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Dysentery






Category: Diseases and their Remedies

This disease is very frequently confounded with the foregoing. A
distinction, however, exists,--since inflammation appears in this
disease, while it is absent in the former. In this affection,
inflammation of the large intestines takes place, which is attended with
diarrhoea. The faeces are covered with blood; the animal rapidly
becomes prostrated, and death frequently comes to his relief.

Youatt says: "It is, however, with dysentery that the practitioner is
most loth to cope,--a disease that betrays thousands of cattle. This,
also, may be either acute or chronic. Its causes are too often buried in
obscurity, and its premonitory symptoms are disregarded or unknown.
There appears to be a strong predisposition in cattle to take on this
disease. It seems to be the winding-up of many serious complaints, and
the foundation of it is sometimes laid by those that appear to be of the
most trifling nature. It is that in cattle which glanders and farcy are
in the horse,--the breaking up of the constitution.

"Dysentery may be a symptom and concomitant of other diseases. It is one
of the most fearful characteristics of murrain; it is the destructive
accompaniment, or consequence, of phthisis. It is produced by the sudden
disappearance of a cutaneous eruption; it follows the cessation of
chronic hoose; it is the consequence of the natural or artificial
suspension of every secretion. Were any secretion to be particularly
selected, the repression of which would produce dysentery, it would be
that of the milk. How often does the farmer observe that no sooner does
a milch cow cease her usual supply of milk than she begins to purge!
There may not appear to be any thing else the matter with her; but she
purges, and, in the majority of cases, that purging is fatal.

"It may, sometimes, however, be traced to sufficient causes, exclusive
of previous disease. Unwholesome food--exposure to cold--neglect at
the time of calving--low and marshy situations--the feeding in meadows
that have been flooded, where it is peculiarly fatal--the grazing
(according to Mr. Leigh, and our experience confirms his statement) upon
the clays lying over the blue lias rock--the neighborhood of woods and
of half-stagnant rivers--the continuation of unusually sultry
weather--overwork, and all the causes of acute dysentery, may produce
that of a chronic nature; an acute dysentery--neglected, or badly, or
even most skillfully treated--may degenerate into an incurable chronic
affection. Half starve a cow, or over-feed her, milk her to exhaustion,
or dry her milk too rapidly--and dysentery may follow.

"The following will, probably, be the order of the symptoms, if they are
carefully observed: There will be a little dullness or anxiety of
countenance, the muzzle becoming short or contracted; a slight shrinking
when the loins are pressed upon; the skin a little harsh and dry; the
hair a little rough; there will be a slight degree of uneasiness and
shivering that scarcely attracts attention; then--except it be the
degeneracy of acute into chronic dysentery--constipation may be
perceived. It will be to a certain extent, obstinate; the excrement will
voided with pain; it will be dry, hard, and expelled in small
quantities. In other cases, perhaps, purging will be present from the
beginning; the animal will be tormented with tenesmus, or frequent
desire to void its excrement, and that act attended by straining and
pain, by soreness about the anus, and protrusion of the rectum, and
sometimes by severe colicky spasms. In many cases, however, and in those
of a chronic form, few of these distressing symptoms are observed, even
at the commencement of the disease; but the animal voids her faeces
oftener than it is natural that she should, and they are more fluid than
in a state of health; while at the same time she loses her appetite and
spirits and condition, and is evidently wasting away."

Treatment.--Give one drachm of the extract of belladonna, three times
a day, dissolved in water; or calomel and powdered opium, of each one
drachm three times daily. As soon as the inflammatory stage passes by,
give one of the following three times daily, in their gruel: nitrate of
potash pulverized, gentian-root pulverized, of each one ounce;
pulverized Jamaica ginger, one half an ounce; pulverized caraway, or
anise-seed, six drachms. A bottle of porter given once or twice a day,
will be found of very great advantage.





Next: Enteritis

Previous: Diarrhoea



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