be obtained by 
opening the windpipe by the operation known as tracheotomy. 
Though the glands about the head are the usual seat of the 
tumor, yet abscesses may, as mentioned above, form in any of 
the glandular structures. Operations of this kind can of 
course only be performed by an experienced Veterinary 

If the tumor should form in any of the internal glandular 
structures, such as the mesentery, liver or lungs, it will probably 
be fatal. During life we cannot be certain of its existence in 
any such situations. We can only surmise it by the symptoms. 


namely low fever and emaciation. We must in sucli cases trust 
to nature ; but whilst we trust in her, we must do all we can to 
assist lier powers by sustaining the system by generous diet and 
good nursing ; and we must especially avoid any treatment, 
such as the administration of purgative medicine, which would 
lower and debilitate the system. 

The tumor of Strangles may also form in different parts of 
the body apart from the glandular structures, as for instance on 
the shoulders, in front of the chest, etc. 

499. After-treatment. 

The after-treatment consists simply in the continuance of 
good nursing and careful attention to appetite, diet and venti- 
lation, and properly regulated exercise, until the strength is 
restored. The patient in general recovers rapidly ; but if he is 
much debilitated, vegetable, followed by mineral tonics will be 

500. Treatment hy Dejoletives. 

By some writers depletives and purgative medicines have 
been recommended in Strangles ; but reason and experience 
alike militate against any such treatment. Depletives will 
certainly check and perhaps disperse the eruption, which it 
ought to be our object to develop. The disposition to the 
eruptive fever will however remain and the animal will not 
thrive. In other words, the morbid material, which nature 
has been seeking to get rid of by means of the eruption 
will remain in the system, and injuriously affect the general 

Again the object of purgative medicine is in general to 
eliminate from the system certain matters, of which it i& 
desirable to get rid. Why then interfere with the operations of 
nature in strangles, when she is striving in her own way, that is, 
through the medium of the eruption, to free the system from 
morbid matter ? 

Nature requires to be assisted, not to be opposed. The great 
object in treatment is to keep up the strength by nutritious 
softened diet, and thus to enable nature to carry out her 
processes of relief by means of the eruption. 


601. Is the disease infectious ? 

This disease is said to be infectious, — probably because many 
of a lot of horses are often affected about the same time. It 
is more likely however that in this, as in many other diseases, 
similar causes at the time produce similar effects. The disease 
is certainly promoted by cold damp weather. Horses seldom 
take Strangles a second time ; and on the other hand few horses 
•escape it altogether. 

502. General Remarks. 

Most horses are observed to sicken some days before an attack 
of Strangles, and some slight fever is also present. The disease 
itself is always accompanied with more or less febrile symptoms. 
These are sometimes very slight, and at other times severe. 

When Strangles in a healthy animal forms regularly in the 
.submaxillary space, and the tumor is of the ordinary size, the 
abscess comes to maturity without much inconvenience or trouble 
to the patient. The throat is of course more or less sore, and 
there is a nasal discharge. But if the animal is in low condition 
^nd the swelling or tumor is situated high up towards the 
parotid glands, the distress in breathing* is often very great and 
the feverish symptoms will run high. 

Cases sometimes occur, which can hardly be recognised as 
Strangles, though it is probable that they are connected with 
the disease, but in a very mild form. A young horse for in- 
stance becomes slightly feverish, and there is a swelling under 
the jaws, which in the ordinary course we should expect to 
'develop into the tumor of strangles. But instead of such 
regular development there occurs suddenly a profuse discharge 
from the nostrils ; and after a time all appearance of strangles 
passes away. The horse has probably gone through the disease 
in a modified form. 

Many young horses remain for a length of time in a delicate 
state, and are off and on subject to repeated attacks of catarrh, 
— until at length the ailments terminate in positive strangles, 
— after which in general the animal rapidly gains strength and 
condition. It would seem, as if some morbid matter had been 
iiovering about the system, which is ejected by the eruptive 



503. Nature of Rheumatism. 504. Seat. 505. Characteristics^ 
506. Causes. 507. Symptoms. 508. Treatment. 

503. Nature of Rheumatism. 

Rheumatism is inflammation of a peculiar shifting type,^ 
usually but not exclusively affecting tissues of low organization. 
It may be chronic or it may be acute. The acute attack is^ 
usually accompanied by febrile symptoms. 

Viewed in its more general aspect, as distinguished from the 
cause of any particular attack, this disease may be said to be 
a result of a low or impaired state of vitality. Hence its usual 
seat is in tissues of low organization. 

504. Seat. 

The parts usually affected are the white fibrous tissue covering- 
the muscles, the capsules of joints, the tendons and their sheaths,, 
and ligaments. Occasionally the valves of the heart suffer from 
rheumatism, not indeed directly, but secondarily from deposit 
of fibrin on them, which impairs their functions ; and in some 
cases the coats of the blood-vessels are affected, and more rarely^ 
parts of higher organization. 

505. Characteristics. 

The chief peculiarities of the disease are the suddenness of 
its attacks and a very remarkable tendency to shift from one 
part to another. 

Structures, which have been once affected, are very liable ta 
recurrence of the disease, and after a time it may become 
chronic in such parts. But though it may be chronic, varia- 


tions in degree will be felt from time to time according to 
weather, health, and other changing circumstances. 

506. Causes. 

Rheumatism is often caused by neglect. It is very readily 
brought on by exposure to wet and cold, by insufficient diet, 
by bad stable management, and by all other such causes as 
lower the general health. Rheumatism is also a frequent 
sequel of any debilitating disease, especially of chest affections 
and influenza. It is said to be hereditary, but this point is 
very doubtful. 

By some it has been thought, that Rheumatism is dependent 
-on an excess of lactic acid in the blood. 

507. Symjjtoms. 

A sudden and at first unaccountable stiffness in some part or 
other is usually the earliest sign. The absence of any external 
cause sufficient to account for the stiffness or lameness will lead 
us in such cases to suspect Rheumatism. 

This suspicion, if correct, will be confirmed in a few days 
either by the sudden disappearance of the attack, or by increase 
in the symptoms, or by its shifting to some other part. For 
example if the attack supervenes on influenza, one fore leg may 
be found suddenly much inflamed and sore to the touch from 
the knee downwards along the back tendons, or the seat may 
be in the knee or any other joint and may be accompanied by 
■swelling, and the attack will probably be complicated with 
febrile symptoms and short quick breathing. Under treat- 
ment the ailment will probably get better, but suddenly 
the other fore leg or perhaps a hind leg may be similarly 

If the attack be severe, or if it be continued, the parts 
affected will soon become hot and swollen. When a part has 
been frequently attacked, a chronic swelling generally becomes 

When Rheumatism arises from exposure to cold or wet, it 
generally affects the loins or shoulders. 


508. Treatment. 

For any present attack the best treatment is friction to the 
part affected_, which should afterwards be wrapped in hot flannel. 
Hot fomentations are also beneficial, but great care must be 
taken to avoid a chill by applying flannel bandages as soon as 
the fomentation is discontinued ; or, if these are not available, 
the part should be well dried and then rubbed with ammonia 

In severe or long continued attacks it is advisable to give an 
ounce of bicarbonate of potass, followed daily by a dose of half 
the above amount with half an ounce of nitrate of potassa, 
until relief is obtained. Colchicum in half drachm doses may be 
combined with the above. If these remedies fail, two drachms 
of iodide of potassa may be given in addition. 

If the pain is great, in lieu of the above, one drachm of 
powdered opium and one drachm of aloes with ginger and 
linseed meal may be given night and morning for three days. 
The medicine may then be discontinued for a few days, and 
afterwards repeated. If the pain is very great, one drachm of 
extract of belladonna may be added to the above dose. 

In all cases it is essential to keep the bowels in a loose state. 
The dose recommended above will probably produce this effect ; 
but if needed, half a pint of linseed oil may be given, and 
repeated according to circumstances. 

If the lameness is persistent after the ordinary means of 
reducing inflammation have been employed, and when all febrile 
symptoms have subsided, a blister of biniodide of mercury may 
be applied to the part and repeated, if necessary. 

In good truth however in this as in many other diseases 
prevention is better than cure. Horses in really well managed 
stables do not often suffer from Rheumatism. 

In animals, which either from previous attacks or consti- 
tutionally are predisposed to this disease, the greatest care_, in 
addition to maintaining the system by good feeding, should be 
taken to have them dried and cleaned immediately after their 
return from work. The evil effects of allowing ho-rses to stand 
and get chilled after exercise have been dwelt upon at length 
in the previous Chapters on grooming and stable management. 




^09. NalureoJ Dropsical Swellings. blO. Seat. bil. Causes 
of Soft Dropsical Swellings. 512. Causes of Inflammatory Drop- 
sical Swellings. 513. Treatment. 514. Direct removal of the 
Fluid. 515. Indirect removal of the Fluid. 516. Uemovalofthe 
causes. 517. Swelled legs. 

509. Nature of Dropsical Swellings. 

The Swellings^ recognised as Dropsical, consist of an abnor- 
mal quantity of fluid derived from the blood by percolation of 
its watery parts through the coats of the vessels. The effused 
fluid consists of serum with a very slight quantity of albumen 
and wholly free from any admixture of blood or coagulable 

Dropsical Swellings are of two kinds, namely those which 
result from venous obstruction or debility, and those which 
result from inflammation. 

The first named are soft and free from heat or tenderness, 
they pit on pressure and sometimes temporarily disappear either 
entirely or in a great degree on the application of friction, com- 
bined with pressure. The latter are hard, hot, highly sensitive, 
and often pulsate strongly. 

510. Seat. 

These watery effusions may collect in any of the closed 
cavities of the body or in any of the loose permeable structures. 
They bear various names according to the cavity^ in which they 

They are most common in the legs, constituting the disease 
known as CEdema of the legs ; in the peritoneal sac, constituting 


water on tlie belly^ otherwise called Ascites, or generally under 
tlie skin of the belly, sheath, legs and other dependent parts, 
being then recognised as Anasarca or general dropsy. Not 
unfrequently they occur in the chest, as Hydrothorax or Hy- 
drops pericardii ; and more rarely in the ventricles of the brain 
and in the spinal cord as Hydrocephalus ; or in the testicle as 

511. Causes of Soft Dropsical Swellings. 

The effusion of serum, which produces the soft pitting swell- 
ing may result from a diminished and retarded, or from a 
retarded though not diminished state of the circulation ; or it 
may result from a poor impoverished condition of the blood ; 
or all these causes, or some of them may exist in combination. 

These however, though the immediate causes, are themselves 
the result of other affections. Want of tone in the circulation 
often arises from disease of tlte heart. If the heart is weak, it 
is unable to propel the blood onwards, as rapidly as it is returned 
to it by the veins. Hence in the larger veins there is a 
retarded current, which in its turn checks the circulation in 
the lesser veins. These vessels then become congested. By 
distension their coats become thin, and ultimately the more 
fluid parts of the blood percolate through them. Hence may 
arise Anasarca or general dropsy. Affection of the heart is 
itself a frequent after result of influenza, pneumonia, and other 
debilitating diseases. 

Local retardation of the circulation, as indicated by dropsical 
swellings in particular parts, will generally be found to be due 
to derangement of the internal organs of the part. Diseases of 
the liver, spleen, or kidneys for instance are apt to hinder the 
venous circulation of the neighbouring parts, and in this way 
may become a cause of dropsical swellings in the belly and hind 
legs. Again, disease of the lungs, when combined with pleu- 
ritis, is a frequent cause of water on the chest. 

In the above and such like cases the dropsical swelling is 
further augmented by the accumulation of those fluid particles 
which are secreted from all structures, and which in health are 
taken up by the action of the capillaries and absorbents. 


354 CHAPTER xxvrii. 

When however these vessels are themselves overcharged^ they 
are obviously unable to absorb the waste fluids. 

Dropsical swellings cannot however always be traced to 
actual disease of particular organs. They often depend on a 
faulty condition of the blood arising from debilitating disease. 
The blood in such cases having become thin and watery is then 
prone to permeate through the walls of the blood vessels. 

Further, when the blood has got into a debilitated condition, 
it fails to nourish the system properly, and hence again the 
action of the heart is weakened. 

Dropsy may also occur from any cause, such as a sudden 
chill or exposure, which disturbs or arrests the two processes of 
exhalation and absorption, natural to all secreting surfaces in 
health ; or from external injury. 

512. Causes of InJlammato7'y Dropsical Swellings. 

The second kind of dropsical swellings, which we have 
noticed above, as distinguished from the foregoing by the sym- 
ptoms of heat, tenderness and pain, result from congestion of the 
blood vessels under the influence of inflammatory action. 

The abnormal disposition to effusion, as the result of conges- 
tion, generally arises from a weak or debilitated constitution, 
or from a circulation which has become deficient in tone and 
vigour. The attacks of inflammation, which end in dropsical 
swellings, are generally very acute. The swelling itself in such 
cases is formed very suddenly and rapidly. 

513. Treatment. 

The treatment, though it will necessarily vary in some degree 
according to the causes from which the dropsical swelling pro- 
ceeds, may nevertheless be divided, firstly, into the means of 
removing the effused fluid, and secondly, the removal of the 
causes from which the effusion has proceeded. 

514. Direct removal of the fluid. 

In very urgent cases removal of the fluid maybe effected by 
mechanical means, such as tapping, and scarification. The 
operation however is not in general of much avail, as the fluid 
usually forms again. In those cases, in which the accumula- 


tion is considerable^ and from its proximity to important organs 
is likely to produce a serious result^ such as positive obstruction 
to tbe respiration, it may be necessary to bave recourse to 
tapping ; but except under sucb circumstances tbe fluid should 
not be removed by mechanical means. 

515. Indirect removal of the Fluid. 

Removal of the fluid in less pressing cases may be best 
effected indirectly by rousing the action of the skin by means 
of stimulants ; whilst at the same time the secretions of the 
bowels and kidneys may be increased by very mild doses of 
aperient_, or by more active doses of diuretic medicine. Iodide 
of potassium in doses of half a drachm with two drachms of 
powdered gentian, and two drachms of ginger twice a day will 
be found to answer best. 

Tonics also, especially sulphates of iron and copper, are very 
useful in restoring tone to the system. The above medicines 
maybe given in combination. If the symptoms indicate arrest 
of the secretions of the liver, calomel may be given combined 
with gentian and ginger. 

Friction and pressure to the part, when practicable, are very 
useful in restoring a healthier and more vigorous tone to the 
vessels. In slight cases, such as swellings of the legs, these 
latter remedies together with judicious exercise will generally 
be found sufficient to cause the out-poured fluid to be re- 
absorbed, and perhaps also to prevent further effusion. 

516. Removal of the causes. 

Whilst treating the effect, we must not however forget to 
search for, and if possible, remove the cause. 

If the dropsical swellings be due to temporary affection of 
the heart, medicine appropriate to allay the ailment will be 
required ; but if there is chronic disease of that organ, it is 
hardly worth time and money to treat the case. 

If it be an after-result of disease of the lungs and pleurse, 
the best remedies are those indicated in the Chapters on 
diseases of the Eespiratory organs. If the cause be traceable 
to disorder of the kidneys or liver, those organs must be treated. 


The necessary information will be found in Chapters Nos. 55 
and 56. 

If the cause lie, as is most commonly the case, in general 
debility, the strength will need to be improved by generous 
diet, fresh air, decrease of work, moderate exercise, good 
grooming and tonics. Friction and warm clothing will also 
assist greatly in restoring the functions of the skin, which in all 
cases of debility are much impaired. 

517. Swelled legs. 

We shall close this Chapter with a few remarks on Swelled 
Legs, the form in which dropsical effusions are most commonly 
v^et with in the horse. 

Swelled legs are more often due to debility than to any other 
cause. The watery fluid collects in these limbs mainly on 
account of their dependent position, and partly on account of 
the difficulty, which the blood finds in mounting- up against 
gravity, and perhaps in some degree also from the parts being 
further removed from the centre of circulation. This disease,, 
as we might expect, is most common in underbred horses_^ 
because in them the circulation is always less strong than in 
better bred animals. 

Acute cases, in which the legs swell up very suddenly and 
sometimes to a size several times larger than their normal 
state, are often traceable to exposure of the animal, especially 
if exhausted, to wet or cold. Such exposure very readily pro- 
duces imperfect action of the skin, bowels, and kidneys. 

In animals predisposed to this disease want of exercise, even 
for a single day, by impairing the tone of the muscles and 
circulation, and also by decreasing the secretions of the skin 
will often bring on an attack. 

Hand rubbing, bandages to the legs, especially in old horses,, 
warm clothing to the body, a little gentle exercise, and in some- 
cases a mild dose of physic constitute the best treatment. 
Half an ounce of nitre, which will act as a slight diuretic, may 
be given occasionally with benefit to horses predisposed to this- 
complaint. If the animal is poor, a generous diet is essential. 
Vegetable and mineral tonics may also be given with advan- 



518. Intimate connection between Glanders and Farcy. ^ 519. 
Causes. 520. Propagation of Glanders and Farcy by infection 
and contagion. 521. Difference in the primary seat of Glanders 
and Farcy. 521a. Glanders and Farcy. Acute and Chronic. 
h22. Symptoms of Farcy. 523. Treatment of Farcy. 024^. Dis- 
eases sometimes mistaken for Farcy, Lymphangitis or Weed, etc. 
525. Symptoms of Glanders. 526. Chancre of Glanders. 527. 
Treatme7it of Glanders. 528. Suspicious cases. 529. Diseases 
sometimes mistaJcenfor Glanders, 530. Many horses destroyed^ 
luhich are not really affected. 531. Disinfection. 532. Con- 

518. Glanders and Farcy. 

Glanders aud Farcy are not, as miglit be supposed_, two 
distinct and separate affections, but are merely modifications 
of one and the same disease — the terms being applied to 
designate tlie particular situation of the lesions, and the train 
of symptoms presented. By Glanders we understand that 
form of the disease, where the lesions and symptoms are 
connected with the mucous membrane lining the nasal chambers, 
upper air passages, the neighbouring lymphatic glands, and 
the lungs. By Farcy we understand the same condition in the 
superficial lymphatic vessels. In either case the disease is due 
to the action of the same specific virus or poison. 

Both forms of disease may exist in the same animal at the 
same time, or one may supervene on the other. Inoculation 
with the matter of Glanders or Farcy may produce either the 
one or other disease in a sound animal. 


519. Causes r 

Up to a recent period it was supposed tTiat tliis disease miglit 
arise spontaneously ; but it is now generally admitted that tlie 
class known as ^' specific '^ communicable diseases^ to wliicli 
Glanders and its modification Farcy belong, can only be pro- 
pagated by contagion, infection, or inoculation — i.e. in otber 
words by tbe reception into a healthy animal of the specific 
virus or poison from the diseased. 

There are however many eminent veterinarians, who still 
believe in the spontaneous generation of Glanders, and certainly 
the evidence in support of this theory is strong. The sudden 
outbreaks among masses of horses crowded in ill- ventilated and 
ill-drained stables, and on ship-board under certain insanitary 
conditions, the appearance of this disease amongst the horses 
of an army in the field, and the fact of its occasionally occurring* 
as a sequel of affections of a debilitating character, are adduced 
as evidence of its capability of originating spontaneously. 

It is however a well known fact that the virus of Glanders, 
like syphilis, may lie dormant in the system for a period, which 
has no recognized limit, until roused into activity by causes, 
such as those mentioned above, and may from thence be 
disseminated broadcast. Again, we have instances on record 
of the disease having been propagated by horses in which 
none of the symptoms of Glanders were apparent, until 
revealed by post-mortem examination. 

The author believes the direct cause of Glanders to be 
contagion or infection ; but at the same time the fact must not 
be lost sight of that certain predisposing influences are 
powerful factors in its development and dissemination. 

Diseases, which are due to contagion or infection are seldom 
developed to any serious extent, where proper sanitary 
arrangements are enforced, and where the general health of the 
animals is ensured by good stable management. But where 
the reverse is the case and the tone of the system becomes 
lowered, animals readily yield to any communicable infectious 
or contagious disease, which may be prevailing at the time. 

As long as the system is strong and hearty, it will often 
resist malarious and insanitary influences for a length of time ;, 


but sooner or later sucli causes lower tlie general health, and 
then animals become predisposed to any prevailing disease. 

It is not however to be understood that perfect health and 
condition give absolute immunity from the attack of any 
specific virus ; but the author wishes to impress on his readers 
that debilitating influences of any kind will cause animals to 
be more readily affected. 

Bad ventilation, imperfect drainage, insufficient and un- 
suitable food, dirt and general neglect in the stable manage- 
ment, coupled with defective conformation are the principal 
factors in the production of this predisposition. 

520. Proj)cigation of Glanders and Farcy hy infection and 


Very little is known respecting the precise nature of the 
virus. Any details as to the many interesting experiments 
carried on of late years by Pasteur and others in regard to the 
nature and propagation of the virus of this and other con- 
tagious maladies would be beyond the scope of this work. 

Suffice it to say, that the virus of Glanders and Farcy can be 
at once communicated to healthy animals by Inoculation ; and 
that is also readily transmitted by contagion. Whether it is 
also Infectious is not equally certain. (For the distinction 
between Inoculation, Contagion and Infection see Chapter 16, 
par. 274). 

Hence, in order to avoid risk, it is always necessary to 
remove and isolate any suspected animal ; and also to place all 
the liorses occupying the same stable under the closest super- 

The man who looks after the horse under suspicion should 
not be allowed to go among the other horses. The whole of 
the grooming articles, stable equipment, clothing, saddling, etc. 
must be kept quite distinct; and the attendant should be 
particularly warned that the disease is communicable and fatal 
to man. 

521. Difference in the primary seat of Glanders and Farcy. 

Both Glanders and Farcy are diseases of the absorbent system. 
In veterinary treatises it is commonly said that in glanders the 

^60 chapter' XXIX. 

deep seated absorbents of the anterior extremities are primarily- 
affected ; whilst in farcy the superficial absorbents of the hind 
extremities are the early seat of the disease. 

This definition is hardly correct as regards farcy. Farcy is 
Tery uncertain in the point of its appearance, and is found 
almost as frequently in the anterior, as in the posterior parts. 
The outward development of the constitutional disease gene- 
rally seems to be determined by the occurrence of any abrasion 
in any part of the body. 

The hind legs from kicking, from cracked heels, and from 
various causes are no doubt more liable to abrasions and 
superficial inflammation than other parts, and hence perhaps 
we most frequently find the primary development of farcy in 
them. In harness horses however we often find it on the neck, 
which is liable to be chafed by the collar, or on the ribs from 
rubbing of the traces or pole. In all horses it is common on 
the lips, probably from abrasions or at least irritability of the 
skin caused by the bit. 

Glanders on the other hand invariably appears in or about 
the head, and is primarily indicated by swelling- of the glands 
under the jaw, and by a discharge, nsually from one nostril only 
in the early stage or during the chronic phase of the disease. 

521a. Glanders and Farcy, Acute and Chronic, 

These diseases may be present in an acute or in a chronic 
iorm. In veterinary works the symptoms of each are usually 
described sepai-ately. But it will probably be sufficient to 
give the general features which are most frequently seen, and 
which are quite enough to enable the reader to recognize the 

522. Symptoms of Farcy. 

The attack is usually ushered in with febrile disturbance ; 
but at other times this symptom, though probably not altogether 
absent, may be so slight as to escape observation. In most 
cases the disease itself is indicated by the appearance of a slight, 
or it may be a considerable swelling of one or more of the 
superficial absorbents. Before long the vessels become corded. 


and knots appear at the valves along tlieir line. Each knot 
breaks out into a very peculiar deep abrupt yellow-edged ulcer. 
The absorbents, we may remark, follow closely the line of the 
veins. In other cases farcy commences with a very painful 
^edematous swelling of the hind leg, and sometimes even before 
any swelling is perceived, the horse is unaccountably lame. 
The cause of such lameness really arises from inflammation of 
the deep seated absorbents. The swelling however soon appears, 
followed, as described above, by cording of the absorbents. 
When farcy appears on the lips, face or shoulders, the buds 
are usually much smaller than when it appears in the hind 

In unfavorable cases the knotting of the absorbents and the 
formation of ulcers rapidly increase. In some cases the body 
may be covered with them. Death occurs as soon as the ulcera- 
tion affects any of the more important internal organs, or the 
animal may die of exhaustion before this stage is reached. 
Glanders generally supervenes before death. 

In some cases knots only, without any cording, form at the 
valves of the superficial absorbents. Though this condition 
may continue for a time, even for a considerable time, the 
disease will generally go forward to ulceration, or else will be 
relieved. There is no real distinction betweeen this and the 
more usual type of the disease. Among the old school this 
modification was known as '^ Button '^ farcy. 

Farcy however often appears in a less virulent form. The 
ulcers may be few, and sometimes the disease seems at a stand- 
still for weeks or months. When the constitution of the patient 
is good, and other circumstances are favorable, and especially 
when the disease is confined to the superficial absorbents, the 
symptoms may subside, and the case a2')parentlii yield to 

The matter discharged from a farcy pustule is either like thin 
pus of a dirty dingy yellow colour or of a glue-like character, 
and in either case it is offensive ; or it may be bloody or 
ichorous, or like fetid serum. It abrades the surface on 
which it falls, and hence helps to spread the disease. The 
pustules sometimes extend into each other, and large un- 
healthy sores covered with purulent matter are then formed. 


During tlie time of prevalence of Glanders or Farcy among 
the horses of an establishment there is a peculiar disposition 
in sores of an apparently trivial character^ to take on an un- 
healthy action, eventuating probably in an inj&amed condition 
of the neighbouring absorbents. This disposition tends 
to shoWj that the blood is in an unhealthy condition. 

523. Treatment of Far mj , 

In some cases, especially those of an apparently mild nature, 
the symptoms very frequently apj^^ar to yield to a course of 
therapeutic and sanitary treatment ; but bearing in mind the 
malignant nature of the disease, its fatal character, and highly 
contagious nature, the author advises the immediate destruction 
of the animal in all cases, where the symptoms are unmistakably 

In former days, when Farcy was frequently treated with 
apparent success, it was usual to send the animal back to his 
stable on the subsidence of the symptoms as cured; but 
sooner or later the disease would surely re-appear either in the 
form of glanders or farcy, and from this centre of contagion 
the disease would probably be disseminated throughout 
the neighbourhood. This injudicious system was probably 
the cause of those numerous and extensive outbreaks of 
Glanders and Farcy, which used to be of such frequent 

A favorite prescription used to consist of the following, viz. 
iodide or sulphate of copper two drachms, cantharides four to 
eight grains, and powdered gentian two drachms made up in a 
ball and given daily. Sulphate of iron was also a favorite 
tonic, and arsenic was advocated by many. If much oedematous 
swelling existed, diuretics were given. The local treatment 
consisted in freely opening the Farcy " buds," and applying 
the actual cautery to the ulcers. Repeated dressings of the 
biniodide of mercury ointment to the corded lymphatics were 
found to be beneficial in promoting absorption, and regular 
walking exercise was ordered to the extent indicated by the 
condition of the patient. 

Treatment however, though there may be apparent alleviation 
of the symptoms, is useless. The best and safest course is the 


destruction of tlie animal at once^ i. e. as soon as tlie symptoms 
are well developed. 

524. Diseases sometimes mistahen for Farcy. Lymphaiigitis or 

Weed J etc. 

Inflammation of tlie absorbents, vulgarly called Weed, 
is sometimes mistaken for Farcy. The distinction between 
tlie two diseases bas been noticed in Chapter 12, on the 

Detached swellings about the body arising from suppressed 
perspiration and other causes are occasionally mistaken for 
Farcy. These symptoms however generally subside as rapidly 
as they appear, and do not run, as it were, in chains, but are 
more or less localized. 

Abscesses, often presenting a very unhealthy appearance, 
may also occur in the hind legs, as the result of local irritation 
and inflammation caused by kicking in the stable. Here how- 
ever the cause is apparent. 

525. 8ym]^toms of Glanders. 

The appearance of Grianders is primarily indicated by swelling 
of the Submaxillary Gland. Fever is seldom present to any 
noticeable extent, except in the acute form of the disease. 
After a time the characteristic discharge from one or both 
nostrils, but generally from one only appears. 

The gland on the same side becomes more swollen and pain- 
ful, but, as a rule, shows no inclination to suppurate. A 
marked symptom in the condition of this gland soon occurs. 
It becomes hard and firmly adherent to the jaw bone, and 
ceases to he 'painful on the application of pressui'e. These 
peculiarities distinguish it from the soft diffused swellings 
of the glands often found in diseases of the air passages. 

In the early stages of the disease the lining membrane of 
the nose will assume a heightened color. 

The discharge from the nostrils is at first thin and aqueous, 
but soon assumes the characteristic glairy condition, and is 
generally of a straw color, but in the very late stages it becomes 
more purulent in its nature. 


Tlie quantity and quality of the discharge varies in different 
cases ; it may be slight or copious, it may be thick or thin ; 
but the one constant feature, which induces us to suspect 
the nature of the disease, is the glue-lihe and adhesive nature 
of the discharge. It clings about the hair round the nostrils, 
and may even partly close these orifices and cause difficulty in 

The duration of the gleet before further symptoms are 
developed is extremely variable. It may be only a few days 
or it may be weeks or months, depending on the condition and 
constitution of the animal, the kind of treatment adopted, and 
also to a great extent upon the mode by which the disease was 

In case of dhect inoculation ulceration of the membrane lining 
the nostrils generally follows in from six to fifteen days after 
the first appearance of the discharge. 

According to the rapidity or otherwise, with which the sym- 
ptoms develop themselves, and by the presence or absence of 
fever, glanders is termed ^^ acute ^' or ^* chronic.'^ 

Care, attention, good housing, and liberal diet will often 
delay the further development of the disease for a great length 
•of time j whilst on the other hand a few days' exposure or hard 
work will always be sufficient to accelerate its progress. 

Before ulceration takes place in the nostrils, the membrane 
vof the part usually assumes a dull dingy leaden or slate coloured 
hue, often with patches of a leaden colour, and other parts 
highly injected. The ultimate symptom, which leaves no 
^oubt about the existence of the specific disease, is the formation 
of true ulcers in the nostrils. The ulceration usually commences 
with a small vesicle on the membrane, which after a few days 
bursts, leaving a small unhealthy ulcer, which has no disposition 
to heal, but on the contrary gradually spreads and deepens. 
The nostril, in which the discharge was first observed, is gene- 
rally first affected by ulceration. 

