Part 9 out of 10
are not so numerous; they chiefly frequent the small intestines. They
are sometimes apt to coil themselves, and form a mechanical obstruction
which is fatal to the dog.
The presence of all these worms is readily detected. There is generally
a dry, short cough, a staring coat, a hot and fetid breath, a voracious
appetite, and a peculiar state of the bowels; alternately constipated to
a great degree, or peculiarly loose and griping. In young dogs the
emaciated appearance, stinted growth, fetid breath, and frequent fits,
are indications not to be mistaken.
At other times, however, the dog is filled with worms with scarcely any
indication of their presence. Mr. Blaine very properly remarks that it
docs not follow, because no worms are seen to pass away, that there are
none: neither when they are not seen does it follow even that none pass;
for, if they remain long in the intestines after they are dead, they
become digested like other animal matter.
The means of expelling or destroying worms in the intestines of the dog
are twofold: the first and apparently the most natural mode of
proceeding, is the administration of purgatives, and usually of drastic
ones; but there is much danger connected with this; not merely the faeces
will be expelled, but a greater or less portion of the mucus that lines
the intestinal canal. The consequence of this will be griping and
inflammation to a very dangerous extent. Frequent doses of Epsom salts
have been given; but not always with success, and frequently with
griping. Mercurial medicines have been tried; but they have not always
succeeded, and have often produced salivation. One method of expelling
the worm has been adopted which has rarely failed, without the slightest
mischief--the administration of glass finely powdered. Not a particle of
it penetrates through the mucus that lines the bowels, while it destroys
every intestinal worm. The powdered glass is made into a ball with lard
The following account of the symptoms caused by taenia may be
interesting. A dog used to be cheerful, and particularly fond of his
master; but gradually his countenance became haggard, his eyes were red,
his throat was continually filled with a frothy spume, and he stalked
about with an expression of constant inquietude and suffering. These
circumstances naturally excited considerable fear with regard to the
nature of his disease, and he was shut up in a court, with the intention
of his being destroyed. Thus shut up, he furiously threw himself upon
every surrounding object, and tore them with his teeth whenever he could
seize them. He retired into one of the corners of the court, and there
he was continually rubbing his nose, as it were to extract some foreign
body; sometimes he bit and tore up the earth, barking and howling
violently; his hair stood on end, and his flanks were hollow.
During the whole of his disease he continued to recognise his master. He
ran to him at the slightest word. He refused nothing to drink; but he
would not eat. He was killed on account of the fear excited among the
The veterinary surgeon who attended him suspected that there was some
affection of the head, on account of the strange manner in which he had
rubbed and beaten it. The superior part of the nose was opened, and two
taeniae; lanceolatae were found: it was plain enough that they were the
cause of all the mischief.
The proprietor of the dog nevertheless believed that it was a case of
rabies; he had the caustic applied to his hands, and could not persuade
himself that he was safe until he had been at the baths of Bourbonne.
There is a worm inhabiting the stomach of young dogs, the 'Ascaris
Marginata', a frequent source of sickness and occasionally of spasmodic
colic, by rolling itself into knots. It seems occasionally to take a
dislike to its assigned residence, and wanders into the oesophagus, but
rarely into the larger intestines. A dog had a severe cough, which could
not be subdued by bleeding or physic, or sedative or opiate medicines.
He was destroyed, and one of these ascarides was found in the trachea.
Others find their way into the nasal cavity; and a dreadful source of
irritation they are when they are endeavouring to escape, in order to
undergo one of the changes of form to which they are destined, or when
they have been forced into the nostril in the act of vomiting.
I once had a dog as a patient, whose case, I confess, I did not
understand. He would sneeze and snort, and rub his head and nose along
the carpet. I happened to say that the symptoms in some respects
resembled those of rabies, and yet, that I could not satisfy myself that
the dog was rabid. The mention of rabies was sufficient, and in defiance
of my remonstrances the animal was destroyed.
The previous symptoms led me to examine the nasal cavity, and I found
two of these ascarides, one concealed in the middle and the other in the
upper meatus, through neither of which could any strong current of air
be forced, and from which the ascarides could not be dislodged.
Worms may be the cause of sudden death in a dog. The following case,
communicated by Professor Dick, illustrates this fact:
I lately had the body of a dog sent to me: his owner sent the following
letter by the same conveyance.
"My keeper went out shooting yesterday morning with the dog which I
now send to you. He was quite lively, and apparently well, during the
former part of the day; but towards evening he was seized with violent
vomiting. When he came home he refused to eat, and this morning about
eight o'clock he died. As I have lost all my best dogs rather
suddenly, I will thank you to have him examined, and the contents of
his stomach analyzed; and have the kindness to inform me whether he
has been poisoned, or what was the cause of his death."
On opening the abdomen, the viscera appeared quite healthy: the stomach
was removed, and the contents were found to be more decidedly acid than
usual. The acids were the muriatic and acetic: the finding of an
increased quantity of these is far from being unusual. There was not a
trace of arsenical, mercurial, nor any other metallic poison present. Of
the vegetable poisons, I can only say there was not the slightest trace
of the morbid effects of any of them. The pericardium and the left side
of the thorax contained a small quantity of bloody serous fluid, and the
heart was full of black blood. The left lung was a little inflamed. The
trachea contained some frothy yellow mucous matter, similar to the
contents of the stomach. In the larynx was found one of those worms
occasionally inhabiting the cavities of the nose, and which had probably
escaped from the nose while the dog had been hunting; and, lodging in
the larynx, had destroyed the animal by producing spasms of the larynx.
The worm was about one inch and a half in length, and had partly
penetrated through the rima glottidis. Another worm about the same size
was found in the left bronchia, and a still smaller one among the mucus
of the trachea: there were also four others in the nose.
Some years ago I found some worms of the filacia species in the right
ventricle of the heart of a dog, which had produced sudden death by
interrupting the action of the valves.
The following is a curious case of tape-worm, by Mr. Reynold:
On an estate where a great quantity of rabbits are annually destroyed in
the month of November, we have observed that several dogs that were
previously in good health and condition soon became weak, listless, and
excessively emaciated, frequently passing large portions of the
tape-worm. This induced us to examine the intestines of several hares
and rabbits; and, with, very few exceptions, we found each to contain a
perfect tape-worm three to four feet in length. We then caused two of
the dogs whose cases appeared the worst to be separated from the others,
feeding them on potatoes, &c.; and, in eight or ten days, after voiding
several feet of the worms, they were perfectly restored to their former
strength and appearance. The worm disease, hitherto so formidable to the
spaniel and pointer, may in a great measure be fairly attributed to the
custom of giving them the intestines of their game, under the technical
appellation of "the paunch." The facts above stated, in explaining the
cause of the disease, at the same time suggest the remedy.
'A worm in the urethra of a dog'.
M. Seon, veterinary surgeon of the Lancers of the Body Guard, was
requested to examine a dog who strained in vain to void his urine, often
uttering dreadful cries, and then eagerly licking his penis. M. Seon,
after having tried in vain to abate the irritation, endeavoured to pass
an elastic bougie. He perceived a conical body half an inch long
protruding from the urethra with each effort of the dog to void his
urine, and immediately afterwards returning into the urethra. He crushed
it with a pair of forceps, and drew it out. It proved to be a worm
resembling a strongylus, four and a half inches long. It was living, and
moving about. M. Seon could not ascertain its species. The worm being
extracted, the urine flowed, and the dog soon recovered. 
FISTULA IN THE ANUS.
This is a too frequent consequence of piles. It is often the result of
the stagnation of hardened faeces in the rectum, which produces
inflammation and ulceration, and frequently leaves a fistulous opening.
If we may judge what the quadruped suffers by the sufferings of human
beings, it is a sadly painful affair, whether the fistula is external or
internal. Whether it may be cured by a mild stimulant daily inserted to
the bottom of the abscess, or whether there is a communication with the
opening of the rectum which buries itself in the cellular tissues around
it, and requires an operation for its cure, it will require the
assistance of a skilful surgeon to effect a cure in this case.
[Footnote 1: Tetanus observed on a Dog, by M. Debeaux.--'Pract. Med.
Vet.' 1829, p. 543]
[Footnote 2: 'Blaine's Canine Pathology', p. 151.]
[Footnote 3: 'Proceedings of the Veterinary Medical Association',
[Footnote 4: 'Prat. Med. Vet.' 1824, p. 14.]
[Footnote 5: 'Prat. Med. Vet.', Fev. 1828.]
* * * * *
BLEEDING; TORSION; CASTRATION, PARTURITION; AND SOME DISEASES
CONNECTED WITH THE ORGANS OF GENERATION.
This operation is exceedingly useful in many accidents and diseases. It
is, in fact, as in the horse, the sheet-anchor of the practitioner in
the majority of cases of an inflammatory character. There is some
difference, however, in the instrument to be used. The lancet is the
preferable instrument in the performance of this operation. The fleam
should be banished from among the instruments of the veterinary surgeon.
A ligature being passed round the lower part of the neck, and the head
being held up a little on one side, the vein will protrude on either
side of the windpipe. It will usually be advisable to cut away a little
of the hair over the spot designed to be punctured. When a sufficient
quantity of blood is abstracted, it will generally be necessary, and
especially if the dog is large, to pass a pin through both edges of the
orifice, and secure it with a little tow.
When no lancet is at hand, the inside of the flap of the ear may be
punctured with a pen-knife, the course of a vein being selected for this
purpose. In somewhat desperate cases a small portion of the tail may be
The 'superficial brachial vein', the 'cephalic' vein of the human
subject, and the 'plat' vein of the farrier, may be resorted to in all
lamenesses of the fore limb, and especially in all shoulder-wrenches,
strains of the loins, and of the thigh and the leg, and muscular and
ligamentous extensions of any part of the hind limbs; the 'vena saphena
major', and the 'anterior tibial' vein may be punctured in such cases.
The quantity of blood to be abstracted must be regulated according to
the size and strength of the dog and the degree of inflammation.
One or two ounces may be sufficient for a very small dog, and seven or
eight for a large one.
To M. Amusat, of Paris, we are indebted for the introduction of the
artery-forceps for the arresting of hemorrhage. I shall do but justice
to him by describing his mode of proceeding. He seizes the divided
vessel with a pair of torsion-forceps in such a manner as to hold and
close the mouth of the vessel in its teeth. The slide of the forceps
then shuts its blade, and the artery is held fast. The artery is then
drawn from out of the tissues surrounding it, to the extent of a few
lines, and freed, with another forceps, from its cellular envelope, so
as to lay bare its external coat. The index and thumb of the left hand
are then applied above the forceps, in order to press back the blood in
the vessel. He then begins to twist the artery. One of the methods
consists in continuing the torsion until the part held in the forceps is
detached. When, however, the operator does not intend to produce that
effect, he ceases, after from four to six revolutions of the vessel on
its axis for the small arteries, and from eight to twelve for the large
ones. The hemorrhage instantly stops. The vessel which had been drawn
out is then replaced, as the surrounding parts give support to the knot
which has been formed at its extremities. The knot becomes further
concealed by the retraction of the artery, and this retraction will be
proportionate to the shortening which takes place by the effect of the
twisting, so that it will be scarcely visible on the surface of the
stump. It is of the utmost importance to seize the artery perfectly, and
to make the stated number of twists, as otherwise the security against
the danger of consecutive hemorrhage will not be perfect.
