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Cholera of Swine

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CHOLERA OF SWINE. There are many forms of malignant disease that go under the name of Hog Cholera. Three different forms of disease, however, are popularly included under this name : Charbon or Malignant Anthrax, Con tagious Pleuro-enteritis, and Epizootic Catarrh. The first is destructive to cattle, as well as hogs. The difficulty in all malignant diseases in swine is the difficulty in administering medicine and thus, in all malignant diseases, once it is well defined, it is better to kill at once, bury deeply and disinfect thoroughly the premises inhabited by the animals. Malignant Anthrax, Charbon, White Bristle, or Splenic Fever, is a blood poison localizing itself in a carbuncular swelling usually ou the throat. The bristles on the spot turn white and are brittle. There is an apoplectic form, both are acute and quickly fatal, and the blood, flesh and discharges spread the disease. Contagious Pleuro-enteritis is a specific con tagious inflammation of the lungs and bowels, accompanied with red or purple blotches on the skin, and hence two of its names, Red Soldier, Purple and Blue Disease. Drinking water tainted with dead and decaying substances, filthy yards and pens, and also food inducing a sudden plethoric state are predisposing causes. Once it enters a drove, it is apt to attack swine of any age or sex. Like Anthrax, it is caused by Bacilli, rod-like minute vegetable organisms, found, not as in Anthrax, in the blood but in the serous fluids and tissues. It appears in an ery sipelatous form, and in the form of malignant sore throat. In the first form the animal is dull, loses appetite, hangs its head, and sometimes makes efforts to vomit. The bowels are gen erally constipated, the dung hard and dark colored. There is a cough, and urine is dark colored and passed with difficulty. Then arise dark-red or purple blotches, which pass to a bluish-black color, labored breathing ensues and paralysis, the discharges become watery and fetid and the animal dies. In the form of malignant sore throat, there is also the deep-red appearance of the throat, passing into purple. There will be difficulty of breathing, sickness at the stomach, difficulty in swallowing, and the animal may sit on its haunches, gasping for breath, with its swollen and livid tongue pro truded. Sometimes the animal suffocates or chokes to death even before the other character istic symptoms are noticed by the unprofessional observer. There is little hope of cure once the symptoms are pronounced. The only hope is in preventive measures; something to check the virus. A specific agent is undoubtedly sulphate of iron. One pound of sulphate of iron, and a gallon of soft-soap boiled in four gallons of water, and mixed in the slop for twenty-five hogs, and as they begin to eat, add a solution of two pounds of soda in water, to make the whole foam well. Repeat the dose every three or four days, until three doses are given. The other remedy, chlor ate of potash, (costing more than the other), may be used in special cases. One to two drachms of chlorate of potash, to one half pint of water for each hog, may be given in milk or slop, three times a day. Prof. Turner has had excellent success in preventing attacks, by nieans of the following: Two pounds each of flowers of sul phur, of sulphate of iron and of madder, one half pound each of black antimony and of nitrate of potash, and two ounces of arsenic, mixed with twelve gallons of slop, for 100 hogs, or a pint to each hog. It is essential, in connection with any treatment, that absolute good care should be taken to guard from contagion. Thus, if the disease is feared, separate the sick from the well at once. Give all the swine a free range, in an open wood lot in the pasture, where there is only pure water. Let them have bituminous coal dust or charcoal and salt always within reach. Let their v.vallowing places be either pure water or pure clay and water. Feed plenty of roots, artichokes preferably, and let them have shelter from storms. In Malignant Epizootic Catarrh, the seat of the disease is the mucus membrane lining the nose, continuing to the wind-pipe and lungs. There is a hoarse cough, difficulty in breathing, a panting motion of the flanks, and the head will be held in a peculiar stooping, stretched-out manner. There is fever, the gait is tottering and stiff. There may be efforts to vomit, generally there will be constipa tion, hut sometimes diarrhcea. There may also be affection of the brain, partial or total blind ness, staggering gait, enlarged glands, and even scrofulous ulcers. The duration of the disease is from five to fifteen days. If constipation be serious, give one ounce of castor-oil together with one drachm oil of turpentine, in milk or gruel. Dr. Detmars recommends to give at once, as an emetic, fifteen or twenty grains of powdered white hellebore in a half-pint of milk and, in two hours after this has acted, give two or three grains of tarter enietic if the disease is in the lungs, or the same amount of calomel if the disease is in the bowels ; repeat two or three times a day, as may be necessary, giving the medicine in a piece of boiled potato. Rub also the lungs or the abdo men (as the case may be) with the following blister : one ounce powdered cantharides and four ounces of olive oil, the whole to be heated for half an hour over a moderate fire. Repeat at the end of two or three hours if a good blister does not raise. As the hog gets better, give ten to twenty grains of sulphate of iron every day for a few days; and if the lungs have been severely affected add thirty or forty grains of carbonate of potash to each dose. Cleanliness, well ventilated quarten and pure water are of course essential. There has been much written on Hog Cholera by various profes sionals of repute both medical and veterinary. It must be remembered that swine are particularly susceptible to inflammatory diseases from their artificial breeding, and the artificial manner in which they are kept. Prof. Law, of Cornell University, a high and practical authority on vet erinary 'natters, doubts the existeuce of Charbon or MalignantAnthrax in swine. On the other hand, Dr. Tenor believes swine to be subject to true Anthrax, fully as much ftS cattle or sheep, and he gives one of the forms, known as White Bristle, a carbuncular swelling, generally on the throat which extending inwards, involves the wind pipe, ending in convulsions and death. Dr. Law however, in a report