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Epizooetic Catarrh

Category: Diseases and their Remedies

Catarrh frequently assumes an epizooetic form of a very virulent
character, originating spontaneously and extending over a large section
of country at or about the same time. A cold spring succeeding a mild
winter, is peculiarly productive of malignant catarrh. This is one of
the most distressing and fatal diseases to which cattle are subject.

Symptoms.--The animal appears dull, and unwilling to move about,
staggering when forced to do so; obstinate costiveness is usually one of
the earliest symptoms, succeeded by diarrhoea, which is equally
difficult of management; sometimes, however, diarrhoea is present
from the first; the animal loses flesh rapidly; the coat is staring;
appetite is lost; tumors form about the head, neck, back, and joints,
which appear to be filled with air, and upon pressure cause a
crepitating sound; saliva flows from the mouth, becoming very fetid as
the disease progresses. The animal always dies of putrefaction.

Treatment.--This disease should be treated early, or not at all. Good
nursing is very essential. When costiveness is present, give Barbadoes
aloes, one ounce; croton-oil, ten drops; mix together; or give one pint
of linseed-oil, to which add from ten to twenty drops of castor-oil. If
the bowels are not open in twenty-four hours, give four ounces of
sulphate of magnesia every six hours until they are opened. Follow this
with tincture of aconite, ten drops in water, every four hours, until
the fever has abated.

Bleeding has been recommended by some writers; but the author has failed
to experience any benefit from resorting to it, but, on the contrary,
has seen much injury result from the use--or, rather, the abuse--of the
lancet. He is, indeed, inclined to attribute much of the fatality
attending this disease to indiscriminate blood-letting.

When much debility exists, the animal should be sustained by tonics and
stimulants. One ounce of nitric ether and half an ounce of tincture of
opium, given in a little water, will be found beneficial. It should be
given twice a day. Pulverized gentian-root, one ounce; Jamaica ginger,
half an ounce; pulverized cloves, half an ounce; mixed, and divided into
four powders, one to be given at night and at morning; will be found
useful, in place of the opium and ether.

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