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if the water be given previously to the medicine, the horse will drink his accustomed quantity; but if it be delayed till afterwards, when nausea is established, perhaps by the partial breaking of the paper which envelopes the ball, or even by the effluvia of the aloes penetrating through it, the horse will not drink at all; and in the afternoon, when the medicine is beginning to affect the bowels, he will be sick from that cause; consequently, from want of a sufficiency of fluid to co-operate with the aloes, they do not produce the desired effect. An hour after the ball has been given, a bran mash should be offered ; and unless the former has, from clumsiness in giving it, been broken in the mouth, there is no doubt of his eating it: in all the bran-mashes a double handful of oats should be mixed. During the preparation for and operation of medicine, it is by no means desirable to reduce the quantity of nourishment which the animal requires; but the object should be to change it to that of an emollient and laxative quality, which will assist in the action sought for. During the first day, supplies of bran-mashes are to be given according to the appetite, as also a liberal quantity of fluid, than which nothing is equal to linseed gruel ; indeed, at almost all times that may be given with great benefit. A very small quantity of hay is to be given during the day or succeeding night, and that which is given should be at considerable intervals of time, and must not amount to more than just enough for a horse to draw through bis teetha on each occasion. At night, the use of the muzzle will be determined by the apparent desire of the horse to consume the litter; but in all probability the sickness will have come on by this period, which will on most occasions prove a sufficient preventive. Early on the succeeding morning, the medicine may be expected to have produced the “ desired effect;” and as soon after breakfast as the elements will permit, the patient having the accustomed quantity of clothing on, must go out to walking exercise; the term of which will depend upon the action of the medicine; if it works copiously, half an hour will be sufficient; but, if it shows symptoms of inactivity, he must be kept out until it commences, or, which will rarely happen, it is ascertained that it will not operate at all : if it is very tardy, the horse may return to the stable after having walked an hour, when, if he can be induced to drink, in all probability a favourable result will be produced, especially if he be again walked out. On his final return to the stable, a small quantity of bran-mash may be given, but it is doubtful whether he will touch it; or a few oats, with a handful of dry bran, if the medicine is not required to continue to work. When in physic, it is not necessary to strip a horse for the purpose of dressing him; all that should be done is to wisp the head and neck, which, for obvious reasons must be done with that part towards the manger ; indeed, during the whole time the medicine is working, the ordinary custom of turning the horse round in the box or stall, for the purpose of putting on the bridle, hood, &c., is to be dispensed with. The legs and feet are not usually washed, and although'I should not wet the legs upon such occasions, I see no impropriety in washing the feet if they require it. The quarters, thighs, and hocks may be well wisped, and any stains and moisture to which they are exposed are to be rubbed dry. The legs demand particular attention: they should be well brushed and handrubbed, and, if cold, bandaged. During the day, after the physic has worked, the horse is not to be taken out of the stable at all; it ought by this time to cease in its operations, therefore motion would excite it to recommence. The usual course of feeding is now adopted, unless the dose prove too powerful, in which case gruel made with wheat flour will generally be found to have a good effect, otherwise starch gruel may be tried, to either of which half an ounce of laudanum must be called in aid if the case prove obstinate. The succeeding day – that is, the day after the physic has set—the horse may take walking exercise, and gradually increase his work.
Various methods have been adopted of preparing physic, each of which has its advocates : some boil the aloes; others add prepared natron, potash, and such like alkalies, to assist in the solution of the acting drug, none of which are essential. As regards the boiling process, its principal effect is that of reducing the power of the aloes, and rendering five drachms not quite equivalent to four, dependant in a great degree upon the length of time the boiling is continued. There is a resinous combination in the aloe, which in point of fact is the principal purgative quality; the act of boiling disengages a quantity of vapour or steam, which carries off a great portion of the resinous particles, and thus the true strength of the aloe prepared in this manner is unknown, till its proportion is tested by administering the dose. In making up physic for horses, I always employ a considerable quantity of soap, never using less than two drachms, an equal proportion of ginger, with from three to four and a half drachms of aloes: the smaller quantity of the latter ten times to one more frequently than the larger. I invariably make them up myself, and am very particular in powdering the aloes very fine ; neither are they ever broken from the mass till they are to be used. It is this circumstance in some measure which renders the action of this drug uncertain: when balls are procured from druggists, who, for the sake of saving themselves trouble, have a large quantity of aloes pounded at a time, by which a great and indefinite portion of the active principle is lost, the operation cannot be relied on. Some horses have a great antipathy to mashes, and are equally reluctant in drinking, when in physic; however, if their hay be withheld, and they have plenty of fluid presented to them before any sickness is occasioned, these difficulties will be in a great measure defeated; but if they should not, by giving six or eight drachms of lard in the evening before the ball is given, no danger need to be apprehended; it is easily administered by keeping it in a cold situation, and cutting it in pieces, the size of ordinary balls, which being wrapped in paper produces no sickly taste.