Mr. W. B. Costello, of London, was present when the operation was
performed at Paris. He brought back a full account of it as performed
there, and availed himself of an early opportunity of putting it to the
test before some of our metropolitan surgeons. A dog was placed on the
table, the forceps were applied, and the operation perfectly succeeded.
A few days afterwards a pointer bitch was brought to my infirmary, with
a large scirrhous tumour near the anterior teat on the left side. It had
been gradually increasing during the last five months. It was becoming
more irregular in its form, and on one of its tuberculous prominences
was a reddish spot, soft and somewhat tender, indicating that the
process of suppuration was about to commence.
I had often, or almost uniformly, experienced the power of iodine in
dispersing glandular enlargements in the neck of the dog, and also those
indurated tumours of various kinds which form about the joints of some
domesticated animals, particularly of cattle; but frequent
disappointment had convinced me that it was, if not inert, yet very
uncertain in its effect in causing absorption of tumours about the mammae
of the bitch. Having also been taught that the ultimate success of the
excision of these enlargements depended on their removal before
suppuration had taken place, and the neighbouring parts had been
inoculated by the virus which so plentifully flowed from the ulcer, I
determined on an immediate operation; and, as the tumour was large, and
she was in high condition, I thought it a good case for 'the first trial
of torsion'. She was well physicked, and on the third day was produced
before my class and properly secured. I had not provided myself with the
'torsion forceps', but relied on the hold I should have on the vessel by
means of a pair of common artery forceps; and the effect of imperfect
instruments beautifully established the power of torsion in arresting
Two elliptical incisions were made on the face of the tumour, and
prolonged anteriorly and posteriorly about an inch from it. The portion
of integument that could be spared was thus enclosed, while the opposed
edges of the wound could be neatly and effectually brought together
after the operation. The dissection of the integument from the remaining
part of the face of the tumour was somewhat slow and difficult, for it
was in a manner identified with the hardened mass beneath; but the
operation soon proceeded more quickly, and we very soon had the scirrhus
exposed, and adhering to the thorax by its base. About two ounces of
venous blood had now been lost.
I was convinced that I should find the principal artery, by which the
excrescence was fed, at its anterior extremity, and not far from the
spot where the suppuration seemed to be preparing: therefore, beginning
posteriorly, I very rapidly cut through the cellular texture, elevating
the tumour and turning it back, until I arrived at the inner and
anterior point, and there was the only source of supply; the artery was
plainly to be seen. In order to give the experiment a fair chance, I
would not enclose it in the forceps, but I cut through it. A jet of
blood spirted out. I then seized the vessel as quickly as I could, and
began to turn the forceps, but before I could effect more than a turn
and a half I lost my hold on the artery. I was vexed, and paused,
waiting for the renewed gush of blood that I might seize the vessel
again; but to my surprise not a drop more blood came from the arterial
trunk. That turn and a half, considerable pressure having been used, had
completely arrested the hemorrhage. I can safely say that not more than
four drachms of arterial blood were lost.
The wound was sponged clean: there remained only a very slight oozing
from two or three points; the flaps were brought together, secured by
the ordinary sutures, and the proper bandages applied. The weight of the
tumour was twenty-two ounces; there was no after-bleeding, no unpleasant
occurrences; but the wound, which had been nearly six inches in length,
was closed in little more than three weeks.
He will essentially promote the cause of science, and the cause of
humanity, who will avail himself of the opportunity which country
practice affords of putting the effect of torsion to the test: and few
things will be more gratifying than the consciousness of rescuing our
patients from the unnecessary infliction of torture.
In docking, it will be found perfectly practicable: our patients will
escape much torture, and tetanus will often be avoided. The principal
danger from castration has arisen from the severity with which the iron
has been employed. The colt, the sheep, and the dog will be fair
subjects for experiment. The cautery, as it regards the first, and the
brutal violence too frequently resorted to in operating upon the others,
have destroyed thousands of animals.
This operation is performed on a great portion of our domestic animals.
It renders them more docile, and gives them a disposition to fatten. It
is followed by fewest serious accidents when it is performed on young
animals. The autumn or spring should, if possible, be chosen for the
operation, for the temperature of the atmosphere is then generally
uniform and moderate. It should be previously ascertained that the
animal is in perfect health; and he should be prepared by a mash diet
and bleeding, if he is in a plethoric state, or possessed of
considerable determination. If it is a young animal that is to be
operated upon, an incision may be made into the scrotum, the testicle
may be protruded, and the cord cut without much precaution, for the
blood will soon be stayed; but for older animals it will be advisable to
use a ligature, applied moderately tightly round the spermatic cord a
little more than an inch beyond its insertion into the testicle; the
scalpel is then used, and a separation effected between the ligature and
the testis. The vas derens needs not to be included; a great deal of
pain will then be spared to the animal.
The ordinary consequences of castration are pain, inflammation,
engorgement, and suppuration. The pain and suppuration are inevitable,
but generally yield to emollient applications. The engorgement is often
considerable at first, but soon subsides, and the suppuration usually
abates in the course of a few days. It has been said that the castrated
dog is more attached and faithful to his master than he who has not been
deprived of his genital powers: this, however, is to be much doubted. He
has, generally speaking, lost a considerable portion of his courage, his
energy, and his strength. He is apt to become idle, and is disposed to
accumulate fat more rapidly. His power of scent is also very
considerably diminished and he is less qualified for the sports of the
field. Of this there can be no doubt. It has been said that he is more
submissive: I very much doubt the accuracy of that opinion. He may not
be so savage as in his perfect state; he may not be so eager in his
feeding; but there is not the devotion to his master, and the quickness
of comprehension which belongs to the perfect dog.
The removal of the ovaries, or spaying of the female, used to be often
practised, and packs of spayed bitches were, and still are, occasionally
kept. In performing this operation, an opening is made into the flank on
one side, and the finger introduced--one of the ovaries is laid hold of
and drawn a little out of the belly; a ligature is then applied round
it, just above the bifurcation of the womb, and it is cut through, the
end of the ligature being left hanging out of the wound. The other ovary
is then felt for and drawn out, and excised and secured by a ligature.
The wound is then sewed up, and a bandage is placed over the incision.
Some farriers do not apply any ligature, but simply sew up the wound,
and in the majority of cases the edges adhere, and no harm comes of the
operation, except that the general character of the animal is
essentially changed. She accumulates a vast quantity of fat, becomes
listless and idle, and is almost invariably short-lived.
The female dog, therefore, should always be allowed to breed. Breeding
is a necessary process; and the female prevented from it is sure to be
affected with disease sooner or later; enormous collections and
indurations will form, that will inevitably terminate in scirrhus or
A troublesome process often occurs when the female is not permitted to
have young ones; namely, the accumulation of milk in the teats,
especially if at any previous time, however distant, she may have had
puppies once. The foundation is laid for many unpleasant and
unmanageable complaints. If she is suffered to bring up one litter after
another, she will have better health than those that are debarred from
intercourse with the male.
The temporary union which takes placed between the male and female at
the period at which they are brought together is a very singular one.
The corpora cavernosa of the male and the clitoris of the female being
suddenly distended with blood, it is impossible to withdraw either of
them until the turgescence of the parts has entirely ceased.
The pupping usually takes place from the sixty-second to the
sixty-fourth day; and the process having commenced, from a quarter to
three quarters of an hour generally takes place between the production
of each puppy.
Great numbers of bitches are lost every year in the act of parturition:
there seems to be a propensity in the females to associate with dogs
larger than themselves, and they pay for it with their lives. The most
neglected circumstance during the period of pregnancy is the little
exercise which the mother is permitted to take, while, in point of fact,
nothing tends more to safe and easy parturition than her being permitted
or compelled to take a fair quantity of exercise.
When the time of parturition has arrived, and there is evident
difficulty in producing the foetus, recourse should be had to the ergot
of rye, which should be given every hour or half hour, according to
circumstances. If after a certain time some, although little, progress
has been made, the ergot must be continued in smaller doses, or perhaps
suspended for a while; but, if all progress is evidently suspended,
recourse must be had to the hook or the forceps. By gentle but continued
manipulation much may be done, especially when the muzzle of the puppy
can be brought into the passage. As little force as possible must be
used, and especially the foetus little broken. Many a valuable animal is
destroyed by the undue application of force.
If the animal seems to be losing strength, a small quantity of laudanum
and ether may be administered.
"The patience of bitches in labour is extreme," says Mr. Blaine; "and
their distress, if not removed, is most striking and affecting. Their
look is at such time particularly expressive and apparently
When the pupping is protracted, and the young ones are evidently dead,
the mother may be saved, if none of the puppies have been broken. In
process of time the different puppies may, one after another, be
extracted; but when violence has been used at the commencement, or
almost at any part of the process, death will assuredly follow.
'June' 15, 1832.--A spaniel bitch was brought to my infirmary to-day,
who has been in great and constant pain since yesterday, making repeated
but fruitless efforts to expel her puppies. She is in a very plethoric
habit of body; her bowels are much confined, and she exhibits some
general symptoms of febrile derangement, arising, doubtless, from her
protracted labour. This is her first litter. Upon examination, no young
could be distinctly felt.
Place her in a warm bath, and give her a dose of castor oil, morning and
'June' 16.--The bitch appears in the same state as yesterday, except
that the medicine has operated freely upon the bowels, and the febrile
symptoms have somewhat decreased. Her strainings are as frequent and
distressing as ever. Take two scruples of the ergot of rye, and divide
into six doses, of which let one be given every half hour.
In about ten minutes after the exhibition of the last dose of this
medicine, she brought forth, with great difficulty, one dead puppy, upon
taking which away from her, she became so uneasy that I was induced to
return it to her. In about a quarter of an hour after this I paid her
another visit: the puppy could not now be found; but a suspicious
appearance in the mother's eye betrayed at once that she had devoured
it. I immediately administered an emetic; and in a very short time the
whole foetus was returned in five distinct parts, viz., the four
quarters and the head. After this, the bitch began to amend very fast;
she produced no other puppy; and as her supply of milk was small, she
was soon convalescent.
Twelve months afterwards she was again taken in labour, about eleven
o'clock in the morning, and after very great difficulty, one puppy was
produced. After this the bitch appeared in great pain, but did not
succeed in expelling another foetus, in consequence of which I was sent
for about three o'clock, P.M. I found her very uneasy breathing
laboriously; the mouth hot, and the bowels costive; but I could not
discover any trace of another foetus. She was put into a warm bath, and
a dose of opening medicine was administered.
About five o'clock she got rid of one dead and two living puppies.
'2d'. She is still very ill; she evinces great pain when pressed upon
the abdomen; and it is manifest that she has another foetus within her.
I ordered a dose of the ergot, and in about twenty minutes a large puppy
was produced, nearly dying. She survived with due care.
I cannot refrain from inserting the following case at considerable
'Sept.' 4, 1820.--A very diminutive terrier, weighing not 5 lbs. was
sent to my hospital in order to lie in. She was already restless and
panting. About eight o'clock at night the labour pains commenced; but
until eleven scarcely any progress was made. The 'os uteri' would not
admit my finger, although I frequently attempted it.
