Fistula





This is a disease the mule is more subject to than any other animal in

Government use. And this, on account of his being used as a beast of

burden by almost all nations and classes of people, and because he is

the worst cared for. Fistula is the result of a bruise. Some animals

have been known to produce it by rolling on stones and other hard

substances. It generally makes its appearance first in the way of a rise

or swelling where the saddle has been allowed to press too hard on the

withers, and especially when the animal has high and lean ones. As the

animal becomes reduced in flesh, the withers, as a matter of course, are

more exposed and appear higher, on account of the muscle wasting from

each side of the back-bone. This, under the saddle, can be remedied to a

great extent, by adding an additional fold to the saddle blanket, or in

making the pad of the saddle high enough to keep it from the withers. In

packing with the pack-saddle this is more difficult, as the weight is

generally a dead, heavy substance, and as the animal steps low or high,

the pack does the same. Much, however, might be done by care in packing,

to prevent injury to the withers and bruising of the back-bone. When the

withers begin to swell and inflammation sets in, or a tumor begins to

form, the whole may be driven away and the fistula scattered or avoided

by frequent or almost constant applications of cold water--the same as

is recommended in poll-evil. But if, in despite of this, the swelling

should continue or become larger, warm fomentations, poultices, and

stimulating embrocations should be applied, in order to bring the

protuberance to its full formation as soon as possible. When full, a

seton should be passed, by a skillful hand, from the top to the bottom

of the tumor, so that all the pus may have free access of escape. The

incision should be kept free until all the matter has escaped and the

wound shows signs of healing. The after treatment must be similar to

that recommended in the case of poll-evil. The above treatment, if

properly administered, will in nearly all cases of fistula effect a

cure.





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