After the formation of ulcers, the discharge is often tinged 
with blood. The ulcers generally rapidly increase in number, 
and follow the course of the absorbents and extend along the 
larynx and trachea, and tubercles form in the lungs. These 
tubercles in the first instance are generally of the miliary 


kind,, and frequently a number of them collect in one spot 
and burst, and abscesses are then formed. 

Ulceration, though we perceive it first in the nostril, does not 
usually commence there, but higher up on the septum nasi, from 
which it extends downwards. The importance of the symptom, 
namely ulceration of the nostril, is derived from the fact, that 
it is the first positive external sign of the disease, which though 
unseen by us has laid hold on the system. 

Until there is ulceration, the discharge from the nostrils is 
not offensive ; but when ulceration has taken place to any great 
extent, which it may have done high up in the nostril, and 
therefore out of sight, the matter is very offensive on account 
of the sloughing of the tissues affected by that process. 

As the disease progresses to its later stages, the animal falls- 
away in condition, and the hair of the mane and tail is easily 
pulled out. With the progress of the disease the weakness and 
emaciation increase. In the last stage there is generally a 
large development of farcy buds in various parts of the body. 
Before death the nostrils are much swollen from the intensity of 
the inflammation accompanying the ulceration, and this together 
with thickening of the schneiderian membrane and the tenacious 
nature of the discharge causes the patient to breathe with diffi- 
culty and to be almost suffocated. In some cases the bursting 
of abscesses in the lungs occasions death by suffocation. At 
other times, when glanders is combined with farcy, the animal 
dies a mass of disease. 

On post-mortem examination tubercles are almost invariably 
found in the lungs. These may be of a miliary kind, or they 
may be as large as a walnut. Miliary tubercles may also be 
found in the liver, kidneys, or spleen. The state known as 
miliary ulceration consists of an infinite number of minute 
ulcers giving the part a worm eaten appearance, and causing it 
to appear, as if full of pin holes. The minute ulcers are sup- 
posed to be the result of the degeneration of miliary tubercles. 

The sinuses of the head on the side, from which the discharge- 
proceeds, will probably be found to contain a large quantity of 
pus and the membrane lining these cavities will be thickened 
and perhaps ulcerated. 


526. The Chancre of Glanders. 

The Cliancre of Glanders is of a peculiarly unliealtliy cha- 
racter. It has an elevated circular pinkish border including a 
base of dingy or faint yellow albuminous matter^ which on being 
touched commences bleeding. On the matter being removed^ 
the tissue below will be seen^ if the ulcer is deep ; or a red 
spotted foul bleeding bottom will be perceived, if it is super- 
ficial. In deep ulcers in the nose, the cartilage will be exposed 
and even eaten through in bad cases. The extension of the 
ulcer to the cartilage will also be marked by the discharge 
assuming a greenish aspect. 

These ulcers have no disposition to heal, but rapidly spread 
and assume an irregular ragged appearance. 

527. Treatment of Glanders. 

The remarks on the treatment of Farcy apply equally to 
this form of disease. Any attempt to treat a fully developed 
case of Glanders would for reasons previously explained be 
most reprehensible. The animal should be at once destroyed. 

In the very early stages careful attention to the animal's 
wants, good food and air combined with mineral and vegetable 
tonics, and the repeated application of the biniodide ointment 
of mercury to the swollen glands will frequently check the 
progress of the disease for a time, and may probably cause a 
temporary subsidence of the symptoms; but the knowledge 
that Glanders is incurable, and the fact of its violent and 
dangerous nature will, it is hoped, be sufficient to warn the 
reader against attempting the treatment of any decided 

528. Stisjyicious cases. 

If any doubt exists as to the nature of the disease, the best 
plan is to purchase and inoculate a donkey, an animal very 
susceptible of glanders. 

If the virus is that of Glanders, the symptoms will probably 
appear in from six to fifteen days ; but if after a month's close 
observation none of the characteristic signs of Glanders are 
present, and if the wounds caused by inoculation heal up in a 


healthy mnuncr, we may conclude that the disease is not 
Glanders ; more especially i£ the symptoms in the horse in the 
mean time yield to treatment. 

529. Diseases sometimes mistaken for Glanders. 

In some low forms of chronic Catarrh there is often an 
irritating discharge, which abrades the surfaces with which it 
comes in contact, and occasionally produces superficial ulceration. 
The submaxillary glands also become swollen and painful. 
The ulcers however differ widely from the characteristic chancre 
of glanders, and the glands are not closely adherent to the jaw 

In certain stages of pneumonia there is occasionally a semi- 
sanious discharge from the nostrils of a foetid character, and 
the breath smells offensively. In Grlanders neither the discharge 
nor the breath are offensive, except in the later stages when 
the disease in other respects is clearly marked. 

In both catarrh and pneumonia the discharge is generally 
from both nostrils, whilst in tho earlier stage of Glanders it 
usually proceeds from one nostril only. 

530. Many horses destroyed, luliich are not really affected. 

Before a horse is destroyed for either glanders or farcy, the 
full development of the disease should be waited for, particularly 
if the animal is of any value. The diseased horse should of 
course be separated from all others, and every necessary pre- 
caution taken to prevent the spread of the disease. The author 
believes, that more than half the horses destroyed for these 
diseases are not really affected. 

531 . Disinfection. 

In both glanders and farcy, in order to guard against 
the possibility of their reproduction in other horses it is 
desirable to burn any articles of clothing, brushes or brooms, 
to which diseased matter may adhere. The pails and all 
unpainted woodwork and iron should be thoroughly scoured 
with hot water and soap, and then whitewashed over three 
times. Painted woodwork and iron after being thoroughly 
cleansed should be repainted. The floors and walls should be 


scraped and whitewaslied three times. Every door and window 
sliould be left open for some days, so that the stall and stable 
may be subjected to the purifying influence of a current of air. 
Other disinfectants, such as chloride of zinc or MacDougall's 
disinfecting powder may also be used. 

532. Conclusion. 

Isolated cases of glanders may occur in any establishment. 
They may be propagated by contagion before the nature of the 
disease is apprehended; but where a proper system of daily 
inspection of the nostrils and glands of all the animals is carried 
out, and where due measures of isolation of all suspicious cases 
are taken, — the disease will not be found to spread to any 

Glanders or Farcy in an enzootic form in any stable indicates 
gross mis-management in some point or points. 




533. Goafs of the Stomach and Intestines. 534. Distinction 
between Colic and Inflammation of the Intestines. 535. Seat of 
Colic. 536. Signs of Colic. 537. Distinction in symptoms 
between Colic and Inflammation of the Intestines. 538. Causes 
of Colic. 539. Terminations of Colic. 540. Treatment of Colic. 
541. Inflammation op the Intestines. — Peritonitis and Ente- 
ritis. 542. Symptoms. 543. Causes. 544. Treatment. 545. 
Terminations. 546. After-treatment. 

533. Coats of the Stomach and Intestines. 

The digestive apparatus generally, tliat is tlie stomacb. and 
intestines, botli large and small, is furnished with three coats. 

The outer coat is composed of serous membrane, a shining 
lubricating substance, which is useful in preventing the parts 
from becoming adherent to each other or to the walls of the 
cavity of the abdomen. The second or middle coat is muscular. 
The third or inner lining is composed of mucous membrane. 
The peculiar arrangement of the mucous membrane of the 
stomach is described in Chapter IV. All these three coats are 
more or less vascular, but the great mass of the blood-vessels 
are situated on the inner surface of the muscular coat imme- 
'diately under the inner lining membrane. 

534. Distinction between Colic and Inflammation of the 

All those diseases, such as colic or gripes, intus-susceptio, or 



entanglement of one portion of one gut witL. another portion, 
peritonitis or inflammation of the serous membrane, enteritis or 
inflammation of the muscular and mucous membrane, and other 
such-like affections, though they are known by many names 
according to the particular part or membrane attacked, may be 
simply classified under two heads, namely Colic and Inflamma- 
tion of the Stomach and Intestines. 

These two diseases admit of an easy and general definition. 
Colic is spasm of the muscular coat of any part of the intes- 
tines ; whilst the other is inflammation of the serous or of the 
muscular and mucous coats. 

535. Seat of Colic. 

When Colic occurs within an hour or so after a full meal, 
its usual seat is in the small intestines ; but at other times it 
generally arises from impaction of food in the large intestines. 

The spasm, which is due to nervous influence, causes sudden 
contraction of the muscular coat, which necessarily arrests the 
usual vermicular motion of the part. The spasm causes great 
pain, which is however only temporary. 

In horses, which die of colic, not complicated with inflam- 
mation of the intestines, the parts affected by the spasm will 
feel thickened and contracted to about a third or fourth of 
their original size, and they will also appear whiter than 
natural. Colic however of itself rarely causes death. When a 
fatal result occurs, we generally find that enteritis or inflamma- 
tion of the muscular and mucous membrane, has supervened on 
the original disease. 

536. Signs of Colic. 

The early sign of colic is pain, evidently in the region of the 
intestines, as indicated by the horse looking anxiously round to 
his flanks. As the pain increases, the patient will scrape with 
his fore feet, kick at his belly, walk round his box or throw 
himself down and get up again frequently, or roll over, or kick. 
The nature of the disease is further recognised by the fit soon 
passing away, — for it is only a spasm. It soon however 

There is] an absence of fever in this affection, and the pulse 
is only quickened during the spasm, but not oppressed. On 


the contrary it is contracted and often hardly perceptible,, 
tliough perhaps there may not be more than fifty beats in the 
minute. During the remission of the spasm the pulse is strong. 
The mouth continues moist, and the mucous membrane of the 
eye is not affected. During the attack the horse will sometimes 
pass hard angular dung pellets. This peculiarity of hardness 
and shape is due to the spasmodic contractions of portions of 
the guts. 

The belly is tense, and sometimes perceptibly swollen, and 
very tender on pressure. In some cases it is much distended 
by the generation of gases arising from undigested or improper 
food. This peculiar condition is known as Flatulent colic. It 
is most common in farm horses. 

From pain and knocking about, the patient generally sweats 
much, but dries as soon as the spasm has passed away. From 
the violence with which the horse knocks about, there is some 
liability to rupture of the diaphragm, especially in the flatulent 
attack, or if the stomach is distended with food. 

If the disease is not soon relieved, the pulse will become very 
frequent, and contracted to a thread. After about six hours 
there is ground for apprehension. In protracted cases the 
result is doubtful. 

Favorable indications are given by an increase in the inter- 
vals of time between the attacks, and by each attack becoming 
slighter. Again, if the patient passes wind freely and soft dung, 
it is a favorable sign. The increase or decrease of the attack 
is also indicated by the increasing or decreasing tenseness of 
the belly. 

In pure colic, it is especially to be remarked, that the extre- 
mities continue warm and the skin remains in its usual state. 
The symptoms are only those of great spasmodic pain. There 
is no inflammation present, nor any sign of it. 

637. Distinction in symj^toms between Colic and Inflammation of 

the Intestines. 

Colic is at once distinguished from inflammation of the in- 
testines by the attack being sudden, without any previous in- 
flammatory symptoms, by the pain being intermittent, and by 
the extremities being warm. The pain is also far more severe 


than in enteritis. During tlie intermissions of pain the pulse 
in colic is strong, whilst in enteritis it continues throughout 
quick and small. 

538. Causes of Colic. 

The causes of Colic are very various, but by far the most 
numerous cases arise from some impropriety in the watering or 
feeding, as already explained in Chapter No. 4, to which in 
order to avoid repetition we must refer the reader. 

Among other common causes are crib-biting, worms, obstruc- 
tions in the intestinal canal, such as dust balls often found in 
millers' horses, hair balls, calcareous or other accretions result- 
ing from the use of hard or mineral waters, and also a large 
draught of cold water taken when the body is warm. 

Colic may also be produced by those causes, which induce 
indigestion generally, such as the mucous coat of the stomach 
and intestines not furnishing the secretions indispensably neces- 
sary for the due conversion of the food into alimentary and 
feecal matter; or the mastication may not be properly per- 
formed j or the secretions of the salivary glands or those of the 
liver, may be bad or defective ; or the peristaltic motion may be 
sluggish from general debility, or from costiveness. All these 
causes are however aggravated, if not in many cases produced, 
by improper feeding and watering, aided perhaps by want of 
due exercise. 

Occasionally Colic is due to the effect of purgative medicine. 
This is especially apt to be the case, where the animal has not 
been properly prepared for physic. At other times it may arise 
from a sudden chill, such as that caused by allowing a horse in 
a sweat to stand in a draught. Hernia may also be a cause of 

Finally, any sudden change of diet, or bad food of any sort, 
which is not easily or properly assimilated in the stomach, or 
an excessive quantity of food at one time, especially after a 
long fast, when tbe stomach is always weak, is apt to produce 
irritation and spasmodic affections of the intestines. In horses, 
which are predisposed to colic, such as those which are light in 
the loins or '^ washy ^' in colour, very slight causes are sufficient 
to bring on an attack. 


539. Termmation of Colic. 

Colic as a general rule ends favorably after a few hours^ in 
resolution; but it may induce intus-susceptio, or rupture of 
the diapbragnij from either of wliicli terminations a fatal result 
will ensue ; or it may continue^ until inflammation of the mus- 
cular^ and mucous membranes of tlie intestines, otherwise called 
enteritis, supervenes; or in rare cases it may of itself cause 

540. Treatment of Colic. 

Having now considered the nature and causes of the disease, 
we have obtained some clue to its treatment. In the first place 
the cause of the spasmodic attack should, if possible, be ascer- 
tained, and every care taken to remove it and prevent its occur- 
rence in future. In the mean time to alleviate the present 
symptoms, the belly must be well rubbed. Friction will give 
relief both by increasing the vermicular motion of the intes- 
tines, which is temporarily arrested by spasm, and also by 
drawing the blood from the interior to the surface. Wisps 
of fresh clean straw will answer for this purpose. The legs 
should be well rubbed and wrapped in flannel bandages, and 
the heat of the body generally must be maintained by warm 
clothing. Ammonia liniment may also be rubbed on the 

As regards medicinal treatment, many prescriptions of a 
varied nature are recommended by different practitioners. 

The administration of a diffusible stimulant combined with 
an anodyne, at the commencement of an attack of colic, will 
frequently cut it short. Two ounces of the spirit of nitrous 
ether, with one ounce of tincture of opium, and half an ounce 
of the aromatic spirit of ammonia, given in a pint of warm 
water or gruel, makes an excellent colic draught. Or two 
ounces of oil of turpentine with one ounce of tincture of opium, 
may be given in twelve ounces of linseed oil, or a pint of thick 

The stimulant rouses the bowels to increased action, whilst 
the anodyne allays pain, and frequently the spasm is overcome 
by the combined action of these agents very rapidly. 


Clysters of warm water mixed with a little oil or soap, are 
very useful in loosening" and moving tlie faoces, and causing 
tlieir evacuation. Nor is tlie effect of tlie clyster confined to 
tlie lower guts, into wliicli tlie water is injected. It is a 
frequent rule in the operations of nature, that if one part of 
an organ can be excited to action, other parts of the same 
organs sympathise with it and are also excited to action. 
Thus, by means of the warm water injected into the large or 
lower guts, the small intestines may perhaps be excited to 
action, and if so, relief will soon follow. The rectum should 
be previously back raked. 

If the foregoing treatment does not afford relief in the 
course of an hour, a dose of laxative medicine must be given 
combined with a stimulant, such as four or five drachms of 
aloes in solution, with one and a half ounces of spirits of nitrous 
ether, and half an ounce of the aromatic spirit of ammonia, or 
the stimulants may be given in a pint and a half of linseed 

The rubbing of the belly must be continued throughout, and 
if the animal is in great pain, some walking exercise given at 
intervals of half an hour will often alleviate the spasms and 
expedite the action of the medicine. At the end of an hour 
and a half or two hours, if the spasmodic attacks still continue, 
hot fomentations must be applied by means of a rug steeped 
in hot water and held to the belly by a man on each side. To 
obviate the liability to chill, when the fomentation is discon- 
tinued, the belly should be rubbed with ammonia liniment. 

Throughout the attack every possible means should be taken, 
by the assistance of three or more men, to prevent the patient 
from throwing himself down, as rupture of the diaphragm or 
entanglement of the guts is likely to result from any such 
violence. But if the animal prefers to lie down and can be 
persuaded to keep himself, or can by any moderate restraint be 
kept in this position, it is as good as any other. During the 
process of recovery, when the pains become less severe, we 
generally find the patient inclined to lie down. 

In the absence, as may often occur in private establishments, 
of diffusible stimulants such as nitric ether, any kind of spirit 
such as gin, rum or whiskey, or aromatics such as pepper and 


ginger may be substituted. Tbese all possess antispasmodic 
properties, and may be found in every bouse. 

Perseverance in tbese remedies will almost always be found 
sufficient to bring about subsidence of the attack, although the 
case may be prolonged for some hours. 

It is always advisable after an attack of colic, to prepare the 
horse for physic, unless the bowels have been relieved by 
medicine during the progress of the disease. In all cases 
there must have been a cause for the disease — something 
perhaps in the food which has irritated the intestines — or 
from various causes there may be a disordered state of the 
stomach. In many, if not in most cases, the preparation 
for physic will be sufficient without actually giving the dose. 
Unless some such precaution is taken, the attack is apt to 

Slight cases of Colic with intermissions of considerable 
intervals are sometimes continuous for several days. The 
bowels do not respond freely to the effect of the cathartic medi- 
cine, and slight pains return at intervals. Such cases are 
always dangerous. They seem to arise from some defect in 
the biliary secretions. They are best treated by administering 
one scruple of calomel on the tongue, followed by a pint of 
linseed oil. On the recurrence of the pains an ounce and a 
half of nitric ether, or a pint of beer may be given. 

If Colic supervenes, as is sometimes the case, on the action 
of the physic, it will of course be unadvisable to give more 
cathartics. Small doses of ether and tincture of opium will 
then be the appropriate treatment. 


541. Peritonitis and Enteritis. 

From Colic wo may pass on to Inflammation of the Intestines. 
This disease may begin in the serous or outer membrane of the 
intestines, in which case it is known as Peritonitis ; or it may 
have its origin in the muscular and mucous coats, when it takes 
the name of Enteritis. 

Inflammation may also exist in, and be confined to the 


mucous membrane or internal lining of the intestines^ produc-^ 
ing the disease known as dysentery. This disease, though 
common in man, is very rare in the horse. It is totally distinct 
in its origin and nature from peritonitis and enteritis, and is 
easily known by the excessive purging, which accompanies it. 
Pure Peritonitis, except as the result of an external wound 
such as that caused by a stake, or by some wound of the peri~ 
toneum, or by castration, or by an over-strain in galloping or 
leaping, is seldom met with. Pure Enteritis is perhaps equally 
rare. In good truth the serous, muscular and mucous mem- 
branes of the intestines are so intimately connected, that inflam- 
mation in the one rapidly involves the other. The principal 
seat of the inflammation is however always in the muscular 
rather than in the other membranes, because that coat, as 
previously stated, is far the most vascular. 

542. Symjytoms. 

The symptoms of peritonitis and enteritis are much alike ; 
and as the treatment required is the same in either case, the 
two diseases may, for all practical pm^poses be considered as 

Unlike colic, which comes on suddenly, these diseases are 
usually preceded by dulness, want of appetite and feverishness. 
The inflammatory attack may commence either in the bowels 
or in the stomach, but as a general rule it begins in the bowels 
and usually in the small intestines. 

The early symptoms are the same as those of colic, but with 
this marked distinction, which at once shows the disease, 
namely the absence of any intervals of ease. The pain, though 
in general less violent, is continuous throughout, and the pulse 
from first to last is accelerated to a high degree, to double or 
perhaps treble its usual number, and is wiry in character. 

The further symptoms are those usual in inflammatory 
attacks, namely cold extremities, mouth dry and either unna- 
turally hot or cold, the respiration hurried and oppressed,. 
visible mucous membrane injected, nostrils unduly dilated,^ 
the countenance painfully anxious, the body sometimes bathed 
in sweat and then cold, or with occasional tremors, and the tail 
erect and quivering. As in colic the horse looks anxiously 


round to his flanks. As the disease progresses_, the pulse sinks- 
and the legs and ears feel death-like cold. The mouth feels 

543. Causes. 

Inflammation of the intestines may occur as a sequel of colic, 
or it may arise from continued constipation, or from any of the 
many causes which induce indigestion, or from intus-susceptio, 
calculi, or from the excessive action of a purgative. It may 
also be brought on by a day's over-hard work, or by exposurer 
to cold when the animal is sweating, or by hernia. Pure 
peritonitis, as mentioned above, is occasionally caused by any 
wound of the membrane and often by castration. 

In the great majority of cases however, this disease is a sequel 
of other diseases rather than a primary affection ; and indiges- 
tion, which may itself be produced by very many causes, will 
generally be found to be the original affection. 

544. Treatment. 

In the preliminary or very early stage, if the pulse is full 
and hard — not weak — it is advisable at once to have recourse- 
to Bleeding. Blood may be drawn, until an alteration is 
effected in the character of the pulse. 

If on the other hand the pulse, even in the preliminary or 
early stage, is small and wiry (and such is generally the case), 
if the extremities are cold, and if there is great prostration — 
bloodletting will certainly be injurious. These symptoms in. 
no way indicate bleeding. In such cases there is probably a 
passive state of congestion of blood in the capillaries and 
smaller blood-vessels of the intestines, and it is therefore in a 
certain sense out of circulation. Bleeding will affect th& 
quantity of blood already too small in circulation ; but it will 
not in any appreciable degree affect the blood congested and 
almost stagnant in the intestines. It will however deprive the 
healthy organs of the blood required for their nourishment and 
support during the prostration occasioned by the disease. 
Bleeding in such cases is generally followed by rapid sinking 
and death. 

Enteritis is a disease that especially demands sedative and 
anodyne treatment. Violent purgatives are highly injuriou 


as tending to produce increased hyperaemia in tlie already- 
inflamed structures^ and exciting tlie muscular coat of the 
intestines to excessive action. In addition to tliis_, tlie attempt 
to force tlie alimentary obstruction (should such exist) through 
the highly inflamed portion of the bowel^ is sufficient to cause 
severe structural lesions without producing the necessary 

At the commencement of the attack^ twelve to fifteen ounces 
of linseed oil_, with two drachms of opium in watery solution 
and two drachms of belladonna extract may be given. The 
oil will not only act as a demulcent but will tend to promote 
laxation without apparently increasing the peristaltic action. 
The watery solution of opium is preferable to the tincture in 
this disease on account of the stimulating action which would 
be caused by the spirit. 

Following this draught, ten drops of tincture of aconite, and 
half a drachm of powdered opium in watery solution, may be 
given every two hours until relief is obtained. Or a ball con- 
taining one scruple of calomel, and half a drachm of powdered 
opium, may be given every two hours. 

As in colic, it is advisable to assist the action of the medicine 
and the removal of the faeces by the frequent injection of small 
quantities of warm water. Again, in all cases, both with a view 
of exciting external or counter-irritation, and also for the pur- 
pose of alleviating the pain, it is most essential to apply hot 
rugs steeped in boiling water, to the abdomen. For similar 
reasons, it will be advisable at intervals to apply mustard freely 
over the same region. When the fomentation is discontinued, 
it is necessary to rub the belly with ammonia liniment, in order 
to prevent a sense of cold. 

Exercise, though it was recommended in colic as a means of 
relieving the spasmodic pains, is not advisable in inflammation 
of the intestines. 

545. Terminations. 

Some cases properly treated, will terminate quickly and 
favorably, but the result is always doubtful. If an unfavorable 
result ensues, it will generally be found, that mortification, 
arising from stoppage of the passage through the intestines. 


paused by entanglement of tiie guts, rupture, calculus^ or some 
incurable lesion, bas been tbe immediate cause of death. The 
duration of an acute attack of inflammation of the intestines is 
short. If a favorable change does not take place in from twelve 
to twenty-four hours we may expect death. 

In the post-mortem examination of horses, which die of this 
disease,, the peritoneal coat is often apparently inflamed ; but 
this is in a great degree illusory, as the effect is produced by 
the reddened muscular coat shining through the serous outer 
coat. The parts affected may exhibit any degree of redness 
from pink or scarlet, to purple, green or blacky and the intes- 
tines often contain blood, and the abdominal cavity a quantity 
of serum, or sanguineous fluid. 

The disease may also terminate in effusion of serum into the 
abdominal cavity, otherwise called Ascites. This termination 
will be apparent by a dropsical state of the legs and sheath, as 
well as by swellings under the belly. There will be tenderness 
on the application of pressure to the belly, and also a straggling 
gait of the hind quarters in walking. The breathing will be 
quickened, short and painful, and the patient may probably lie 
down at full length and groan. The treatment of such an after- 
result will consist in good nursing, in careful and judicious, but 
not over-feeding, with nutritious diet, and in the administration 
of tonics. In due time, as strength returns, the absorbents and 
blood-vessels will take up the effusion. 

546. After-treatment, 

The after-treatment will need great care and attention, 
especially as regards the diet. The membrane of the intestines 
will remain for some time in a delicate and susceptible state. 
Soft food of an easily digested character, such as grass, bran 
mashes, linseed and carrots, should be supplied, for some days 
or weeks according to circumstances ; and when oats are again 
allowed, they should be bruised, lest their hard ends should 
cause renewed irritation. It is a good plan to bruise or crush 
the oats in all cases where they are given after bowel diseases. 
A second attack supervening on the previous disease will almost 
certainly be fatal. The other measures required have been 
already pretty fully described in Chapter XY on Good Nursing. 



547. Nature of the diseases, 548. Symptoms of derangement 
of the Brain. 549. Symptoms of Sleepy Staggers or Coma 
arising p>rimarily from affection of the Brain. 550. Symptoms 
of Sleepy Staggers arising primarily from Stomach. 551. Con- 
nection hetiueen the Stomach and the Brain. 552. Symptoms of 
Mad Staggers, Encephalitis, or Phrenitis. 553. Post-mortem 
examination, 554. Causes of Sleepy and Mad Staggers. 555. 
The Brain. 556. Treatment. 557. After-treatment. 558, 
After-effects. 559. Apoplexy. 560. Treatment, 

547. Nature of the diseases. 

Mad Staggers^ otherwise called Enceplialitis, Plirenitis, or 
Brain fever, — and Sleepy Staggers or Coma, and such like 
diseases, may be classed under the general head of functional 
derangement of the Brain. 

These diseases may be primarily affections of the brain ; or 
they may, and frequently do arise from indigestion, and in such 
cases the brain, though equally affected, is only secondarily 

548. Symptoms of derangement of the Brain. 

The symptoms of derangement of the functions of the brain 
vary very much in different cases, according as that organ is, 
by partial paralysis of its functions, reduced to a comatose or 
semi-comatose condition ; or is by inflammation excited to an 
over-sensitive state. 

The comatose condition is known as Sleepy staggers, whilst 
the excited state is variously termed Mad staggers, Encepha- 
litis, Phrenitis, or Brain fever. 


549. Symptoms of Sleepy Staggers or Coma arising primarily 
from affection of the Brain. 

In Sleepy staggers, tlie horse in the premonitory stage appears 
dull and listless, careless about his food, stands drowsily with 
his head in a corner, and sometimes falls asleep, even whilst 
feeding. He walks with a straggling gait, and has a difficulty 
in maintaining his balance in turning. 

The pulse and respirations in the first instance are always 
slower than natural. Should the disease increase, the eyes 
become red, the lids are partially closed, and the pupil is dilated. 
The urine is scanty and high coloured, and the bowels are torpid, 
but neither distended nor tender. 

These lethargic symptoms sometimes continue with little 
intermission for several days, and when depending on a tumour 
or abscesses in the brain, may last for weeks with occasional 
attacks of a phrenitic character. If no relief is given by 
nature or treatment, the case will terminate fatally, either by 
the lethargic symptoms running on to positive coma, with 
stertorous breathing, or in some cases apoplexy may supervene ; 
or more generally after the dulness has lasted for a short time, 
the disease runs into EncephaHtis or Mad staggers. As the 
disease approaches a fatal termination, the pulse becomes quicker 
and smaller, and at last thready. 

In coma, the blood-vessels of the brain are, it is supposed, in 
a state of congestion. This may increase and end in rupture 
and extravasation of blood, giving rise to apoplexy and 
sudden death, even whilst the patient is still in the comatose 
state. Usually however coma, when a primary affection, runs 
on to Encephalitis. 

550. Symptoms of Sleepy Staggers j arising primarily from 


When the disease arises from a gorged state of the stomach 
and indigestion, (and the brain is only secondarily affected,) 
the symptoms are the same as described above, — except that in 
addition the stomach is so much distended by an undue quantity 
of food, probably of not a very digestible character, that it is 
unable to contract upon it and assimilate it. Hence the food 


not going through the necessary processes, soon decomposes, 
and gas is quickly formed and evolved. In the early stage this 
may probably be carbonic acid gas, and in the latter or putre- 
factive stage, sulphuretted hydrogen. 

The pulse in the comatose stage of stomach staggers is below 
the normal number, sometimes as low as twenty beats in the 
minute. The respiration is also slower than usual. But when 
the disease runs on to mad staggers or encephalitis, the pulse 
and respiration become quickened and excited, as described 

551. Connexion hetiveen the Stomach and the Brain. 

There are two theories as to the reason, why indigestion, when 
accompanied with distension of the stomach, affects the brain. 

The branches of the Par vagum or Pneumogastric nerve, 
ramify over the stomach, lungs and heart. When the stomach 
is distended, this nerve is unduly and continuously pressed 
upon and so gets into a torpid state ; and the lethargic symp- 
toms of comatose staggers are supposed to be the result, by 
reflex nervous action of the brain. 

Others think that the distension of the stomach prevents the 
action of the diaphragm, and the proper extension of the chest 
in inspiration. Hence the blood is insufficiently purified, and 
the vital fluid supplied to the brain is more or less impure. 
Hence also there is decreased power and consequent torpidity 
of circulation ; for these results depend on nervous tone and 
power ; and from these causes, it is thought, arises Coma. The 
former however is the more probable explanation. 