At half-past eleven, the membranes began to protrude; at one the head
had descended into the pelvis and the puppy was dead. In a previous
labour she had been unable to produce her young, although the ergot of
rye had been freely used. I was obliged to use considerable force, and
she fought terribly with me throughout the whole process. At half-past
one, and after applying considerable force, I brought away a large
foetus, compared with her own size. On passing my finger as high as
possible, I felt another foetus living, but the night passed and the
whole of the following day, and she ate and drank, and did not appear to
be much injured.
Several times in the day I gave her some strong soup and the ergot. Some
slight pains now returned, and by pressing on the belly the nose of the
foetus was brought to the superior edge of the pelvis. The pains again
ceased, the pudenda began to swell from frequent examination, the bitch
began to stagger, and made frequent attempts to void her urine, with
extreme difficulty in accomplishing it. I now resorted to the crotchet;
and after many unsuccessful attempts, in which the superior part of the
vagina must have been considerably bruised, I fixed it sufficiently
firmly to draw the head into the cavity of the pelvis. Here for a while
the shoulder resisted every attempt which I could make without the
danger of detruncating the foetus. At length by working at the side of
the head until my nails were soft and my fingers sore, I extracted one
fore leg. The other was soon brought down; another large puppy was
produced, but destroyed by the means necessary for its production. This
was the fruit of two hours' hard work.
She was completely exhausted, and scarcely able to stand. When placed on
the ground she staggered and fell at almost every step. Her efforts to
void her urine were frequent and ineffectual.
At four o'clock I again examined her; the external pudenda were sore and
swelled, and beginning to assume a black hue. It was with considerable
difficulty that I could introduce my finger. A third foetus irregularly
presented was detected. I could just feel one of the hind legs. No time
was to be lost. I introduced a small pair of forceps by the side of my
finger, and succeeded in laying hold of the leg without much difficulty,
and, with two or three weak efforts from the mother,--I could scarcely
call them pains,--I brought the leg down until it was in the cavity of
the pelvis. I solicited it forward with my finger, and, by forcibly
pressing back the 'labia pudendi', I could just grasp it with the finger
and thumb of the right hand. Holding it there, I introduced the finger
of the right hand, and continued to get down the other leg, and then
found little difficulty until the head was brought to the superior edge
of the pelvis. After a long interval, and with considerable force, this
was brought into the pelvis, and another puppy extracted. This fully
occupied two hours.
The bitch now appeared almost lifeless. As she was unable to stand, and
seemed unconscious of every thing around her, I concluded that she was
lost: I gave her one or two drops of warm brandy and water, covered her
up closely, and put her to bed.
To my surprise, on the following morning, she was curled round in her
basket; she licked my hands, and ate a bit of bread and butter; but when
put on her legs staggered and fell. The pudendum was dreadfully swollen,
and literally black. In the afternoon she again took a little food: she
came voluntarily from her basket, wagged her tail when spoken to, and on
the following day she was taken in her basket a journey of 70 miles, and
afterwards did well; no one could be more rejoiced than was her master,
who was present at, and superintended the greater part of the
'The beneficial effect of Ergot of Rye in difficult Parturition'.--The
following case is from the pen of Professor Dick:
On the 10th instant, a pointer bitch produced two puppies; and it was
thought by the person having her in charge that she had no more. She was
put into a comfortable box, and with a little care was expected to do
well. On the next morning, however, she was sick and breathed heavily,
and continued rather uneasy all the day.
On the forenoon of the following day I was requested to see her. I found
her with her nose dry, breath hot, respiration frequent, mouth hot and
parched, coat staring, back roached, pulse 120, and a black fetid
discharge from the vagina. Pressure on the abdomen gave pain. A pup
could be obscurely felt; the secretion of milk was suppressed, and the
skin had lost its natural elasticity.
Tepid water with a little soap dissolved in it was immediately injected
into the uterus, which in a considerable degree excited its action; and
this injection was repeated two or three times with the same effect.
After waiting for half an hour, the foetus was not discharged nor
brought forward; therefore a scruple of the ergot of rye was then made
into an infusion with two ounces of water, and one-third of it given as
a dose; in half an hour, another one-third of it; the injections of warm
water and soap being also continued. Soon after the second dose of the
infusion, a dead puppy was expelled; the bitch rapidly recovered, and,
with the exception of deficiency of milk, is now quite well.
This case would seem to prove the great power of the ergot of rye over
the uterus; but, until more experiments are made, it is necessary to be
cautious in ascribing powers to medicines which have not been much tried
in our practice. It is not improbable that the warm water and soap might
have roused the uterus into action without the aid of the ergot; and it
is therefore necessary that those who repeat this experiment should try
the effects of the medicine unaided by the auxiliary.
The Professor adds, that the great power which this drug is said to have
on the human being, and the apparent effect in the case just given,
suggest the propriety of instituting a further trial of it, and of our
extending our observations to cattle, amongst which difficult cases of
calving so frequently occur.
Mr. Simpson thus concludes some remarks on ergot in difficult
parturition. This medicine possesses a very great power over the uterus,
rousing its dormant or debilitated contractility, and stimulating it to
an extra performance of this necessary function after its natural energy
has been in some measure destroyed by forcible but useless action. The
direct utility of the ergot was manifested in cases where the uterus
appeared quite exhausted by its repeated efforts; and certainly it is
but fair to ascribe the decidedly augmented power of the organ to the
stimulus of the ergot, for no other means were resorted to in order to
procure the desired effect. Its action, too, is prompt. Within ten
minutes of the administration of a second or third dose, when nature has
been nearly exhausted, the parturition has been safely effected.
Nature, proportions the power and resources of the mother to the wants
of her offspring. In her wild undomesticated state she is able to suckle
her progeny to the full time; but, in the artificial state in which we
have placed her, we shorten the interval between each period of
parturition, we increase the number of her young ones at each birth, we
diminish her natural powers of affording them nutriment, and we give her
a degree of irritability which renders her whole system liable to be
excited and deranged by causes that would otherwise be harmless:
therefore it happens that, when the petted bitch is permitted to suckle
the whole of her litter, her supply of nutriment soon becomes exhausted,
and the continued drain upon her produces a great degree of
irritability. She gets rapidly thin; she staggers, is half unconscious,
neglects her puppies, and suddenly falls into a fit of a very peculiar
character. It begins with, and is sometimes confined to, the respiratory
apparatus: she lies on her side and pants violently, and the sound of
her laboured breathing may be heard at the distance of twenty yards.
Sometimes spasms steal over her limbs; at other times the diaphragm and
respiratory muscles alone are convulsed. In a few hours she is certainly
lost; or, if there are moments of remission, they are speedily succeeded
by increased heavings.
The practitioner unaccustomed to this fearful state of excitation, and
forgetful or unaware of its cause, proceeds to bleed her, and he seals
her fate. Although one system is thus convulsively labouring, it is
because others are suddenly and perfectly exhausted; and by abstraction
of the vital current he reduces this last hold of life to the helpless
condition of the rest. There is not a more common or fatal error than
The veterinary practitioner is unable to apply the tepid bath to his
larger patients, in order to quiet the erythism of certain parts of the
system, and produce an equable diffusion of nervous influence and
action; and he often forgets it when he has it in his power to save the
smaller ones. Let the bitch in a fit be put into a bath, temperature 96 deg.
Fahrenheit, and covered with the water, her head excepted. It will he
surprising to see how soon the simple application of this equable
temperament will quiet down the erythism of the excited system. In ten
minutes, or a quarter of an hour, she may be taken out of the bath
evidently relieved, and then, a hasty and not very accurate drying
having taken place, she is wrapped in a blanket and placed in some warm
situation, a good dose of physic having been previously administered.
She soon breaks out in a profuse perspiration. Everything becomes
gradually quiet, and she falls into a deep and long sleep, and at length
awakes somewhat weak, but to a certain degree restored.
If, then, all her puppies except one or two are taken from her, and her
food is, for a day or two, somewhat restricted, and after that given
again of its usual quantity and kind, she will live and do well; but a
bleeding at the time of her fit, or suffering all her puppies to return
to her, will inevitably destroy her.
A bitch that was often brought to my house was suckling a litter of
puppies. She was foolishly taken up and thrown into the Serpentine in
the month of April. The suppression of milk was immediate and complete.
There was also a determination to the head, and attacks resembling
epilepsy. The puppies that were suffered to remain with the mother, were
very soon as epileptic as she was, and were destroyed. A seton was
inserted on each side of her neck. Ipecacuanha was administered; and
that having sufficiently worked, a small quantity of diluted sulphuric
acid was given. A fortnight afterwards she was perfectly well.
'Inversion of the Uterus in a Bull Bitch after Pupping. Extirpation
By M. Cross, M. V., Milan.--In July, 1829, I was desired to attend a
small bull bitch six years old, and who had had puppies four times. The
uterus was completely inverted, and rested all its weight on the vaginal
orifice of the urethra, preventing the discharge of the urine, and thus
being the cause of great pain when the animal endeavoured to void it, or
the faecal matter. The uterus was become of almost a black colour,
swelled, softened, and exhaling an insupportable odour. Judging from
this that the preservation of the uterus was impossible, and reckoning
much on the good constitution of the patient, I warned the proprietor of
the danger of its reduction, even supposing that it was practicable, and
proposed to him the complete extirpation of the uterus as the only means
that remained of saving the bitch.
Armed with his consent, I passed a ligature round the neck of the
uterus, at the bottom of the vagina, and drew it as tight as I possibly
could. On the following day I again tightened the ligature, in order to
complete the mortification of the part, and the separation of the womb.
On the third day I extirpated the womb entirely, close to the haunch.
There was very slight loss of blood, but there ran from the walls of the
vagina a small quantity of ichorous fluid, with a strong fetid smell.
The operation was scarcely completed ere she voided a considerable
quantity of urine, and then searched about for something to eat and to
The portion of the uterus that was removed weighed fourteen ounces. The
mucous membrane by which it was lined was in a highly disorganized
state. From time to time injections of a slight infusion of aromatic
plants were introduced into the vagina, and the animal was nourished
with liquid food of easy digestion.
The first day passed without the animal being in the slightest degree
affected; but, on the following day, in despite of all our care, an
ichorous fluid was discharged, which the dog would lick notwithstanding
all our efforts to prevent it. The general health of the animal did not
seem to be in the slightest degree affected.
On the fourth day after the operation, the cords that had served as a
ligature fell off, and all suppuration from the part gradually ceased.
'October 20th'.--Three months have passed since the operation, and she
is perfectly well.
* * * * *
By this singular name is distinguished a prevalent disease now about to
come under our consideration, which was first observed on the continent.
The rapidity with which it spread, the strange protean appearances which
it assumed, and its too frequent fatal termination, surprised and
puzzled the veterinary surgeons; and they called it "la maladie des
chiens," the disease or distemper in dogs.
It is comparatively a new disease. It was imported from France about one
hundred years since, although some French authors have strangely
affirmed that it is of British origin. Having once gained footing among
us, it has established itself in our country, to the vexation and loss
of the sportsman, and the annoyance of the veterinary surgeon. However
keepers, or even men of education, may boast of their specifics, it is a
sadly fatal disease, and destroys fully one-third of the canine race.
