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result has been that some people fancy it to be a sure preventive, and there is evidence that for years after it has been adopted in certain kennels distemper, which was previously rife in them, has been kept at bay. On the other hand, a still more numerous party have found no change produced in the mortality among their dogs, and they have come as a natural consequence to the opposite conclusion. Reasoning from analogy, there is no ground for supposing that the matter of small-pox or cow-pox should prevent the access of a disease totally dissimilar to these complaints; but, as experience is here the best guide, the appeal must be made to it in order to settle the question. Judging from this test, I can see no reason whatever for the faith which is placed in vaccination, because there are at least as many recorded failures as successes; and as we know that after any remedy there will always be a certain number of assumed cures held out by sanguine individuals, so we must allow for a great many in this particular case. Distemper is well known to be most irregular in its attacks, and to hit or miss particular kennels, as the case may be, for years together; after which it reverses its tactics; and as vaccination is used at any of these various periods of change, so it gains credit or discredit which it does not deserve. My own belief is, after trying it myself and seeing it tried, and after also comparing the experience of others, that vaccination is wholly inoperative; but, as others may like to test it for themselves, I here append directions for the operation.
To vaccinate the dog.–Select the thin skin on the inside of the ear, then with a lancet charged with vaccine lymph (which should be as fresh as possible) make three or four oblique punctures in the skin, to such a depth as barely to draw blood, charging the lancet afresh each time. If the lymph cannot be procured fresh, the punctures must be made as above described, and then the points charged with dry lymph must be introduced one in each puncture and well rubbed into the cut surface so as to insure the removal of the lymph from the points. In four or five days an imperfect vesicle is formed, which, if not rubbed, goes on to maturity and scabs at the end of ten days or thereabout. There are various other methods suggested, such as introducing a piece of thread dipped in the virus, &c., but the above is the proper plan, if any is likely to be effectual.
The treatment of the various sequels of distemper, including fits, palsy, &c., will be given under those heads respectively.
One of the most common diseases in the dog is rheumatism in some form, generally showing itself with very little fever, but sometimes being accompanied with a high degree of that attendant evil. The frequency of this disease is owing to the constant exposure of the dog to cold and wet, and very often to his kennel being damp, which is the fertile source of kennel lameness, or chest-founder, which is nothing more than rheumatism of the muscles of the shoulders. Again, those which spend half their time before a roasting fire, and the other half in the wet and cold, are extremely apt to contract this kind of fever, but not in so intractable a form as the denizen of the damp kennel. By some writers this affection is classed among the inflammations ; and it is a debatable point to which of these divisions it should be assigned; but this is of little consequence, so that it is properly known and easily recognised by the symptoms. I shall therefore include here rheumatic fever, which is a general affection, and also the partial attacks known as kennel lameness or chest-founder, and rheumatism of the loins, commonly called palsy of the back.
Rheumatic ferer is known by the following signs :—There is considerable evidence of fever, but not of a very high character, the pulse being full but not very quick, with shivering and dulness, except when touched or threatened, the slightest approach causing a shriek, evidently from the fear of pain. The dog almost always retires into a corner, and is very reluctant to come out of it. On being forcibly brought out he snarls at the hand even of his best friend, and stands with his back up, evidently prepared to defend himself from the pat of the hand, which to him is anguish. The bowels are confined, and the urine high-coloured and scanty.
The treatment consists in bleeding from the neck, to a moderate extent, if the dog is very gross and full of condition, then giving a smart dose of opening physic: (12) or (13). After this has acted give the following pills :
Syrup, enough to make a pill. This is the dose for an average-sized dog. A hot bath will often be of service, taking care to dry the skin afterwards before the fire. Then follow up with a liberal friction by the aid of the liniment (43).
Kennel lameness, or chest-founder, shows itself in a stiffness or soreness of the shoulders, so that the dog is unable to gallop freely down hill, and is often reluctant to jump off his bench to the ground, the shock giving pain to the muscles suspending the body to the shoulder-blades, which are affected with rheumatism. It is peculiarly prominent in the kennels of foxhounds, for these dogs, being exposed to wet and cold for hours together and then being sometimes brought home to a damp lodging-room, contract the disease with great frequency. Pampered house pets are also very liable to chest-founder, over-feeding being quite as likely to produce rheumatism as exposure to cold, and when both are united this state is almost sure to be established. When it becomes chronic there is little or no fever attendant on it, nor is there much in the recent state. After it has existed for some months it is generally considered to be incurable, but instances are known in which the stiffness has entirely disappeared. Chestfounder also arises from a sprain of the muscles suspending the chest between the shoulders.
The remedies for kennel lameness are nearly the same as for general rheumatism, taking care to remove the cause if it has existed in the shape of a damp cold lodging-room. The food should be light, and composed chiefly of vegetable materials, strong animal food being inclined to increase the rheumatic affection. The liniment (43) is very likely to be of service, especially if used after the hot bath, as previously described. It has been asserted, by persons of experience, that a red herring given two or three times a week will cure this disease : I have no personal experience of the merits of this remedy, but, according to Col. Whyte, it has recently been discovered that there is an active principle in the herring that is a complete specific in human rheumatism, and therefore this apparently inert remedy may really be a very powerful one. At all events it is worth a trial. It is ordered to be given with two drachms of nitre and one of camphor, most dogs readily eating the herring and camphor, and the nitre being added in a little water as a drench. Codliver oil is also said to be of great service (5). Iodine with sarsaparilla (3) is a combination which I have known of more service than any internal medicines.
A dragging of the hind limbs is common enough in the dog, and, though often called palsy, it really is almost always of a rheumatic nature. It exactly resembles chest-founder in all its symptoms, excepting that the muscles affected are situated in the loins and hips, corresponding with human lumbago in all particulars, excepting that it is far more permanent. The causes and treatment are the same as those of kennel lameness.