552. Symptoms of Mad Staggers, Encephalitis, and Fhrenitis. 

Mad staggers may, as stated above, be a sequel of the 
comatose state; but occasionally the disease develops itself 
without any such preliminary sleepy symptoms. Restless- 
ness suddenly appears, followed by a violent state of excite- 
ment and delirium. The patient paws with his feet, per- 
spires freely, and stares about with wildness and vacancy 
of countenence. The respirations are quickened and excited. 
Febrile symptoms increase. The mouth becomes hot and dry, 
the nasal and conjunctival membranes are much injected, and 


the pulse is strong and sharp, often reaching as high as 80 or 
90, or even 1 20 beats in the minute. The animal throws himself 
about madly, gets his feet in the manger, tears the rack with 
his teeth, and breathes stertorously, with his eyes apparently 
staring out of their sockets. The pupils are fully dilated, no 
light will affect them, nor is the horse sensible of surrounding 
objects. Some hard dry dung pellets, or a small quantity of 
highly coloured urine may be passed. There is spasmodic 
contraction of the muscles. 

Alternately with the violent fits periods of repose and drowsi- 
ness often occur, and the animal stands exhausted and sweating 
at every pore, with his head bored into a corner. During such 
intervals the pulse is almost in a state of collapse. The violent 
fits come on more and more quickly, until the animal is in a 
continuous struggle, panting and perspiring and the pulse 
gradually sinking. If the case terminates unfavorably, death 
generally occurs during one of these intervals, or apoplexy may 

Some people, who had not previously seen the disease, might 
think that the horse was actually rabid. In true rabies how- 
ever the animal is not merely frantic, but positively and wilfully 
mischievous, and purposely attacks everything dead or living. 
This is not the case in mad staggers. There is only furious 

553. Post-mortem examination. 

When animals die in the stage of coma, the vessels of the 
brain and plexus choroides will probably be found surcharged 
with blood. An increased quantity of fluid may also be found 
in the ventricles and under the membrane covering the brain. 

In cases of mad staggers, the membrane of the brain will 
probably be found to have its blood-vessels tinged with blood ; 
and should the patient die in the stage of coma supervening on 
phrenitis, there will be a considerable effusion of serum into 
the lateral ventricles, or into the cavities within the olfactory 
nerves, or under the coverings of the brain. This effusion has 
caused the pressure and the resulting coma. 

The brain itself may in some cases show traces of inflamma- 
tion by small pin-like heads of blood pervading its structure; 


or it may appear yellow and discoloured. In some cases an 
-abscess may liave formed in tlie brain, probably induced by a 
blow, and pus may have formed. 

When the disease has arisen from indigestion, the stomach 
will be found distended with food, and the intestines with faeces, 
and both with gases. 

554. Causes of Sleepy and Mad Staggers. 

Both Sleepy and Mad staggers commonly have their origin 
in some derangement of the organs of digestion. The horse 
has a remarkably small stomach, and from it the food passes 
on quickly to the intestines. In a state of nature the horse is 
almost always browsing. A gorged condition of the stomach 
very readily arises from horses being freely fed after a long fast. 
When a horse has fasted any considerable time, food should be 
^iven him sparingly and gradually, and at first it should be of 
any easily digested character, such for instance as oatmeal 
gruel. Indigestible forage of any sort, and especially stale or 
old and tough green meat, is also apt to cause derangement 
of the stomach. Forage, to which the stomach is unac- 
customed, though it may be good and wholesome of its kind, 
will also in some cases produce indigestion. It must be borne 
in mind, that the horse cannot, like man or the dog, vomit, 
and so relieve his stomach. In fact our means of giving relief 
in such cases are very circumscribed. From the greater care 
however of late years bestowed on the method of watering and 
feeding. Staggers arising from such causes have become com- 
paratively rare. 

Both diseases may also arise from pressure on the brain, such 
as that which may be occasioned by the formation of a tumour 
or an abscess on the brain or in the lateral ventricles, or by a 
tumour in the head pressing on the brain. Such tumours, as 
they increase, produce gradually augmenting results either of 
coma or delirium, or of both at different intervals. Or concus- 
sion and pressure, such as that produced by a blow or fall, may 
bring on similar effects. From such causes the blood-vessels 
may even give way in the brain, and death may be the imme- 
diate result, or sensibility may be lost and a state of perfect 
coma may ensue. 


Sunstroke or tlie effect of powerful sun and lieat^ especially 
on an animal in a pletlioric state^ may bring on affection, (usually 
comatose,) of the brain. 

555. The Brain, 

It is a remarkable fact,, tliat tlie Brain, tliougli it is tlie seat 
of all sensation, is yet in itself devoid of all feeling. It may be 
laid bare, or a portion of it may be removed or lacerated without 
causing pain or head symptoms; but the least 'pressure upon it 
immediately causes prostration or delirium, and the animal is 
deprived of sense. 

556. Treatment. 

The disease, namely functional derangement of the brain 
(from whatever cause proceeding) is the same in both Sleepy 
and Mad staggers. Hence the treatment will be somewhat 
similar, though certain variations will be required according to 
the cause or supposed cause and according to the stage of the 

When the comatose attack arises, as it does in the great 
majority of cases, from indigestion, and especially whilst it is 
yet in the early stage, nothing answers better than the adminis- 
tration of a large dose of opening* medicine. It is most import- 
ant, if possible, to open the bowels. Relief may be expected, if 
the bowels can be got to act. Large doses of purgative medi« 
cine must be employed, because the bowels are always difficult 
to move, when the brain is affected. Clysters of warm water, 
to which may be added solution of aloes, should also be thrown 
up. Diffusible stimulants, such as bicarbonate or acetate of 
ammonia, will also act beneficially in assisting the action of the 
purgative. With a similar view hand- rubbing and fomentation 
should be applied to the belly. If the purgative does not act 
in twenty-four hours it must be repeated. 

If the stomach and intestines are distended with gas as 
mentioned above in par. 550, it will be advisable to give 
medicine with the view of neutralizing it. In the very early 
stage, when carbonic acid gas is probably evolved, liquor 
ammonias, which will cause carbonate of ammonia to bo formed, 
will answer best ; whilst later, when putrefaction of the food 



lias begun and sulphuretted liydrogen is evolved, the chlo- 
rinated water of lime, which will cause the formation of 
muriate of lime, will be required, or the chlorate of potassa 
may be given. 

Turpentine liniment should be rubbed all over the legs. In 
addition to its action in rousing the secretions of the skin, some 
portion of the turpentine will be absorbed through the skin 
into the system, and will there act beneficially by increasing 
the action of the kidneys. Saline draughts will also be useful 
in exciting the secretions of these latter organs. 

When Coma arises from the other causes detailed in the 
latter part of par. 554, medicinal treatment will not be of much 

In Coma, when it occurs as a primary symptom, the advisa- 
bility or otherwise of bleeding depends partly on the cause 
of the affection, and partly on the stage. In the early stage 
of partial coma, arising from indigestion, bleeding may be 
useful, inasmuch as by reducing the general volume of the 
blood, it will relieve the fulness of the vessels of the brain. 
The quantity abstracted should not be large, but the blood 
must be drawn quickly. If we cause the strength to fail, we 
shall not be able to bring back the stomach and bowels to their 
normal action. If the Coma arises from concussion of the brain, 
blood may be freely drawn. If however it be due to the forma- 
tion of a tumour on the brain or such like cause, bleeding is 
clearly useless, and so indeed is all treatment. When the 
comatose state, whatever may have been the cause, has lasted 
for sometime, bleeding is obviously inadmissible. The patient 
is in far too reduced a state to admit of such a depleting- 

In Mad staggers, the same course of treatment, as has been 
recommended for the comatose phase, is desirable, and should 
be applied, as far as circumstances may admit in any particular 
case. But except in the very early stage or in mild attacks, it 
is generally almost impossible to apply those remedies on 
account of the violence of the animal. 

As soon as decided signs of frenzy appear, whether as a 
primary symptom or supervening on coma, copious bleeding 
(whatever may have been the cause of the attack) is the 


appropriate remedy. The blood should be allowed to flow 
irrespective of quantity. There is often however great diffi- 
culty and risk to the operator in applying this remedy, and 
indeed in some cases of frantic delirium it is impossible to 
approach the patient. If it be not possible to open the jugular 
vein, it may be possible to cut the temporal artery. This class 
of affections of the brain yield more readily to the influence 
of bloodletting than to any other remedy. If we cannot 
very quickly abate the phrenetic symptoms, the patient will 

As topical relief, both in the comatose and also in the mad 
stages (if possible) cold wet cloths should be constantly applied 
to the head, and a stream of cold water should be poured on 
them from above, or ice may be employed. 

Blisters to the head and neck are not advisable during the 
acute symptoms, whether comatose or phrenitic, as they tend 
to increase the derangement. But when the acute sym- 
ptoms have subsided, they may be beneficially applied, or a 
seton may be inserted. The latter generally answers best. 
In all cases the patient should be placed in a cool airy darkened 

The duration of the Comatose state is very uncertain. 
When arising from indigestion, it will probably be over in 
favorable cases in twenty-four hours ; or it will run on into 
mad staggers with occasional intervals of coma. A decided 
change for better or worse will probably tako place in from 
one to three days. When the Coma arises from a tumour or 
abscess on the brain, the case may last for weeks or months if 
the animal be allowed to live so long. In concussion of the 
brain the comatose symptoms may last a considerable time, but 
the patient will not long survive repeated attacks of a violent 

In Mad staggers. Encephalitis, Phrenitis or Brain fever, 
from whatever cause proceeding, the exhaustion produced by 
the violence of the disease will probably cause the animal to 
sink in a few days, unless relief is given. 

It will be observed, that we have recommended nearly the 
same treatment both for Sleepy and Mad Staggers. We have 
done so, because we regard the disease, namely functional 


derangement of the brain^ from whatever cause 'proceeding y as 
tlie same in botli cases. According to circumstances tlie effect 
produced may be eitlier coma or inflammation^ or both at 
alternate intervals. 

557. After-treatment. 

When the disease has taken a favorable turn and the patient 
is recovering, the after-treatment consists in most careful 
attention to the diet, in good nursing, fresh air, and the 
administration of tonics, especially of iodide of iron. The 
feeding should be liberal. The strength of the patient is 
always greatly reduced by the attack, if severe and especially 
if prolonged. 

558. After-effects. 

In some cases partial dulness and even paralysis remains, 
and convulsions may supervene, and in some cases amaurosis. 
Blisters and setons may be tried ; but as a general rule under 
such circumstances the best plan is to shoot the animal. 


Horses are sometimes struck down by apoplexy as by a blow, 
and lose all sense and power of motion, and death quickly ends 
the scene. Post-mortem examination often reveals a congested 
state of the vessels of the brain and its meninges. 

Apoplexy differs from coma and encephalitis in rendering 
the animal totally unconscious. If relief is obtained, which 
however is rare, the case usually resolves itself into a state of 
partial coma, more or less intense. 

560. Treatment. 

Some Veterinarians recommend bleeding largely. The 
better plan however is to try in the first instance the effect 
of a strong stimulant given internally, and mustard embroca- 
tions to the belly and spine. The pluse is small and indistinct. 
Bleeding may be tried^ but it will probably fail to be of any 



b61. Nature of the disease. 562. Symptoms. bQS. Predis2')0sing 
causes. 564. Treatment. 

561. Nature of the disease. 

Vertigo, more commonly called Megrims_, is an affection of 
the brain, but the nature of the disease is not well understood. 
By some Veterinarians it has been defined to be a momentary 
and passing congestion of the Brain. 

562. Symptovis. 

The attack is very sudden and peculiar. There are seldom 
any premonitory symptoms. The animal suddenly shakes and 
throws up his head, or shakes it violently, or reels, and then 
stands for a minute or two dull and listless, or runs round, and 
falls to the ground, remaining for a few moments partially in- 
sensible or in a state of violent convulsion. The attack rapidly 
passes away, the horse rises in a minute or two, shakes himself 
and proceeds, as if nothing had happened, though perhaps he 
may appear somewhat debilitated. Daring the fit he may 
stale or dung insensibly. The attacks are usually periodical, 
and occur' chiefly during hot weather and at severe harness 

There is seldom any outward sign, which indicates liability 
to this disease. On the contrary the horse looks well, has a 
good appetite, and shows no special nervousness or dulness. 
The best Veterinary Surgeon cannot detect a possible liability 
to this disease and post-mortem examination also sometimes 
fails to reveal the cause. 

Certain sorts of horses are however more liable to it than 


others, sucli for instance as those known as star-gazers with an 
erect and stiff neck, also those with an awkward protrusion of 
the nose, with the head so set on, that it is difficult to be reined 
in. It has also been observed to be more common in animals 
thab carry their heads on one side than in others. 

563. Predisjtosing causes. 

Though we cannot assign the positive causes of this disease, 
yet it is pretty certain that it is connected with retardation of 
the flow of blood from the brain. Harness horses are far more 
subject to it than saddle horses. Many horses, which suffer 
from it in the collar, are free from it at other times. The collar, 
probably by retarding the blood returning from the brain, 
appears specially to predispose to it. 

Various other circumstances also appear indirectly to develop 
the disease, and to increase or diminish the chance of its recur- 
rence. Hot weather, bright sun, and high temper certainly 
predispose to it. Tight reining up and bearing reins, probably 
by retarding the return of the blood from the head, develop it. 
Severe work and bad feeding on the one hand, and high feeding 
and little work on the other hand are both apt to bring it on. 
Fair condition and moderate work diminish the tendency to 
attacks. Horses, which have lost a vein from the effect of 
clumsy bleeding, are said to be predisposed to it. 

It has been noticed as a practical fact, that horses are more 
often attacked during the intervals of sunshine, which some- 
times occur on hot cloudy days in summer, than at any other 

564. Treatment, 

As regards treatment of the actual attack, we have none to 
recommend. As a preventive, we can only advise that the 
animal be kept in fair, not very high condition, and in regular 
work, vnth. diet sufficiently laxative to ensure his bowels being 
moderately open. There is, as the reader is aware, an intimate 
connection between the state of the stomach and the brain. 

An overloaded or deranged state of the bowels, is apt both in 
man and beast, to affect injuriously the functions of the brain. 
We are also disposed to recommend the administration of a dose 


of opening medicine a little before the time wlien experience in 
any particular horse may lead us to expect the periodical recur- 
rence of the attack. 

A piece of wet sponge secured on the head and along the 
forehead, or a shade over the eyes, especially in sunny weather 
will sometimes prevent attacks. In lieu of a collar for harness 
work a breast-band should be substituted, and the bearing rein 

A megrimed horse however is not to be depended on — cer- 
tainly not in harness. We may perhaps ward off attacks by 
careful attention to diet, regular work, and occasional physic ; 
but with all our care sultry weather, hot sun or hard work, may 
cause a recurrence of the attack. All kinds of treatment have 
been tried in vain. 



565. Nature oftJie disease. 566. Symptoms. 567. Immediate 
cause and seat. 568. Remoter causes. 569. Treatment. 

565. Nature of the disease. 

Tetanus is a persistent contraction without any relaxation or 
alternation of the voluntary muscles. When the affection is 
confined to the jaws, it is termed Trismus. 

566. Symptoms. 

The attack is characterised by closure of the jaws, great diffi- 
culty in swallowing, rigidity of the limbs and extreme difficulty 
in moving. The animal also pokes his nose, as if suffering 
from sore throat. As the disease advances, the jaws become 
so tightly locked, that neither food nor medicine can be intro- 
duced through them. 

Within three or four days and sometimes earlier, the sym- 
ptoms reach their height. The ears are erect and turned for- 
wards, the eyes are retracted, and the haw is partially protruded 
over them. The nostrils are dilated. The animal stands per- 
sistently, his legs are stretched wide apart and look more like 
wooden stilts than living structures. The tail is upraised, the- 
belly is tense and tucked up, and the muscles everywhere stand 
out prominent and rigid. 

The Voluntary muscles of the internal structures are simi- 
larly affected. The Involuntary muscles of the intestines on 
the other hand are torpid, because the nervous force seems to 
be monopolised in the voluntary muscles. Hence arises the 
obstinate constipation, which forms so marked a feature in thi& 


Notwithstanding tlie intense contraction and rigidity of the 
muscles, the patient is highly sensitive and shrinks from the 
slightest touch or approach to a touch. The mere fact of 
entering the animal's box is frequently sufficient to produce 
violent tetanic convulsions. He sweats profusely and groans 
from pain. A very marked symptom of the disease consists in 
rapid protrusion of the haw over the eye, if the horse is touched 
under the chin, or if his head is elevated. 

Death, unless the symptoms are relieved, generally occurs in 
from two to twelve days. The immediate cause in most cases is 
exhaustion, or congestion of the lungs arising from immova- 
bility of the ribs and muscles of respiration. 

Tetanus, in some cases, by seizing at once or almost at once 
on some vital organ such as the heart, may produce death very 
speedily, with scarcely any outward symptoms except great pain 
and rapidly increasing prostration. 

567. Immediate cause and seat of tlie disease. 

The immediate cause of Tetanus is some abnormal influence 
of the nervous centres which control the voluntary muscles. 
The brain and spinal cord are either wholly or partially involved,, 
and evidences of inflammatory disease have been found to exist on 
post-mortem examination; but it is doubtful if the evidences of 
actual tissue change in the nervous system are sufficiently strong 
to prove that the disease is dependent upon this condition. 

568. Remoter causes. 

The cause of the affection of the nerves is not well under- 
stood, but it is supposed generally to arise from some injury to 
the extremity of one of the nervous cords. Hence arises nervous 
irritation, primarily in the nerve affected, from which it extends 
to the spinal cord, and in time affects all the nerves, which are 
derived from it. 

Why, or under what circumstances injury to the end of a 
nerve will produce this terrible disease, we are wholly imable to 
explain. Tetanus resulting from any such cause is termed 
" traumatic." 

Tetanus also arises not unfrequently from any sudden chill 
to the back or loins, such as that caused by a horse being left 


to stand in a draught, whilst sweating, especially if the saddle 
has been removed. When there is no external or at least no 
perceptible external injury, the disease is termed ^^ idiopathic.^' 

569. Treatment. 

From this description it will be seen, that the disease lies in 
that part of the nervous system, which controls the voluntary 
muscles ; and that it consists in rigidity, not in inflammation 
of the muscles. 

Hence it is doubtful whether bleeding, aconite, opium and 
all such reducing or sedative remedies are appropriate. Blisters 
and such like remedies applied down the line of the spine do 
actual harm, inasmuch as they increase the general irritability 
and spasms. 

The administration of laxative medicine is frequently 
attended with unsatisfactory results ; but in cases where the 
jaws are not firmly locked, and where it can be given without 
violently exciting the animal, a dose of purgative medicine 
consisting of six drachms of aloes and two drachms of bella- 
donna extract, made into a ball, may be administered as early 
as possible. 

Perfect rest and quiet are the great desiderata in treatment. 
The patient should be placed in a loose box with diminished 
light, and no one except his regular attendant should be allowed 
to enter. Any excitement invariably increases the spasms. The 
patient must be kept warm by extra clothing and bandages, 
and the skin of a newly flayed sheep may be placed over the 
loins. In some instances however the skin of the sheep will 
cause irritation ; and even the weight of the clothing may have 
this effect. If this should be found to be the case, the animal 
had better be left without clothing, or a very light sheet may 
be worn. Again, in many cases the straw will cause irritation, 
and, if so, tan or sawdust may be substituted for it. The 
prospect of recovery is but small. Tetanus is one of those 
diseases, in which medical science in the present day is fairly 
at fault. 

Dr. Richardson has lately recommended that the effect of 
inhalation of nitrite of amyl applied to the nose should be tried. 
Its efficacy, as antidotal to strychnia and spasmodic affections. 


is very great. As the horse, unlike man, breathes entirely 
through his nose, care must be taken not to give an overdose. 
The sponge should be applied to one nostril only. 

The nitrite of amyl given internally in half drachm doses, 
has also been recommended, and some practitioners advocate 
hypodermic injections of this and other drugs. Chloral hydrate 
is largely used by others, but the author considers that not 
only do most of these remedies do more harm than good, but 
that the greater number of successful recoveries are found 
amongst those cases where the treatment has consisted merely 
of absolute isolation and perfect quiet, where the attendant 
has been the horse's only visitor, and where due regard has 
been paid to ventilation, good nursing, and suitable diet such 
as sloppy mashes, grass, finely chopped carrots, gruel, milk, 
and fresh water. 



569a. Nature of Paralysis . 5696. Classes of Paralysis. 569c. 
Causes of Hemiplegia. 569cL Sy}n2:)toms of Hemiplegia. 569e. 
Treatment. 569/. Symptoms of Paraplegia. 569^. Causes of 
Paraplegia. 569/i. Treatment. 569i*. Local Paralysis. 569J. 
Symptoms, 569^^ Treatment. 

569a. Nature of Paralysis. 

Paralysis can scarcely be described as a disease, for it is in 
reality only a symptom of certain lesions affecting the nervous 
system — resulting in loss of motion or in loss of sensation, or 
both in tlie part affected. 

In tbe human subject the medical man endeavours to save 
life, and is often pleased, if he can restore bis patient to even 
partial use of bis Hmb or to power of sensation. The borse 
however is no use to his owner, unless he can be restored to 
full bodily vigor. Hence severe cases of paralysis are seldom 

5696. Classes of Paralysis, 

As regards the horse, paralysis may be divided into 3 classes, 
namely : 

1st. Where the paralysis arises from disease of a portion of 
the brain. This is technically termed hemiplegia. 

2nd. Where it arises from affection of the spinal cord, it is 
technically termed paraplegia. 

3. Local paralysis. 

569c. Causes of Hemiplegia. 

Cerebral congestion, effusion on, or other morbid conditions 
of the brain are the usual causes. 


569fZ. Symptoms of Hemiplegia. 

Hemiplegia is indicated by loss of power over one half of the 
body laterally J i. e. the affection is confined to one side of the 
animal, except as regards the facial muscles. 

The muscles are paralysed on the opposite side, to which the 
brain lesions exist. Owing to the paralysed condition of the 
muscles of the neck and trunk on the opposite side, the animal, 
when made to move, leans over to the side on which the lesions 

But the muscles of the face are affected on the same side as 
the brain lesions. Loss of power of the facial muscles is 
evinced by a relaxed condition of the angles of the mouth, by 
a pendulous and protruding tongue, and a difficulty in gather- 
ing food, and in drinking. It will be noted, that except as 
regards the facial muscles, the paralysis is confined to one 

569e. Treatment. 

Treatment is useless. Happily this class of paralysis is rare 
in the horse. 

569/. Symptoms of Paraplegia. 

This form of paralysis arises from affection of the spinal 
cord. Affection of the spinal cord is indicated by loss of power 
transversely. It generally affects both hind quarters. It may 
appear suddenly or may come on gradually (see below). The 
characteristic symptoms are a reeling staggering gait, and 
inability to turn abruptly or to go back. 

569^. Causes of Paraj^legia. 

There are two distinct causes of this affection. 

1st. Injuries to the spinal column, such as fracture of the 
vertebrae, disease of the bones of the vertebra3, the formation 
of an exostosis, or a severe sprain. Such cases are not worth 

2nd. The affection may arise from a disordered condition or 
actual disease of the respiratory, digestive, or urinary organs, 
or from irritation of the nerves of the spine arising from cold 


or wet, by wliicli irritating influences are applied to the 
terminal extremities of the nerves, and by this means the 
impression is conveyed to the spinal cord. This form is called 
reflex paraplegia. These cases are in some degree amenable 
to treatment. 

b69h. Treatment. 

The symptoms, as described above, are the same, whether 
the affection arises from positive injury to the spinal column, 
or whether it arises from irritation of the terminal extremities 
of the nerves of the spinal cord. 

The reader will naturally ask how to distinguish between 
cases arising from direct injury to the spinal column, which 
are not worth treatment, and those arising from diseases more 
or less connected with the nerves radiating from the spinal 

The answer to this enquiry is not very satisfactory. If 
however the horse has sustained an injury, there will of course 
be reason to fear that the symptoms arise directly from affec- 
tion of the spinal column. If no such injury is known to have 
occurred, it is reasonable to hope that the symptom arises 
from causes only indirectly affecting the spinal cord. 

The treatment is the same in either case. The result of the 
treatment will in due time reveal the nature of the affection. 
The one will not yield to treatment, the other probably will 

As a general rule laxatives followed by nerve stimulants are 
indicated. Nux Vomica may be given powdered, in doses of 
one drachm twice daily, or, if preferred, its active principle, 
strychnia may be given in doses of two or three grains night 
and morning. 

Good nursing, and easily digested food of a nourishing 
character are imperative, and local applications to the spinal 
cord, such as fomentations by means of hot blankets, covered 
with a waterproof sheet or a freshly flayed sheepskin may be 
applied, and continued as long as necessary. The application 
of irritants, such as ointment of cantharides, biniodide of 
mercury, mustard or turpentine liniment, is generally recom- 
mended in the subsequent treatment of the disease, but their 


utility is very doubtful. The real seat of tlie affection is tlie 
brain or spinal cord, and it cannot be readied by sucli like 
local applications. 

During recovery however they may, and doubtless do, 
assist nature in restoring the nervous tone of the parts 

569/. Local Paralysis. 

Local paralysis is not of frequent occurrence in the horse, 
but it is occasionally seen affecting the facial muscles, especi- 
ally those of the lips, and is usually the result of some external 
injury, violence or pressure applied to one or more of the 
nerve trunks, such as is produced by the use of heavy or 
severe bits, especially if the pressure be aggravated by a tight 
curb chain. 

569;'. Symptoms. 

The lips will be pendulous and powerless to act as prehensile 
agents, and the muscles of the mouth generally will be in a 
relaxed condition. Difficulty is experienced in gathering the 
food, and mastication is a more or less labored performance. 

569A:. Treatment. 

Endeavour must bo made to restore nervous power to the 
local structure affected. Friction applied by the hand, or the 
application of stimulants or mild irritants frequently repeated 
along the course of the nerves, are the most appropriate 
remedies, accompanied by good nursing, tonics, and nerve 



570. Nature of the disease. 

The peculiar twitclimg, or sudden and convulsive picking- up 
of tlie leg known as Stringkalt, is obviously due to some 
affection of the nerves. 

In some case^ it may be traced to tlie pressure of some exos- 
tosis on a nerve; but as a general rule we are unable to account 
for the affection^ nor does post-mortem examination always 
show any abnormal state of tlie nerves. 

Tlie disease varies very muck in degree or intensity in various 
cases. It generally affects one or botli kind legs^ but it is also 
occasionally noticed in tke fore leg. 

In tke early stage it is most easily detected, wken tke animal 
is first put in motion, and also wken ke is in tke act of turning. 
Tke disease generally increases witli age, and, tliougk at first it 
may produce but little or no inconvenience, in tke end it gene- 
rally becomes not only very unsigktly, but also seriously inter- 
feres witk flie action. 

Xo treatment, tliat we are acquainted witk, produces any 
beneficial effect. 





570a. Preface. 5705. Of Repair of Injuries to Vital 
Structures. 570c. Hoiv is Nature to he assisted? 570cZ. Of 
developing the power's of Nature or assisting Nature in her 
p)rocesses of repair. 570e. Vital Processes. 570/. Repair of 
Injuries. b70g. Detail of tJie Process of Repair. 570/<. Inflam- 
mation. b70i. Need of Treatment. 570J. Of the early stage of 
the Reparative process. 570A:. Means of reducing Inflammation. 
hlOl. Re-excitement of [curative) Inflammatiou hy artificial 
means. b70m. Irritants. 

570«. Preface. 

The autlior is aware tliat a considerable amount of repetition 
of what has been said in the previous Chapters XVIII and 
XIX, on Inflammation and Irritants, occurs in this Chapter. 
He has however thought it advisable to place before the 
reader in a collected form, and in as clear and consecutive 
manner as he can, the various processes, which are concerned 
in the repair of Injuries to Vital Structures, which are treated 
of in the following Chapters. 

570Z>. Of Repair of Injuries to Vital Structures. 

Nature alone, not art, can repair injuries to Vital, ?'. e. living 
structures. Art alone, not nature, can repair injuries to non- 
Vital, i. e. inanimate structures. 



Art however may assist Nature in the repair of injuries to 
Vital structures. 

570c. IIoiu is Nature to he assisted ? 

Nature may be assisted : 

1st. By mechanical means and appliances. 
2nd. By developing the powers of Nature herself. 
Of mechanical aiipliances. — Art for instance may assist 
Nature in the repair of broken bones, by placing the ends of 
the bones in apposition. Art may further assist Nature by 
placing the bones,, not only in apposition, but by replacing 
them in their correct, i.e natural position, and maintaining 
them in that position by means of splints, or by extension, as 
may be needed in each case. We cannot bind and nail 
together broken bones, as we can fractured pieces of non- vital 
structures, say two pieces of wood. We can only place and 
maintain the broken bones in such apposition, that Nature, 
thus assisted, may be able to carry on the process of reunion 
by her own means. 

Again, bones may be placed in apposition. The process of 
repair may go on favorably for a time ; but the powers of 
Nature may flag before reunion has taken place i. e. l^efore the 
process of repair is completed. 

The same remarks apply to other injuries or wounds. In all 
cases in the first instance we must place the parts in the best 
condition for Nature to carry on her processes of repair. 2nd 
it may, and pretty generally is necessary to assist Nature in the 
later stage of the needed repair. 

Take for instance sprain of a tendon, 1st we must place the 
animal in a state of rest and ease. We may in some cases 
take the weight off the sprained tendon by the application of 
a high heeled shoe. Under such favorable circumstances the 
process of repair by Nature's means will go on favorably; but 
Nature may require to be assisted in the later stages of repair. 
Again in flesh wounds, 1st we assist Nature by removing 
foreign bodies in the wound, 2nd we bring the parts together, 
and in some cases according to circumstances keep them 
together by sutures. Nature will then be in a favorable 
position to carry on her reparative process. But Nature's 


power may flag, and re-excitement of lier powers by artificial 
means may be needed. 

No two cases in detail are exactly similar. In the above 
remarks we have merely sketclied the broad principles of repair 
by Nature, assisted by Art. 

^70d. Of developing the powers of Nature or assisting Nature 
in her processes of repair. 

All parts of the Body are formed from the blood. The 
blood is the sustaining and repairing element of the vital frame. 
From it are drawn the materials needed for the daily sus- 
tenance of the frame. From it, in cases of injury an increased 
quantity of reparative material is required to be drawn for the 
repair of the injured part. 

The condition needed to afford this increased quantity of 
reparative material is that commonly known as inflammation. 

570e. Vital Processes. 

There are certain processes of Nature termed Vital pro- 
cesses, which we cannot exactly explain. 

We know, for instance, that the material needed for the 
daily ordinary maintenance of the bodily frame, is extracted 
from the blood. 