Dogs of all ages are subject to its attack. Many, nine and ten years
old, have died of pure distemper; and I have seen puppies of only three
weeks fall victims to it; but it oftenest appears between the sixth and
twelfth month of the animal's life. If it occurs at an early period, it
proves fatal in the great majority of cases; and, if the dog is more
than four years old, it generally goes hard with him. It is undeniably
highly contagious, yet it is frequently generated. In this it bears an
analogy to mange, and to farcy and glanders in the horse.
One attack of the disease, and even a severe one, is no absolute
security against its return; although the dog that has once laboured
under distemper possesses a certain degree of immunity; or, if he is
attacked a second time, the malady usually assumes a milder type. I
have, however, known it occur three times in the same animal, and at
last destroy him.
Violent catarrh will often terminate in distemper; and low and
insufficient feeding will produce it. It frequently follows mange, and
especially if mercury has been used in the cure of the malady. When we
see a puppy with mange, and that peculiar disease in which the skin
becomes corrugated, and more especially if it is a spaniel, and
pot-bellied or rickety, we generally say that we can cure the mange, but
it will not be long before the animal dies of distemper; and so it
happens in three cases out of four. Whatever debilitates the
constitution predisposes it for the reception or the generation of
distemper. It, however, frequently occurs without any apparent exciting
That it is highly contagious cannot admit of doubt. A healthy dog can
seldom, for many days, be kept with another that labours under distemper
without becoming affected; and the disease is communicated by the
slightest momentary contact. There is, however, a great deal of caprice
about this. I have more than once kept a dog in the foul-yard of my
hospital for several successive weeks, and he has not become diseased.
Inoculation with the matter that flows from the nose, either limpid or
purulent, and in an early or advanced stage of the distemper, will, with
few exceptions, produce the disease; yet I have failed to communicate it
even by this method. Inoculation used to be recommended as producing a
milder and less fatal disease. So far as my experience goes, the
contrary has been the result.
Distemper is also epidemic. It occurs more frequently in the spring and
autumn than in the winter and summer. If one or two dogs in a certain
district are affected, we may be assured that it will soon extensively
prevail there; and where the disease could not possibly be communicated
by contagion. Sometimes it rages all over the country. At other times it
is endemic, and confined to some particular district.
Not only is the disease epidemic or endemic, but the form which it
assumes is so. In one season, almost every dog with distemper has
violent fits; at another, in the majority of cases, there will be
considerable chest affection, running on to pneumonia; a few months
afterwards, a great proportion of the distempered dogs will be worn down
by diarrhoea, which no medicine will arrest; and presently it will be
scarcely distinguishable from mild catarrh.
It varies much with different breeds. The shepherd's dog, generally
speaking, cares little about it; he is scarcely ill a day. The cur is
not often seriously affected. The terrier has it more severely,
especially the white terrier. The hound comes next in the order of
severity; and after him the setter. With the small spaniel it is more
dangerous; and still more so with the pointer, especially if he has the
disease early. Next in the order of fatality comes the pug; and it is
most fatal of all with the Newfoundland dog. Should a foreign dog be
affected, he almost certainly dies. The greater part of the northern
dogs brought by Captain Parry did not survive a twelvemonth; and the
delicate Italian greyhound has little chance, when imported from abroad.
Not only does it thus differ in different species of dogs, but in
different breeds of the same species. I have known several gentlemen who
have laboured in vain for many years, to rear particular and valuable
breeds of pointers and greyhounds. The distemper would uniformly carry
off five out of six. Other sportsmen laugh at the supposed danger of
distemper, and declare that they seldom lose a dog. This hereditary
predisposition to certain kinds of disease cannot be denied, and is not
sufficiently attended to. When a peculiar fatality has often followed a
certain breed, the owner should cross it from another kennel, and
especially from the kennel of one who boasts of his success in the
treatment of distemper. This has occasionally succeeded far beyond
It is time to proceed to the symptoms of this disease; but here there is
very considerable difficulty, for it is a truly protean malady, and it
is impossible to fix on any symptom that will invariably characterise
An early and frequent symptom is a gradual loss of appetite, spirits,
and condition: the dog is less obedient to his master, and takes less
notice of him. The eyes appear weak and watery; and there will be a very
slight limpid discharge from the nose. In the morning there will,
perhaps, be a little indurated mucus at the inner corner of the eye.
This may continue two or three weeks without serious or scarcely
recognizable illness. Then a peculiar husky cough is heard, altogether
different from the sonorous cough of catarrh, or the wheezing of asthma.
It is an apparent attempt to get something from the fauces or throat. By
degrees the discharge from the eyes and nose, and particularly the
former, will increase. More mucus will collect in the corners of the
eye; and the eye will sometimes be closed in the morning. The
conjunctiva and particularly that portion which covers the sclerotica,
will be considerably injected, but there will not be the usual intense
redness of inflammation. The vessels will be large and turgid rather
than numerous, and frequently of a darkish hue.
Occasionally, however, the inflammation of the conjunctiva will be
exceedingly intense, the membrane vividly red, and the eye impatient of
light. An opacity spreads over the cornea, and this is quickly succeeded
by ulceration. The first spot of ulceration is generally found precisely
in the centre of the cornea, and is perfectly circular; this will
distinguish it from a scratch or other injury. The ulcer widens and
deepens, and sometimes eats through the cornea, and the aqueous humour
escapes. Fungous granulations spring from it, protrude through the lids,
and the animal evidently suffers extreme torture.
A remarkable peculiarity attends this affection of the eye. However
violent may be the inflammation, and by whatever disorganization it may
be accompanied, if we can cure the distemper, the granulations will
disappear, the ulcer will heal, the opacity will clear away, and the eye
will not eventually suffer in the slightest degree. One-fourth part of
the mischief in other cases, unconnected with distemper, would
inevitably terminate in blindness; but permanent blindness is rarely the
consequence of distemper.
It may not be improper here shortly to revert to the different
appearance of the eye in rabies. In the early stage of this malady there
is an unnatural and often terrific brightness of the eye; but the cornea
in distemper is from the first rather clouded. In rabies there is
frequent strabismus, with the axis of the eye distorted outwards. The
apparent squinting of the eye in distemper is caused by the probably
unequal protrusion of the membrana nictitans over a portion of the eye
at the inner canthus, in order to protect it from the light. In rabies,
the white cloudiness which I have described, and the occasional
ulceration with very little cloudiness, and the ulceration, are confined
to the cornea; but a dense green opacity comes on, speedily followed by
ulceration and disorganization of every part of the eye.
The dog will, at this stage of distemper, be evidently feverish, and
will shiver and creep to the fire. He will more evidently and rapidly
lose flesh. The huskiness will be more frequent and troublesome, and the
discharge from the nose will have greater consistence. It will be often
and violently sneezed out, and will gradually become more or less
purulent. It will stick about the nostrils and plug them up, and thus
afford a considerable mechanical obstruction to the breathing.
The progress of the disease is now uncertain. Sometimes fits come on,
speedily following intense inflammation of the eye; or the inflammation
of the nasal cavity appears to be communicated, by proximity, to the
membrane of the brain. One fit is a serious thing. If it is followed by
a second within a day or two, the chances of cure are diminished; and if
they rapidly succeed each other, the dog is almost always lost. These
fits seldom appear without warning; and, if their approach is carefully
watched, they may possibly be prevented.
However indisposed to eat the dog may previously have been, the appetite
returns when the fits are at hand, and the animal becomes absolutely
voracious. Nature seems to be providing for the great expenditure of
power which epilepsy will soon occasion. The mucus almost entirely
disappears from the eyes, although the discharge from the nose may
continue unabated; and for an hour or more before the fit there will be
a champing of the lower jaw, frothing at the mouth, and discharge of
saliva. The champing of the lower jaw will be seen at least twelve hours
before the first fit, and will a little while precede every other. There
will also be twitchings of some part of the frame, and usually of the
mouth, cheek, or eyelid. It is of some consequence to attend to these,
as enabling us to distinguish between fits of distemper and those of
teething, worms, or unusual excitement. The latter come on suddenly. The
dog is apparently well, and racing about full of spirits, and without a
moment's warning he falls into violent convulsions.
We may here, likewise, be enabled to distinguish between rabies and
distemper. When a person, unacquainted with dogs, sees a dog struggling
in a fit, or running along unconscious of every surrounding object, or
snapping at everything in his way, whether it be a human being or a
stone, he raises the cry of "mad dog," and the poor brute is often
sacrificed. The very existence of a fit is proof positive that the dog
is not mad. No epilepsy accompanies rabies in any stage of that disease.
The inflammation of the membrane of the nose and fauces is sometimes
propagated along that of the windpipe, and the dog exhibits unequivocal
proofs of chest affection, or decided pneumonia.
At other times the bowels become affected, and a violent purging comes
on. The faeces vary from white with a slight tinge of gray, to a dark
slate or olive colour. By degrees mucus begins to mingle with the faecal
discharge, and then streaks of blood. The faecal matter rapidly lessens,
and the whole seems to consist of mingled mucus and blood; and, from
first to last, the stools are insufferably offensive. When the mingled
blood and mucus appear, so much inflammation exists in the intestinal
canal that the case is almost hopeless.
The discharge from the nose becomes decidedly purulent. While it is
white and without smell, and the dog is not too much emaciated, the
termination may be favourable; but when it becomes of a darker colour,
and mingled with blood, and offensive, the ethmoid or turbinated bones
are becoming carious, and death supervenes. This will particularly be
the case if the mouth and lips swell, and ulcers begin to appear on
them, and the gums ulcerate, and a sanious and highly offensive
discharge proceeds from the mouth. A singular, half-fetid smell arising
from the dog, is the almost invariable precursor of death.
When the disease first visited the continent, it was regarded as a
humoral disease. Duhamel, who was one of the earliest to study the
character of the malady, contended that the biliary sac contained the
cause of the complaint; the bile assumed a concrete form, and its
superabundance was the cause of disease. Barrier, one of the earliest
writers on the subject, described it as a violent irregular bilious
fever. Others regarded it as a mucous discharge, or a depurative; and
others, as a salutary crisis, removing from the constitution that which
oppressed the different organs. Others had recourse to inoculation, in
order to give it a more benign character; and others, and among them
Chabert, considered that it possessed a character of peculiar malignity,
and he gave it a name expressive of its nature and situation--'nasal
catarrh'. It exhibited the ordinary symptoms of coryza: it was a
catarrhal affection in its early stage; but it afterwards degenerated
into a species of palsy. The causes were unknown. By some, they were
attributed to the natural voracity of the dog; by others, to his
occasional lasciviousness; by others, to his frequent feeding on
carrion, or the refuse of fat and soups.
There is no doubt that nasal catarrh is, to a very considerable degree,
contagious on the continent. It often spreads over a wide extent of
country, and includes numerous animals of various descriptions. It is
complicated with various diseases; and particularly, at an early stage,
with ophthalmia. It may be interesting to the reader to trace the
progress of the disease among our continental neighbours. It commences
with a certain depression of spirits; a diminution of appetite; a
heaviness of the head; a heat of the mouth; an attempt to get something
from the throat; an insatiable thirst; an elevated temperature of the
body; a dry and painful suffocating cough; and all these circumstances
continue twenty to thirty days, until at length the dog droops and dies.