When the system of a horse appears to be suffering under considerable derangement, the introduction of calomel, in doses of from half a drachm to a drachm is frequently succeeded by a wonderful change in the condition. Many disorders arise from an inactive state of the liver, when calomel combined with aloes will stimulate that organ to perform its proper functions, and a visible improvement may be anticipated.
DIURETICS.—The uncertainty which characterizes the operation of these medicines when administered to the horse, renders their exhibition at all times a matter of perplexity. The variations of constitution distinguishable in different horses, and indeed the difference of condition of the same horses at distinct periods, reuder the effects of diuretic medicines very doubtful; the temperature of the stable, or of the weather, is also a material agent in influencing the action of these medicines. If the animal system be in a state of excitement, or the atmosphere be warmer than usual, diuretic medicines have a tendency to act upon the cutaneous vessels, and thereby pass off by perspiration. In such cases it is very evident that by relaxing the pores hey have the effect of rendering the subject exceedingly susceptible of the cold, as well as debilitating the system.
Thus, in administering diuretics, it will be observed how very important it is to watch their action. A dose too small in quantity, or the horse being kept in a stable at too high a temperature, by causing the medicine to act upon the skin instead of the urinary vessels, will cause much deception. When horses are observed to break out in the stable, it very commonly arises from the use of mild diuretics, and the agency of too much warmth. This applies more particularly to hunters, whose grooms are usually so fond of giving them these drugs: they are perfectly unconscious that the balls which they are giving are the cause of the cold-sweats ; at the same time, from not being acquainted with their properties, they not unfrequently expect to remedy the evil by the use of the very medicines which produce it. In cases wherein the use of this medicine is necessary to act upon the urinary secretions, if they are found to produce sudorific effects, and perspiration ensues, it will be necessary to increase the dose, and moderate the warmth of the stable; these measures, however, demand caution, or much danger will ensue.
The use of nitre, given in ordinary occasions, cannot be too seriously condemned. Its action upon the stomach is exceedingly powerful, producing coldness and a sensation that can only be known to those who have tried the experiment of taking it; at least, such is the effect with the human subject, and there is every reason to conceive that a similar result is produced with the horse--indeed, if it be not thoroughly dissolved previously to its being administered, it is still more injurious than when given in a state of solution, as it will form an incrustation on the coats of the stomach, tending to create more or less of inflammation, and even ulceration, according to the quantity given, and the consequent deposit. For this reason it should never be a component part of a ball, but, being previoasly dissolved in some boiling water, either given in a mash, a small quantity of linseed gruel, or other fluid. It must be remembered that whatever injures the stomach, must, of necessity, impair the digestion in the same ratio as the injury is produced; it will
, therefore, be easy to prove how very much an improper quantity of this medicine will tend to reduce a horse's flesh, more particularly if any labour is required during the time it is being given.
Referring to the principles of animal economy, it must be remarked that muscle, one of the greatest essentials to condition, is
formed of certain portions of the blood, which being received by vessels appointed for that purpose, are stimulated to their utmost vigour by active exertion ; this may be laid down as one grand reason for the imperative necessity of maintaining the blood in a healthy condition, at the same time it declares the absurdity of giving such a medicine to excess which destroys those fluids that are designed to create the very substance which we seek for. The excessive use of nitre may easily he detected in the appearance of the coat; in cases of exposure to the slightest degree of cold, it will stare in a peculiar manner, having the appearance of velvet. And as the sympathy which exists Jetween the coats of the stomach and the external coat is well known, it cannot require much argument to establish the fact how powerful the effect of this medicine must be.