We know again, that each vital structure in the bodily 
frame extracts from the blood the special nutrient material, 
which is needed for its own maintenance or repair. Thus, 
muscle extracts from the blood the material necessary for 
the maintenance of muscle. Bone extracts the material 
necessary for the maintenance of bone. Each hair extracts 
the material needed for the maintenance and growth of hair. 

We cannot explain exactly how the various parts or organs 
of the body each extract from the blood its own special 
nutrient material. But the power to do so is inherent in 
the tissue or cell element of each part. These are facts which 
we cannot explain. They are termed Vital processes. These 
processes are beyond the ken of man. 

Having thus premised that the Body in health is sustained 
by material drawn from the blood, we now come to the repair 


of injuries by an increased amount of material drawn from the- 
same source^ namely, from the blood. 

570/. Repair of Injuries. 

When an injury takes place, disturbance of tbe usual vital 
processes also takes place. Irritation, nervous irritation, is 
in consequence set up. 

This irritation, thougli we often do not so recognise it, is 
the commencement of Nature's system of repair. By irrita- 
tion, more blood is drawn to the part. We cannot exactly 
explain why this occurs. It is a fact. 

From the presence of more blood, tlie part becomes hot and 
perhaps inflamed. 

Still, this is a process of repair. The injury cannot be- 
repaired without the presence of an abnormal, i. e. greater 
than usual amount of blood in the part. The usual supply of 
blood is only sufficient for the maintenance of the part in health . 
For the purpose of repair more material is needed, and 
therefore more blood is needed in the part, from which to 
extract the reparative material. 

570^. Detail of the Process of Repair. 

By the nervous irritation caused by the injury, more blood is 
drawn to the part. 

The blood-vessels in the part become overloaded. Nature 
is unable to pass on this abnormal quantity of blood. The- 
blood-vessels then become distended, and after a time, by 
over-distension, lose their contractile power. Stagnation of 
the blood and congestion of the vessels in the part then to a 
certain degree occur. The coats of the blood-vessels become 
more and more distended, and thereby become thinner. In 
this stage of congestion and distension, parts of the blood 
begin to ooze out through the coats of the blood-vessels. This 
is the material needed for repair. This is Nature's effort at 
repair. This stage is known as exudation. 

Since Nature thus finds the material needed for the repair 
of the injury, '^what need is there of treatment ? " 

But before answering this question, it will be as well very 


briefly to explain more accurately the meaning of the term 
'^' inflammation.'^ 

b70h. Inflammation, 

The changes in the condition of the blood-vessels^ which 
-have been described above^ constitute the processes known as 

Inflammation cannot however technically be said to be 
present^ until the stage of effusion through the coats of the 
blood-vessels has been arrived at. But in common parlance 
any abnormal amount of blood in a part, especially when the 
stage of congestion and exudation have been reached, is spoken 
of as ^^ inflammation." 

To recapitulate, the processes which culminate in inflam- 
mation are : 

1. Nervous irritation. 

2. More blood to the part. 

3. Stagnation of the blood in the part. 

4. Effusion through the coats of the over-loaded vessels. 
This last stage is inflammation properly so-called. 

The subject of Inflammation has been treated of at some 
length in Chapter XVIII, to which the reader is referred for 
further information. 

570^'. Need of Treatment. 

What is the need of treatment, if Nature supplies the 
remedy ? 

1st. Because inflammation, Nature's remedy, is generally 
at the outset over-bountiful, or you may call it over- violent. 

It requires to be moderated by art ; the effusion poured 
forth is at first often too great ; and second, the quality of 
the effusion is from some disturbance of the system, apt to 
be unhealthy, i. e. not quite of the quality best suited for 

2nd. Because in the later stages of the curative process, the 
inflammatory action is apt to subside before the process of repair 
■has been thoroughly completed. 


570/. Of tJie early stage of the Reparative process. 

In tlie early stage of repair^ tlie inflammatory action is apt 
to be over violent. In sucli cases, indeed in most cases of 
injury, we must endeavour to moderate its violence by Art, 
i. e. by treatment, but it varies mucb according to the vascu- 
larity and nervous endowment of tlie part injured, and also 
especially in regard to the locale of the injury the inflammation 
requires to be reduced. 

When reduced to a moderate state, the blood-vessels exude 
the requisite quantity of reparative material of a good quality ; 
and Nature may in due time effect the repair. 

570^. Means of reducing Inflammation. 

Gold applications. — Cold applications reduce inflammation 
by constringing the coats of the blood-vessels. By this action, 
first, they reduce the quantity of blood entering the part; 
secondly, by restoring the tone of the contractile powers of the 
vessels, they enable the vessels to pass off some portion of tho 
blood, which has entered them. 

Gold applications answer, where the inflammation is not very 
violent ; and where, in cousequence, the contractile powers of 
the coats of the vessels can be restored. But in severe cases 
this remedy will be ineffectual. 

Warm applications reduce inflammation by the contrary 
process. First, they soften and expand the coats of the blood- 
vessels, and thereby enable them to pass off the blood. 
Secondly, they give relief by increasing the process of effusion 
through the distended coats of the blood-vessels. Warm 
applications may be properly applied, when the necessary 
" checking ^^ effect cannot be obtained by cold applications. 

N.B. — Warm applications should never he ivarmer than the 
hand can bear comfortably. 

570Z. Me-excitement of (curative) Inflammation hy artificial 


It often happens however that the inflammatory action, ^. e. 
the reparative process, becomes slack, or even ceases before the 
repair of the injury is effected. 


Art must then intervene. Stimulants must be applied to 
re-excite the amount of inflammatory action needed to complete 
the process of repair. 

According to the circumstances milder or stronger stimu- 
lants must be applied. 

i)70m. Irritants, 

For the general action_, uses, and mode of application of the 
irritants best suited to induce artificial inflammation accordinr'- 
to the need of each case the reader is referred to Chapter 

In the succeeding chapters, which treat of diseases and 
fractures of bones, of exostoses, of bursal enlargements, of 
sprains of tendons and ligaments, flesh wounds, &c., the irrit- 
ants best suited to assist the process of repair in each case 
will be mentioned in detail. 



571. Strudiwe of Bone. 572. Chemical composition of Bone. 
573. Nutrition of Bone. 574. Development of Bone. 575. 
Periosteum. 576. Caries. 577. Treatment of Caries. 578. 
Necrosis. 579. E^vfoliation. 580. Inflammation of Bone and 
Periosteum. 581. Exostoses. 582. Anchylosis. 583. Treat- 

571. Structure of Bo7ie. 

Before treating of tlie diseases it will be necessary to 
describe very briefly the structure of Bone. 

Bone appears to be dense and granular; but when viewed 
under tbe microscope it is seen to be porous. Some parts are 
less^ some are more porous tban otliers. Tbe less porous part 
is called tbe Compact tissue. It forms tbe outside of all bones. 
The more porous part is called tbe Cancellated tissue. It forms 
tbe inner structure of long bones^ and also enters into tbe com- 
position of the articular ends of all bones, and into the diploe 
of flat bones. 

These two tissues are similar in structure. The only differ- 
ences between them are, that the spaces, or pores in the 
Compact are smaller and less numerous than in the Cancellated 
tissue ; whilst the amount of solid matter is greater in the 
former than in the latter. The compact and cancellated tissues 
vary in thickness in each particular bone according to the 
strength, and other qualities required of it. In the interior of 
all long bones is a hollow space containing the medulla or 

Though bone appears to be very dense, yet it is, even in its 
compact tissue, sufficiently porous to admit the passage of very 


numerous small blood-vessels through it. These vessels fre- 
quently anastomose with each other. 

The outside of every bone^, (except at its articular extremities 
which are tipped with cartilage) is covered with a tough fibrous 
membrane called Periosteum^ which conducts the blood-vessels 
into it. The inside is lined with a thinner and more vascular 
web^ called Endosteum, which supports the medulla in long 
bones and the cancelli in spongy bones. 

The extremities of long bones are generally expanded and 
roughened to allow space for the attachment of muscles^ liga- 
mentSj and tendons. 

572. Chemical comjoosition of Bones. 

Bone is composed of both animal and earthy matter. The 
animal matter consists of gelatine. It can be removed by heat. 
The earthy constituents are phosphate of lime, which forms 
rather more than one half of bono_, and small quantities of car- 
bonate of lime, phosphate of magnesia, and fluoride of calcium. 
Dilute acid will remove the earthy matters, and render the bone 
flexible and soft. 

573. Nutrition of Bone. 

The nutrition of bone is derived from three sets of arteries. 
Large arteries enter about the centre of long bones, whilst 
smaller enter at the articular ends, and very minute vessels 
enter on the periosteal membrane. 

574. Development of Bone. 

Bone has three stages of development, namely the gelatinous, 
the cartilaginous, and the osseous. In the earliest stage of 
foetal life the germ of bone is entirely gelatinous. This is suc- 
ceeded by temporary cartilage, and subsequently bone is gra- 
dually deposited in the meshes of the cartilage, and this latter 
tissue is then absorbed. The points, at which bone is deposited, 
are called centres of ossification. Three of these centres are 
usually found in each bone, viz. one for the shaft and one for 
each extremity. 


575. Periosteum. 

Periosteum, or tlie outer covering of bone, is composed of 
dense, tough, inelastic, vascular, white fibrous tissue. Its f unc 
tion is to nourish, strengthen, and protect the bone. It also 
serves as a medium to conduct the blood-vessels over the surface 
of the bone. The periosteum is exceedingly strong, — so strong 
and tough, that in cases of fracture of a bone, it is often enabled 
to hold together the two parts. 

Periostitis or inflammation of the periosteum, may be readily 
caused by injuries, by exposure to cold, by blood diseases, or by 
extension of inflammation existinsf in the bone. The secretion 
effused from the periosteum during the process of inflammation, 
is very apt to solidify, and in due time to become bone. Hence, 
we often meet with exostoses as a result of inflammation of the 
periosteum, or of any of the osseous structures. The great pain 
produced by inflammation of a bone, is due to the very inelastic 
nature of its outer covering. Nerves are freely distributed to 
the periosteum, and accompany the arteries into the interior of 
the bone. 

576. Caries. 

Caries of bone is analogous to ulceration of soft structures 
and is the result of a slow inflammatory process causing soften- 
ing and suppuration. 

Caries generally affects the cancellated structure of bones, 
but the rule is by no means absolute, as the disease frequently 
exists in the compact tissue. 

The primary symptom is apparent swelling of the bone. 
After a time sinuses form, from which an offensive sanious 
discharge exudes. If a probe be introduced into one of the 
sinuses, the interior of the bone will be felt to be soft. As the 
disease progresses, the part affected assumes a worm eaten, 
excavated, and broken up appearance. The many cavities 
become the seat of various exudations. The cancellated tissue 
gradually breaks down, and is discharged in minute fragments, 
along with pus. 

The exudation proceeding from caries is distinguished by 
being thin, acrid, excoriating, sanious, and foul on account of 


its consisting" of the decomposing' organic materials of bone. 
It does not however always appear to be tliin^ because when it 
afterwards^ as is sometimes the case^ flows over a mucous mem- 
brane^ it may become mixed with the secretion of that tissue, 
and in consequence may assume a clotted appearance. 

The periosteum is injuriously affected by the acridity of the 
discharge,, and after a time is destroyed by it. When this 
result has been produced, the disease proceeds more rapidly, 
because the carious portion of the bone is now deprived of the 
nutriment which ought to be supplied to it by the periosteum .. 
In this case partial necrosis generally supervenes. No distinct 
line or margin can be drawn between a carious and a sound 
part. They glide insensibly into each other. It is remarkable^, 
that in caries, nature makes no effort to supply the place of the- 
part which perishes. 

577. Treatment of Caries. 

Caries, when fairly established, may be said to be practically 
incurable. Bone affected by this disease is never restored to> 
its former state. The object of treatment is rather to arrest, 
the progress of an incipient attack, than to attempt a cure. 

Having regard to the origin of the disease in want of nutri- 
tion of the tissue affected, liberal feeding, with tonics, and 
attention to the general health, are obviously of primary 
importance. The part ought to be washed frequently by means- 
of a syringe with warm Avater, to which may be added a disin- 
fecting lotion, or dilute nitric acid, or the actual cautery may be 

If these measures fail in arresting the progress of the disease, 
it will hardly be worth while to go to the expense of further 
treatment,- — as restoration of the part cannot be expected. The 
animal had better be got rid of. 

578. Necrosis. 

. Necrosis, is death of a bone, or portion of a bone en masse. 
Caries, on the other hand is death by gradual decay and absorp- 
tion of the particles of the structure. Again, necrosis, unlike 
caries, usually occurs in the Compact tissue. 

This disease is often a consequence of inflammation of tlio 


^one, wliicli, as tlie reader is aware^ may arise from very many 
causes. Among other common causes are severe injuries, 
excessive pressure^ contusions etc. It may also arise from any 
causes, wliicli affect tlie due nutrition of bone, sucli as tlie 
removal of its periosteum, or from general debility of tlie 

Necrosis is particularly distinguislied ,from caries, by the 
endeavour, which nature makes to supply the place of the 
portion which has perished. The periosteum, and healthy 
structures around the dead bone effuse lymph. This ossifies, 
and forms a case over the necrosed part. The new bone is 
therefore always larger, and it is also more spongy in texture, 
than the original bone. The articular extremities are usually 

The old bone, though dead, is not removed, until the new is 
formed. This is a merciful provision of Nature. The duty of 
the Veterinary surgeon is to support the strength of the animal, 
whilst the reparative process is going on, and at the proper 
time to assist in the removal of the necrosed bone. If on 
introducing through the cloaca3, a probe or two probes, one in 
each hand, a piece of bone is found to be quite loose and 
separate, it may be removed by the forceps ; or it may be 
necessary before removing it, to divide it with a bone cutting 
forceps, into several pieces, or perhaps to enlarge the opening. 
G-reat care and gentleness are required in these operations, 
otherwise a sharp spicula of bone may cause dangerous haemor- 
rhage by perforating one of the larger arteries in the neighbour- 

Necrosis, we may add, runs a certain course, and nature 
endeavours to effect a cure by the formation of new material. 
Art can only assist by aiding the removal of the old bone at 
the proper time. If such assistance is not given, nature will in 
time effect it by setting up a process of caries and sloughing ; 
but it is desirable to avoid the necessity for this further disease. 
"The pus in necrosis, it is to be observed, is healthy, whilst in 
caries it is unhealthy. 


579. Exfoliation, 

Exfoliation is simply the separation of a dead from a living 
portion of bone. 

580. Inflammation of Bone and Periosteitm. 

Inflammation is readily set up in bone^ or in its periosteum^ 
or in both, by concussion or contusion_, or by the extension of 
inflammation from a neighbouring part. 

The processes of inflammation have been already detailed in 
Chapter XVIII. They are the same in bone as in the softer 
tissues. As a result of inflammation_, effusion takes place- 
through the overloaded vessels of the part. The effusion may be 
wholly taken up again by the veins and absorbents. Ycry gene- 
rally however some portion of it remains between the bone and 
its periosteum. This deposit in due time_, after parting with tha 
more watery portion of its constituents, solidifies, and becomes 
bone or something like bone. In fact an Exostosis is formed. 
It is a rule in nature, as has been previously stated that deposits- 
resulting from inflammatory effusions, have a tendency, when 
they become organised, to partake of the nature of the tissue 
into which the exudation is effused. 

581. Exostoses. 

Exostoses usually arise, as described in the preceding para- 
graph, from inflammatory action in the bone or periosteum. 
They may however arise from ossification of a fibrous or 
cartilaginous tumour on the periosteum. At other times they 
are formed by abnormal development of any particular part or 
process of a bone. 

The new bone is always more spongy in its texture than the^ 
original tissue ; but after a time it consolidates in a great 
degree. It never however becomes equal to the old bone in 
density and strength. 

Osseous deposits, though they may seem to disappear, are 
seldom totally removed. They are only lessened. The absorp- 
tion of that part, which would be removed in time by the 
operations of nature^ may be hastened by the application of 
friction, mercury, iodine, or biniodide of mercury, to the part.. 


582. Anchylosis or Stiff Joint. 

Ancliylosis^ or stiff joints is a result of previous disease^ rather 
i:lian a disease in itself. It is occasioned by the presence of 
deposits^ whicli liave resulted from previous inflammation in 
the structure of, or in the neighbourhood of the joint. It 
consists in more or less complete consolidation of the parts 
within or around the articulation. 

Anchylosis may arise from thickening and induration of the 
fibrous capsule, or from the formation of fibroid bands within 
the joint ; or it may be caused by partial or complete erosion 
•of the cartilages and synovial membranes, the material exuded 
from the bones becoming organised into osseous matter, and 
firmly cementing the bones of the joint together. This is 
called true anchylosis. Or it may arise from shortening, 
contraction, or wasting away of the muscles, which in health 
would move the joint. 

Inflammation in a joint, or even in the neighbourhood of a 
joint, is always a source of some danger. There is always some 
reason to fear, lest the deposit resulting from the inflammation 
should interfere with the free motion of the part,, even if it does 
not produce partial or complete anchylosis. 

683. Treatment. 

For confirmed Anchylosis, arising from permanent altera- 
tions, there is no remedy. The previous disease, whatever it 
may have been, has caused the mischief and anchylosis is the 
result. The process of anchylosis may in some cases be 
hastened by the application of the actual cautery. This is 
occasionally advisable in the treatment of diseased joints. 

For mere stiffness (as distinguished from anchylosis), arising 
from recent thickenings or deposits in or about the neighbour- 
hood of the joint, the treatment consists in rest ; and in the 
application, as soon as the active inflammation has left the 
part, of absorbents, such as iodine, or biniodide of mercury. 
Though we cannot be certain of a favorable result, yet there is 
reason to hope, that by the use of such means, so much of the 
thickening or exostosis may be removed, as will at least 


prevent its interfering with tlie motion of the joint. With 
the removal of such interference^ the pain and irritation will 

In human surgery, operations are sometimes undertaken for 
the removal of such deposits; but in the horse thej do not 
answer, because there are no means of placing him in such a 
position, as will take the weight off the limb for a sufficient 
length of time after the operation. 



584. Of Fractures. 585. arises of Fractures. 586. Symj?- 
toms of Fracture. 587. Treatment. b88. Fracture of the Pelvis. 
589. Fracture of the Pastern hones. 590. Brolceoi ribs. 591. 
Fracture of the Nasal hones. 592. Fracture of the Jaw. 593. 
Partial fracture of the Tibia. 594. Fracture of the Shoulder 

584. Of Fractures. 

Fractures are termed Simple, wlien the bone is broken, bnt 
the skin is unbroken ; Compound, when the fractured ends pro- 
trude through the skin; Single, when only one fracture has 
taken place ; Comminuted, when the bone is broken in several 
parts ; and Complicated, when there is laceration of an artery 
or other additional injury. 

In the human subject, the treatment of broken bones is 
comparatively easy, because the patient can be placed without 
difficulty or opposition on his part, on his back in bed, the 
position most favorable for relieving the broken limb of all 
weight and pressure. Whilst in this position, splints and other 
restraints can be conveniently imposed, and the patient is. 
blessed with sense enough to induce him to submit to such 
restraints and to remain quiet. 

In the horse, we have none of these advantages. We cannot 
without hurtful violence throw the animal on his back, nor can 
we by any persuasion induce him voluntarily to remain in that 
position. Hence, fractures of important bones are generally 
incurable. In most cases therefore of such injuries it is better 
to have the animal destroyed at once. 

Again, the horse is an animal, whose value as a general rule 


consists in liis power of locomotion. In man on tlie other hand 
tlie surgeon^ though he may not be able to make a perfect cure, 
is often well content, if he can produce such re-union of the 
bones, as may enable the patient, in case of broken leg for 
instance, to walk about. A horse is of no value, unless he can 
walk, trot, and gallop sound and level. An exception howerer 
to this general rule occurs in the case of valuable brood mares 
or stallions. 

As regards the reparative powers of nature, there is no very 
^-reat difficulty in bringing about re-union even of important 
bones ; but on account of the restlessness of the animal, and 
from the difficulty of applying restraints and splints, and the 
further impossibility in many cases of taking all weight off the 
injured part, it is not probable that the bones will reunite so 
perfectly evenly, as to render the action true and level. 

Lastly, although good union may take place, yet in the outset 
this is always very doubtful; and therefore when a serious 
accident occurs, it is always questionable, whether the proba- 
bility of thorough recovery is great enough to be worth the risk 
and cost of keep and treatment. 

For these reasons we shall not enter into the treatment of the 
fracture of such important bones, as the radius and cannon bone 
in the fore-leg, or the tibia, femur, or cannon bone of the hind 
leg. Broken back is obviously incurable. 

Fractures however of minor bones, or of bones which are so 
confined by ligaments or muscles, that the fractured parts are 
little liable to dislocation, even if fractured, are often worth 

585. Causes of Fracture. 

The causes of Fracture may be included under two heads, 
namely violence to the bone itself or to some adjacent part, 
such as occurs in the case of falls or kicks ; and less commonly 
from excessive muscular strain. The sesamoid bones for 
instance are occasionally broken by the stress thrown on them 
by the suspensory ligament. 

In some horses, as in some men, the bones appear to be 
■abnormally fragile, probably from imperfect nutrition and fattj^ 



degeneration. Tlie liability to fracture also increases greatly in 
old age. 

586. Symptoms of Fracture. 

Fractures are distinguished by some or all of the following 
symptoms. 1st. The bone is displaced. Pressure or weight 
thrown on it causes still further displacement. In the case of 
long bones the broken ends, if the fracture is right across, may 
pass each other, and thus the limb will be shortened. 

2nd. The fractured limb partially or entirelyloses its power 
of voluntary movement ; but by external force it can be moved 
more readily and in a greater variety of directions than when 

3rd. When a broken bone is thus moved, the fractured 
surfaces may be felt and heard to grate on each other or '' crepi- 
tate.'^ This crepitation is especially noticeable, if the fractured 
surfaces are rugged, and still more in comminuted fractures. 
In fractures of an important bone there will also generally be 
twitching of the neighbouring muscles. 

4th. From rupture of the adjacent blood-vessels and conse- 
quent escape of blood, or from laceration of the neighbouring'^ 
soft parts there is usually a considerable swelling about a broken 
bone. From the same causes the skin, where it is visible, may 
be discoloured, and the parts hot and tender. 

587. Treatr}iGnt. 

The first object is to ^' set '^ or bring together the broken 
ends of the bone as soon as possible. When the bones can be 
properly replaced at once, the fractured surfaces are thereby 
prevented from grating against each other and from irritating 
or lacerating the adjoining parts; and in such cases there may 
be no serious amount of swelling to interfere with the due and 
continued apposition of the parts and the commencement of 
the process of healing or union. 

When the bones are thus adjusted, the next thing, if possible, 
is to keep them in their places. This is often a very difficult 
matter, and needs expertness and ingenuity. Splints padded 
with tow and bandages and strips of adhesive plaster may be 
used, and in some cases the horse may be slung with the view 
of taking the weight off the part affected. 


The starch bandage is a very useful applicaton. It is formed 
by soaking in thick starch mucilage strips of linen, which may 
be placed one over the other in layers, as each dries, until a 
firm splint is formed. Additional support may be given by a 
well adjusted wooden splint outside all. Pads of fine tow will be 
found useful in preventing undue pressure on particular parts. 

Before applying the starch bandage the part should be oiled, 
and then a piece of tape should be placed longitudinally over 
the fracture. The end of the tape should be left hanging out, 
so that if excessive swelling of the limb takes place, the bandage 
may be ripped open and taken off, and dipped in warm water 
and then reapplied without losing its shape or " mould.'' 
Great ease and relief will in such cases be given to the patient 
by this change. Longitudinal slits in the bandage will also be 
found to give ease. 

Gutta Percha softened in warm water and moulded to the 
shape of the bone likewise forms a serviceable bandage. 

It must be borne in mind, that it is not merely a support, 
but an easy support, which is required. Pressure cannot be 
borne. Inflammation, but not repair, will follow on uneasiness ; 
and then the patient will be rendered irritable, and by his 
movements will certainly frustrate all our efforts at cure. 

When the parts are much swollen and tender, any undue 
inflammatory action must, as a preliminary step, be reduced by 
hot fomentations, as far as possible ; or where the mischief is 
circumscribed or almost superficial, by wet cloths kept con- 
stantly moist with cold water or refrigerant lotion. 

But practically, except as regards the facial bones, cases, 
which require such means, cannot as a rule be successfully 
treated, and the horse may as well be destroyed at once. Gene- 
rally after all our efforts, and just when we think the case is 
going on favorably, the horse will by some sudden and unex- 
pected movement cause the fractured ends again to separate. 

In compound fractures, i. e. where the skin is broken and the 
bone protrudes, and in all comminuted fractures the case is 
hopeless — at least as regards the horse becoming sound in his 
action. Facial injuries are of course an exception. 

Omitting, for the reasons given above, such cases as broken- 
leg or back, we now pass on to the detail of the treatment of 


those fractures, wliicli under favorable circumstances offer a fair 
chance of recovery. 

588. Fracture of the Pelvis. 

Any of the three bones constituting the Pelvis are liable to 
be broken. The most common and least serious of these in- 
juries is chipping a piece off the spinous process of the ilium, 
usually from the animal coming in forcible contact with a door- 
post or gate. When the observer stands behind, the flatness 
of the injured side is very perceptible, and in popular language 
the hip is said to be " down.'* The piece of bone, when sepa- 
rated, occasions no inconvenience, and after a time becomes 
enclosed in a cyst. A similar injury sometimes, though much 
more rarely, occurs to the spinous process of the ischium in 
the posterior part of the hip. These injuries do not usually 
cause any permanent unsoundness. 

The shaft of the ilium may be broken by a fall. This acci- 
dent most frequently occurs in heavy draught horses. On 
account of the stoutness of the periosteum and the general 
position of the bone, the broken ends may not be much 
displaced ; but the nature of the accident is apparent from the 
tenderness of the adjacent parts, and from the swelling and sore- 
ness felt, when the hand is introduced into the rectum, and also 
by the crepitation observable, especially when the patient is 
moved slowly forward, whilst the hand within the rectum is 
held over the seat of injury. The animal will straddle greatly 
in his gait. 

If the fracture is not extensive, and does not involve the hip 
joint, and there is not much displacement, and the animal is 
not irritable, repair may take place. The patient must be re- 
strained from lying down by being placed in slings, and kept 
as quiet as possible. Nature may and often does in these cases 
keep the broken parts in proper apposition, but art cannot from 
the position of the parts do anything to assist. In favorable 
cases the bones will have fairly re-united in about three 
months, and the animal may probably be sound. 

Occasionally the fracture is very extensive and involves the 
hip-joint. More rarely the body of the ischium is broken. In 
a few cases the symphysis pubis is fractured. All such injuries 
preclude any hope of recovery. 


589. Fracture of the Pastern Bones. 

Fracture of the great pastern bone sometimes occurs^ but 
that of the small pastern or os coronaa is more frequent. It 
occurs very suddenly^ and particularly in horses with high 
action. Probably the fracture results from the foot coming to 
the ground in a faulty position, and thus receiving unexpected 
concussion, whilst the parts of the leg are not in the proper 
position to receive it. 

Fractures of either of these bones are very uncertain as re- 
gards the chance of cure. When the horse gets a little better, 
he is very apt to attempt to move his leg or to place weight on 
the foot, and then the fractured ends may probably separate 
again. A simple longitudinal fracture is worth treatment, but 
a comminuted fracture is not. 

590. Brohen Blhs. 

The Ribs are rather frequently broken ; and, if so, the ends 
generally overlap. It may be possible by manipulation tempo- 
rarily to readjust the ends, but it is not possible by any me- 
chanical means to retain them in their proper position. No 
material harm ordinarily results from their overlapping; though 
in some cases a broken end thoroughly displaced and turning 
inwards may injure some of the internal organs and even cause 
a fatal result. To prevent this, excision of the part may in such 
cases be necessary. Nature will afterwards fill up the inter- 
vening space with callus. 

The treatment, in addition to rest, consists in applying a large 
wide roller or stout webbing over the part, in order to confine 
the bones in one position as much as possible, and thus prevent 
undue expansion of the ribs. The roller must be kept in its 
place by means of straps attached to a collar on the neck. 

591. Fracture of tJie Nasal Bones, 

Fracture generally produces depression of the bones, and the 
breathing is then interfered with. The treatment consists in 
raising the bones with some blunt-pointed instrument to their 
proper position. To do this it will probably be necessary to 
make an incision through the skin. The bones must be re- 


tained in ]X)sitioii^ until reunion takes place, by pitch plaster 
and strips of stout pasteboard, or by any otber mechanical con- 
trivance convenient in the particular case. The animal^s head 
should be kept tied up for a considerable time afterwards. 

592. Fracture of the Jaivs. 

The lower jaw is liable to be fractured, especially under the 
molar teeth, where it is very slender. After readjustment, 
splints and plasters must be applied to retain the bone in its 
place; and until union has taken place, the animal must be fed 
on sloppy diet, so that he may require to masticate as little as 

Some excellent remarks on Facial injuries by Professor 
Yarnell will be found in the '^ Veterinarian,' 1866 — 1867. 

593. Partial Fracture of the Tibia. 

If the Tibia be fractured right across, the case is hopeless ; 
but when the blow occurs on the outside, where the parts are 
well protected by muscular, ligamentous, and tendinous tis- 
sues, it often happens that the bone is not fractured through ; 
or the fracture may be merely a longitudinal split. In such 
cases the periosteum may be strong enough to hold the parts 
together ; and if the nature of the injury is discovered at once, 
the animal will often recover after a few weeks' rest. It very 
often, however, happens that the real nature of the injury is not 
suspected, and the horse after a few days' rest is again sent to 
work, and then the bone at the first strong exertion becomes 
fractured through. 

594. Fracture of the Shoulder Blade. 

This accident is rare. In walking an animal trails the toe 
along the ground. If, when the foot is brought forward, the 
hand be placed on the shoulder, a crepitation will probably be 

The fracture is usually across the neck ; and if so, the case 
is hopeless. A longitudinal, but not a transverse, fracture in 
any other part may possibly with rest reunite evenly, and the 
animal may perhaps become sound. 



595. Importance of Conformation. 596. Structure of the 
JSock. 597. Peculiarities of a good Hoch. 598. Peculiarities 
of a badly formed Hoch. 599. Disease intimately connected 
with defective Conformation. 