The duration of distemper is uncertain. It sometimes runs its course in
five or six days; or it may linger on two or three months. In some cases
the emaciation is rapid and extreme: danger is then to be apprehended.
When the muscles of the loins are much attenuated, or almost wasted,
there is little hope; and, although other symptoms may remit, and the
dog may be apparently recovering, yet, if he continues to lose flesh, we
may be perfectly assured that he will not live. On the other hand, let
the discharge from the nose be copious, and the purging violent, and
every other symptom threatening, yet if the animal gains a little flesh,
we may confidently predict his recovery.
When the dog is much reduced in strength and flesh, a spasmodic
affection or twitching of the muscles will sometimes be observed. It is
usually confined at first to one limb; but the most decisive treatment
is required, or these spasms will spread until the animal is altogether
unable to stand; and while he lies every limb will be in motion,
travelling, as it were, at the rate of twenty miles an hour, until the
animal is worn out, and dies of absolute exhaustion. When these spasms
become universal and violent, they are accompanied by constant and
dreadful moans and cries.
In the pointer and the hound, and particularly when there is little
discharge from the eyes or nose, an intense yellowness often suddenly
appears all over the dog. He falls away more in twenty-four hours than
it would be thought possible; his bowels are obstinately constipated; he
will neither eat nor move; and in two or three days he is dead.
In the pointer, hound, and greyhound, there sometimes appears on the
whole of the chest and belly a pustular eruption, which peels off in
large scales. The result is usually unfavourable. A more general
eruption, however, either wearing the usual form of mange, or
accompanied by minute pustules, may be regarded as a favourable symptom.
The disease is leaving the vital parts, and expending its last energy on
The 'post-mortem' appearances are exceedingly unsatisfactory: they do
not correspond with the original character of the disease, but with its
strangely varying symptoms. If the dog has died in fits, we have
inflammation of the brain or its membranes, and particularly at the base
of the brain, with considerable effusion of a serous or bloody fluid. If
the prevailing symptoms have led our attention to the lungs, we find
inflammation of the bronchial passages, or, in a few instances, of the
substance of the lungs, or the submucous tissue of the cells. We rarely
have inflammation of the pulmonary pleura, and never to any extent of
the intercostal pleura. In a few lingering cases, tubercles and vomicae
of the lungs have been found.
If the bowels have been chiefly attacked, we have intense inflammation
of the mucous membrane, and, generally speaking, the small intestines
are almost filled with worms. If the dog has gradually wasted away,
which is often the case when purging to any considerable extent has been
encouraged or produced, we have contraction of the whole canal,
including even the stomach, and sometimes considerable enlargement of
the mesenteric glands .
The membrane of the nose will always exhibit marks of inflammation, and
particularly in the frontal sinuses and ethmoidal cells; and I have
observed the portion of membrane on the septum, or cartilaginous
division of the nostrils, between the frontal sinuses and ethmoidal
cells, to be studded with small miliary tubercles. In advanced stages of
the disease, attended with much defluxion from the nose, the cells of
the ethmoidal bone and the frontal sinuses are filled with pus.
Ulceration is sometimes found on the membrane of the nose, oftenest on
the spot to which I have referred--occasionally confined to that; and
now and then spreading over the whole of the septum, and even corroding
and eating through it; generally equal on both sides of the septum; in a
few instances extending into the fauces; seldom found in the larynx, but
occasionally seen in the bronchial passages. The other viscera rarely
present any remarkable morbid appearance.
The distemper is clearly a disease of the mucous membranes, usually
commencing in the membrane of the nose, and resembling nasal catarrh. In
the early stage it is 'coryza', or nasal catarrh; but the affection
rapidly extends, and seems to attack the mucous membranes generally,
determined to some particular one, either by atmospheric influence or
accidental causes, or constitutional predisposition. The fits arise from
general disturbance of the system, or from the proximity of the brain to
the early seat of inflammation.
This account of the nature and treatment of distemper will, perhaps, be
unsatisfactory to some readers. One thing, however, is clear, that for a
disease which assumes such a variety of forms, there can be no specific;
yet there is not a keeper who is not in possession of some supposed
infallible nostrum. Nothing can be more absurd. A disease attacking so
many organs, and presenting so many and such different symptoms, must
require a mode of treatment varying with the organ attacked and the
symptom prevailing. The faith in these boasted specifics is principally
founded on two circumstances--atmospheric influence and peculiarity of
breed. There are some seasons when we can scarcely save a dog; there are
others when we must almost wilfully destroy him in order to lose him.
There are some breeds in which, generation after generation, five out of
six die of distemper, while there are others in which not one out of a
dozen dies. When the season is favourable, and the animal, by hereditary
influence, is not disposed to assume the virulent type of the disease,
these two important agents are overlooked, and the immunity from any
fatal result is attributed to medicine. The circumstances most conducive
to success will be the recollection that it is a disease of the mucous
surfaces, and that we must not carry the depleting and lowering system
too far. Keeping this in view, we must accommodate ourselves to the
symptoms as they arise.
The natural medicine of the dog seems to be an emetic. The act of
vomiting is very easily excited in him, and, feeling the slightest
ailment, he flies to the dog-grass, unloads his stomach, and is at once
well. In distemper, whatever be the form which it assumes, an emetic is
the first thing to be given. Common salt will do when nothing else is at
hand; but the best emetic, and particularly in distemper, consists of
equal parts of calomel and tartar emetic. From half a grain to a grain
and a half of each will constitute the dose.
This will act first as an emetic, and afterwards as a gentle purgative.
Then, if the cough is urgent, and there is heaving at the flanks, and
the nose is hot, a moderate quantity of blood may be taken--from three
to twelve ounces--and this, if there has been previous constipation, may
be followed by a dose of sulphate of magnesia, from two to six drachms.
In slight cases this will often be sufficient to effect a cure: but, if
the dog still droops, and particularly if there is much huskiness, the
antimonial or James's powder, nitre and digitalis, in the proportion of
from half a grain to a grain of digitalis, from two to five grains of
the James's powder, and from a scruple to a drachm of nitre, should be
administered twice or thrice in a day. If on the third or fourth day the
huskiness is not quite removed, the emetic should be repeated.
In these affections of the mucous membranes, it is absolutely necessary
to avoid or to get rid of every source of irritation, and worms will
generally be found a very considerable one in young dogs. If we can
speedily get rid of them, distemper will often rapidly disappear; but,
if they are suffered to remain, diarrhoea or fits are apt to supervene:
therefore some worm medicine should be administered.
I have said that vomiting is very easily excited in the dog; and that
for this reason we are precluded from the use of a great many medicines
in our treatment of him. Calomel, aloes, jalap, scammony, and gamboge
will generally produce sickness. We are, therefore, driven to some
mechanical vermifuge; and a very effectual one, and that will rarely
fail of expelling even the tape-worm, is tin filings or powdered glass.
From half a drachm to a drachm of either may be advantageously given
twice in the day. There may generally be added to them digitalis,
James's powder, and nitre, made into balls with palm oil and a little
linseed meal. This course should be pursued in usual cases until two or
three emetics have been given, and a ball morning and night on the
intermediate days. Should the huskiness not diminish after the first two
or three days, if the dog has not rapidly lost flesh, I should be
disposed to take a little more blood, and to put a seton in the poll. It
should be inserted between the ears, and reaching from ear to ear.
When there is fever and huskiness, and the dog is not much emaciated, a
seton is an excellent remedy; but, if it is used indiscriminately, and
when the animal is already losing ground, and is violently purging, we
shall only hasten his doom, or rather make it more sure.
It is now, if ever, that pneumonia will be perceived. The symptoms of
inflammation in the lungs of the dog can scarcely be mistaken. The quick
and laborious breathing, the disinclination or inability to lie down,
the elevated position of the head, and the projection of the muzzle,
will clearly mark it. More blood must be subtracted, a seton inserted,
the bowels opened with Epsom salts, and the digitalis, nitre, and
James's powder given more frequently and in larger doses than before.
Little aid is to be derived from observation of the pulse of the dog; it
differs materially in the breed, and size, and age of the animal. Many
years' practice have failed in enabling me to draw any certain
conclusion from it. The best place to feel the pulse of the dog is at
the side. We may possibly learn from it whether digitalis is producing
an intermittent pulse, which it frequently will do, and which we wish
that it should do: it should then be given a little more cautiously, and
in smaller quantities.
If the pneumonia is evidently conquered, or we have proceeded thus far
without any considerable inflammatory affection of the chest, we must
begin to change our plan of treatment. If the huskiness continues, and
the discharge from the nose is increased and thicker, and the animal is
losing flesh and becoming weak, we must give only half the quantity of
the sedative and diuretic medicine, and add some mild tonic, as gentian,
chamomile, and ginger, with occasional emetics, taking care to keep the
bowels in a laxative but not purging state. The dog should likewise be
urged to eat; and, if he obstinately refuses ail food, he should be
forced with strong beef jelly, for a very great degree of debility will
We have thus far considered the treatment of distemper from its
commencement; but it may have existed several days before we were
consulted, and the dog may be thin and husky, and refusing to eat. In
such case we should give an emetic, and then a dose of salts, and after
that proceed to the tonic and fever balls.
Should the strength of the animal continue to decline, and the discharge
from the nose become purulent and offensive, the fever medicine must be
omitted, and the tonic balls, with carbonate of iron, administered. Some
veterinary surgeons are very fond of gum resins and balsams. Mr. Blaine,
in his excellent treatise on the distemper in his Canine Pathology,
recommends myrrh and benjamin, and balsam of Peru and camphor. I much
doubt the efficacy of these drugs. They are beginning to get into
disrepute in the practice of human medicine; and I believe that if they
were all banished from the veterinary Materia Medica we should
experience no loss. When the dog begins to recover, although not so
rapidly as we could wish, the tonic balls, without the iron, may be
advantageously given, with now and then an emetic, if huskiness should
threaten to return; but mild and wholesome food, and country or good
air, will be the best tonics.
If the discharge from the nose become very offensive, the lips swelled
and ulcerated, and the breath fetid, half an ounce of yeast may be
administered every noon, and the tonics morning and night; and the mouth
should be frequently washed with a solution of chloride of lime.
At this period of the disease the sub-maxillary glands are sometimes
very much enlarged, and a tumour or abscess is formed, which, if not
timely opened, breaks, and a ragged, ill-conditioned ulcer is formed,
very liable to spread, and very difficult to heal. It is prudent to
puncture this tumour as soon as it begins to point, for it will never
disperse. After the opening, a poultice should be applied to cleanse the
ulcer; after which it should be daily washed with the compound tincture
of benjamin, and dressed with calamine ointment. Some balls should be
given, and the animal liberally fed.
Should the fits appear in an early stage, give a strong emetic; then
bleed, and open the bowels with five or six grains of calomel and a
quarter grain of opium: after this insert a seton, and then commence the
The progress of fits in the early stages of the disease may thus be
arrested. The occurrence of two or three should not make us despair;
but, if they occur at a later period, and when the dog is much reduced,
there is little hope. This additional expenditure of animal power will
probably soon carry him off. All that is to be done, is to administer a
strong emetic, obviate costiveness by castor oil, and give the tonic
balls with opium.
