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Definition of Inflammation.--Symptoms and Treatment of Rabies, Tetanus, and
Turnside.-Of Inflammation of the Eye, Ear (canker), Mouth, and Nose.-Of the Lungs.-Of the Stomach. ---Of the Bowels. Of the Liver.-Of the Kidneys and Bladder,--Of the Skin.
DEFINITION OF INFLAMMATION.
INFLAMMATION consists in a retardation of the flow of blood in the small vessels, which requires an increased action of the large ones to overcome it. When external and visible, it is characterised by increased heat, swelling, pain, and redness, and internally by the first three, the last not being discoverable, though existing. It may be acute when coming on rapidly, or chronic when slow, and without very active symptoms. In the acute form there is always an increased rapidity of the pulse, with a greater reaction on the heart's pulsations, known as hardness of the pulse. In the dog the healthy pulsations are from 90 to 100 in the minute, which may be taken as the standard of health ; the arterial pulse may be felt on the inside of the arm above the knee; or, by putting the hand against the lower part of the chest, the contractions of the heart may be readily felt. In different breeds, however, there is considerable variation in the pulsations of the heart.
HYDROPHOBIA, RABIES, OR MADNESS.
This disease has been classed among the inflammations, although it has not been proved to arise from that cause ; but, as it is generally supposed to be connected with an inflammation or congestion of the spinal column and brain, there is every reason for placing it at the head of this division; and, as it is of the utmost importance to understand its symptoms, the sooner it is studied the better. At present there appears to be little or no control over this horrible complaint, so that it is solely with a view to recognise the attack and prevent its transmission by inoculation, that it is interesting to the owner of the dog.
The symptoms are chiefly as follows :—the first is a marked change of temper; the naturally cheerful dog becoming waspish and morose, and the bold fondling pet retreating from his master's hand as if it was that of a stranger. On the other hand, the shy dog sometimes becomes bold; but in almost every case there is a total change of manner for several days before the absolute outbreak of the attack, which is indicated by a kind of delirious watching of imaginary objects, the dog snapping at the wall, or if anything comes in his way, tearing it to pieces with savage fury. With this there is constant watchfulness, and sometimes a peculiarly hollow howl, while at others no sound whatever is given, the case being then described as “dumb madness.” Fever is always present, but it is difficult to ascertain its extent on account of the danger of approaching the patient, and with this (in contradiction to the name hydrophobia) there is invariably an urgent thirst, which the dog is in such a hurry to gratify that he generally upsets the vessel containing his water. Mr. Grantley Berkeley maintains very strongly than no dog really attacked with rabies will touch water, and that the presence of thirst is a clear sign of the absence of this disease ; but this opinion is so entirely in opposition to the careful accounts given by all those who have witnessed the disease when it had unquestionably been communicated either to man or to some of the lower animals, that no reliance ought to be placed upon it, especially where so important a stake is involved. Mr Youatt witnessed more cases of rabies than perhaps any equally good observer ever did, and he strongly insists upon the presence of thirst, as may be gathered from the concluding portion of the following extract :
“Some very important conclusions may be drawn from the appearance and character of the urine. The dog, and at particular times when he is more than usually salacious, may, and does diligently search the urining places; he may even at those periods be seen to lick the spot which another has just wetted ; but, if a peculiar eagerness accompanies this strange employment, if, in the parlour, which is rarely disgraced by this evacuation, every corner is perseveringly examined, and licked with unwearied and there is great danger about him; he may, without any other symptom, be pronounced to be decidedly rabid. I never knew a single mistake about this.
“Much has been said of the profuse discharge of saliva from the mouth of the rabid dog. It is an undoubted fact that, in this disease, all the glands concerned in the secretion of saliva become increased in bulk and vascularity. The sublingual glands wear an evident character of inflammation ; but it never equals the increased discharge that accompanies epilepsy or nausea. The frothy spume at the corners of the mouth is not for a moment to be compared with that which is evident enough in both of these affections. It is a symptom of short duration, and seldom lasts longer than twelve hours. The stories that are told of the mad dog covered with froth are altogether fabulous. The dog recovering from, or attacked by, a fit may be seen in this state; but not the rabid dog. Fits are often mistaken for rabies, and hence the delusion.
“The increased secretion of saliva soon passes away. It lessens in quantity; it becomes thicker, viscid, adhesive, and glutinous. It clings to the corners of the mouth, and probably more annoyingly so to the membrane of the fauces. The human being is sadly distressed by it, he forces it out with the greatest violence, or utters the falsely supposed bark of a dog, in his attempts to force it from his mouth. This symptom occurs in the human being when the disease is fully established, or at a late period of it. The dog furiously attempts to detach it with his paws.
“It is an early symptom in the dog, and it can scarcely be mistaken in him. When he is fighting with his paws at the corners of his mouth, let no one suppose that a bone is sticking between the poor fellow's teeth ; nor should any useless and dangerous effort be made to relieve him. If all this uneasiness arose from a bone in the mouth, the mouth would continue permanently open, instead of closing when the animal for a moment discontinues his efforts. If after a while he loses his balance and tumbles over, there can be no longer any mistake. It is the saliva becoming more and more glutinous, irritating the fauces and threatening suffocation.
“ To this naturally and rapidly succeeds an insatiable thirst. The dog that still has full power over the muscles of his jaws continues to lap. He knows not when to cease, while the poor fellow labouring under the dumb madness, presently to be described, and whose jaw and tongue are paralysed, plunges his muzzle into the water-dish to his very eyes, in order that he may get one drop of water into the back part of his mouth to moisten and to cool his dry and parched fauces. Hence, instead of this disease being always characterised by the dread of water in the dog, it is marked by a thirst often perfectly unquenchable. Twenty years ago, this assertion would have been peremptorily denied. Even at the present day we occasionally meet with those who ought to know better, and who will not believe that the dog which fairly, or perhaps eagerly, drinks, can be rabid.”—Youatt, pp. 135-6.
From my own experience I can fully confirm the above account, having seen seven cases of genuine rabies, in all of which thirst