595. Importance of Conformation. 

A good shaped Hock is seldom unsound, whilst one of 
defective conformation readily becomes diseased, if exposed 
to hard work. 

To know a good from a bad, a sound from an unsound hock 
requires some time, trouble and attention, but not more than it 
is worth any horseman^s while to give. It is good practice to 
get the bones of a hock, to put them together, to examine the 
formation of each, and to feel them when placed in their 
natural position ; and then to manipulate and compare with 
them the prominences of the bones in the living animal, espe- 
cially on the seat of Spavin. With a knowledge of conforma- 
tion derived from handling the bones, the satisfactory exami- 
nation of the hock becomes easy. 

596. Structure of tJie Hoch. 

The Hock consists of six bones, namely the astragalus, 
cuneiform magnum, cuneiform medium, cuneiform parvum, 
cuboid, and os calcis. The first five of these may be dis- 
tinguished as weight-bearing bones, whilst the os calcis or 
bone at the back acts as a lever to the tendons of the leg. See 
Plato XI. 


The true liock-joint, liowever, is formed by only two bones,, 
namely tlie tibia or upper bone of the leg, and tbe astragalus. 
Tbe otlier bones, tbougb tliey possess a limited amount of 
motion between eacb other, do not enter into the true bock- 

597. Peculiarities of a good Hoch. 

The outline should be clean, rigid, and in an adult horse well 
defined. Any puffiness or swelling is a sign of weakness or 
disease. The reason of this will be explained hereafter under 
the head of Bursal enlargements. 

The bones should be large and prominent. Large size is 
essential to strength, and prominence is necessary in order to 
afford due leverage and attachment to the tendons and liga- 
ments. Large bones are usually accompanied by large and 
well developed tendons and ligaments. 

The Hock, when viewed from the side, should appear wide 
both above and below (^. e. from A to A and from b to b, Plate 
XI) . Strength and size both of bones and ligaments are indi- 
cated by lateral width. 

The hocks should be neither straight (Plate XII, figure 1), 
nor over-much bent (figure 2). Undue concussion results from 
the former, whilst weakness and liability to sprain accompany 
the latter formation. If the hocks are placed too far behind 
(figure 3) there will be a want of propelling and jumping power. 
The hocks should be placed directly under the centre of 
gravity. Any deviation from the perpendicular line laterally, 
as is the case when the hocks are inclined too much in (Plate 
XIII, figure 4), or too much out (figure 5), is a source of 
weakness and therefore of disease. 

In order to give due leverage to the muscles of the thigh, it 
is essential that the tibia should run down well into the hock. 
A well developed and prominent os calcis is also essential to 
the leverage of the tendons of the leg. Figure 6 and 7. 

598. Feculiarities of a badly formed Hoch, 

Badly formed hocks are marked by peculiarities of conforma- 
tion, the reverse of those we have just described. 


599. Disease intimately connected luith defective Conformation. 

The diseases found in the hock generally correspond pretty 
closely with the points, in which the conformation is defective. 
For instance in upright hocks we may expect bog spavin and 
thorough-pin ; in over-bent hocks curb ; in narrow hocks 
spavin and curb may be looked for ; in hocks which bow out, 
thorough-pin ; whilst in small hocks there is general want of 
strength and consequent liability to sprain and disease of any 

It is not however to be supposed, that horses with defective 
conformation either in the hocks or elsewhere are useless for 
any purpose. All that we intend to say is that defective con- 
formation entails a special liability to disease. Again horses, 
which from defects of conformation may be unfit for one sort 
of work, may be available for another. A horse for example, 
whose hocks will not stand the violent exertion of hunting, may 
last for years for quiet riding or harness work. 

Spavin will be treated of in the next Chapter. Thorough 
pins and Bog spavins will be considered under the head of 
Bursal enlargements in Chapter No. 41 ; and Curbs and 
Sprains under the head of Sprains of the Hind leg in Chapter 
No. 45. 



600. Definition of Spavin. 601. Of the Hock Joint. 602. 
Formation of8pavin. 603. Liability to Spavin dependent on the 
conformation of the Hock. 604. Position of Spavin. 605. Im- 
portance of Spavin dependent on its position. 606. Peculiarities 
oflameness arising from Spavin. 607. Treatment. 608. Active 
treatment not to he adopted rashly. 609. Of spavins, ivhich do 
not ptroduce lameness. 610. Spavins cannot he removed. 611. 
Unnerving. 612. Examination of the Hock. 613. Conclusion, 

600. Befinition of Spavin. 

By Spavin, wlieu unaccompanied by any prefix, is always 
meant bone-spavin. Bog spavin, thougli somewhat similar in 
name and also occurring in the hock, has no connection with 
this disease. 

Spavin is an exostosis in the region of the hock. It is usually 
found to involve two or more of the weight bearing bones. The 
inner small metatarsal bone of the leg is sometimes, though but 
seldom, involved. Plate XI. 

601. Of the Hock Joint. 

The conformation of the Hock generally has been dwelt upon 
in the preceding Chapter. The true hock joint, it will be 
remembered, consists in the articulation of the tibia and 
astragalus. This joint is never primarily, and but seldom even 
ultimately, except as a result of open joint, affected by exos- 

But besides the true hock joint, there are also joints with a 
limited amount of motion between each of the other bones, 
which make up the structure of the hock. Plate XI. The 
exostosis known as Spavin generally forms between two or more 

Plate XI, 

Bones of the Soek.% 

1. Astragalus. 

2. Cuneiform magnum. 

3. Cuneiform medium. 

4. Cuneiform parvum. 

5. Os calcis. 

6. Tibia. 

7. Great metatarsal, or cannon or 

shank bone. 

8. Inner small metatarsal. 

Plate XII. 

Fig. 1. 

Hoclc. — Too straight. 

Conformation of Hock. 

Piff. 2 

Fia:. 3. 

Too much bent. 

Too far behind. 

Position usually recommended. 

Best position. 

Plate XIII. 

Conformation of Socle. 

Fig. 4. 

Socles — Too close. 
{Too much i7i.) 

Fiar. 5. 

Socks — Too loide. 
{Too much out.^ 

Fig. 6. 

Fig. 7. 

Prominent os calcis. 
Sock " well let doton," 

Badly developed os calcis. 
Sock " not ivell let down." 

SPAVIN. 427 

of tliese bones and interferes with their gliding motion ; or it 
may form on tlie outside of the bones, or partly on the outside 
and partly between the bones. As stated above, it very rarely 
extends to, or implicates the bones of the true hock joint. 

602. Formation of 8])avin. 

When from undue concussion, pressure, sprain, or such like 
causes, irritation is set up either in or in the neighbourhood of 
the above-mentioned bones, — it is probable that the irritation 
will be quickly followed by inflammation, more or less severe 
according to circumstances, of the periosteum and articular 
surfaces of the bones implicated. Inflammation will, as usual, 
probably be followed by effusion from the over-loaded blood 
vessels of the part. In due time the watery parts of the effusion^ 
as has been already explained in the Chapters on Inflammation 
and Irritants, will be absorbed, and the remainder will solidify. 
In accordance with the usual rule of nature the deposition will 
partake of the character of the part into which it is effused. 
In short it becomes bone, or in other words a Spavin is formed. 

603. Liahility to 8]javin dependent on the Conformation of tlie 


The probability of the occurrence of Spavin in any particular 
hock is mainly dependent on its conformation. If the hock is 
large and strong, and its position is good and true as regards 
the incidence of the superincumbent weight, it is not probable 
that it will be injuriously affected either by concussion, weight, 
or sprain. But if there is any defect either in the conformation, 
structure, or position, it will probably suffer in some part or 
other ; and at that point sooner or later according to the circum- 
stances and nature of the work, to which the animal is subjected, 
we are likely to find disease. (See Plates XII and XIII.) 

604. Position of Spavin, 

It is impossible to define accurately the position of Spavin, 
but speaking generally it may be described as being situ- 
ated at the inner and lower part of the hock joints. It 
varies in some degree according as weak or defective structure, 
or improper position of the hind legs, or incidence of the line of 


weiglit,, or sprain of the ligaments or such like causes may 
induce pressure or concussion on any particular part. The 
greatest pressure and concussion, however, are always felt 
towards the inner side_, and hence spavin is always found some- 
where on that side. The most common seat is between, and 
towards the front of the cuneiform bones. See Plate XI. 

Spavins may occur on the exterior of the bones. In such 
cases they are easily seen and felt, and hence are called 
'^ detectible ;" or they may occur between the bones, in which 
case there may be little or no external enlargement. These are 
termed ^^ occult^' spavins. During the formation, however, of 
the exostosis some degree of extra heat and tenderness on 
pressure may generally be detected. After consolidation, the 
existence of occult spavins in many cases can only be divined 
by the nature of the lameness they produce. (For signs of 
lameness arising from spavin see below, paragraph 606.) 

As a general rule exostoses on the exterior of the bones arise 
from sprains of the ligaments of the hock, whilst those between 
the bones are produced by pressure and concussion. 

605. ImjportancG of 8_pavin dejpendent on its 'position. 

The importance of a Spavin depends on its position rather 
than on its size. 

If it is situated between the bones, and especially if towards 
the front, there is always great reason to fear that it may, even 
though small or very small, interfere with the gliding motion of 
the weight-bearing bones. Further, any such exostosis, however 
slight, is likely on account of its interfering with that motion 
to cause further irritation and inflammation in the part, and 
ultimately ulcerative disease of the articular cartilages and of 
the bones themselves. 

If, on the other hand, the spavin, even though it be between 
the bones, is placed far back, it is of less consequence, because 
there is not much gliding motion in the posterior portion of the 
hock j and therefore the exostosis, even though large, may not 
occasion much inconvenience. Indeed, in many old horses we 
find that positive union has taken place between the posterior 
portions of the bones without ever having caused any sensible 

SPAVIN. 429 

Spavins on tlie external surfaces of tlie bones^and not between 
tliem, are less serious. They may or may not interfere witb 
tlie action according to their size and position in eacb. particular 
case. Spavins placed posteriorly and not between tbe bones, 
even thougli large, seldom interfere much with tbe free motion 
of tbe bock. 

606. Peculiarities of lameness arimig froin Spavin. 

In well developed cases tbe lameness arising from Spavin is 
very peculiar and characteristic . It is caused by imperfect 
flexion of tbe bock, and in consequence the toe, instead of being 
properly raised, is dragged along the ground. Towards the end 
of the month the toe of the shoe is sensibly worn by this 
abnormal friction. 

In slighter cases some stiffness of the hock, and an occasional 
tripping of the toe may be noticed, and also a sort of vibration 
in the bock, when the toe comes to the ground. These 
peculiarities will be most observable, if the horse is trotted on 
hard smooth ground. The animal should be especially watched 
in turning, when a certain degree of flinching, or catching up 
of the leg will be detected. Exercise even for a few minutes 
greatly diminishes the symptoms ; but when the horse after 
exercise is allowed to stand till cool, the stiffness will recur, 
probably in an increased degree. 

In tbe stable a horse, though only very slightly lame from 
spavin, will often drop very much, if made to move in his stall 
to one side, when the weight comes on the diseased leg. In 
bad cases, in a state of rest, he will usually keep the leg 

607. Treatment, 

Tbe nature of the primary disease, namely irritation and 
inflammation in some portion of the structure of the hock, 
caused by some undue concussion or pressure or sprain, gives 
us at once the clue to its treatment in the early stage, namely, 
rest. Eest is the great essential. Cold applications or fomen- 
tations are also useful in reducing the inflammatory action. 

Some Veterinary surgeons recommend the application of a 


three quarter shoe on the inside^ which they think, takes much 
of the weight and concussion off the part affected. Others 
prefer a shoe raised on the inside heel on the plea, that it shifts 
the weight from the inner to the outside quarter. Probably 
the greatest ease and relief is gained by removing the shoes 

It is a common practice to raise the bed behind with the view 
of throwing the weight off the hind on to the fore quarters. 
The advantage of this practice is very questionable, as the 
position produced by it has a tendency to bring into closer 
contact, and thereby cause greater pressure at the seat of the 
disease, namely the anterior portions of the weight-bearing 
bones. The bed should, we think, be made perfectly level, 
though in order to counteract the usual slope of the stall to the 
rear, it will probably require to be made considerably thicker 
behind than before. 

If the work is continued during the formation of a spavin, the 
inflammation will greatly increase, and an enormous deposit of 
bone may be the result. Yet, though rest is essential, some 
slight exercise, such as that which a horse will give himself in 
a loose box, is beneficial lest the parts should become stiffened 
by disuse, as well as from the deposit of bone. 

If the inflammatory action does not subside after a time under 
the above simple treatment, and the horse still continues lame, 
it will be necessary to have recourse to other remedial agents 
such as blisters, setons, or firing. 

That these agents act beneficially in some cases, is beyond 
question ; but whether they produce their effect by irritation 
or otherwise is a matter in dispute among Veterinarians. 

Some think, that they act by bringing more blood to the 
part, or in other words by artificially exciting increased inflam- 
mation, and that they thereby hasten the consolidation of the 
new deposit into bone. Others believe that their beneficial 
effect is due to decrease in the inflammation already existing in 
the periosteum and bone, by reason of the irritation excited 
in the skin by these agents. They believe that by this so-called 
counter-irritation the growth of the bony deposit is checked and 
limited, and that the parts are thereby sooner restored to their 
normal condition. More detailed information regarding the 

sPAvm. 431 

action of Irritants will be found in Chapter XIX^ Artificial 
Inflammation as a Curative Agent. 

As soon as the process of the deposition is completed, whether 
on the one hand by hastening its full formation, or on the other 
by checking and limiting the action, — the inflammation and 
pain, which accompanied the formation of the exostosis, will 
disappear. The horse will then be lame or sound according to 
the position and amount of the new deposit. 

Firing is undoubtedly the popular remedy for spavin, but the 
Author has seen far better results from the steadier and more 
continued action of setons. 

608. Active treatment not to he adopted rashly. 

The owner should not be over-alarmed or tempted too readily 
into the adoption of active treatment by his horse going lame 
during the formation of a spavin. Such is the usual case, and 
it probably arises, not from interference by the exostosis with 
the bending motion, but simply from the pressure of the new 
deposit on the inflamed periosteum covering the bone. The 
pain, and with it the lameness, usually abates, as soon as the 
periosteum has enlarged and accommodated itself to the exos- 
tosis ; and generally disappears altogether, when by rest and 
other appropriate treatment the inflammation is allayed, and 
the newly formed deposit has consolidated into bone. 

In young horses, especially, a lengthened period of rest with- 
out any very active measures is always well worthy of a trial. 
Their bones and ligaments are weak, and their whole frame is 
often unequal to the work, which man demands of them ; and 
in very many cases nothing more than time and the gradual 
increase of strength resulting from age, good feeding and care- 
fully regulated exercise are needed to give strength and stability 
to the weaker structures of the frame. 

G09. SiJavinSf luJiich do not cause lameness. 

Spavins, which when fully formed do not cause lameness, 
should never be subjected to active treatment. Treatment in 
such cases, far from being advantageous, may only too probably 
set up renewed inflammation in the part ; and may perhaps 
produce further growth of bone and eventually lameness. 


610. Spavins cannot he removed, 

A Spavin, when once fully formed, cannot be removed by any 
remedial agents ; thougli, in common witb. all abnormal growths, 
exostoses generally become less, as age advances. This process 
of absorption may to a certain degree be assisted, and hastened 
in the case of newly formed deposits by the application of 
mild blisters or setons ; but the more important portion, or 
in other words the consolidated part, of the bony deposit will 
not yield to any treatment. 

611. Unnerving. 

Division of the nerve has been recommended for lameness 
arising from spavin with the view of destroying sensation. The 
operation however is useless, because the nerve, which supplies 
the anterior portion of the hock, is so situated, that it cannot 
be reached and divided. It may perhaps be said that the nerve 
might be cut higher up ; but at that point it is too near the 
muscle, which works the tendon. 

In the fore-leg, where the operation of unnerving is often 
beneficially applied in navicular disease, the position of the 
nerve and muscle is different. 

612. Examination of tJie liock. 

In the examination of a hock for spavin, it is necessary in 
the first place to compare the two hocks together. Any differ- 
ence in size is very suspicious, especially in the adult horse. 
A hock however, which may at first sight appear large on the 
inside, may on closer examination prove to be exactly similar 
to the other ; and if so, the formation must be regarded as 
natural, and generally as sound. It is true that there may be 
spavins in both hocks ; but it is very rarely, if ever found, that 
the two abnormal growths are exactly similar. In long coarse 
coated horses the hocks should be damped before examination, 
so as to make the hair lie smooth. 

Allowance must be made in certain horses for the shape and 
prominences of the bones at the inner and posterior part of 
the hock, — which may be due to the line of incidence to the 
ground. In sickle-hocked horses for instance there is often an 

SPAvm. 433 

apparent, but natural enlargement of the bones at the inner 
and posterior part of the hock, which is often mistaken for 
spavin. In other horses there may be an abnormal prominence 
of particular bones in both hocks, which, if exactly similar, 
must be regarded as natural. 

Ridges in the centre of the middle and lower tiers of the 
bones and a similar development at the head of the inner 
splint bone, — are also sometimes mistaken for spavin. These 
ridges are in reality eminences for the attachment of the 
ligaments. They are most fully developed in well-bred horses, 
whose ligaments are strong and therefore require powerful 
attachments. They are easily distinguished from spavins by 
the fact of both hocks being similarly formed ; and again by 
their being in the centre, and not on the edges of the bones as 
would be the case in a diseased growth ; and further by the 
existence of a similar development in the bones of the knee. 
Such ridges, far from being a sign of disease, are an indication 
of strength. 

Besides the general examination of both hocks required to 
ascertain that they are exactly pairs, it is necessary to inspect 
minutely the inner front and inside of each hock separately 
from several points of view, in order to make quite sure, that 
there is no undue angularity, rugidity, or enlargement on the 
seat of spavin. 

The examiner should first stand in front and view the hock, 
as seen by looking between the fore-legs. Any enlargement 
on the inside, especially on the anterior part, will be well seen 
from this point. Next, he should shift his position a few paces 
to the side, so as to catch a somewhat side view of the inner 
front of the structure. In this position any enlargement in 
front will be easily detected. He should next view the hock 
from behind, looking between the legs. Any enlargement on 
the posterior part of the inner side will then be apparent. 
Lastly, he should move about a couple of paces to the side, and 
he will notice any undue angularity about the interior edge of 
the hock. 

No enlargement, however, though on the seat of the disease, 
can safely be said to be spavin, until by manipulation it 1ms 



been ascertained to be bone. Without such manipulation 
other enlargements, such as a distended vein, or a thickening 
of the integuments resulting from a blow may be mistaken for 

In many cases, however, as has been explained above, there 
is little or no external enlargement, and we can then only infer 
the existence of a spavin by the peculiarity of the lameness, or 
by abnormal heat about the part. In examining a horse sus- 
pected of occult spavin, it is a good plan to lift the hind leg 
and forcibly flex it up to the thigh several times. After this 
the horse should be trotted slowly, when, if he has a spavin, he 
will probably show lameness. 

The action, the true and perfect flexion or otherwise of the 
hock, and the level carriage or otherwise of the hips, should be 
most carefully observed. The action in many of the worst 
cases of spavin, namely those between the bones, often affords 
the only indication of the disease. The peculiarities in action 
caused by spavin have been detailed above. 

613. Conclusion. 

In the adult horse, when we can make sure that he is and 
has been doing fair work, the existence of a spavin, if it does 
not cause lameness, need not be a bar to the purchase of an 
animal otherwise suitable. Lameness does not often recur 
under such circumstances. 

In young horses, the question of the advisability of a purchase 
must chiefly turn on the conformation of the hocks. If the 
hocks are good, and especially if the intending purchaser does 
not require the horse for hard work immediately, a purchase 
may perhaps be made, though of course at a reduced price. 


614. Of the fore-leg between the Knee and the Fetlock. 615. 
Nature of Splint. 616. Mode of formation of Splint. 617. 
Causes of Splint. 618. Position of Splint. 619. Incipient 
Splints. 620. Fully -formed Splints. 621. Treatment. 622. 
Splints cannot he removed. 623. Of Splints ivhich cause per- 
manent lameness. 624. To detect Splints, 625. Degree of 
importance to he attached to Splints. 

614. Of the fore-leg hetween the Knee and the Fetloch. 

As Splintj like spavin^ generally arises from or at least is con- 
nected witli some structural weakness, we propose in the first 
place briefly to consider the conformation of the fore-leg between 
the knee and the fetlock. 

The fore-leg immediately below the knee is made up, as 
regards its osseous structures, of three bones, namely, the great 
metacarpal, or shank, or cannon bone, and two smaller bones 
called the splint or small metacarpals. Plate XIV, 

These bones are not united together, but each of the small 
bones is attached to the great or shank bone by inter- osseous 
ligaments. The object of this sort of attachment appears to be 
to allow a very limited power of motion or elasticity between 
the bones. A similar mode of attachment is found in other 
parts of the body, where a certain degree of elasticity is required, 
as for instance between the bodies of the vertebrae. 

In the fore-leg the elasticity conferred by this peculiarity of 
conformation is useful in diminishing concussion. But this 


sort of attacliment, tliougli useful for the above purpose^ gives 
less strength, than absolute union of the bones. 

615. Nature of Splint. 

Splint is an exostosis or deposit of bone, either between one 
or other of the small bones and the shank, or upon any of the 
three bones. The cause of the abnormal growth is irritation 
and inflammation either in the inter-osseous ligaments, or in the 
periosteum, or in the bones themselves. 

As the greatest strain and concussion always fall on the inside, 
on account of its being more under the centre of the super- 
incumbent weight, we generally find the exostosis on or towards 
the inner side, — except in horses, which turn their toes in and 
thereby throw the greater weight on the outer side. 

Splints, for the purpose of explanation, are sometimes divided 
into two classes, namely, those which arise from sprain and 
inflammation of the inter-osseous ligaments ; and those which 
arise from irritation and inflammation of the periosteum or of 
the bone itself. But for practical purposes it is not necessary 
to maintain this distinction. Indeed, whichever structure be 
primarily affected, the other also generally becomes more or 
less involved. 

616. Mode of formation of Splint, 

When inflammation is set up in a bone or in its periosteum, 
an exostosis is likely to be the result, — unless the action is 
checked in a very early stage. The mode in which osseous 
material is effused and consolidated, was explained in previous 
Chapters. The exostosis or " Splint '' will probably unite 
firmly the small to the great metacarpal bone. 

Again, if the inflammation is set up in the inter-osseous 
ligaments, it generally results in absorption of the original tissue 
to a greater or less degree according to circumstances ; and in 
lieu therefore osseous material is deposited, which, when in due 
time consolidated, unites together the bones between which it 
is effused. The cause of this peculiar effect of inflammation on 
fibro-cartilage, of which tissue the inter- osseous ligaments are 
mainly composed, is not well ascertained; but its almost 
invariable occurrence is a well-known fact. 

Plate XIV. 

Bones of Fore- Leg. 




Inner -side Vieio. 

1. Great metacarpal, otherwise called the 

cannon or *ank bone. 

2. Inner small metacarpal or splint bone. 

3. Outer ditto. 

4. Sesamoid bones. 

5. Upper pastern or os suffraginis. 
X. Seat of speedy cut. 

Posterior Vietc. 

1. Great metacarpal bone, 

2. Outer small metacarpal or splint bone. 

3. Inner ditto. 

4. Sesamoid bones. 

Plate XV. 

CrooJced Fore-Legs. 

SPLINT. 437 

617. Causes of Splint. 

Though the immediate causes o£ Splint are irritation and 
inflammation in the parts affected ; yet the occurrence of these 
causes in any particular horse and at any particular time is 
mainly dependent on the conformation of the leg, on the work 
to which the animal is subjected, on the weight he has to 
carry, and on his age. 

If the bones of the leg are small, or if not positively so, are 
yet small in reference to the carcase ; or if there is undue length 
between the knee and the fetlock; or if the ligaments and 
tendons are small ; or if the legs are crooked, we may be pretty 
sure that such defects of conformation will probably give rise 
to irritation and inflammation in the weakest part. 

Again, if the pasterns are over-long, there will be undue stress 
on the parts above ; or if on the other hand they are very short, 
there will be excessive concussion. These effects, though 
arising from defective conformation below, may nevertheless 
be felt above, notwithstanding the portion of the leg from the 
fetlock to the knee may be well formed. 

Again, if the legs are not placed well and directly under the 
centre of gravity, or if the incidence of the weight of the body 
does not fall fair and true on the legs, there will be irritation 
and inflammation in the part unduly pressed upon. Plate XV. 

But no cause of Splint is perhaps more common than the 
ordinary practice of subjecting young horses to work, for which 
(however good their make and shape may be) their young 
bones, ligaments and tendons are unequal. Farmers, who breed 
horses, generally put them to harrow at two years old, they 
often ride or drive them at three, and hunting men sometimes 
expect four, and always five year old animals to carry them 
across country. 

Horses at an early age may no doubt do a certain amount of 
work, and perhaps may be none the worse for it ; but the work 
demanded of them is often in excess of the age and capability 
of the animal. It is mainly from this cause, as we think, that 
we see so many horses, whose make and shape are unexception- 
iible, affected with splints. 

The exostosis arising from these and such-like causes usually 


appears about midway between the knee and the fetlock, 
because the middle is the weakest part in long bones. The 
reason why it appears on the inside rather than on the outside 
was explained above in par. 615. 

Defects of conformation are, however, we must remind the 
reader, in a great degree relative to the work, which we require 
from a horse. Many an animaFs legs, for instance, which might 
stand for years for harness work, may be battered to pieces in a 
short time by hard riding along a road, or strained by hunting 
in a deep country. 

Though some defect in conformation, or some excess of work 
relatively to age and structure, are the ordinary causes of Splint, 
yet in some cases the exostosis can be traced to no other causes 
than an hereditary predisposition to throw out ossific material. 
In such animals we generally find spavins and other exostoses 
concurrently with splint. 

Exostoses, not true splints as defined above, are sometimes 
found on the outside of the leg, wholly unconnected with any of 
the above causes, — which arise from inflammation set up in the 
bone or periosteum from the effect of a blow, such as a servant 
may give a horse with the handle of a pitchfork, or the animal 
may give himself accidentally in the hunting field. 

618. Position of Sjplints. 

In most cases the Splint, for reasons already given, appears 
on the inside a little above the centre of the bone between the 
knee and the fetlock. Special circumstances, however, in some 
degree vary its position. If for instance the incidence of the 
weight does not fall true on the legs, the exostosis will probably 
form on that part of the bone or bones, on which undue pres- 
sure comes ; or if the leg is crooked, the exostosis will be found 
at that spot, where the malformation causes unusual strain. 

Splints, when fully formed and consolidated, do not of them- 
selves, as a rule, cause lameness. They no doubt lessen to a 
certain degree the elasticity of the tread, but they do not affect 
the action in any perceptible degree. 

The importance of a splint is dependent more on its position 
in reference to the action of the other leg, or to the passage of 
the tendons and suspensory ligament than on its size. If it be 

srLiNT. 4B9 

so placed, that its protuberance is likely to be struck or inter- 
fered witb by the other leg in action, Splint becomes a serious 
evil. If it is not so placed, the mere exostosis may be of but 
little consequence. This question can only be settled by actual 
experience in the particular horse affected. A splint in one 
horse from some peculiarity of action may be interfered -with 
by the movement of the other leg, whilst one in an exactly 
similar position in another horse may not suffer. 

As a general rule Splints, which are well forward, are seldom 
interfered with ; whilst those on the side and those situated 
more posteriorly are oftener struck. Splints, which are high up 
near the knee, are in every respect in the most objectionable 
position, both because they are especially apt to be struck by 
the other leg in action, and because the inflammation arising 
from such blow or repeated blows is very likely to induce a 
renewed growth of the exostosis, which may extend to and 
implicate the bones of the knee. 

Splints, which are situated far back, are liable to interfere 
with the free motion of the flexor tendons or of the suspensory 
ligament. The former case is exceedingly rare, but the latter 
is not very unfrequent. As a rule, however, hard parts give 
way to the softer structures, and hence we generally find that 
tendons and ligaments after a time succeed in making a free 
and smooth passage for themselves. 

Splints on both sides, exactly opposite to each other, are more 
liable, as we might expect, than others to intefere with the free 
motion of the suspensory ligament and occasionally with the 
flexor tendons. Independently however of such interference, 
the occurrence of exostoses on both sides indicates great general 
weakness in the structures of the ]eg. 

Speedy-cut. An exostosis, not connected either with the 
inter-osseous ligaments or with weakness of conformation, is 
sometimes found on the inside of the leg near the knee (see 
Plate XIV), which arises from repeated blows on the part by the 
foot of the other leg. The peculiarity of action, which produces 
this effect, is known as Speedy-cutting. Horses with this 
defect should not be purchased. They are dangerous to ride, 
especially at a fast pace. The pain produced by the blow is 
sometimes excessive, and may cause the animal to fall at once 


on his knees. It is always advisable when inspecting an animal 
with a view to purchase, to look carefully for the scar which is 

produced by speedy-cutting. 

619. Incipient Splints. 

Almost all Splints during their formation produce lameness, 
both because the new deposit causes pressure on the periosteum, 
and because the periosteum and the bone itself under inflamma- 
tion are highly sensitive of any concussion, such as that arising 
from trotting. The degree of lameness is, however, very uncer- 
tain and appears to depend more on the sensitiveness of the 
parts in the particular animal, than on the amount and size of 
the deposit. In some cases the lameness is scarcely perceptible 
and of very short duration, whilst in other cases it is very 

620. F ally formed Splints. 

When the Splint has fully formed and the irritation and in- 
flammation attending its growth have passed away, the horse 
will generally again go sound. 

621. Treatment. 

The nature and cause of Splint very clearly indicate the 
treatment required, — namely rest. This powerful sedative may 
be assisted by the application of a cold water bandage round the 
part affected. A three quarter shoe on the inside is also useful 
in lessening the concussion and the incidence of weight. 
Further relief may also be given, if the lameness does not yield 
to the above treatment, by dividing the periosteuni over the 
newly formed deposit. Leather under the shoe may be useful 
in diminishing the concussion. And in all cases the animal 
should be shod in such a way as to allow the frog to come to 
the ground. 

In most cases these remedies will be sufficient. If, however, 
after an interval of three weeks' rest the horse continues lame, 
and the seat of the splint under manipulation is very sensitive, 
it may be advisable to apply a blister or seton. 