Of the treatment of the yellow disease little can be said; we shall not
succeed in one case in twenty. When good effect has been produced, it
has been by one large bleeding, opening the bowels well with Epsom
salts, and then giving grain doses of calomel twice a day in a tonic
While it is prudent to obviate costiveness, we should recollect that
there is nothing more to be dreaded, in every stage of distemper, than
diarrhoea. The purging of distemper will often bid defiance to the most
powerful astringents. This shows the folly of giving violent cathartics
in distemper; and, when I have heard of the ten, and twenty, and thirty
grains of calomel that are sometimes given, I have thought it fortunate
that the stomach of the dog is so irritable. The greater part of these
kill-or-cure doses is ejected, otherwise the patient would soon be
carried off by super-purgation. There is an irritability about the whole
of the mucous membrane that may be easily excited, but cannot be so
readily allayed; and, therefore, except in the earliest stage of
distemper, or in fits, or limiting ourselves to the small portion of
calomel which enters into our emetic, I would never give a stronger
purgative than castor-oil or Epsom salts. It is of the utmost
consequence that the purging of distemper should be checked as soon as
In some diseases a sudden purging, and even one of considerable
violence, constitutes what is called the crisis. It is hailed as a
favourable symptom, and from that moment the animal begins to recover;
but this is never the case in distemper: it is a morbid action which is
then going on, and which produces a dangerous degree of debility.
The proper treatment of purging in cases of distemper, is first to give
a good dose of Epsom salts, in order to carry away anything that may
offend, and then to ply the animal with mingled absorbents and
astringents. A scruple of powdered chalk, ten grains of catechu, and
five of ginger, with a quarter of a grain of opium, made into a ball
with palm oil, may be given to a middle-sized dog twice or thrice every
day. To this may be added injections of gruel, with the compound chalk
mixture and opium.
When the twitchings which I have described begin to appear, a seton is
necessary, whatever may be the degree to which the animal is reduced.
Some stimulating embrocation, such as tincture of cantharides, may be
rubbed along the whole course of the spine; and the medicine which has
oftenest, but not always, succeeded, is castor-oil, syrup of buckthorn,
and syrup of white poppies, given morning and night, and a tonic ball at
noon. If the dog will not now feed, he should be forced with strong
soup. As soon, however, as the spasms spread over him, accompanied by a
moaning that increases to a cry, humanity demands that we put an end to
that which we cannot cure. Until this happens I would not despair; for
many dogs have been saved that have lain several days perfectly
As to the chorea which I have mentioned as an occasional sequel of
distemper, if the dog is in tolerable condition, and especially if he is
gaining flesh, and the spring or summer is approaching, there is a
chance of his doing well. A seton is the first thing; the bowels should
be preserved from constipation; and the nitrate of silver, in doses of
one-eighth of a grain, made into a pill with linseed meal, and increased
to a quarter of a grain, should be given morning and night.
We should never make too sure of the recovery of a distempered dog, nor
commit ourselves by too early a prognosis. It is a treacherous disease;
the medicines should be continued until every symptom has fairly
disappeared; and for a month at least.
It may be interesting to add the following account of the distemper in
dogs, by Dr. Jenner. Several of our modern writers have copied very
closely from him.
"That disease among dogs which has familiarly been called the
'distemper,' has not hitherto, I believe, been, much noticed by
medical men. My situation in the country favouring my wishes to make
some observations on this singular malady, I availed myself of it,
during several successive years, among a large number of foxhounds
belonging to the Earl of Berkeley; and, from observing how frequently
it has been confounded with hydrophobia, I am induced to lay the
result of my inquiries before the Medical and Chirurgical Society. It
may be difficult, perhaps, precisely to ascertain the period of its
first appearance in Britain. In this and the neighbouring counties, I
have not been able to trace it back beyond the middle of the last
century; but it has since spread universally. I knew a gentleman who,
about forty-five years ago, destroyed the greater part of his hounds,
from supposing them mad, when the distemper first broke out among
them; so little was it then known by those most conversant with dogs.
On the continent I find it has been known for a much longer period; it
is as contagious among dogs as the small-pox, measles, or scarlet
fever among the human species; and the contagious miasmata, like those
arising from the diseases just mentioned, retain their infectious
properties a long time after separation from the distempered animal.
Young hounds, for example, brought in a state of health into a kennel,
where others have gone through the distemper, seldom escape it. I have
endeavoured to destroy the contagion by ordering every part of a
kennel to be carefully washed with water, then whitewashed, and
finally to be repeatedly fumigated with the vapour of marine acid, but
without any good result.
"The dogs generally sicken early in the second week after exposure to
the contagion; it is more commonly a violent disease than otherwise,
and cuts off at least one in three that are attacked by it. It
commences with inflammation of the substance of the lungs, and
generally of the mucous membrane of the bronchi. The inflammation at
the same time seizes on the membranes of the nostrils, and those
lining the bones of the nose, particularly the nasal portion of the
ethmoid bone. These membranes are often inflamed to such a degree as
to occasion extravasation of blood, which I have observed coagulated
on their surface. The breathing is short and quick, and the breath is
often fetid; the teeth are covered with a dark mucus. There is
frequently a vomiting of a glairy fluid. The dog commonly refuses
food, but his thirst seems insatiable, and nothing cheers him like the
sight of water. The bowels, although generally constipated as the
disease advances, are frequently affected with diarrhoea at its
commencement. The eyes are inflamed, and the sight is often obscured
by mucus secreted from the eyelids, or by opacity of the cornea. The
brain is often affected as early as the second day after the attack;
the animal becomes stupid, and his general habits are changed. In this
state, if not prevented by loss of strength, he sometimes wanders from
his home. He is frequently endeavouring to expel by forcible
expirations the mucus from the trachea and fauces, with a peculiar
rattling noise. His jaws are generally smeared with it, and it
sometimes flows out in a frothy state, from his frequent champing.
"During the progress of the disease, especially in its advanced
stages, he is disposed to bite and gnaw anything within his reach; he
has sometimes epileptic fits, and a quick succession of general though
slight convulsive spasms of the muscles. If the dog survive, this
affection of the muscles continues through life. He is often attacked
with fits of a different description; he first staggers, then tumbles,
rolls, cries as if whipped, and tears up the ground with his teeth and
fore feet: he then lies down senseless and exhausted. On recovering,
he gets up, moves his tail, looks placid, comes to a whistle, and
appears in every respect much better than before the attack. The eyes,
during this paroxysm, look bright, and, unless previously rendered dim
by mucus, or opacity of the cornea, seem as if they were starting from
their sockets. He becomes emaciated, and totters from feebleness in
attempting to walk, or from a partial paralysis of the hind legs. In
this state he sometimes lingers on till the third or fourth week, and
then either begins to show signs of returning health (which seldom
happens when the symptoms have continued with this degree of
violence), or expires. During convalescence, he has sometimes, though
rarely, profuse haemorrhage from the nose.
"When the inflammation of the lungs is very severe, he frequently dies
on the third day. I know one instance of a dog dying within
twenty-four hours after the seizure; and in that short space of time
the greater portion of the lungs was, from exudation, converted into a
substance nearly as solid as the liver of a sound animal. In this case
the liver itself was considerably inflamed, and the eyes and flesh
universally were tinged with yellow, though I did not observe anything
obstructing the biliary ducts. In other instances I have also observed
the eyes looking yellow.
"The above is a description of the disease in its several forms; but
in this, as in the diseases of the human body, there is every
gradation in its violence.
"There is also another affinity to some human diseases, viz., that the
animal which has once gone through it very rarely meets with a second
attack. Fortunately this distemper is not communicable to man. Neither
the effluvia from the diseased dog nor the bite have proved in any
instance infectious; but, as it has often been confounded with canine
madness, as I have before observed, it is to be wished that it were
more generally understood; for those who are bitten by a dog in this
state are sometimes thrown into such perturbation that hydrophobia
symptoms have actually arisen from the workings of the imagination.
Mr. John Hunter used to speak of a case somewhat of this description
in his lectures.
"A gentleman who received a severe bite from a dog, soon after fancied
the animal was mad. He felt a horror at the sight of liquids, and was
actually convulsed on attempting to swallow them. So uncontrollable
were his prepossessions, that Mr. Hunter conceived he would have died
had not the dog which inflicted the wound been found and brought into
his room in perfect health. This soon restored his mind to a state of
tranquillity. The sight of water no longer afflicted him, and he
quickly recovered." 
Palsy, more or less complete, is sometimes the termination of the
distemper in dogs.
It is usually accompanied by chorea, and it is then, in the majority of
cases, hopeless. Setons should be inserted in the poll, being then, as
nearly as possible, at the commencement of the spinal cord. They should
be well stimulated and worn a considerable time. If they fail, a plaster
composed of common pitch, with a very small quantity of yellow wax and
some powdered cantharides, spread on sheep's-skin, should be placed over
the whole of the lumbar and sacral regions, extending half-way down the
thigh on either side. The bowels should be kept open by mild aperients,
in order that every source of irritation may be removed from the
intestinal canal. Some mild and general tonic will likewise be useful,
such as gentian and ginger.
[Footnote 1: The following is a very frequent and unexaggerated history
of distemper, when calomel has been given in too powerful doses:
'August 30, 1828'.--A spaniel, six months old, has been ailing a
fortnight, and three doses of calomel have been given by the owner. He
has violent purging, with tenesmus and blood. Half an ounce of
'31st.' Astringents, morning, noon, and night.
'Sept. 6.' The astringents have little effect, or, if the purging is
restrained one day, it returns with increased violence on the following
day. Getting rapidly thin. Begins to husk. Astringents continued.
'10th'. The purging is at last overcome, but the huskiness has rapidly
increased, accompanied by laborious and hurried respiration.--Bleed to
the extent of three ounces.
'11th'. The breathing relieved, but he obstinately refuses to eat, and
is forced several times in the day with arrow-root or strong soup.
'18th'. He had become much thinner and weaker, and died in the evening.
No appearance of inflammation on the thoracic viscera, nor in any part
of the alimentary canal. The intestines are contracted through the whole
'Veterinarian', ii. 290.]
[Footnote 2: 'Medico-Chirurgical Transitions', 31st March, 1809.]
* * * * *
SMALL-POX; MANGE; WARTS; CANCER; FUNGUS HAEMATODES; SORE FEET.
In 1809, there was observed, at the Royal Veterinary School at Lyons, an
eruptive malady among the dogs, to which they gave the name of
'small-pox'. It appeared to be propagated from dog to dog by contagion.
It was not difficult of cure; and it quickly disappeared when no other
remedies were employed than mild aperients and diaphoretics. A sheep was
inoculated from one of these dogs. There was a slight eruption of
pustules formed on the place of inoculation, but nowhere else; nor was
there the least fever.
At another time, also, at the school at Lyons, a sheep died of the
regular sheep-pox. A part of the skin was fastened, during
four-and-twenty hours, on a healthy sheep, and the other part of it on a
dog, both of them being in apparent good health. No effect was produced
on the dog, but the sheep died of confluent sheep-pox.
