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Never having seen a case of this disease in the dog, I must be content with extracting entire Mr. Youatt's description of it :
“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 diaphoreties. 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 grey 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 avoided.
“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 fæces. 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 râle 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."
This term is applied to the fever which comes on either before or after some severe local affection, and being, as it were, eclipsed by it. Thus in all severe inflammations there is an accompanying
fever which generally shows itself before the exact nature of the attack is made manifest, and though it runs high, yet it has no tendency in itself to produce fatal results, subsiding, as a matter of course, with the inflammation which attends it. The same happens in severe injuries ; but here also, if there is no inflammation, there is no fever; so that the same rule applies as where there is an external cause.
The treatment of this kind of fever is always merged in that which is necessary for the attendant inflammation, and this being removed the fever subsides ; it therefore requires no special notice to be taken of it, or any remedy to be directed to it.