By some it is supposed that these agents produce their bene- 
ficial effects by bringing more blood to the part, and thereby 

SPLINT. 441 

hastening tlie completion of the new deposit into bone. Others 
believe that the favorable result is due to the principle of 
counter-irritation,, — that the external irritant relieves and 
diminishes the irritation and inflammation existing in the peri- 
osteum and bone, and in this way both limits the amount of 
the effusion and deposit, and sooner brings to an end the abnor- 
mal action of the parts. For reasons, already given in the 
Chapter on Irritants, setons are, we think, in these cases 
preferable to blisters. Setons are, however, often objected to 
on account of their liability to blemish. For this reason 
repeated applications of the biniodide of mercury ointment 
may be preferred. 

If on the other hand, the horse instead of being rested is kept 
at work during the formation of a splint, the inflammation will 
be greatly increased, and an enormous quantity of bone will in 
consequence be deposited. 

If the Splint, when fully formed, is interfered with by the 
other leg, some alterations in the shoeing will often produce 
avoidance of the protuberance. The shoe for instance may be 
kept very close, or under woven, or the two nails on the inside 
may be left out, or a three quarter shoe on the inside may be 
applied according to the requirements of each case. In other 
cases, an alteration of action sufficient to prevent the evil may 
be effected by using three quarter shoes on the outside on both 
feet. Charlier shoes, if carefully fitted, will occasionally pre- 
vent the animal from striking the splint. 

If these and such like remedies fail in producing the desired 
effect, a boot must be placed over the splint, so as to protect it 
as far as possible. Some horses, however, notwithstanding this 
protection, strike and bruize the exostosis to such an extent as 
to cause frequent temporary lameness. 

In some cases, if a splint is treated by rest in the very early 
stage, the lameness rapidly disappears ; but the owner is disap- 
pointed by the recurrence of the lameness, as soon as the horse 
is put to work. If this occurs twice or thrice, the better plan 
is to give the animal exercise enough to moderately develop the 


622. Splints cannot he removed. 

A Splint, when once fully formed into bone, cannot be 
removed ; but nature in the course of time in accordance with 
her nsual rule absorbs a portion of the abnormal growth, and 
hence it is not uncommon to find the legs of old horses free, or 
nearly free from external exostoses. 

The absorption of a portion of the deposit, especially when 
newly formed, may, however, be assisted and hastened by the 
use of artificial stimulants. Iodine, mercurials, and various 
preparations are used for this purpose. The favorite application 
is biniodide of mercury, in small quantities not sufficient to 
cause serious inflammation. Blisters and setons are also 
sometimes employed with a like object. The more consolidated 
portion of the deposit, however, cannot be removed by any such 

The author would earnestly recommend the owner of a horse 
with a formed splint to let it alone, if it does not cause lame- 
ness. The eye sore is not great, and blemishes more serious 
than the splint are often produced in the attempt to remove it. 

623. Of Sjplints which cause permanent lameness. 

Permanent lameness from Splint per se is rare. When such 
does arise, it will generally be found to be caused by the exos- 
tosis being so placed, as to interfere with the working of the 
suspensory ligament or of the flexor tendons. As the cause, 
namely the exostosis or at least that part of it, which lies deep 
seated and which would interfere with their free passage, is irre- 
moveable, a cure is beyond the reach of art ; though nature may 
in time come to our assistance, partly by the absorption of a por- 
tion of the osseous deposit, and partly by the yielding of the hard 
to the softer tissues. In fact, it not uncommonly happens, that, 
though there may be for a time considerable impediment to the 
free working of the suspensory ligament or of the tendon, and 
though these " cords ^' may be bowed out of the straight line 
by the deposit, yet in the end nature establishes for them a 
free or almost free passage. 

In other cases the lameness may be caused by the exostosis 
being so placed, that it is struck so frequently by the other 


foot in action, notwithstanding the protection given by a boot, 
that renewed inflammation is set up in it, and lameness results. 
From the renewed inflammation an increased osseous deposit 
may take place. 

The renewed attack must be treated in the same manner as 
recommended for the original disease. But if the deposit be 
increased, the difficulty of preventing collision will be increased ; 
and sometimes there is no resource left, but to put the horse to 
slow work, when he will be less likely to seriously bruise the 
splint. Some horses, which, when ridden, hit splints, do not 
do so in harness. 

624. To detect Sjdints. 

Large splints are easily enough both seen and felt, but the 
detection of an incipient or very small splint is often a matter 
of nicety. 

The signs of splint are lameness accompanied with pain on 
the application of pressure to the seat of the disease, also heat 
and throbbing of the arteries of the part, and a marked in- 
crease in the lameness at a trot over that exhibited at a walk. 
The lameness produced by an incipient splint is often excessive. 
In many cases however the animal goes sound at a walk, though 
very lame at a trot. In cases of doubt the horse should be 
trotted down hill on hard ground, when the increased concus- 
sion will cause him to favour the lame leg. 

The lameness arising from splint is further distinguished by 
a very marked dropping of the head, when the sound leg comes 
to the ground, and a corresponding jerking up of the head, 
when the lame leg is brought down. 

In feeling for splint, the opposite leg should be held up in 
order to compel the animal to brace up the tendons of the 
affected leg, when any inequality about the bones will be more 
easily felt ; and secondly, the lame leg should be raised in such 
a manner as to bring the knee of the horse under the arm of 
the examiner. The tendons are then fully relaxed, and the 
bones can be felt to advantage. 

In either of these positions the leg is favorably placed for 
examination ; and if the fingers be applied along the leg, and 
into the channel between the inner small and great bone, the 


incipient splint will probably be detected by tlie inequality, if 
any such yet exists ; or by tlie pain evinced on tbe application 
of pressure to the part, in wbicli tbere is inflammation. 

In some cases, bowever, tbe incipient splint is so small, and 
possibly the seat of tbe inflammatory action may at first be so 
completely in tlie inter-osseous ligaments between tlie bones, 
tliat nothing can be felt ; and the only indication leading to a 
suspicion, that a splint is forming, consists in the horse going 
■verij lame at a trot, whilst sound at a walk. A little extra heat 
may however perhaps be felt on careful examination. The 
development of a splint may in such cases be expected, and 
must be carefully watched for. The lameness and heat, if the 
horse is rested for a few cays, will sometimes disappear ; but 
will be again apparent, if the animal is worked. 

625. Degree of imijortance to he attached to Splint. 

Splints, as has been stated, do not usually of themselves 
produce lameness after they are fully formed. They only be- 
come a source of lameness, when so situated as to be struck by 
the other leg in action, or when they interfere with the free 
passage of the suspensory ligament or more rarely of the flexor 

In other respects the importance of a splint is chiefly de- 
pendent on the make and shape of the legs in reference to the 
work required of the particular horse. 

If the legs are sound and good, and if the action is true and 
level, the mere fact that certain causes have at some time or 
other developed an exostosis on the leg, need not deter an 
intending purchaser. 

But if the legs are weak or crooked, or if the action is defec- 
tive, it is probable enough that the same structural weakness 
or defects, which have at one time developed Splint, may at 
£ome future time reproduce it or some other disease. 



626. SORE-SHINS. Nature and causes of Sore-shms. 627 
Treatment. 628. RING-BONE. Nature and seat. 629. 
Causes. 630. Signs of lameness arising from Ring-hone. 631. 
Treatment. 632. After-effects. 633. OSSIFIED CARTI- 
LAGES. Nature and seat. ^'^4^. Causes. 6Sb. Signs of lame^ 
ness arising from Ossified Cartilages. 636. Treatment. 


626. Nature and Causes of Sore-Shins. 

Tlie disease known as Sore-SHns is primarily inflammation 
of the periosteum of tlie anterior portion of the metacarpal 
bones from the knee to the fetlock. It arises from the concus- 
sion produced by fast work. Hence it is common in young 
race horses_, whose frames are not fully formed and consolidated. 
They not only do very fast work, but they often do it at a season 
of the year, when the ground is apt to be hard. 

After a time, from inflammation of the periosteum, ossific 
matter is thrown out, which forms in small nodules or in some 
instances in thin layers on the surface of the bones. 

627. Treatment. 

The treatment in the early stage consists in rest, aided by 
warm fomentations, followed by cold-water irrigation. In 
cases where the pain is excessive the application of a decoc- 
tion of poppy heads or belladonna will be found to have a 
soothing effect. If the disease is taken in time, these means 
will probably be sufiicient to allay the inflammation, and the 
horse may shortly resume his work. 

446 CHAPTI^]R XL. 

As a matter of factj tliougli it is difficult to account for it 
in theory, it is generally safe and often marvellously beneficial 
in the result, to apply a mild blister at once over the parts 
affected, without waiting until the active inflammation is 

If however work be persisted in, ossific matter will form. 
The horse must then be laid up, and, as soon as the inflamma- 
tion has been reduced by the usual means, a blister must be 
applied over the parts, which will in most cases arrest the 
further progress of the disease. 

The occurrence of Sore- Shins is an indication, either that the 
trainer has unduly forced the horse in his work, or that his legs 
are not fit for fast work. 


628. Nature and seat of Ring -hone. 

Ring-bone is an exostosis, either on the upper or on the 
lower pastern bone — affecting in the one case the upper pastern 
joint, or in the other case the lower pastern or coffin joint around 
the coronet. 

Ring-bone more often affects the hind than the fore fetlocks. 
The degree of lameness is much greater in the lower than in 
the upper disease. 

False Ring-bone is an exostosis on the bodies of either of the 
above bones, not affecting or interfering with the joint. 

629. Causes, 

Ring-bone is generally connected either with weakness and 
consequent sprain of the fibres of the lower divisions of the sus- 
pensory ligament, which are inserted into the anterior part of 
the coronet bone ; or with sprain of the articular ligaments of 
that bone ; or it may arise from concussion, or from a blow, 
tread or other wound, or from any cause producing undue 
or unusual strain on the ligaments of or about the fetlock. 

From any of these or such-like causes inflammation may 
be set up in one or other or in both pasterns, and an ossific 


deposit may be the result. In some cases a predisposition to 
this disease appears to be hereditary. 

E-ing-bone is common in horses with long pasterns, where 
there is necessarily a tendency to weakness ; and also in animals 
with unduly short or upright pasterns, in which formation there 
is a tendency to excessive concussion. 

630. Signs of lameness arising from Ring-hone. 

Lameness arising from Ring-bone (as is usually the case, 
when an osseous structure is affected) is more perceptible on 
hard than on soft ground. The special peculiarity to be noticed 
is some stiffness or want of flexion in the fetlock joint, and a 
consequent snatching up of the foot in action. Some swelling 
and heat is also in most cases even in the early stage apparent 
about the fetlock, and in a later stage increased heat will inva- 
riably be detected. 

631. Treatment, 

Whatever be the cause, — rest, aided by cold applications, 
is the primary essential in the treatment. Wlien the active 
inflammation is reduced, a blister, if the horse continues lame, 
may, as in other cases of exostosis, be beneficially employed, 
such as the ointment of biniodide of mercury. 

Concussion, and strain on the ligaments, will both be lessened 
by keeping the toes short, and still more by turning up the shoes 
at the toe. Leather under the sole is also useful in diminishing 

Some practitioners recommend firing for this disease ; but it 
is scarcely desirable to adopt a remedy, which so seriously dis- 
figures the animal in so prominent a part, until after rest and 
blisters have had a fair trial. If ultimately it should be neces- 
sary to have recourse to firing, the operation had better be per- 
formed with the budding iron, from the effect of which the 
marks will be less perceptible than the streaks made by the 
ordinary instrument. 

632. After-effects. 

Ring-bone, when fully formed and consolidated, will produce 
lameness or not according to the extent, and still more according 
to the position of the exostosis. If it is so placed as to interfere 


with, tlie action of tlie joint, tlie horse will probably be incur- 
ably lame. In slight cases no further mischief occurs than some 
diminution of the elasticity of the tread. We must_, however, 
warn the reader, that with the renewal of severe work inflam- 
mation is apt to be again set up, accompanied with a fresh depo- 
sition of bone. 

The formation of ring-bone, especially if it appears in more 
than one fetlock, is generally a sign of weakness or defective 
formation ; and therefore an intending purchaser will do well to 
think twice before he buys a horse so affected, if he wants him 
for hard or fast work. But when the exostosis is found on only 
one fetlock, there is a probability that the inflammation giving 
rise to the ossific deposit may have originated in a blow or tread, 
or some such accidental cause. 


633. Nature and seat of Ossified Cartilages, 

This disease, otherwise known as Side-bones, consists in ossi- 
fication of the elastic lateral Cartilages, or wings of the bone of 
the foot. Nature has substituted cartilage for bone in this part 
in order to give greater elasticity towards the heels. Any altera- 
tion in this structure, such as its conversion into bone must 
interfere with the elasticity of the tread, though it may not 
occasion positive lameness. The bony deposit may however be 
so extensive, as to materially alter the shape of the cofiin bone j 
and in such cases lameness will be the inevitable result. 

Heavy coarse cart horses are most subject to this disease, 
and in" them the deposit is often very large. In light horses it 
seldom becomes so large as to be visible to the eye. The change 
in structure, however, is easily ascertained by feeling the wings 
of the bone of the foot. If they are affected with ossification 
they will be hard and immoveable instead of elastic. The 
lameness from side-bones is always greater in the lighter and 
better bred than in heavy horses. 

634. Causes. 
Side-bones are generally supposed to be the result of inflam- 


mation set up in the lateral cartilag'es by excessive concussion 
or by an accidental blow, wound, or tread. The tendency of 
cartilaginous structures under the influence of inflammation to 
become absorbed and replaced by bone has been already 

It is probable however, that they also frequently arise from 
the practice of shoeing heavy draft horses with large calkins, 
which prevent the heels from coming to the ground and thereby 
deprive them of their natural elastic motion at each tread. 
When a part intended by nature for motion is long deprived of 
that action, we frequently find that it becomes solidified. This 
result is often found in joints, when long deprived of motion. 

Others however, whilst agreeing with the author, that high 
calkins are a frequent predisposing cause, think that they pro- 
duce their injurious effect by causing undue pressure and con- 
cussion on the back of the foot, and hence excite inflammation 
in the part. 

Side-bones, in common with exostoses in other parts, some- 
times have their origin in hereditary predisposition. This is 
-especially the case in coarse bred horses. 

635. Signs of lameness arising from Side-hones. 

As in other cases, where the seat of lameness is in the osseous 
structures, or in the foot, the horse will be more lame on hard 
than on soft ground. 

There can hardly be said to be any special peculiarity about 
the lameness arising from Side-bones, except a certain degree 
of stiffness of action. When however the above general indi- 
cations have been given, the immediate seat of disease in the 
'Case of Side-bones can always be detected by manipulation. 

GoG. Treatment. 

When the disease arises from inflammation caused by con- 
cussion or accidental wounds, the treatment consists in rest and 
cold applications. When high calkins are the cause, their use 
must be discontinued in addition to the treatment recommended 

A bar shoe, so made as to take the pressure off the inside, or 
off the outside heel, or off both heels, according to the require- 



ments of tlie particular case^ will also be beneficial. In most 
cases great benefit will be derived from shoeing on tbe Charlier 
system wliere tlie condition of tbe feet will allow of it. 

It is seldom possible entirely to arrest tbe process of ossifica- 
tion, wben inflammation is once set up in a cartilaginous struc- 
ture, but by the above means we can generally limit its extent. 
If work is continued during tlie time the Side-bone is forming, 
a large exostosis may be the result, though such is but rarely 
the case. 

Side-bones, when once formed, are quite incurable. 




637. Nature of Bursal Enlargements. 638. Synovial Mem- 
hranes. 639. Causes of Bursal Enlargements, Q^O. Bog Spavin. 
641. Thorough-'pins. 642. Of TJiorougli-pins arising from irri- 
tation of the true Hoch-joint. 643. Of Thorough-pins arising 
from irritation of the Eleanor pedis tendon. 644. Windgalls. 
645. Treatment of Bursal Enlargements. 646. Decrease of 
Bursal Enlargements in old age. 647. Dealers. 648. Blood 

637. Nature of Bursal Enlargements. 

Tliorongh-pins^ Bog Spavins, Windgalls and all sncli like 
affections, in whatever part appearing, may all be conveniently 
classed under tlie common liead of Bursal Enlargements. 

Such enlargements, though proceeding from various causes, 
are in themselves simply distensions of the burs^ or sheaths, 
which enclose all true joints and certain parts of all tendons, and 
of some ligaments. The enlargement in recent cases arises 
wholly from an increased secretion of Synovia, otherwise called 
joint oil ; but in cases of long standing it is often much in- 
creased by thickening of the synovial fringes, and sometimes 
also by the products of inflammatory action in the bursa. 

638. Synovial Membranes. 
Nature has endued these bursas and sheaths with a lininc: 



membrane, wliicli secretes Synovia, a fluid resembling oil, fo 
tlie due lubrication of tlie parts. 

It is not necessary here to enter into tlie physical structure 
of Synovial membranes. It may be sufficient to say, tliat the 
outer coat of the membrane is thick, tough, and but slightly 
sensitive ; whilst its inner lining is highly vascular and sensitive. 
From this inner lining is secreted the clear bright glistening 
pale straw-coloured sero-albuminous fluid, known as Synovia 
or joint oil. 

639. Causes of Bursal Enlargements, 

When any cause, such as over- exertion, produces irritation 
iu the part, — the Synovial membrane is excited by the irrita- 
tion to throw out an increased secretion of oil. This increased 
supply must not be regarded as an evil in itself. On the 
contrary it is useful in lessening the irritation, and is in fact a 
bountiful provision of nature for that purpose. Similarly, 
when a sprain occurs in the ligaments of a joint or in a tendon, 
an increased secretion of synovia is poured forth with the same 

The liability to the occurrence of such causes is of course 
greatly dependent on the conformation of the animal. Upright 
shoulders, fetlocks, or hocks, and all other points of conforma- 
tion which do not give due elasticity to the frame in action, are 
liable to cause Bursal Enlargements. 

Chronic inflammation of the joints, which is often found as 
a result of pneumonia, influenza, and sometimes of general 
debility, is another common cause. 

Though overwork, sprain, faulty conformation, or chronic 
inflammation of the joints may be set down as the usual causes 
of Bursal Enlargements ; yet they sometimes occur without any 
such violent exciting causes, and can then only be attributed 
either to a special irritability of the Synovial membrane, on 
account of which it is excited to increased action on very slight 
provocation, or to weakness of the coats of the blood-vessels of 
the membrane, through which an undue effusion takes place. 

From these general remarks on the nature of Synovial mem- 
branes^ and on the causes of Bursal Enlargements; we pass to 


tlie consideration of tlie particular affections_, whicli bear various 
names according to tlie part in wliicli tliey appear. 

640. Bog Spavin. 

Bog Spavin is distension of the bursa of the true hock joint. 
This joint, as explained in the Chapter on Spavin No. 38 con- 
sists only in the articulation of the tibia and astragalus. The 
other bones of the hock do not enter into it. The swelling 
shows itself primarily in front, because in that part the capsule 
is large and loose, and not bound down by bones or ligaments, 
and therefore it is easily distended. 

Bog Spavin is most frequently found in upright shaped hocks^ 
because that formation induces concussion and irritation. It is 
also commonly found in weak hocks of any description, because 
in them any over-exertion is likely to be injuriously felt and 
therefore is very liable to cause irritation. Such hocks are 
also more liable to sprain. 

Of the treatment of Bog Spavin we shall speak hereafter in 
common with that of other Bursal Enlargements. 

641. Tliorough-pins. 

Thorough-pin is the name given to a Bursal enlargement, 
which occurs at the upper and back part of the hock beneath 
the great extensor pedis tendon. The swelling appears some- 
times on one side only, but more frequently on both sides. 

There are two kinds of Thorough-pin, namely those arising 
from irritation in the true hock joint, and those which are 
caused by irritation or sprains of the flexor pedis tendon. 

642. TJiorough-pins arising froim irritation of the true Hock 

jo bit. 

Thorough-pin arising from irritation of the true hock joint is 
in fact only a further development of bog spavin. The increased 
secretion of synovia, for reasons already given, shows itself 
primarily in distension of the lower part of the bursa. When 
this portion is full, any further increase shows itself in the 
upper part. The swelling appears equally on both sides, and 
the fluid may by moderate pressure be forced from one side 
to the other. Hence is derived the name of Thorough-pin r 
running ^Hhrough " from side to side. 


643. Thorougli-ioins arising from irritation of the Flexor ^edis 


The otlier and more common description of Tliorougli-pin is 
not connected with the true hock joint ; but arises from irrita- 
tion of the Flexor pedis tendon. 

This tendon is tightly bound down at its upper part by the 
ligaments at the back of the tibia, and again below as soon as 
it reaches the inside of the hock. Hence, any increased secre- 
tion of synovia can only lodge in the intervening space, i. e. in 
the hollow of the hock, either on one or both sides. 

If the seat of the injury be high up (and it generally does 
occur, as we might expect, near the bend) we find the enlarge- 
ment on both sides ; but that on the outside is generally larger 
than that on the inside. If on the other hand the seat of the 
injury is lower down, the swelling may, on account of the posi- 
tion of the part of the tendon injured, appear only on the 
inside ; but it more often appears on both sides, or on the outer 
side only. 

Thorough-pins, arising from irritation of the flexor pedis 
tendon, are at once distinguished from those described in the 
preceding paragraph, because there is no lower enlargement or 
bog spavin. It is however very possible that both kinds of 
Thorough-pin and bog spavin also may be present in the same 

Bog spavins and Thorough-pins vary very much in size ac- 
cording to the nature and degree of the particular case. They 
may be so small as to be scarcely perceptible, or they may be 
of enormous size. 

644. Windgalls. 

Windgalls are similar enlargements arising from very similar 
causes in the neighbourhood of the fetlock joints. They seldom 
however become of any great size. They more commonly arise 
from over-exertion, concussion and irritation of the parts than 
from actual sprain. Indeed the fetlock joint is so constructed, 
that it is very rarely sprained. 

Similar enlargements, if any sufficient cause exists, sometimes 
appear in the neighbourhood of other true joints. The hock 


liowever and fetlock are the common seat of bursal enlarge- 

645. Treatment of Bursal Enlargements. 

The utility or otherwise of treating a Bursal enlargement 
depends mainly on the cause, from which the swelling arises 
in the particular case. 

Those,, which are due to the effect of work, concussion, and 
such like causes, though they may be temporarily got rid of by 
the means hereafter detailed, will generally re-appear as soon 
as the horse is agai^ subjected to the causes, which originally 
induced them. 

Those, however, which have arisen from the effect of acci- 
dental sprains of ligaments of joints, or of tendons are not 
equally liable to re-appear, if they can once be reduced, be- 
cause the causes are not equally likely to recur. 

Rest in either case is the primary requisite. Rest will allay 
the irritation in the part affected ; and with the cessation of the 
inflammatory action which produced it, the increased secretion 
will soon cease. Friction and pressure, by rousing the action 
of the blood-vessels and absorbents of the part, will also assist 
nature to take up the extra secretion. 

A sweating bandage, that is a wet bandage covered with oiled 
skin, and this again covered with an ordinary flannel bandage, 
has often a great effect in reducing the enlargement. In the 
hock and in some other parts, which cannot be conveniently 
bandaged, pressure may sometimes be successfully applied by 
means of a carefully adjusted elastic steel truss. This will often 
answer well for thorough-pin. In cases however of bog spavin 
an india-rubber bandage with a hole in it, through which the 
point of the hock may pass or project, will be be most conve- 
nient. In the case of windgalls, small pads of india-rubber 
may be placed on the burs^ and pressure applied by wet 
linen or chamois leather bandages. 

Medicine, either laxative or diuretic, is also useful in drawing 
off the superfluous secretions of the system. 

If these measures fail, a blister or succession of blisters may 
be tried ; but as a general rule, no permanent benefit results 
from such practice. If the case is of recent origin, the milder 


measures recommended above, will probably remove, tempo- 
rarily at least, tlie enlargement ; whilst if it is clironic, ev^cn 
severe measures will fail to affect it. Ingood trutb, in chronic 
cases the greater part of the enlargement will generally bo 
found to consist of thickening of the integuments, and of 
organized deposits on the synovial capsule,' which cannot be 

As a general rule, it is best not to apply treatment to bursal 
enlargements. They seldom produce lameness ; and when they 
do, or at least are supposed to do so, the cause of the lameness, 
will generally be found to be sprain of the ligaments or tendons 
or of their sheaths, of which the external enlargement is only a 
result. In some cases however the enlargement becomes of so 
great a size as to be a serious eyesore, or even to incapacitate 
the horse from fast work. 

Occasionally in recent cases arising from severe sprain we find 
the bursa or sheath evidently full of sjmovia, whilst its walls 
from distension have become very thin. This is especially apt 
to be the case in the hock. Such cases must be treated as 
sprains. Rest and cold applications will be needed, until the 
inflammation is reduced. A blister may then be applied ; and 
should this not have the desired effect, continued pressure by 
means of an elastic truss may be tried. 

In rare cases the swelling remains as large as ever, long after 
all the inflammation has apparently subsided, and notwith- 
standing the treatment recommended above. If the horse is 
valuable, it is worth while to try the effect of time and gentle 
exercise, such as the animal will give himself in a shed with a 
little yard attached. Nature under such favorable circumstances 
may bring about a cure. 

It has often been recommended in such cases to puncture the 
sheath or bursa, and so allow the synovia to escape. There is 
however great danger of violent inflammation setting- in on 
account of the admission of air to the interior of the bursa. 
If it is decided to try the experiment, the puncture should be 
made at the lowest convenient part of the swelling ; because 
the synovia, which will continue to ooze out, will help to 
exclude the air until the ordinary processes of healing have 
completely closed the orifice. Even however, if the operation 


is so far successful as to be unattended witli any injurious con- 
sequences, the probability is that the enlargement will soon 

Some Yeterinarians have recommended, that a strono- 
astringent should be injected into the bursa or sheath with a 
view of causing such an amount of inflammation in the part, 
as may probably lead to thickening and contraction of the coat 
of the synovial membrane, and thus prevent renewed disten- 
sion. Such treatment however is very dangerous, and much 
more likely to produce a disastrous result than to do any good. 

646. Decrease of Bursal Enlargements in old age. 
Bursal Enlargements have a marked tendency in many cases- 
to decrease in old age, and it is not uncommon to find the legs 
of an old horse quite or almost quite free from them, although 
in his younger days he may have been much disfigured. The 
cause of their disappearance is no doubt due to the generally 
decreasing energy of the reproductive system in old age. 

647. Dealers. 

Dealers, with whom it is of course a great object to make' 
ahorse appear to the best advantage, are great adepts in getting- 
rid temporarily of Bursal Enlargements. The means they adopt 
are those recommended above, namely friction, pressure, 
sweating bandages, slight doses of medicine and laxative diet. 
The purchaser however, when he puts the horse to work, will 
generally find that these enlargements re-appear. 

648. Blood Spavin. 
Blood Spavin, though not a Bursal Enlargement, is yet con- 
nected with it; and may therefore perhaps be conveniently 
mentioned in this place. In some cases, when a bog-spavin is- 
large, its protruberance impedes the flow of the blood through 
the vein, which passes over it ; and in consequence dilatation 
of its coats takes place just under the seat of the bog-spavin. 
There is no direct remedy, but any treatment, which lessens 
the bog-spavin, will decrease the tendency to retardation in the 
upward flow of the blood. No great harm results from the 
dilatation of the vein. The greater part of the swelling is 
always due to the Bursal Enlargement, — not to the vein. 



649. Introduction. 650. Detection of the seat and cause of 
Lameness. 651. Mode of examining a liorse. 652. Whether 
lame before or behind, to be first ascertained. 653. Side, on 
which the horse is lame, to be next ascertained. 654. If lame 
before, whether in the foot or elsewhere. 655. If not lame in the 
foot, and yet more lame on hard than on soft ground, an Exos- 
tosis may be sus'pected. 656. Of lameness in the fore-hand, 
when the horse is more affected on soft than on hard ground. 
•657. Lameness in the Kind Quarters. 658. Sprains of the Loins 
and Stringhalt. 659. Rheumatism, as a cause of Lameness. 
660. Accidents and such like causes of Lameness. 

649. Introduction. 

Lameness is only a symptom of disease. It may be produced 
either by pain^ by inability^ by malformation, or by accident ; 
or it may arise from disease of the cerebral or nervous system^ 
as in injuries of tlie spinal cord or in stringhalt. 

Lameness is usually, but not invariably a sign of pain. In 
anchylosis of a joint, for instance, there is decided lameness 
from mechanical impediment, but no pain. 

Again, loss of elasticity of movement, such as is common in 
old horses or in animals which have done much work, may 
exist to a degree scarcely distinguishable from lameness. 

It might, at first sight, seem a very simple thing to say, 
whether a horse is lame or not. It is not so, however, in many 
cases. Old, or hard worked horses, as just mentioned, some- 
times go stiff to a degree, which may easily be mistaken for 
lameness, unless due allowance is made for age, etc. Again, 


some liorses, wliicli are very wide in their chests, roll in their 
action to an excessive degree. Other horses, if constantly 
driven in harness, acquire a peculiar hitch in their trot, which 
is not really lameness. If the animal is sound, this will probably 
disappear, when he is trotted slowly in hand with a very loose 
rein. Others, especially young horses, when first put on the 
bit and from not working properly up to it, go in a peculiar 
manner, which is sometimes known as ^' bridle-lameness." If 
the animal be led with a loose snaffle rein or a halter, on the side 
opposite to that on which he is bridle lame, the unevenness of 
gait will disappear. 

G50. Detection of the seat and cause of Lameness. 

In some cases the seat and cause of lameness is obvious 
enough, but not unfrequently it is obscure, sometimes very 
obscure. Almost every cause of lameness has however some 
peculiarity in its symptoms, by which it may be distinguished. 

Occasionally the difficulty of ascertaining the real cause is 
aggravated by the existence of more than one cause sufficient to 
account for the lameness ; or the horse maybe lame in more than 
one place, as for instance in both fore legs or feet, but perhaps 
not equally so in each ; or in both hind, but not alike in each ; 
or in one hind and one fore leg and so on. In such complicated 
cases the animal saves the lame leg or legs by throwing- his 
weight on the sound ones in so peculiar a manner, that great 
and constant practice is needed to form a correct opinion ; or 
again a secondary cause, such as corns, may modify the sym- 
ptoms of a more serious disease. 

