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Colic








The mule is quite subject to this complaint. It is what is commonly
known as belly-ache. Over doses of cold water will produce it. There is
nothing, however, so likely to produce it in the mule as changes of
grain.

Musty corn will also produce it, and should never be given to animals. I
recollect, in 1856, when I was in New Mexico, at Fort Union, we had
several mules die from eating what is termed Spanish or Mexican corn, a
small blue and purplish grain. It was exceedingly hard and flinty, and,
in fact, more like buckshot than grain. We fed about four quarts of this
to the mule, at the first feed. The result was, they swelled up, began
to pant, look round at their sides, sweat above the eyes and at the
flanks. Then they commenced to roll, spring up suddenly, lie down again,
roll and try to lie on their backs. Then they would spring up, and after
standing a few seconds, fall down, and groan, and pant. At length they
would resign themselves to what they apparently knew to be their fate,
and die. And yet, singular as it may seem, the animal could be
accustomed to this grain by judicious feeding at first.

We did not know at that time what to give the animal to relieve or cure
him; and the Government lost hundreds of valuable animals through our
want of knowledge. Whenever these violent cases appear, get some common
soap, make a strong suds and drench the mule with it. I have found in
every case where I used it that the mule got well. It is the alkali in
the soap that neutralizes the gases. There is another good receipt, and
it is generally to be found in camp. Take two ounces of saleratus, put
it into a pint of water, shake well, and then drench with the same.
Above all things, keep whisky and other stimulants away, as they only
serve to aggravate the disease.





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