« AnteriorContinuar »
suffice; but if not, after trying good nourishing animal food, mixed with a proper proportion of vegetables, recourse may be had to the following tonic, which is often of the greatest service :
Sulphate of zinc, 2 to 5 grains.
Extract of gentian, 3 grains.
Attention must be carefully paid to the state of the bowels, both constipation and looseness being prejudicial to the health, and each requiring the appropriate treatment laid down at pages 412 and 414. Sometimes the tonic pill (62) will do wonders, and often the change from it to the sulphate of zinc and back again will be of more service than either of them continued by itself. A perseverance in these methods, with the aid of the shower-bath, used by means of a watering-pot applied to the head and spine, and followed by moderate exercise, will sometimes entirely remove the disease, though in the majority of cases a slight drop will be ever afterwards noticed, and in sporting-dogs the strength is seldom restored to the same extent as before.
This resembles chorea in its nature, but it is incessant, except during sleep, and attacks the whole body. The same remedies may be applied, but it is an incurable disease, though not always destroying life.
Fits are of three kinds : 1st, those arising from irritation, especially in the puppy, and known as convulsive fits; 2nd, those connected with pressure on the brain, and being of the nature of apoplexy; and 3rd, epileptic fits, which may occur at all ages, and even at intervals throughout the whole life of the animal.
Convulsive fits are generally produced by the irritation of dentition, and occur chiefly at the two periods when the teeth are cut, that is, in the first month, and from the fifth to the seventh. They come on suddenly, the puppy lying on its side, and being more or less convulsed, the extent and severity of the struggling being no indication of the amount of the disease. There is no foaming at the mouth, and the recovery from them is gradual, in both these points differing from epilepsy. The only treatment at all likely to be of service, is the use of the hot-bath, which in young and delicate puppies may sometimes give relief. Fits arising in distemper, are caused by absolute mischief in the brain, unless they occur as a consequence of worms, which will also produce them at other times, and are nearly as often the cause as teething. In such cases, these parasites being removed, the fits cease.
In apoplectic fits the dog lies insensible, or nearly so, without foaming at the mouth, but snoring and breathing heavily. Here the treatment must be conducted by taking away blood from the neck-vein, afterwards purging by means of croton oil, and inserting a seton in the back of the neck. The attack, however, is generally fatal, in spite of the most scientific treatment.
Epilepsy may be distinguished by the blueness of the lips and gums, and by the constant champing of the jaws and frothing at the mouth, which constantly accompany its attacks. The fit comes on without any notice, frequently in sporting dogs while they are at work, a hot day being specially provocative of it. In the pointer and setter, the fit almost always occurs just after a “point,” the excitement of which seems to act upon the brain in producing it. The dog falls directly the birds are sprung, and after lying struggling for a few minutes, or perhaps a quarter of an hour, rises, looking wildly about him, and then sitting or lying down again for a few minutes, he is ready to go to work again, apparently unconscious of anything having been the matter. As in chorea so in epilepsy, nothing is known of the cause, and the treatment is therefore guided by the most empirical principles. Within the last ten years bromide of potassium has been used with great success in the human subject, but although I have recommended its use in many cases on the dog, I have not heard the result. The dose for a moderate-sized animal is 3 grs. twice a day in a pill, continued for a month at least.
Worms are a fertile source of disease in the dog, destroying every year more puppies than distemper itself; and, in spite of
every precaution, appearing in the kennelled hound or shootingdog, as well as the pampered house-pet and the half-starved cur. In old and constantly used kennels they are particularly rife, and I believe that, in some way, their ova remain from year to year, attached either to the walls or to the benches. All of the varieties met with are propagated by ova, though some, as the Ascaris lumbricoides, are also viviparous, so that the destruction of the worms actually existing at the time the vermifuge is given does not necessarily imply the after clearance of the animal, who may be infested with them as badly as before, from the hatching of the eggs left behind. The natural history of these parasites is, however, very imperfectly understood, in spite of the carefully recorded and ex: tended labours of Rudolphi, Schmalz, Cloquet, Creplin, and our own Owen ; indeed, as it is not till after the death of the animal infested by them that they can be reached, it is only wonderful that so much is known. Besides the intestinal worms, there are also others met with in the dog, including the large kidney worm, (Strongylus gigas), which shall presently be described, and the hydatid, which is in all probability the cause of turnside ; but, though found in the dog's brain, its presence has not, I believe, been clearly associated with that disease. I shall, therefore, first describe the appearance of each kind of worm; then the symptoms of worms in general ; and, lastly, the best means for their expulsion.
The Maw-worm (Ascaris rermicularis) is much larger than its representative in the human subject, which is a mere thread, and is hence called the "thread-worm.” In the dog it is about an inch in length (fig. 1), of a milky white colour, with one end cut off obtusely and slightly puckered (the mouth), and the other
Fig. 1. pointed (the tail). Maw-worms exist in great numbers in the dog, chiefly occupying the large intestines, and not injuring the health to any great degree, unless they exist in very large numbers. They are male and female, and are propagated by ora.
The Round-worm (Ascaris lumbricoides) is from four to seven inches long, round, firm, and of a pale pink colour. The two extremities are exactly alike, and are slightly flattened in one direction at the point (see fig. 2), in which a shows the worm extended,