In very many, we may say indeed in most cases, the art of 
the Veterinary Surgeon consists more in rightly discerning the 
real cause and seat of lameness, than in the treatment of the 
disease -, and it is only by accurate and constant observation and 
experience that he can acquire this knowledge. The treatment 
is in general exceedingly simple. Herein the Veterinary differs 
greatly from the Medical art. In the human subject, the 
patient is able in most cases to indicate at least the seat of his 
disease. The horse is incapable of giving this assistance ; and 
we are left to infer, as we best can^ the seat and nature of the 


We sliall now endeavour to give a few general rules, wliicli 
may assist tlie reader in forming an opinion as to the seat and 
cause of lameness in various cases. He must not however 
imagine, that a knowledge of this difficult portion of the art of 
the Veterinarian can be acquired by reading only. Constant 
practice, keen observation, much trouble and time are also 

651. Mode of examining a horse. 

It is essential, that the horse should have been in a state of 
rest for some hours previous to being examined as to soundness. 
Some ailments are not noticeable, and many ailments are less 
noticeable after a horse has been a little time in exercise. 

Before a horse is brought out for examination, very much is 
to be gleaned in the stable about his soundness or otherwise by 
noting the position, in which he stands, and whether he bears 
his weight evenly on all his legs, or whether he points either 
foot or flexes his fetlock; and as regards his hind quarters, 
whether he keeps either leg flexed, or in other cases, one before 
the other. He should be very narrowly watched, as he turns in 
his stall, as any stiffness or irregularity of action is especially 
noticeable in this preliminary movement. 

For examination, the horse should be led out with a long 
snaffle rein, with his head as loose as possible, at a very slow 
trot. Slight cases of lameness are more easily detected when 
a horse is trotted away at once than if previously walked up 
and down. There should be nothing to excite him. Every 
thing around should be in a state of rest. Lameness may 
escape detection, if the animal is excited. A horse should not 
be examined in a dealer's yard, except the place is perfectly 
quiet; nor unless we can be quite certain, that he is brought 
out of the stable without having been previously exercised. 

After the horse has been trotted away from the examiner, he 
should watch him most narrowly, as he turns round. Many 
defects are more easily seen in the act of turning than at any 
other time. This is especially the case in stringhalt, spa;vins, etc. 

When the horse is trotted on hard ground, the equal sound or 
otherwise of the descent of the feet will strike the ear. An in- 
equality of sound may be detected, whilst a slight unevenness 


of motion may perhaps escape tlie eye. The sounds one, two, 
tliree, four, of the even trot is easily distinguished from irregu- 
larity of action. 

The horse should then be led at a walk and the examiner 
should keep his eye on the very first movements, and observeif the 
animal trips or knuckles, and also how he puts down his feet, 
whether he uses them both alike, and whether he flexes his 
hocks equally. All defects and deviations from true and level 
action are more noticeable in the first step or two than after- 
wards. Allowance must however be made for the effect of 
peculiarities of conformation on the action. 

A Veterinary Surgeon should bo able to determine, whether 
the action is true, or at least conformable to the character of 
the individual horse or not. A horse, for instance, which is 
over wide in front or behind, will necessarily roll to a certain 
degree ; and some clumsy made animals, especially cart horses, 
do so to such an extent as to simulate lameness. Others ao-ain 
with very upright shoulders, have naturally short quick action, 
which must not bo confounded with lameness. When a horse 
has upright shoulders and his fore-legs are rather behind the 
centre of gravity, he must compensate for this defective shape 
by short quick action in order to maintain his balance, or else 
he will be unsafe. The examiner should know the feel of a 
horse under him, — whether he goes quick and short, or rolls, 
as a result of natural conformation, or from impairment of 

The age and work, which the animal has done, must also be 
taken into consideration. We do not expect to fmd an old 
hunter move in his trot with the elasticity of a four year old. 
There is a gradual impairment of structure always going on in 
the animal frame with age and work. The excessive degree of 
stiffness, sometimes observable in old horses, has occasionally 
led to contradictory decisions among Veterinary Surgeons as 
to their being lame or sound. 

Again, a horse, when examined, may be lame from some 
temporary accidental cause, such as picking up a stone, hittiug 
one leg against the other, or from such like causes ; and this 
lameness may disappear the next day or hour. In all doubtful 
cases, either as to the nature of the lameness, or as to whether 


the horse is really lame or not^ tlie safer plan is to exaraine liim 
again tlie next day. 

If after examination a doubt still exists about tbe soundness^ 
tbe liorse should be made to undergo some rather severe work, 
and then be put in a stable ; and re-examined two or three hours 
after, when he is quite cool. 

The examiner should endeavour to divest his mind of all 
prejudice. He should not in the first instance listen to any 
remarks or fancied opinions of bystanders on the case. He 
should set all aside and form his own opinion. Having made 
up his mind that the horse is lame and where he is lame^ he 
should then make enquiry into the history of the case, and 
glean all the information he can from the owner and those 
employed about the animal. 

On the other hand, if he decides that the horse is sound at 
the moment, but learns from the owner, that he has frequently 
gone lame after work or has been intermittently lame, he must 
adopt further means, such as giving the animal rather severe 
work, and leaving him to stand in the stable till cool in order 
to develop the ailment. 

Although certain general rules may be given to aid in the 
detection of the seat and cause of lameness, yet it is quite 
impossible to give, by any description, rules sufficient to guide 
the novice in all cases. ISTo attempt will be made to do more 
than point out the leading peculiarities of disease in various 
limbs and structures, which may assist the careful and laborious 
enquirer in gaining the needed practical knowledge. It is 
possible to lay down broad and general rules ; but it is not 
possible to lay down precise and sharply defined rules, because 
constantly varying circumstances induce such innumerable 
modifications of symptoms. 

Excluding from present consideration those cases, in which 
an external wound or blow at once indicates the seat and cause 
of lameness, we proceed to investig-ate those, in which the out- 
ward causes are less apparent. 

652. Whether lame before or hehindj to he first ascertained. 

The first point is to find out whether the horse is lame hefore 
or hehind. 


The Mnd quarters should be carefully watclied as tlie horse 
is led away at a slow trot. Lameness " heliind '^ will be 
indicated by an uneven carriage of the hips. The hip on the 
lame side will be carried higher than the hip on the sound side 
for the simple reason that the horse favours the lame side, and 
throws his weight upon the sound side. The hip on the lame 
side will also appear straighter, and will be hitched up in action. 
The examiner should narrowly watch the animal as he turns 
round after being trotted away. Many defects are more easily 
seen in the act of turning round than at any other time. This 
is especially the case in spavin and stringhalt. Any sudden 
'^ catching up/' or "favouring/^ of a hind leg should be viewed 
with suspicion. 

Lameness " before '^ is indicated by the uneven carriage of 
the head. The head will jerk uiJ when the lame leg comes 
to the ground, and will drop or nod, when the sound leg comes 
to the ground. 

If a horse be lame on both fore legs or feet, it is indicated 
by a short pottering action. 

Lameness in one hind leg often gives rise to an uneven or 
^'^ rocking '^ motion, which sometimes leads an inexperienced 
person to think the horse lame on the opposite side of the 

A horse suffering from acute pain in his hind feet will place 
his fore feet more under him than usual, so as in some degree 
to take the weight off the part affected ; whilst, for a similar 
reason, in acute pain of the fore feet he will bring his hind legs 
more under him. 

653. Side on ivMch the horse is lams to he next ascertained. 

Having ascertained that the horse is lame '' before '^ or 
^^ behind," as the case may be, the next point is to find out on 
which side the lameness exists. 

The amateur will probably experience some difficulty at first 
in ascertaining this, but careful attention to the remarks in 
the preceding par. (652) will greatly assist him in arriving at 
a correct conclusion. 


65 i. If lame before, whether in the foot or elsewhere. 

Supposing tlie liorse to be lame before, the next question is 
to determine^ whether the seat of lameness is in the foot, or 

The appearance of a horse with foot lameness is usually 
characteristic. He points his foot at times ; the heat in it and 
round the coronet is more or less increased^ and in very acute 
.cases there may be throbbing of the plantar arteries. In his 
movements the horse treads warily ; and in turning he limps 
more or less. These symptoms of course vary according to the 
degree of the disease or injury. In cases of any standing, there 
is also usually alteration in the structure and size of the foot ; 
and the comparative size of the feet should therefore always be 
carefully observed. 

Foot lameness may be further tested by trotting the horse 
first on hard, and then on soft ground. If he is lame in the foot, 
it will be more apparent on the hard than on the soft ground. 
In doubtful cases, he may be trotted down hill on hard ground, 
or ridden, when the concussion will be greater and the lameness 
more obvious. If he is lame elsewhere, it will be as apparent 
iind probably more apparent on soft, than on hard ground. An 
exception to this occurs in the case of splints and other 
exostoses, the lameness from which is more apparent on hard 
than on soft ground. U)ilcss the cause of lameness is obvious, 
the foot should always be examined, before assuming the 
lameness to be elsewhere. 

For the symptoms, which distinguish one disease in the foot 
from another, the reader is referred to the succeeding chapter 
on Foot Lameness. 

655. If not lame in the foot, and yet more lame on hard than 
on soft ground, an Exostosis may be susiDected, 

If however a thorough examination should show that the feet 
are sound, the symptom, namely, increased lameness «on hard 
ground, will lead us to conclude that the cause may be found 
in some Exostosis, such as a spavin, splint, ringbone, or sore 
shins. The peculiarities connected wdth such lameness and the 
best means of detecting the seat in each particular case, have 


been detailed in Cliapters Nos. 38 on Spavin^ 39 on Splint^ 
and 40 on Sore Shins. 

65G. Of lameness in the fore-hand, when the horse is more affected, 
on soft than on hard ground. 

li, however, the lameness being in the fore-hand, the horse 
is more lame on soft than on hard ground, it is probable 
that the effect is due to sprain of some muscle, ligament, or 

These causes are so frequent and so important, that the 
Author deems it necessary to devote to their consideration a 
separate Chapter (No. 44 on Sprains of the Fore Leg). 

657. Lameness in the Hind Quarters, 

We' have hitherto supposed the seat of lameness to be in the 
fore-hand. We must now suppose, that, by the rules laid down 
in paragraph 652, we have ascertained its seat to be in the Hind 

With some modifications, the general rules given above for 
detecting the particular seat of the lameness apply to hind, as 
well as to fore quarters. 

The level movement or otherwise of the hips is our first and 
chief guide. If the horse is lame in the hock or heloiv it (and 
in the great majority of cases the seat of lameness is in the hock) 
the hip on the side, in which the disease exists, is usually carried 
somewhat higher than the sound one. 

Before trotting the animal, note should be taken of the con- 
formation of the hind quarters. For this purpose the horse 
ought to be made to stand, so as to bear his weight equally on 
both hind legs. The relative equality of the height of the hips 
and the development of the muscles on both sides will then be 
well seen. If the horse is not made to stand well and correctly 
balanced on his hind legs, an erroneous opinion may easily be 
arrived at. It not unfrequently happens, that a portion of the 
projecting part of the bone of the hip has been knocked off. It 
is important that this accident, if it has occurred, should be 
noticed before the horse is trotted down ; because otherwise the 
fact of one hip being carried higher than the other would lead 
the unwary to suspect lameness in the opposite leg, or perhaps 



to tliink tliat tlie muscles had wasted away from previous 

If, on the other hand, the horse should happen to be lame from 
an injury or sprain ahove the hock, the hip on the lame side will 
generally droop somewhat in action. A further peculiarity will 
be noticed in the horse swerving from that side, i. e. not carrying 
his body in a straight line. In some cases however of lameness 
behind there is no perceptible difference in the level of the hips 
in action. 

When the horse is trotted down, the examiner should at first 
stand directly behind him. In this position he will best observe 
the movements of the hips, and whether the body is carried in 
a straight line or not. The want of due and equal flexion in the 
hocks will however be seen more plainly by the examiner 
standing on the side. 

Next he must ascertain, whether the seat of lameness is in 
the foot or elsewhere. Lameness however in the hind feet is 
very rare compared with the many cases, in which it occurs in 
the fore feet. 

Hence^ if the horse be more lame on hard than on soft ground, 
we may at once suspect that some exostosis, and probably spavin 
is the cause. For further details and special symptoms of such 
lameness the reader is referred to Chapter No. 38 on Spavin. 

If, on the other hand, the horse be more lame on soft heavy 
ground than on hard ground, we shall probably find that sprain 
of some of the ligaments is the cause. But whereas in the fore 
leg the sprain usually occurs between the knee and fetlock, 
in the hind leg the seat of sprain is generally in the hock. 
Further details, as to the nature of such sprains and their special 
symptoms, will be found below in Chapter No. 45 on Sprains 
of the Hind Leg. 

In nine cases out of every ten, the cause of lameness in the 
hind leg will be found in the Hock, — it may be a sprain or it 
may be an exostosis. The reason of such special liability to 
disease in the hock has been already explained in the Chapters 
on the Conformation of the Hock and on Spavin. 

658. Sprams of the Loins and Stringhalt. 
Sprains of the Loins and also incipient Stringhalt are some- 


times not noticeable, so long as the horse moves forward. In 
every case therefore the animal examined should be "backed/' 
and turned round sharply, when any such defect will be more 

659. Rheumatism, as a cause of Lameness. 

Rheumatism may affect either the fore or hind quarters. The 
lameness resulting from it very much resembles that arising 
from violent sprain of a tendon; but it is easily distinguished 
from it by the lameness appearing and disappearing suddenly^ 
and by its shifting about from place to place. For further 
details on this subject the reader is referred to Chapter No. 27 
on Rheumatism. 

660. Accidents and such like causes of Lameness. 
Besides lamenesses arising- from specific affections of particular 
muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, bones etc., there are very 
many cases, which arise from purely accidental causes, such as 
blows, fractures, wounds, and sores. Thus, a horse may be lame 
from a blow on the outside of the leg, or from a girth gall, or 
from undue pressure of a saddle on the withers or on some 
other part, or from cracked heels, or other such causes. The 
majority of these causes are however apparent at first sight. 



661. Examination of the Foot. 662. Symptoms of various 
diseases in the Feet. 663. Symptoms ofLaminitis. 664. Sym- 
ptoms of NavlcAilar disease. 665. Symptoms of Ossified Car- 
tilages. Q^Q. Symptoms of Thrush. 667. Symptoms of CanTcer. 
668. Symptoms of Corn. 669. Chronic Foot lameness. 670. 
Contraction. Qll. Influence of Conformation. 672. Temporary 
causes of Lameness. 672rt. Treatment of diseases of the Foot. 

661. Examination of the Foot. 

Having ascertained that tlie seat of the lameness is in the 
foot, it will be necessary to examine it minutely. With this 
view_, the foot on the side indicated should be compared as to 
size and degree of slope, and as to depth and breadth at the 
heel with the opposite one. If the foot is smaller or narrower, 
it generally indicates that the disease, whatever it may be, is of 
some standing. If no difference in size is perceptible, it 
suggests that it is recent. 

A further knowledge of the state of the interior of the foot 
will be gained by feeling it all over, and comparing its tempera- 
ture carefully at all parts with that of the sound one. Again, 
if one part is hotter than another, that symptom will at once 
draw attention and lead to more searching examination of the 
part indicated. In endeavouring to ascertain, whether there is 
any abnormal heat in the foot or in any part of it, the whole 
hand, and not merely the tips of the fingers should be applied. 
Sometimes, although we may not be able to detect any abnormal 
heat in the foot, we may yet discover an extra fulness of the 
plantar arteries. 


In all cases, it must be a constant rule to remove tlie slioe. 
Eacli nail should be drawn separately, and special notice must 
be taken, if tlie animal flinches at the withdrawal of any parti- 
cular nail. The foot should afterwards be tapped or pinched 
all round. Pain, on the application of pressure or of concussion 
to any part, will lead us to examine that part more minutely 
by paring it out. The seat of corn will of course be particularly 

662. Sym'ptoms of various diseases in the Feet. 

Excluding from present consideration temporary causes, such 
as pricking, tight nailing, bruises to the sole, etc. — most of the 
various diseases, which affect the feet, present certain special 
and peculiar symptoms. We shall very briefly note the chief 

663. Symptoms of Laminitis, 

Acute Laminitis or Fever in the Feet is at once indicated by 
great heat in the part, by throbbing of the plantar arteries, and 
by almost absolute inability of the horse to move. The animal 
stands with his hind legs drawn up under the body, in order to 
take the weight off the fore feet. If he is compelled to move, 
he plants the heels of these feet on the ground and brings 
the hind legs well forward. Great constitutional disturbance 
is also present. 

Chronic Laminitis, — the disease resulting from the acute 
attack, if severe, is indicated by a wide spreading out of the 
crust, and by loss of the concave form of the sole, by wavy 
circular ridges in the hoof, by an abnormal degree of heat, 
by a concavity in the front of the wall, by a thickened and 
elevated condition of the toe and also by the animal treading 
as much as possible on his heels in order to avoid giving pain to 
the sensitive laminae, which are the structures principally 
affected by the disease. 

Sub-acute Laminitis, common in weak brittle feet, presents 
the same symptoms, but in a modified degree. The examiner 
should carefully watch for any tendency on the part of the horse 
to plant the heels on the ground before the other parts of the 


Wavy circular ridges in the horn are often found in the feet 
of young horses at grass. In these cases, though they should 
be viewed with some suspicion, they frequently arise not from 
disease, but from accelerated or diminished growth of the horn 
at various times according to the moisture or otherwise of the 
pastures, on which the animals are kept, and on other temporary 
causes. " Grass rings " as they are termed differ from laminitis 
rings by being more regular in character. The latter spread 
more at the heels and besides this are associated with other 
characteristic symptoms. 

664. Symptoms of Navicular disease. 

The symptoms of Navicular disease in confirmed cases, are 
very peculiar. In the stable it is indicated by the horse standing 
either with his legs straight out and bearing his weight on his 
toe (the heel being raised] off the ground) ; or by the fetlock 
being flexed, whilst the toe is drawn back and stuck into the 
ground. In action it is manifested by the animal treading 
chiefly on his toes, and consequently digging them in the ground. 
When the horse has been shod a week, the extra wear thu& 
occasioned will have made itself perceptible on the toe of the 
shoe. The object of the horse in all these peculiar positions 
and motions is to avoid putting weight on the back part of the 
foot, which is the seat of the disease . 

In cases of long standing, the inside quarter of the foot will 
become straighter, and there will be small circular ridges on 
that part of the hoof. The horn of the sole will also be found 
to be increased in quantity, the sole will be more concave than 
natural, and the feet generally will be more upright, blocky 
and contracted. From saving of the back part of the foot and 
consequent absence of pressure on the frog, thrushes will 
probably make their appearance. Navicular disease may and 
very often does appear in good open feet, but gradually the 
above changes will take place. Tenderness will be evinced on 
the application of concussion to the heels, or at the point of 
the frog. A further test, may be applied by bending up the 
foot and applying pressure by the thumb to the hollow of the 
heel. The seat of the disease will be nearly under the thumb. 
The lameness is most apparent, when the horse first comes 


out of the stable. It decreases witli exercise. Nevertheless, 
on the day after severe work the horse will be more lame than 
usual, especially when going down hill. In doubtful cases 
therefore the animal should be subjected to strong work, and 
examined again after a short rest. 

G65. Symptoms of Ossified Cartilages. 

Ossified Cartilages, commonly called Side bones, are not 
uncommon in the fore feet, especially in underbred horses. 
They may occur, though but rarely, in the hind feet. They 
generally produce a want of elasticity in the tread rather than 
positive lameness. Their existence is easily detected by feehng 
the cartilages at each side of the heels. In health they are 
flexible, but in disease they become more or less ossified and 

666. Sijmi^toms of Thrush. 

This disease is generally perceptible both to the eyes and the 
nose. In cases of doubt it is advisable to pare off the outer 
coat of the frog, as extensive disease may exist under an 
apparently almost sound exterior. 

Thrushes in an otherwise good foot will not cause a horse to 
go lame, unless he happens to tread on a stone, or otherwise 
bruise the diseased structure. 

667. Symjptoms of Ganhcr. 

Canker is a fungoid disease of the sole, commencing generally 
at the point of the frog, but is not as a rule in any way connected 
with thrush. This fungoid growth exudes a thin unhealthy 
discharge, and bursts upon the slightest exciting cause. In 
the latter stages this diseased condition is apparent enough. 

668. Syrtiptoms of Corn. 

The seat of Corn is at the inner angle of the sole in the space 
bounded by the crust and its reduplication (the bars). The 
existence or otherwise of a Corn can always be at once detected 
by paring off the surface of the sole at the part indicated. 

669. Chronic foot lameness. 
As a general rule, a diseased foot is for obvious reasons 


hotter tlian a sound one; but in some cases of continued 
lameness, and especially in navicular disease, the affected foot 
may be colder than the other. This peculiarity may be caused, 
partly by the foot having been for a length of time saved or 
*^'' favored ^^ by the animal ; and partly sometimes by the mea- 
sures taken to reduce the inflammation existing in it. In such 
cases however of long continued disease or disuse, the size 
and form of the foot is always affected ; and any such structural 
alteration will lead us to regard with suspicion a symptom, 
viz. greater coolness, which otherwise would be indicative of 

670. Contraction. 

Contraction is not, as was formerly supposed, a disease in 
itself ; but merely a result of disease or of disuse. This latter 
cause may however arise from circumstances, such as sprains of 
the tendons of the legs, which are not connected with any 
disease in the foot itself. 

Although not primarily a disease, Contraction may under 
certain circumstances become a diseased condition, which will 
assist in causing lameness. 

Feet are not necessarily contracted, because they are small. 
Small feet are often a natural formation, especially in high bred 
horses. If the fore feet are small, reference should be made to 
the hind feet. If the latter are likewise small, we may regard 
the formation as natural. The objection or otherwise to small 
feet depends very much on the general conformation of the 
animal. In a light well bred horse small feet are very much in 
accordance with the other features of his frame ; whilst on the 
other hand they would bo incompatible with, and probably 
quite insufficient to sustain a large heavy carcase. Brittle 
feet are very objectionable. The horn should be tough and 

Although as a general rule, the fact of one foot being smaller 
than the other should be viewed with great suspicion (and a 
remark should always be made on it by the examiner to an 
intending purchaser), yet it by no means follows, that the horse 
must necessarily go lame on it. The contraction may have 
arisen from disuse, caused as mentioned above, by disease quite 


unconnected witli the foot itself. Cases also frequently occur, 
in wliicli tlie small foot remains sound and serviceable for 
years, even altliougli at some previous period it may have been 

671. Influence of G onformation on the shape and size of the Feet. 

Conformation exercises a great inflnence on the shape and 
size of the feet, and also on the diseases, to which they are 
subject. If the horse turns his toes out, the inner quarter will 
be straight and the horn on that side will be weak ; whilst if he 
turns his toes in, the outer quarter will lose its circularity, and 
the inner quarter Avill become more circular. Oblique pasterns 
cause an open round foot, whilst short pasterns generally produce 
strong upright heels. Highly bred horses have a tendency to 
small feet, whilst under bred animals generally have large feet. 
In examining a horse due allowance should be made for these 

672. Temporary causes of Lameness. 

Lameness is often caused by pricking, or by tight nailing or 
sometimes by a bruise of the sole. The seat of injury will be 
best detected by pinching the foot or tapping it with the hammer. 
A full examination with the drawing knife must be made of any 
part, which may appear unduly sensitive under the application 
of the above tests. 

672a. Treatment of diseases of the Foot. 

For the nature and the treatment of the diseases of the Foot 
see Chapter LXV. 



673. Ncdure of so-called Sprains. 674. Structure of Tendons 
and Ligaments. 675. Shortening of Tendons and Ligaments. 
676. Duties of Flexor Tendons. 677. Duties of the Metacarpal 
or true Suspensory Ligament. 678. Duties of the superior Sesa- 
moideal Ligament, commonly called the Suspensory Ligament. 
679. Duties of Eoctensor Tendons. 680. Symptoms indicating a 
sprain, — How to ascertain its seat. 681. Distinction in Sym- 
ptoms hetween sprains of the Flexor Tendons, and sprains of the 
Metacarpal and superior Sesamoideal Ligaments. 682. Sprains 
of the Flexor Tendons. 683. Sptrain of the Metacarpal Liga- 
ment. 684. Sprain of the superior Sesamoideal Ligament, 
commonly called the Suspensory Ligament. 685. Cases of doubt. 
686. Treatment of Sprains of Tendons and Ligaments. 687. 
Detail of Treatment. ^^S. After-treatment. 689. Biniodide of 
Mercury. 690. Arnica. 691. Sprains of the Fetlock joint. 
692. Injuries of Sheaths of tendons and Ligaments. 693. To 
distinguish hetween sprain of the Sheath of a tendon or liga- 
ment, and sprain of the Tendon or Ligament itself. 694. 
Treatment of sprains of Sheaths. 695. Shoulder sprains. 696. 
Flhow lameness. 697. liheumatic lameness. 698. Conclusion. 

673. Nature of so-called Sprains. 

Tendons and Ligaments are often said to be sprained ; but 
the expression is not, as a general rule,, strictly correct. Their 
formation renders such an injury of but rare occurrence. 
They are dense, firm, nearly inelastic, fibrous structures, almost 
incapable of extension except under strong persistent tension. 

The injury, which usually occurs, is inflammation caused by 


violent usage. Occasionally some of the fibres of the tendon or 
ligament are ruptured. Cases have indeed occurred, in which 
these structures have been torn right across. In many cases, 
on the other hand, the tendon itself is not injured; but its 
synovial sheath only is sprained, or its blood-vessels may be 
injured or ruptured. 

Among the public, any degree of injury from a slight increase 
of vascularity in the vessels of the part up to an absolute tear 
of the fibres right across goes by the common name of ^^ sprain." 
Having made this explanation, we shall adhere to the ordinary 
nomenclature, and use the word " sprain " to express any injury 
short of absolute rupture. 

674. Structure of Tendons and Ligaments. 

Tendons and Ligaments are mainly composed of white fibrous 
tissue j but in ligaments the material is somewhat less closely 
put together than in tendons, and it is also intermixed with 
yellow elastic tissue. See Chapter 13, paragraph 234. 

A chief distinction between tendons and ligaments consists 
in their attachments. Tendons may be defined as the passive 
instruments of motion attaching muscles to bones. A tendon 
is inelastic or nearly so, and is merely the "rope '' acted on by 
muscles, by means of which one bone is moved on another bone. 
Ligaments on the other hand are usually attached to bones at 
each end, and hold them together. The Metacarpal ligament, 
however, is inserted into the flexor perforans tendon. 

675. Shortening of Tendons and Ligaments. 

Though tendons and ligaments are never permanently 
lengthened by so-called sprains, yet they may nevertheless 
be, and frequently are, in chronic cases after a length of time, 
shortened by such injuries. 

This result is produced partly by the deposit of material 
effused during the process oE inflammation, between the fibres 
which in consequence are thickened and bowed out, and thereby 
practically shortened; and partly because the new material 
supplied for repair is not exactly the same as the tendon or 
ligament, but a fibro-cellular tissue, which during the healing 


process^ lias a peculiar tendency in itself to contract_, and also to 
draw together tlie edges of the wounded surfaces and structures. 
The standing over at the knees and fetlocks so often seen in 
horses, that have done much work, arises from shortening, in- 
duced by frequent sprains, and also from an altered condition 
of the articular ligaments of the joints. 

676. Duties of Flexor Tendons. 

The Flexor tendons, though exceedingly powerful, being 
three times as large as the extensors, are nevertheless very 
subject to sprain. Acted on by the muscles above, they are 
the passive agents or ropes, if we may use the expression, by 
which the leg is raised, whenever the horse is in motion. From 
the great stress thrown on them in these duties, we frequently 
£nd them sprained in all horses, and especially in those whose 
work takes place in deep ground. The Flexor tendons are 
marked A and B in the annexed Plate. 

The seat of sprain and consequent swelling is usually in the 
loiver half towsLvds the fetlock. The injury occurs more often 
here than in the upper portion, because that part derives 
strength and assistance from the Metacarpal ligament. 

677. Duties of the Metacarpal or true Suspensory Ligament. 

Intimately connected with the Flexor tendons is the Meta- 
carpal, or true Suspensor}^ ligament, mentioned in the preceding 
paragraph (marked C). It starts from the back of the knee 
posteriorly to the superior Sesamoideal ligament (commonly 
called the Suspensory ligament), and is inserted into the Flexor 
perforans, not quite half way between the knee and the fetlock. 
It aids very largely in sustaining the weight of the horse. We 
have termed it the true Suspensory ligament, because, if it be 
divided, the fetlock will at once come to the ground. This 
result will not ensue, if the superior sesamoideal ligament be 
€ut through. 

On account of the great share which it has in sustaining the 
weight, the Metacarpal ligament is often sprained, — far more 
often indeed than the tendon into which it is inserted. The 
swelling consequent upon strain usually appears a little below 

Plate XVI. 

Tendons and Ligaments of the Fore-Leg. 

S. Splint bone. 

E. Extensor tendon 

M. Great metacarpal, 
or cannon or shank 

E. Extensor tendon. ^. 

---A Flexor perforatum. 
B Flexor perforans. 
C Metacarpal ligament. 

-D Superior sesamoideal 

C Insertion of Metacarpal 
ligament into Flexor 

D Superior sesamoideal 

B Flexor perforans. 

A Flexor perforatus. 

- d Bifurcation of the sesa- 
moideal ligament. 

^ Continuation forward 
of branch of the sesa- 
moideal ligament. 

Continuation of the 
Flexor perforans — 
afterwards inserted 
into the lower side 
of the OS pedis. 

Coffin bone. 


the knee (c). If however the ligament is sprained at the point 
of its insertion into the tendon, the swelling will be lower down. 

678. Duties of the superior Sesamoideal Ligament, commonly 
called the Suspensory ligament. 

This ligament lies anterior to the flexor tendons, close against 
the great bone of the leg in the channel formed by the two 
splint bones (marked D). It commences at the back of the 
knee, and bifurcates (d) a little before it reaches the fetlock, and 
is then inserted into the sesamoid bones. A slip continues 
downwards and forwards {y) and afterwards becomes attached 
to the extensor pedis tendon, binding it down to the bone in 
front. A great part of the weight of the horse is borne by this, 
and other ligaments of the leg, when the foot comes to the 
ground. The tendons acted on by the muscles are the agents 
of progression, but the ligaments are chiefly concerned in 
sustaining the weiglit. 