The essential symptoms of small-pox in dogs succeed each other in the
following order: the skin of the belly, the groin, and the inside of the
fore arm, becomes of a redder colour than in its natural state, and
sprinkled with small red spots irregularly rounded. They are sometimes
isolated, sometimes clustered together. The near approach of this
eruption is announced by an increase of fever.
On the second day the spots are larger, and the integument is slightly
tumefied at the centre of each.
On the third day the spots are generally enlarged, and the skin is still
more prominent at the centre.
On the fourth day the summit of the tumour is yet more prominent.
Towards the end of that day, the redness of the centre begins to assume
a somewhat gray colour. On the following days, the pustules take on
their peculiar characteristic appearance, and cannot be confounded with
any other eruption, On the summit is a white circular point,
corresponding with a certain quantity of nearly transparent fluid which
it contains, and covered by a thin and transparent pellicle. This fluid
becomes less and less transparent, until it acquires the colour and
consistence of pus. The pustule, during its serous state, is of a
rounded form. It is flattened when the fluid acquires a purulent
character, and even slightly depressed towards the close of the period
of suppuration, and when that of desiccation is about to commence, which
ordinarily happens towards the ninth or tenth day of the eruption. The
desiccation and the desquamation occupy an exceedingly variable length
of time; and so, indeed, do all the different periods of the disease.
What is the least inconstant, is the duration of the serous eruption,
which is about four days, if it has been distinctly produced and guarded
from all friction. If the general character of the pustules is
considered, it will be observed, that, while some of them are in a state
of serous secretion, others will only have begun to appear.
The eruption terminates when desiccation commences in the first
pustules; and, if some red spots show themselves at that period of the
malady, they disappear without being followed by the development of
pustules. They are a species of abortive pustules. After the
desiccation, the skin remains covered by brown spots, which, by degrees,
die away. There remains no trace of the disease, except a few
superficial cicatrices on which the hair does not grow.
The causes which produce the greatest variation in the periods of the
eruption are, the age of the dog, and the temperature of the situation
and of the season. The eruption runs through its different stages with
much more rapidity in dogs from one to five months old than in those of
greater age. I have never seen it in dogs more than eighteen months old.
An elevated temperature singularly favours the eruption, and also
renders it confluent and of a serous character. A cold atmosphere is
unfavourable to the eruption, or even prevents it altogether. Death is
almost constantly the result of the exposure of dogs having small-pox to
any considerable degree of cold. A moderate temperature is most
favourable to the recovery of the animal. A frequent renewal or change
of air, the temperature remaining nearly the same, is highly favourable
to the patient; consequently close boxes or kennels should be altogether
I have often observed, that the perspiration or breath of dogs labouring
under variola emits a very unpleasant odour. This smell is particularly
observed at the commencement of the desiccation of the pustules, and
when the animals are lying upon dry straw; for the friction of the bed
against the pustules destroys their pellicles, and permits the purulent
matter to escape; and the influence of this purulent matter is most
pernicious. The fever is increased, and also the unpleasant smell from
the mouth, and that of the faeces. In this state there is a disposition
which is rapidly developed in the lungs to assume the character of
pneumonia. This last complication is a most serious one, and almost
always terminates fatally. It has a peculiar character. It shows itself
suddenly, and with all its alarming symptoms. It is almost immediately
accompanied by a purulent secretion from the bronchi, and the second day
does not pass without the characters of pneumonia being completely
developed. The respiration is accompanied by a mucous 'rale' which often
becomes sibilant. The nasal cavities are filled with a purulent fluid.
The dog that coughs violently at the commencement of the disease,
employs himself, probably, on the following day, in ejecting, by a
forcible expulsion from the nostrils, the purulent secretion which is
soon and plentifully developed. When he is lying quiet, and even when he
seems to be asleep, there is a loud, stertorous, guttural breathing.
The existence of certain insects found burrowing under the skin of the
human being, and of various tribes of animals, has been acknowledged
from the 12th century. In the 17th century, correct engravings of these
insects were produced. On the other hand many doubted their existence,
because it had not been their lot to see them. In 1812, Gales, a pupil
in the hospital of St. Louis, pretended to have found some of them. They
were put into the hands of M. Raspail, of Paris, who proved that they
were nothing more than the common cheese-mites; and substituted by Gales
for those seen by Bonomo.
Professor Hertwig, of Berlin, has given a graphic sketch of these
insects (Veterinarian, vol. xi. pp. 373, 489).
Mr. Holthouse states that, "placed on the skin of a healthy individual,
they excite a disease in the part to which they were confined, having
all the characters of scabies; that insects taken from mangy sheep,
horses, and dogs, and transplanted to healthy individuals of the same
species, produce in them a disease analogous to that in the animals from
which they were taken; and that there are too many well-attested cases
on record to permit us to doubt of scabies having been communicated from
animals to man."
Mange may in some degree be considered as an hereditary disease. A mangy
dog is liable to produce mangy puppies, and the progeny of a mangy bitch
will certainly become affected sooner or later. In many cases a
propensity to the disease will be speedily produced. If the puppies are
numerous, and confined in close situations, the effluvia of their
transpiration and faecal discharges will often be productive of mange
very difficult to be removed. Close confinement, salted food, and little
exercise, are frequent causes of mange.
'The Scabby Mange' is a frequent form which this disease assumes. It
assumes a pustular and scabby form in the red mange, particularly in
white-haired dogs, when there is much and painful inflammation. A
peculiar eruption, termed surfeit, which resembles mange, is sometimes
the consequence of exposure to cold after a hot sultry day. Large
blotches appear, from which the hair falls and leaves the skin bare and
rough. Acute mange sometimes takes on the character of erysipelas; at
other times there is considerable inflammation. The animal exhibits heat
and restlessness, and ulcerations of different kinds appear in various
parts, superficial but extensive. Bleeding, aperient and cooling
medicines are indicated, and also applications of the subacetate of
lead, or spermaceti ointment. A weak infusion of tobacco may be resorted
to when other things fail, but it must be used with much caution. The
same may be said of all mercurial preparations. The tanner's pit has
little efficacy, except in slight cases. Slight bleedings may be
serviceable, and especially in full habits; setons may be resorted to in
obstinate cases. A change in the mode of feeding will often be useful.
Mild purgatives, and especially Epsom salts, are often beneficial, and
also mercurial alternatives, as AEthiop's mineral with cream of tartar
and nitre. The external applications require considerable caution. If
mercury is used, care must be taken that the dog does not lick it. The
diarrhoea produced by mercury often has a fatal effect.
Unguents are useful, but considerable care must be taken in their
application. They must be applied to the actual skin, not over the hair.
In old and bad cases much time and patience will be requisite. Mr.
Blaine had a favourite setter who had virulent mange five years. He was
ordered to be dressed every day, or every second day, before the disease
was complete conquered.
Cutaneous affections have lately been prevalent to an extent altogether
unprecedented on this and on the other side of the channel. In the
latter part of 1843 the disease assumed a character which had not been
known among us for many years. The common mange, which we used to think
we could easily grapple with, was now little seen: even the usual red
mange with the fox-coloured stain was not of more frequent occurrence
than usual, but an intolerable itchiness with comparatively little
redness of skin, and rarely sufficient to account for the torture which
the animal seemed to endure, and often with not the slightest
discoloration of the integument, came before us almost every day, and
under its influence the dog became ill-tempered, dispirited, and
emaciated, until he sunk under its influence. All unguents were thrown
away here. Lotions of corrosive sublimate, decoction of bark, infusion
of digitalis or tobacco, effected some little good; but the persevering
use of the iodine of potassium, purgatives, and the abstraction of blood
very generally succeeded.
The sudden appearance of redness of the skin, and exudation from it, and
actual sores attending the falling off of the hair, and itching, that
seemed to be intolerable, have also been prevalent to an unprecedented
extent. This mange, however, is to a certain degree manageable. A dose
or two of physic should he given, with an application of a calamine
powder, and the administration of the iodide of potassium.
Mr. Blaine gives a most valuable account of mange in the dog, part of
which I shall quote somewhat at length. Mange exerts a morbid
constitutional action on the skin; it is infectious from various
miasmata, and it is contagious from personal communication. In some
animals it may be produced by momentary contact; it descends to other
animals of various descriptions; there is no doubt that it is
occasionally hereditary: it is generated by effluvia of many various
kinds; almost every kind of rancid or stimulating food is the parent of
it. High living with little exercise is a frequent cause of it, and the
near approach of starvation is not unfavorable to it. The scabby mange
is the common form under which it generally appears. In red mange the
whole integument is in a state of acute inflammation; surfeit, or
blotches, a kind of cuticular eruption breaks out on particular parts of
the body without the slightest notice, and, worse than all, a direct
febrile attack, with swelling and ulceration, occurs, under which the
dog evidently suffers peculiar heat and pain. Last of all comes local
mange. Almost every eruptive disease, whether arising from the eye, the
ear, the scrotum, or the feet, is injurious to the quality as well as
the health of every sporting dog: the scent invariably becomes diseased,
and the general powers are impaired.
There are several accounts of persons who, having handled mangy dogs,
have been affected with an eruption very similar to the mange. A
gentleman and his wife who had been in the habit of fondling a mangy pug
dog, were almost covered with an eruption resembling mange. Several of
my servants in the dog-hospital have experienced a similar attack; and
the disease was once communicated to a horse by a cat that was
accustomed to lie on his back as he stood in the stall.
These are often unpleasant things to have to do with. A Newfoundland dog
had the whole of the inside of his mouth lined with warts. I applied the
following caustic:--Hyd. suc-corrosivi [Symbol: ounce] j., acidi mur.
[Symbol: ounce], alcoholis [Symbol: ounce] iiij., aquae [Symbol: ounce]
ij. The warts were touched twice every day, and in less than a fortnight
they had all disappeared.
Another dog had its mouth filled with warts, and the above solution was
applied. In four days considerable salivation came on, and lasted a
week, but at the expiration of that time the warts had vanished. The
owner of the dog had applied the solution with the tip of her finger;
she experienced some salivation, which she attributed to this cause.
The skin of the dog, from the feebleness of its perspiratory functions,
is little sensible to the influence of diaphoretics: therefore we trust
so much to external applications for the cure of diseases of the skin of
This is a disease too frequent among females of the dog tribe, and
occasionally seen in the male. Its symptoms, local and general, are
various. They are usually very obscure in their commencement; they
increase without any limit; they are exasperated by irritants of any
kind; and in the majority of cases their reproduction is almost
constant, and perfectly incurable.
With regard to the female, it is mostly connected with the secretion of
milk. Two or three years may pass, and at almost every return of the
period of oestrum, there will be some degree of enlargement or
inflammation of the teats. Some degree of fever also appears; but, after
a few weeks have passed away, and one or two physic balls have been
administered, everything goes on well. In process of time, however, the
period of oestrum is attended by a greater degree of fever and
enlargement of the teats, and at length some diminutive hardened nuclei,
not exceeding in size the tip of a finger, are felt within one of the
teats. By degrees they increase in size; they become hard, hot, and
tender. A considerable degree of redness begins to appear. Some small
enlargements are visible. The animal evidently exhibits considerable
pain when these enlargements are pressed upon. They rapidly increase,
they become more hot and red, various shining protuberances appear about
the projection, and at length the tumour ulcerates. A considerable
degree of sanious matter flows from the aperture.
