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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