It would not be admissible in these pages to introduce remarks upon the treatment of actual disease, such being the province of the veterinary surgeon; therefore the sooner professional aid is called in on the occurrence of such misfortunes, the better; moreover I could not presume to enter into such subjects with a prospect of success. Nevertheless, there are some cases which do not amount to actual disease, which are so common that every person who is daily in the way of horses has some knowledge of the treatment of; and there are some which require attention before the professional attendant can be procured ; for instance, trifling cases of fever may be greatly arrested in their progress, or perhaps entirely subdued, by the judicious exhibition of proper remedies; for such purposes diuretics will be serviceable, and are usually combined with medicines which act upon the skin. It is when horses are at work that I offer caution against their use, not when illness demands their services.
When the existence of fever calls forth the use of diuretics, nitre is one of the most common ingredients, and may be given to the quantity of from 1 to 2 ounces during the day, in gruel or mashes ; tartarized antimony from 1 to 2 drachms, and 1 scruple of camphor, made into a ball, with any kind of meal to increase the bulk, will generally be effective in allaying fever ; if this, with a reduction of the horse's corn, and a substitution of bean mashes for a portion of hay, does not cause an abatement, the sooner the veterinary surgeon's assistance is obtained the better. Some may be induced to bleed, but in all cases of fever which are not accompanied by actual local inflammation the practice is not always safe, unless inflammation of the lungs or bowels point out the necessity. Venice turpentine in moderate doses, from 4 to 6 drachms, is a diuretic that may be occasionally resorted to, if the legs fill from an imperfect state of the circulation. It may be given as a ball, by adding some meal, or the same quantity of powdered resin, made up with 2 drachms of soap.
Some horses have an unusual degree of acrimony in the urinary discharges, evidently affecting the neck of the bladder, proceeding frequently from an improper use of diuretics. Strange to state, many persons will continue to give the very medicines which produce, or, at all events, increase the disorder; in such cases linseed-gruel will be found to be the best remedy that can be suggested. It is a common practice with many trainers to give nitre in some form to the horse after sweating; the consequence of which is, that it very frequently causes them to break out in cold chilly sweats, which are also promoted by the exhaustion of hydrogen, consequent upon the exertion and reduction of the system; this is likewise augmented by the closing, or partial closing, of the accustomed ventilation, which excluding a portion of fresh atmospheric air, the animal is deprived of the means of inhaling a renewal of hydrogen, which he is in need of to replace that which has escaped. They are astonished at their horses breaking out, although they have inadvertently been the principal promoters of it.
A REVERIE OF “THE ROAD."
With spirits gay I mount the bench; my tits all fresh and well are;
PRAGMENT OF AN OLYMPIC ODE.
A few days ago I had occasion to run down into Hampshire, and the morning being cold—as my custom is of a forenoon (and, indeed, of an afternoon, for the matter of that)—I lit a cigar, and stood inhaling it at the door of my club in Waterloo Place, waiting the arrival of the 'bus which should convey me to the South Western rail. The leathern inconvenience presently arrived, and, “ consequently," as my logic acknowledges, I got upon the exterior thereof. It's vulgar, I believe, to ride outside “ busses," more particularly with a weed at work; but, under such circumstances, they won't let you in, and under all and any circumstances its pleasanter to keep out; so, as aforesaid, I climbed up to the slates. The “ Jarvey" politely lifted up his apron, which signifies an invitation to a moiety of the box, so I sat me beside him, and drawing an extra whiff-the effort of a sigh given to other days and reminiscences--took my way towards the Milbank Penitentiary. As we pulled up at “the Cross," “coachee” looked at me stedfastly over the left, and then touched his hat, as who should say " that's a glimpse of auld lang syne.”
“D'ye know me?" I asked for there was no mistaking his
“Right well, sir,” he answered, “ on the Birmingham Patent Tele, and scores of drags."
It was now my turn to look, but “there was nothing in it,” as Charles Matthews the younger says. I could not read him.
Who are you?" I'inquired. “Jem - said the sad shade of him who once blew the key bugle at the door of the Chickens” in a fashion that ought to have ensured him paradise. But nothing in Ovid's Metamorphoses or Miss Martineau's Mesmeriphoses, ever came near the change that the road and rein had effected in Jem. I shuddered all the way to Woking with the thought, and as I began to recover during the re