The tumours, however, after a while diminish in size; the heat and
redness diminish; the ulcer partly or entirely closes, but, after a
while, and especially when the next period of oestrum arrives, the
tumour again increases, and with far greater rapidity than before, and
then comes the necessity of the removal of the tumour, or if not, the
destruction of the animal. In the great majority of cases, the removal
of the cancer does not destroy the dog, but lessens its torture. The
knife and the forceps must usually be resorted to, and in the hands of a
skilful surgeon the life of the animal will be saved.
When the cancer is attached to the neighbouring parts by cellular
substance alone, no difficulty will be experienced in detaching the
whole of it. The operation will be speedily performed, and there will be
an end of the matter; but, if the tumour has been neglected, and the
muscular, the cellular, or even the superficial parts have been
attacked, the utmost caution is requisite that every diseased portion
shall be removed. Mr. Blaine adds to this that
"it must also be taken into the account, that, although in the canine
cancer ulceration does not often reappear in the intermediate part,
when the operation has been judiciously performed, yet, when the
constitution has been long affected with this ulcerative action, it is
very apt to show itself in some neighbouring part soon after."
In the month of March, 1836, a valuable pointer dog was sent to Mr. Adam
of Beaufort, quite emaciated, with total loss of appetite and with a
large fungus haematodes about the middle of the right side of his neck.
It had begun to appear about five months before, and was not at first
larger than a pea. Mr. Adam gave him a purgative of Barbadoes aloes,
which caused the discharge of much fetid matter from the intestines. At
the expiration of three days he removed the tumour with the knife. There
was a full discharge of healthy matter from the wound. During the period
of its healing the animal was well fed, and ferruginous tonics were
given. In a little more than three weeks the wound had completely filled
up with healthy granulations, and the dog was sent home to all
appearance quite well.
At the expiration of three months another tumour made its appearance
near the situation of the former one, growing fast; it had attained
nearly the size of the other. Mr. Adam removed it immediately, ordering
a system of nutritive feeding and tonics. It appeared at first to go on
favourable; but, five days after the removal of the second one, a third
made its appearance.
This was removed at the expiration of another five days; but the animal
was totally unable to walk, with very laborious breathing and cold
extremities. A cathartic was given and the legs bandaged; but the wounds
made no progress towards healing, and at the end of three days he died.
On exposing the cavity of the thorax it was almost covered with
variously formed tumours, from the size of a pigeon's egg to that of a
small pea. The intercostal muscles had many of these adhering to them,
and a few small ones were developed on the heart. There were three on
the diaphragm, in the centre of which matter was formed. The
blood-vessels, kidneys, &c., were free from disease. These tumours were
white, or nearly so, rather hard, and of a glandular substance. The
external ones were soft, red, and almost destitute of blood-vessels,
except the first, which bled considerably. There was dropsy of the
Sore feet constitute a frequent and troublesome complaint. It consists
of inflammation of the vascular substance, between the epidermis and the
parts beneath. It is the result of numerous slight contusions, produced
by long travelling in dry weather, or hunting over a hard and rough
country, or one covered with frost and snow. The irritation with which
it commences continues to increase and a certain portion of fluid is
determined to the feet, and tubercles are formed, hard, hot, and tender,
until the whole foot is in a diseased state, considerably enlarged. The
animal sadly suffers, and is scarcely able to stand up for a minute.
Sometimes the ardour of the chase will make him for a while forget all
this; but on his return, and when he endeavours to repose himself, it is
with difficulty that he can be got up again. The toes become enlarged,
the skin red and tender, and the horny sole becomes detached and drops.
Local fever, and that to a considerable extent, becomes established; it
reacts on the general economy of the animal, who scarcely moves from his
bed, and at length refuses all food. At other times a separation takes
place between the dermis and the epidermis, which is a perfect mass of
Still, however, it is only when all this has much increased, or has been
neglected, that any permanently dangerous consequences take place. When
violent inflammation has set in, the feet must be carefully attended to,
or the dog may be lamed for life. One or two physic-balls may be given;
all salted meat should be removed, and the animal supplied with food
without being compelled to move from his bed. The feet should be bathed
with warm water, and a poultice of linseed meal applied to them twice in
the day. If, as is too often the case, he should tear this off, the feet
should be often fomented. It is bad practice in any master of dogs to
suffer them to be at all neglected when there are any tokens of
inflammation of the feet. The neglect of even a few days may render a
dog a cripple for life. If there are evident appearances of pus
collecting about the claws, or any part of the feet, the abscess should
be opened, well bathed with warm water, and friar's balsam applied to
When the feet have been neglected, the nail is apt to grow very rapidly,
and curve round and penetrate into the foot. The forceps should he
applied, and the claws reduced to their proper size.
If there are any indications of fever, or if the dog should be
continually lying down, or he should hold up his feet, and keep them
apart as much as he can, scarifications or poultices, or both, should be
When the feet of a dog become sore in travelling, the foolish habit of
washing them with brine should never be permitted, although it is very
commonly resorted to. Warm fomentations, or warm pot-liquor, or
poultices of linseed meal should be applied, or, if matter is apparently
forming, the lancet may be resorted to.
Dogs are frequently sent to the hospital with considerable redness
between the toes, and ichorous discharge, and the toes thickened round
the base of the nails, as if they were inclined to drop off. The common
alterative medicine should be given, and a lotion composed of hydrarg.
oxym. gr. vi., alcohol [Symbol: ounce] j., et aq. calcis [Symbol: ounce]
iiij., should he applied to the feet three times every day. Leathern
gloves should be sewn on them. These cases are often very obstinate.
Generally speaking, the dog has five toes on the fore feet, and four on
the hind feet, with a mere rudiment of a fifth metatarsal bone in some
feet; but, in others, the fifth bone is long and well proportioned, and
advances as far as the origin of the first phalanx of the neighbouring
[The editor begs leave to add a more detailed and systematic treatise of
the affections generally attacking the feet and limbs of our dogs.
DISEASES OF THE FEET.
Inflammation of the feet, a disease somewhat analogous to founder in
horses, and often attended with equally bad results, particularly in the
English kennels, is comparatively rare with us, although there are few
sportsmen but have met with some cases among their dogs. The feet become
tender, swollen, and hot, violent inflammatory action sets in, the toes
become sore, the claws diseased, and the balls very painful, and often
The animal is thus speedily rendered useless; not being able to support
his body, owing to the intense pain, he remains in his house, and
employs the most of his time in temporarily assuaging his sufferings by
constantly licking the diseased members.
'Causes'.--Running long distances over frozen or stony grounds, hunting
over a rough and ill-cleaned country, over-feeding, confinement, and
lazy habits, are all conducive in some measure to this affection.
This form of disease is not uncommon among those dogs used in toling
ducks on the Chesapeake bay, these animals being obliged to run
incessantly to and fro over the gravel shores, in their efforts to
attract the canvass-back. We have seen many dogs that have been made
cripples by this arduous work, and rendered prematurely old while yet in
their prime. It would certainly be wise and humane on the part of those
who pursue this sport either for pleasure or gain, to provide suitable
boots for these sagacious animals, who in return would repay such
kindness by increased ardour and length of service. These articles might
be made of leather, or some other durable substance, in such a manner
that they could be laced on every morning before commencing their
The claws should be allowed to project through openings in the boot, as
this arrangement will give much more freedom to the feet, and the boot
itself will not be destroyed so soon by the penetration of the toes
through its substance. Boots thus neatly made will neither interfere
with his locomotive nor swimming powers, but add greatly to the comfort
of the animal, and secure his services for many years.
'Treatment'.--No stimulating applications to the feet are to be used,
such as salt water, ley, fish brine, or urine, but rather emollient
poultices and cooling washes. These last-mentioned remedies should be
carefully applied, and the dog confined to his house as much as
possible: in fact, there is little difficulty in restraining him in this
respect, as he has but little inclination or ability to move about.
Purging balls should be administered every night, and blood abstracted
if there be much fever, as indicated in the heat, swelling, and pain of
If the balls continue to swell, and there is a collection of pus within
them, they may be opened by the lancet, and the contents evacuated,
after which apply a linseed poultice. When the inflammation has
subsided, simple dressings of melted butter or fresh lard will generally
effect a cure.
PUSTULAR AFFECTION OF THE FEET.
Dogs frequently have a pustular eruption between the toes, either
accompanying mange or some other skin disease, or entirely independent
of any other affection.
'Causes'.--Want of cleanliness, bad housing, improper food, vermin, and
'Treatment'.--Frequent washing with castile soap and water will correct
this disease; the feet and legs after washing should be rubbed dry,
particularly between the toes. When the pustules are large, they may be
opened with the lancet and a poultice applied. If the disease appears
complicated with mange, or dependent upon other general causes, the
primary affection must be removed by the proper remedies, which
generally carries off with the secondary disease.
It is not an uncommon occurrence for dogs, while running, climbing
fences, or jumping ditches, to sprain themselves very severely in the
knee, or more frequently in the shoulder-joint; and if not properly
attended to, will remain cripples for life, owing to enlargement of the
tendon and deposition of matter.
We once had a fine, large, powerful bull-dog, that sprained himself in
the shoulder while running very violently in the street after another
dog, and in some way, owing to the great eagerness to overtake the
other, tripped up when at the top of his speed, fell on his chest, and
when he arose commenced limping, and evidently suffered from
considerable pain. On taking him home, we examined his feet, limbs, and
chest very particularly, expecting to find a luxation or fracture of
some of the bones of the leg or feet, or perhaps the presence of a piece
of glass or other article deeply imbedded in the ball. None of the above
accidents, however, being brought to light by our examination, or that
of a medical friend who expressed a wish to see our patient, we
concluded that a simple sprain of some of the tendons had taken place.
On the following day there was slight swelling and tenderness of the
shoulder-joint, accompanied by great unwillingness to put the foot to
the ground, owing to the pain that seemed to be produced by the
extension of the leg. The limb was fomented, and the dog confined for
several days, till the swelling and tenderness disappeared; but, greatly
to our astonishment and that of others, he still remained lame as
This lameness continued for several months, when we parted with him,
sending him to a relative in the country, who informed us that he never
recovered the use of his limb, but that it became shrivelled and
deformed for want of use.
The cause of lameness in this dog is as unaccountable as some cases of
lameness we see in horses. We are convinced that there was neither
fracture nor luxation, nor any other unnatural displacement of the
parts, and can attribute it to nothing but enlargement of one of the
tendons of the shoulder-joint resulting from inflammation. If it had
been in our power, we should have liked to have examined this animal
'Treatment'.--Hot fomentations to the part affected, together with
purging balls and bleeding, if there be great tenderness and swelling of
the limb. When the inflammation and tumefaction have disappeared, rub
the parts with opodeldoc, or other stimulating mixtures.
WOUNDS OF THE FEET.
Dogs are apt to cut their feet by stepping upon sharp tools, bits of
oyster-shell, old iron, &c., or by the introduction of thorns, burrs,
nails, bits of glass, and other articles, into their balls.
'Treatment'.--If the cut be very deep, or divides the ball, the foot
must be washed in tepid water, and the edges of the wound drawn together
and retained in their position by a couple of sutures or a strap or two