The superior Sesamoideal ligament has the peculiarity of 
being comparatively elastic, and hence is very useful in breaking 
and diminishing the concussion, which would 'otherwise arise 
from rapid or violent motion. It is very liable to suffer from 
sprain arising from such causes in all horses; but more es- 
pecially in race-horses, whose feet in galloping come to the 
ground with great violence, and also in hunters in the act of 
landing after a jump. The ligament may be sprained in any 
part. After its bifurcation the inner, for obvious reasons, is 
more often sprained than the outer branch. 

679. Duties of Eictensor Tendons. 

The Extensor tendons (E) are seldom sprained, because their 
functions in progression are only secondary. They merely 
straighten and bring forward the leg, after it has been raised 
by the action of the flexors. 

In the fore leg, we may mention that the Flexors are situated 
at the back, and the Extensors are in the front of the leg ; 
but in the hind leg there is one Flexor and one Extensor in 
front, whilst there are two Flexors, one of which is accessory, 
at the back. 


680. Symptoms indicating a sj^rain — Hoiu to ascertain its seat. 

We now suppose tlie reader to liave found out by means of 
tlie rules given in the last Chapter but one^ that the seat of 
lameness is somewhere in the tendons or ligaments of the fore- 
leg. We shall endeavour to give the signs^ by which the exact 
position of the sprain may be ascertained. 

The slightest sprain produces some lesion, however minute^ 
and this of necessity causes inflammation, — needed indeed to 
repair the injury. We have, therefore, as a consequence, heat, 
tenderness, effusion, and lameness. The greater the injury, the 
greater are these symptoms. On the other hand, the lesion, 
though sufficient to cause pain and therefore lameness, may be 
very slight ; or it may be deep seated, and the external ap- 
pearances, though the injury be severe, may still be very 
slight. Again, in some, and especially in deep-seated sprains, 
the visible symptoms, on account of the part being closely 
bound down by other tendons and ligaments, may not appear 
exactly over the seat of the injury. 

681. Distinction in symptoms between sprains of the Flexor 
Tendons, and sprains of the Metacarpal and superior 
Sesamoideal ligaments. 

Injury to either of the Flexor tendons is indicated, when the 
horse is in motion, by want of proper flexion of the knee. 
There is inability to flex and raise the leg, and consequently a 
tendency to drag the toe on the ground. But when standing 
still the horse keeps the knee slightly bent, so as to relax the 
tendons. In this position, he throws as little weight as possible 
on the injured part. 

On the other hand, in sprains of either the Metacarpal or 
of the superior Sesamoideal ligament the leg is raised freely 
enough, because the tendons, which perform that duty, are not 
affected; hut pain and flinching are shown, ivhen the foot comes 
to the ground, because tlien the weight comes suddenly on the 
injured ligament. 

682. Sprains of the Flexor Tendons. 
Assuming that the symptoms indicate that the seat of lameness 


is in tlie Flexor tendons, we must apply further tests to ascer- 
tain its exact seat. 

There are, as tlie reader is aware, two Flexor tendons, one 
called the Perforatus, the other called the Perforans. Both 
originate from the muscles at the back of the leg ; but the 
Perforatus terminates at and is inserted into the coronet bone, 
whilst the Perforans passing through the Perforatus is continued 
down, and inserted into the inferior part of the coffin bone. Of 
these two tendons the perforatus is the rearmost and the per- 
forans is the anterior. 

Injury to the Perforatus (A) is indicated by a swelling or curve 
at the hach of the leg, because it lies rearmost and therefore any 
swelling arising* from inflammatory action finds room for ex- 
pansion posteriorly. Injury to the Perforans (B) on the other 
hand is indicated by swelling on the sides, because, on account 
of the perforatus tendon in its rear, it cannot so easily swell 
posteriorly. In most cases, however, we generally find both 
tendons are implicated. 

Severe injuries of either of these tendons are easily seen and 
felt ; but in slight cases, although some lameness may be 
apparent, there is often need of careful and delicate manipula- 
tion in order to detect the seat of injury. 

Injuries are most easily detected by manipulation, either when 
the leg is held up and bent back, because in that position the 
tendons are relaxed and easily got between the fingers and felt ; 
or else by picking* up the other leg, when, the animal being 
compelled to stand on the injured leg, the tendons will be 
braced up, and any inequality in them will be more readily felt. 

When the sound leg is released, it will be noticed that the 
horse will take the weight off the injured leg as soon as 

In either case, pain will be evinced, when pressure is brought 
to bear on the seat of injury. 

683. Spram of Metacarpal ligament. 

The symptoms, which distinguish lameness arising from 
injury of the Metacarpal ligament, in contra-distinction to that 
caused by sprain of the Flexor tendons, were described in the 
latter part of the last paragraph but one. 


The external signs liowever are not very peceptible. As this 
Ligament (C) lies in front of the Flexor tendons^ there is rarely 
any external swelling, except, and then only to a slight degree, 
laterally, — and there is but little perceptible heat. 

Any injury to it, though not very visible to the eye, may how- 
ever be detected in another way. As the material effused by 
the process of inflammation is in this case necessarily deposited 
and confined in the interior of the leg, it is certain that pain 
will be quickly evinced (if the ligament is really injured), when 
pressure is applied to the seat of injury. With this view the 
leg should be lifted up and bent back, until the foot nearly 
touches the knee. In this position the ligament will be most 
easily felt, because the tendons, which pass over it and bind it 
down, are then relaxed. 

This ligament, it will be recollected, commences at the back 
of the knee, and is inserted into the Flexor perforans not quite 
half way between the knee and the fetlock. The seat of sprain 
is usually either in its upper half (c), or at its junction with the 
flexor, rather than in the middle. 

684. 8]}rain of the superior Sesamoideal ligament, commonly 
called the Suspensory ligament. 

The symptoms of lameness arising from sprain of the superior 
Sesamoideal ligament are similar to those arising from sprain 
of the Metacarpal ligament. 

This ligament (D) lies anterior to the flexor tendons and to 
the metacarpal ligament. On this account external signs, 
though not altogether wanting, are not very apparent. The 
best mode of detecting any injury is to lift up the leg, and then 
when the tendons are relaxed, the ligament may be got between 
the fingers, and if there is any inflammation in it, pain will be 
evinced on the application of pressure, and some swelling and 
increased heat will be felt. 

There is seldom much external swelling, because the ligament 
is closely bound down by the tendons ; but in severe cases some 
enlargement may be noticed on both sides, somewhat anterior 
to that which arises from injuries of the flexor tendons. The 
seat of sprain is usually just above the bifurcation of the liga- 
ment. It will be recollected, that this ligament commences at 


the back of tlie knee, and bifurcates (tZ) a little above tlie 
pasterns, and is inserted into the sesamoid bones. 

The branches (?/) of the ligament after its bifurcation are apt 
to be sprained, especially the inner branch. Here of course 
any injury is apparent to the eye. In old hunters, we often 
find that the fibres of these branches from repeated strains have 
become of a semi-cartilaginous nature and in some instances 
have been partly converted into bone, and in consequence the 
parts feel hard and raised. 

685. Cases of doubt. 

In all cases of doubt, as to whether the heat and swelling in 
any particular case arise from injury of the tendon or ligament, 
"Or merely from injury to its sheath, or perhaps only from an 
ordinary blow or such like cause, the safer plan is to rest the 
horse and foment the part, until by rapid and complete dis- 
appearance of all symptoms of mischief we can be quite sure, 
that there neither is nor has been injury to any of those 
important and but slowly repaired structures. 

686. Treatment of sprains of Tendons and Ligaments. 

From similarity of the cause producing the injury, and like- 
wise from similarity of organization and structure in all tendons 
cind ligaments, the treatment, which we are called upon to 
adopt, is in most cases nearly similar. 

The skill of the Veterinary surgeon lies more in detecting the 
exact seat of injury than in the mode of treatment. The 
really important point is to determine rightly the part of the 
leg, to which the treatment ought to be applied. For instance, 
if a horse is lame immediately under the knee from sprain of 
the metacarpal ligament, the treatment, whatever it may be, 
will obviously require to be applied to a different part than if 
the superior sesamoidal ligament were sprained near the fetlock. 
The most prominent symptom, namely flinching, when the leg 
comes to the ground and weight is suddenly thrown on it, is, it 
will be remembered, the same in both cases. 

Many practitioners however get over this difficulty, and veil 
their ignorance by blistering, firing, or putting in setons all over 
the affected leg or legs, — on the ground, we presume, that if 



the remedy be applied sufficiently extensively, it must some-^ 
where or other hit upon the injured part. 

The practice is not only unworthy of an educated man, it is 
not only cruel ; but in part at least it fails in the attainment of 
its object. The inflammation excited over a very large surface 
is too diffused to exert as much influence on the injured part, 
as when its energy is concentrated on the spot which really 
needs repair. 

We do not say that such treatment is altogether ineffectuaL 
We know that many horses recover and become sound under 
it, — though principally, we think, on account of the amount of 
time and rest which such treatment necessitates. But we da 
say, that treatment is more effectual, that the animal suffers 
less, and is sooner restored to work, when the remedy is applied 
only to the right place. 

687. Detail of Treatment. 

Premising then the necessity of ascertaining the real seat of 
the injury, we proceed to consider the nature of the treatment 
to be adopted. This will vary according to the degree, rather 
than according to the seat of the injury. 

Rest, entire rest, and in severe injuries long-continued rest, 
is always the great desideratum. All treatment without this 
great natural restorative is useless. Much of the treatment, 
and indeed all the earlier remedies hereafter recommended, 
such as cold water bandages, fomentations, high-heeled shoes, 
and the withdrawal of corn, are but the means by which the 
part and the system may be placed most completely in a state 
of rest. In the later stages local stimulants or irritants, such 
as blisters and firing, which can be applied without removing- 
the part out of a state of rest, may be needed and may be bene- 

If the injury be slight, a few days' rest aided by the applica- 
tion of a cold water bandage, or fomentation to the part, will 
probably be sufficient to restore it to health. 

If the injury be at all severe, our object will be in the first 
instance to reduce the inflammation. This will be best effected 
by rest and the constant use of fomentations. The temperature 
of the water should not be hotter than the hand can comfortably 


bear, and tlie lieat should be kept up to tbis point by tbe 
frequent addition of small quantities of bot water. Servants 
are very apt to make the water too hot, and thereby scald the 
leg and cause the hair to come off. Two men should be em- 
ployed at this work, one relieving the other at intervals. The 
man who foments should be accommodated with a stool. The 
employment is fatiguing, and unless it is made as little irksome 
as possible, the chances are that the servant ceases to foment as 
soon as his master's back is turned. The fomentation must be 
continued, until the inflammation is reduced. During the 
intervals, when the fomentation is necessarily discontinued, the 
legs must be wrapped in loose woollen bandages. If servants 
cannot be spared for the troublesome duty of fomenting, the 
fomenting bandage as described in para. 254a. maybe applied 
after the leg has been well bathed with hot water and 
renewed as often as necessary. 

After the more acute symptoms have become relieved, much 
benefit is frequently derived from changing the treatment to 
cold water applications. For this purpose a jet or hose may be 
lised, or the india-rubber apparatus described in para. 265. A 
wet linen, or chamois leather bandage should be rolled evenly 
round the leg. 

All corn must be withheld, and the horse prepared for physic 
which may be given or not according to circumstances. If the 
animal is in high condition, and especially if fever supervenes, 
it will probably be useful. 

With the view of taking the weight off the injured part, a 
high-heeled or patten shoe should be applied. In some few 
very severe cases, it may be desirable to put the horse in slings. 

If he is very fretful and knocks about, it will be well to 
sicken his stomach by the administration of a drachm of aloes 
daily for a few days. 

Every effort in short must be made to reduce the inflamma- 
tion as completely and as speedily as possible. Until this is 
effected, no further treatment must be attempted. The period 
of time required to reduce the inflammation will vary from two 
or three to ten days or a fortnight, according to the severity 
of the injury, and according to the diligence with which the 
fomentation is carried on. 


As soon as the inflammation is reduced^ we sliall be able to 
judge more accm-ately of the degree of tbe injury. If it does 
not appear to be very severe^ it is probable that a blister 
applied over and for some distance round the injured part may 
be sufficient to restore it to health. If however it is very 
severe, the more powerful remedies of setons or firing may 
be required in order to make the animal permanently upright. 

The modus operandi of these remedies and their comparative 
advantages and disadvantages, have been already fully dwelt 
upon in the chapter on Irritants No. 19 ; but the Author does 
not hesitate again to express his preference for setons, especially 
in sprains of the Metacarpal or superior Sesamoideal ligament, 
where the parts are deep seated. 

Adhesion between the tendon and its sheath is a common 
result of a violent sprain. These structures may become 
cemented together by the lymph effused during the inflamma- 
tory process, if the surplus of that reparative material is not 
duly taken up and removed by the absorbents and blood-vessels 
during or after the process of restoration of the injured part. 
The adhesion causes an obstruction to the free play of the 
tendon in its sheath, and thereby produces lameness. The 
inconvenience is most felt, when the horse first comes out of 
his stable, and becomes less when he has been some time at 
exercise. With a view of preventing this result, it is usual to 
blister the leg again towards the termination of the reparative 
process. In favorable cases the blood-vessels and absorbents^ 
being by this means excited to renewed action at this stage, 
may be able to carry off the effused products of the previous 
stage. The callosities so often felt in tendons after severe 
sprains are generally due to the effect of adhesion. 

In, cases of very serious injuries, such as rujptiire of the 
Metacarpal or of the superior Sesamoideal ligament, it will be 
most merciful, and probably cheapest in the end, to destroy the 
animal at once. 

688. After-Treatment. 

When complete restoration has been effected, the patient 
must be brought only very gradually into work. Even in those 
cases, where the treatment has been perfectly successful, it 


must be remembered that all tendons and ligaments_, not merely 
tbe one wliicli lias been injured^ but all are weak from want of 
exercise^ and are therefore very susceptible of injury. Six 
months after a severe sprain may be named^ as the shortest 
time at which the horse should again be put to strong exercise 
preparatory to such work as hunting. If the animal is wanted 
only for common riding or harness, a less period will suffice. 

The high-heeled shoe recommended above must not be re- 
moved suddenly ; but the artificial assistance so given to the 
tendon or ligament should be gradually reduced, until perhaps 
at the end of two or three months, if the animal is sound, the 
ordinary shoe nay be re-applied. At the same time it must be 
remembered that the high-heeled shoe must not bo allowed to 
remain on too long, or a permanent shortening of the tendons 
may be the result. 

When, in the process of healing, a tendon or ligament has 
become shortened, it is advisable to apply a shoe with a length- 
ened toe-piece with the view of gradually counteracting the 
contraction by the increased stress thereby thrown on the part 
each time the animal moves. A horse so affected is however 
never likely to be worth much. 

689. Biniodide of Mercury. 

The fashionable remedy or substitute for the cantharides 
blister in slight sprains is ointment of biniodide of Mercury. 
By some it is thought to have a special effect in exciting in- 
creased action in the absorbent vessels. Others think it useful 
in creating a moderate amount of serous effusion, when applied 
repeatedly. It is probably beneficial in these cases as a mild 
blister and one which may be safely repeated frequently, and 
perhaps it is as good as any other ; but there are great reasons 
to doubt whether it possesses, in a special degree, either of the 
alleged specific actions. 

690. Arnica. 

Arnica is a useful application in very slight sprains, and also 
in many cases which are mistaken for sprains. 

It is said to have produced wonderful cures in a very short 


time^ even in cases of severe sprain. It is difficult to see how 
the process of repair_, always tedious in parts of low organiza- 
tion^ — such as tendons and ligaments_, and which therefore need 
the assistance of artificially excited inflammation^ can be rapidly 
effected by an agent^ whose speciality is the reduction of in- 
flammation by virtue of its action as an astringent on the 
muscular coats of the blood-vessels. Arnica however^ it may 
be said^ has a secondary action as a stimulant in some cases, 
by reason of its astringent properties. But as a stimulant it is 
very inferior to an ordinary blister. 

We suspect, that, in all such wonderful cases of reputed cure, 
the symptoms have been mistaken, and that a swelling caused 
perhaps by the rupture of a few minute blood-vessels and ex- 
travasation of blood under the skin, or by an ordinary blow 
produced by striking one leg against the other, has been mis- 
taken, as it easily may be in the early stage, for inflammation 
caused by a real sprain. In most of such cases, we are inclined 
to think that a cold water application would have answered 
equally well. 

691. Sprains of the Fetloch Joint. 

The Fetlock joint is occasionally sprained from injury done 
to its ligamentous and tendinous connections. There is no 
special sign in the lameness resulting from the injury ; but the 
part feels hot and tender. There is very little, if any, swelling. 
The treatment required is that usual for sprains. 

Repeated sprains, after a time, will cause the tendons and 
ligaments about the joint to become hard and cartilaginous, 
and to feel almost like bone. Knuckling over behind and 
standing over in front are generally caused by sprains of these 
ligaments and tendons. 

692. Injuries of Sheaths of tendons and ligaments. 

The synovial Sheaths, which enclose all tendons and certain 
ligaments, are subject to injury from the same causes as their 
tendons and ligaments. But inasmuch as they are less strong, 
they are more frequently injured. The injury however, is not 
very serious, because the Sheaths are not themselves concerned 
in bearing weight. They are not the ropes, to revert to the 


expression used in tlie early part of this chapter, but merely 
the cases in which the ropes work. Again the Sheaths_, which 
are all secreting organs, are more vascular than the dense firm 
fibrous tendons and ligaments which they enclose, and therefore 
they possess more vitality and more easily repair themselves, 
when injured. 

The signs of injury and the mode of detecting the exact seat 
are the same, as those laid down above in regard to tendons 
and ligaments. 


693. To distinguish hetween sjprain of a Sheath of a tendon or 
ligament, and sjprain of the Tendon or Ligament itself. 

The distinction is marked. The swelling is more puffy and 
diffused than that which accompanies sprain of a tendon or 
ligament. On the application of pressure to the swelling, the 
tendon or ligament may be felt through it. If the tendon or 
ligament is of the normal size, we may conclude that the injury 
is confined to the sheath. Again in injuries of sheaths, the 
horse, though he will be lame at first, will go less tender after 
a little exercise ; whilst in sprains of tendons and ligaments the 
lameness will increase. 

694. Treatment of sprains of Sheaths. 

Rest and cold lotions will generally be sufficient to restore 
the parts in a few days. A chamois leather bandage, kept wet 
either with cold water or refrigerant lotion, will answer well. 
If such treatment is not effectual, it is probable that the tendon 
or ligament is also implicated, — though the owner may have at 
first failed to detect the injury. 

695. Shoulder Sprain. 

Shoulder sprain is occasioned by an unnatural extension of 
the muscular or tendinous, or of both the muscular and ten- 
dinous parts, which connect the scapula and humerus to the 
trunk, — caused by a side wrench or by an unusual spread of 
the fore-legs. In long- continued affections of this kind the 
muscles of the shoulder waste away; but this is not a positive 
proof of their being injured, for the same effect may arise from 


any cause^ such for instance as foot lameness^ whicli induces- 
long disuse of tliose muscles. 

In action^ the horse with shoulder lameness shows much pain 
and evinces great difficulty in advancing the leg. He drags the 
toe along the ground, and drops considerably^ and then catches 
up his foot quickly. He moves with greater difficulty down hill 
than on level ground, because greater weight comes on the 
shoulder; and in turning he swings the lame leg round in a 
very remarkable way, and in fact tries to move the leg luithout 
elevating the shoulder. 

In the stable, shoulder lameness is indicated in some cases by 
the horse putting the leg on the side affected either forward or 
backward_, and keeping it in a semi-flexed position ; or in other 
cases he may bear his weight on it, but will have great difficulty 
in moving the leg forward or placing it down. 

Pressure on the muscles between the fore-leg and the chest 
will cause him to wince ; and if the foot be raised and the leg 
lifted forward, it will give great pain. 

The treatment required is rest with fomentations, and, after 
the inflammatory action is subdued, repeated blisters. The lame- 
ness however is apt to reappear, if the injury has been severe. 
As far as the muscles are concerned, the enlargement will in 
most cases be removed by treatment; but in the tendinous 
attachments some thickening generally remains. ^ 

The shoulder is not often sprained. There are no articular 
ligaments to the joint, but the bones are held very firmly in 
apposition chiefly by the capsular ligament and muscles, and by 
the tendons of the muscles which pass over it. 

The point of the shoulder is sometimes injured by accidental 
causes, such as a blow, a kick, or a wound from a shaft, or from 
a fall in the act of turning. Such injuries are of course 
apparent. They may produce violent inflammation of the joint 
or of the tendon passing over the head of the humerus, or even 
fracture of the outer head of the bone. 

696. Tjlbow lameness. 

In Elbow lameness, the horse, when standing, will keep the- 
affected limb pendulous, with the toe only dragging on the 
ground and drawn under the belly. In action the shoulder is 


brouglit well forward (and in tliis way it is plainly distinguislied 
from slioulder lameness^ as described in the preceding para- 
graph) ; but when the weight comes on the limb^ a sudden 
giving way and knuckling over at the knee will be noticed. 
Pain will be evinced, when the thumb is pressed close alongside 
the external lateral ligament of the joint. 

Elbow lameness commonly arises from some injury to the 
point of the ulna, and occasionally from disease of the joint. 
The treatment is rest, fomentations, and blisters. 

We may remark in passing, that both shoulder and elbow 
lameness are very rare^ though it is common enough to assign 
to one or other of these causes, most of those cases of lameness 
in which the real seat of the disease cannot be discovered. 

697. Rheumatic Lameness. 

The Lameness caused by sprain is sometimes very closely 
simulated, both in tendons and their sheaths and also in liga- 
ments, by that arising from Rheumatism. The means, by which 
the latter may be distinguished from the former, have been 
already explained in Chapter No. 27 on Rheumatism. 

698. Conclusion. 

Tendons and Ligaments, even though but slightly sprained, 
generally show some trace, and if at all severely sprained, 
always show considerable trace of the injury, ever after in the 
way of thickening or shortening. In other words, the products 
of the original inflammatory action in the part are never com- 
pletely taken up and removed by the absorbents and blood- 
vessels j even though the tendon or ligament maybe thoroughly 
repaired and as strong as it ever was. Time and the application 
of very mild blisters repeated three or four times after recovery, . 
may do much towards removing any such thickening, but still 
some trace of it will remain. With decrease of the thickening, 
the apparent shortening will diminish. 

Whether a horse with a thickened or contracted tendon or 
ligament is to be accounted " sound ^' in the strict sense of the 
word, supposing of course that no trace of lameness results, is 
perhaps doubtful. For practical purposes this, like most other- 


questions_, is one of degree,, — depending first on tlie amount of 
injury in each case^ secondly on the conformation of the animal 
and the probability of the recurrence of the lesion as indicated 
by his make and shape, thirdly on the age, and lastly on the 
sort of work on which it is intended to employ the horse. 

If for instance, there are indications of a sprain having at 
some previous time occurred in one of the flexor tendons ; and 
the intending purchaser notices that the horse is long from the 
knee to the fetlock, he will do well in such case not to conclude 
the bargain, because the chances are that with such conforma- 
tion the injury will recur, if the animal is put to severe work. 
On the other hand, if the horse is young and the conformation 
is good, and if the intending purchaser can afford to lay him 
up for some time, the probability is that, with the amount of 
strength gained by increasing age and rest, the injury will 
not recur ; or if the horse is old, and it can be ascertained that 
he stood sound for a season's hunting since the occurrence of 
the sprain, a purchase might safely be made. Something 
however would of course in either case be knocked off the 

Again much must depend on the price asked, and the use for 
which the animal is required. A horse may stand sound for 
hunting, whose legs will not stand training ; or another horse 
may last for years in harness, which would knock up in a 
single day's hunting. 

Plate XVIT. 

Ligaments of HocJc Joint. 

A Seat of curb. 



699. Sprains of the Hoch. 700. Sprain of the Articular 
ligamentsof the lioch joint. 701. Treatment. 702. Curb. 703. 
Treatment. 704. Gapped Sock. 705. Treatment. 706. Sprains 
of the ligaments of the Femur. 707. Sprain of the ligaments of , 
and displacement of the Patella. 708. Sprains of the Fetloch 
joint. 709. Sprains of the Loins. 

699. Sprains of tho, Hock. 

Whilst in the fore-leg the seat of sprain is usually in the 
tendons or ligaments between the knee and the fetlock, — in the 
Hind leg it is usually in the Hock. The functions of the hock 
in progression, and the kind of conformation which predisposes 
to disease, were explained in the Chapters 37 and 38. From 
the very severe duties, which devolve on the hock, we cannot be 
much surprised that it should be pretty frequently the seat of 
sprain. See plate in Chapter 37. 

700. Sprain of the articular ligaments of the Hock joint. 

The seat of sprain in the hock is usually in the ligamentSj 
which bind together the various bones of the true and sub- 
sidiary joints of the structure. These ligaments, as we might 
expect in a structure combining so many bones, are numerous. 
Any one or more may be sprained ; or any portion of any of the 
ligaments may be affected. See Plate annexed. 

The tendons J which commence at the end of the large muscles 
of the hind quarters and pass over the hock, are seldom sprained, 
— though such an accident may occur. 


701. Treatment. 

The particular part^ wliicli is sprainecl_, is indicated by lieat 
and swelling', and to that part tlie remedies recommended for 
sprains in the previous Chapter must according to the degree 
and circumstances of each case be applied. 

Very considerable swelling frequently accompanies sprains of 
the ligaments of the hock ; but in all such cases the greater 
part of the swelling is always due to irritation of the various 
bursae of the different parts of the structure, rather than to the 
inflammation of the sprained ligament itself. These bursal 
enlargements are, however, in most cases only temporary, and 
yield to the same treatment as that employed to reduce the 
inflammation, which accompanies the sprain. Should they not 
do so, a blister may be applied over the part. The detailed 
treatment of bursal enlargements will be found in Chapter 41. 

702. Curb, 

Curb may be a sprain of the ligament, which connects the 
OS calcis with the cuboid ,and external metatarsal bones ; or it 
maybe sprain of the broad annular (calcaneo-metatarsal) liga- 
ment, which passes over and binds down the tendons in their 
passage down the back of the hock. 

Curb is easily recognised by a protuberance at the back of 
the hock about five inches below its upper point (A). The 
examiner should stand exactly at right angles to the line of 
the back of the leg, when any deviation from the perpendicular 
line cannot fail to be noticed. If he stands more anteriorly, 
he may mistake the prominence of one of the bones for Curb ; 
whilst if he stands more to the rear, he may fail to notice the 
deviation from the straight line. 

Over-bent or " sickle shaped '' hocks, and small hocks, are 
peculiarly liable to Curb. 

703. Treatment of Curb. 

The treatment is the same as that required for any other 
sprain. The lameness usually subsides, as soon as the inflam- 
mation is reduced. The strain of the ligament will be lessened 
by the application of a high-heeled shoe. 


Strange as it may seem^ tlie patient^ if an aged liorse, may 
generally be put to work again in from ten days to tliree weeks. 
But when tlie sprain occurs in a young liorse, whose bones and 
ligaments are not yet fully grown and developed, rest for a 
lengthened period is always needed. Nature must be allowed 
time to strengthen and develop those structures, which the 
occurrence of a sprain, such as a curb, has shown not to be 
equal to what has been required of them. Unless time is 
given, the ailment will probably recur as soon as the horse is 
again put to work. 

It is seldom advisable either in an old or young horse to 
resort to any severe treatment in the first instance ; but if the 
lameness recurs, as is frequently the case, when the animal is 
put to work, it will be advisable to apply ointment of biniodide 
of mercury, or equal parts of iodine and cantharides ointment 
to the part ; and in some cases ultimately it may be necessary 
to have recourse to firing in order to produce a permanent 

704. Capped Hoch. 

Capped Hock may be simply a serous effusion under the 
skin at the point of the hock ; or the above may be accompanied 
by thickening of the integuments and inflammation of the 
bursa, and by deposit of coagulable lymph. 

The injury is usually caused by kicking in the stable or in 
harness. Some horses, however, contrive to injure themselves 
in the act of lying down or getting up. 

In rare cases the enlargement may arise from rupture of the 
lateral attachment of the perforatus tendon at the apex of the 
OS calcis. This injury will be recognised by a flattened appear- 
ance of the point of the hock, when the limb is in a state of 
rest ; — which however disappears, when the hock is flexed. ^^ 

705. Treatment. 

Capped hock generally produces no serious effect ; but it is 
unsightly and difficult to get rid of, both because the causes 
which produce it are apt to recur, and also because active 
treatment, such as blistering, creates an amount of irritation, 
which increases the tendency to kick. Treatment by pressure. 


wLicli would be very beneficial, is dijficult to apply to the 

As tlie swelling is generally caused by distention of the 
bursa, it is dangerous to open it by puncture. Fomentations 
may be applied with a view of reducing the inflammation, and 
afterwards hand-rubbing may be employed in order to promote 
the action of the absorbents of the parts and stimulate them to 
remove the increased and superfluous fluid. Very generally, 
however, the swelling becomes chronic. 

In lieu of cantharides, which is often employed with good 
effect to remove similar swellings in other parts, biniodide of 
mercury, or tincture of iodine, which when lightly rubbed on 
does not occasion any great irritation, may be tried ; but it must 
be resorted to before the swelling has become chronic. 

Cases of rupture of the lateral attachments of the perforatus 
tendon at the apex of the hock must be treated, as recommended 
for sprains. 

In very rare cases, the horse by violent kicking may injure 
the point of the bone, and caries may supervene, which will 
render the animal useless. 

706. Sprain of the ligaments of the Femur, 

Sprains of the ligaments of the Femur occur occasionally 
from any sudden violent exertion or from slipping-up in the 

When the injury occurs at the upper end, where the femur 
articulates with the acetabulum, there is no external sign, for 
the parts are deep-seated; and the existence of a sprain can 
only be surmised by the animal straddling and slightly dragging 
the leg. In such cases rest is the only treatment, for no 
external topical remedies will reach the parts affected. 

At the other or lower end the ligaments, which really apper- 
tain to the femur, are seldom sprained. The external signs, 
when an injury does occur, are heat, swelling, and tenderness 
in the part ; and the treatment is the same as that which has 
been already recommended for sprains. Rest however in this, 
as in other cases, is the great essential. 


707. Sprain of the ligaments of, and displacement of the 


Sprain of the ligaments^ wlien tlie Patella is not displaced^ 
is indicated by swelling and heat accompanied with, tenderness. 
In action^ the horse carries