to the United States Gov ernment, in an enumeration of various names, as included in the general term Hog Cholera, enumerate,s Typhoid Fever, Enteric Fever, Typhus Carbuncular Fever, Carbuncular Gastro enteritis, Carbuncular Typhus, Pig Distemper, Blue Sickness, Blue Disease, Purples, Red Sol dier, Anthrax Fever, Scarlatina, Measles, Diph theria, and Erysipelas. His definition of the above, and the s3rmptoms are as follows: A specific, con tagious fever of swine, characterized by conges tion, exudation, ecchymosis, and ulceration of the mucous membrane of the intestines, and to a less extent of the stomach ; by general heat and redness of the skin, effaceable by pressure ; by small red spots, complicated or not by elevations and blis ters; by black spots and patches of extravasated blood on the integument, the snout, nose, eyes, mouth, and other visible mucous membranes, and on internal organs, ineffaceable by pressure and tending to sloughing; usually by liquid and fetid diarrhcea, and by a very high and early mortality. The earliests ymptoras are slight dullness with, sometimes, wrinkling of the skin of the face, as if from headache; shivering or chilliness, and a desire to hide under the litter, are not uncommon. Some loathing of food, intense thirst, elevation of the temperature of the rectum to 104° Fahrenheit, and increased heat and redness of the skin are usually the first observed symptoms, and occur one or two days later than premonitory signs above mentioned. The increased heat of the skin is especially noticeable inside the elbow and thigh, and along the belly. By the second day of illness the whole surface feels hot, and in white pigs is suffused with a red blush, which may pass suc cessively through the shades of purple and violet. It is usually more or less mottled at particular points, and a specific eruption appears. as .rose colored spots of from one to three lines in diame ter, sometimes slightly raised so as to be percept]: ble to the touch, and either pointed or more frequently rounded. The redness fades under the pressure of the finger, but only to re-appear immediately. The eruption is usually abundant on the breast, belly, and haunches, the inner side of the forearm and thighs, and the back of the ears. It stays out f or two or three days, and may be followed by one, two, or more successive crops of the same kind. The cuticle is sometimes raised in minute blisters, a feature which distinguishes this from the rash of typhoid fever, and the liquid of such blisters inoculated on other pigs com municates the disease. In addition to the rash, and simultaneously with it, or soon after, there appear on the skin nuuaerous spots of a dark red or black color, varying in size from a line to an inch in diameter, on the color of which pressure has no effect. These are due to the extravasa tion of blood, or of its coloring-matter from the blood-vessels into the tissue, and they dry up into thin scabs or sloughs if the animal survives. Simi lar petecchial spots appear on the muzzle, in the nose, and on the eyes, aud in some instances they are confined to these parts. The tongue is cov ered by a brownish fur. From the first the animal is sore to the touch ; but, as the disease develops, the handling of the animal is especially painful, and causes grunting and screaming. The pig lies on its belly and, if compelled to rise and walk, moves stiffly, feebly, unsteadily, and with plaintive grunting. This weakness and prostration rapidly increases, and often ends in utter inability to rise or support the body on the hind limbs. A watery discharge from the nose, followed by a white muco-purulent flow is not uncommon. A hard, barking cough is frequently present from the first, and centinues to the last. Sickness and vomiting may be present, but are far from constant. The bowels are often confined at first, and in certain cases, and even in nearly all the victims of par ticular outbreaks, may remain so throughout, nothing whatever being passed, or only a few small black pellets covered by a film of mucus. These cases are quickly fatal. More frequently, however, they become loose by the second or third day, and diarrhcea increases at an alarming rate. The passages are first bilious, and of a light or brownish yellow when not colored by ashes, char coal, or the nature of the food. But soon they assume the darker shades of green and red, or become quite black and intolerably offensive. In such cases the elements of blood, inspissated lymph, and membraneous pellicles sloughed off f rom the ulcerated surfaces are usually to be found in them. The diarrhoea becomes more profuse, watery, and fetid ; the pulse sinks so as to become almost imperceptible ; the cough becomes more frequent, painful, and exhausting; the breathing is more hurried and labored, and the weakness increases until the patient can no longer rise on his hind limbs. At this period the peteechim (the peculiar purple spots of malignant fevers) become far more abundant. Before death the ani mal is often sunk in complete stupor with, it may be, nauscular jerking or trembling, or sudden starts into the sitting posture, and loud screams. In the last stages involuntary motions of the bowels are common. Exceptionally swellings appear on the flank, with extreme lameness, and extensive sloughs of the skin of the ears or other parts. Palpitations of the heart also occasionally occur as precursors, attendants, or sequels of disease. If the disease should take a favorable turn, slight causes may make an early and perfect recovery, a complete convalescence being estab lished in three or four weeks. A considerable pro portion of the survivors, however, linger on in an unthrifty condition for months, evidently suffer ing from the persistent ulceration of the intestines, or infiltration of the lungs. The mortality often reaches eighty or ninety per cent. of all swine exposed, and in case of a certain number of the survivors recovery brings no profit to the owner. Dr. J. H. Detmars, who was employed for years by the United States Government in investigating so-called Hog Cholera in swine, classifies the diseases under the general head of epizootic and enzootic diseases of swine, or Epizootic Influenza of swine, but assuming different characteristics, as the catarrhal-rheunaatic form, the gastric rheumatic form, the cerebro-rheumatic form, and the lynaphatic-rheumatic form. The treatment

which he recommends is as follows: The treat ment may be divided into two parts, a hygienic and a medical. The former, which includes a , removing of the causes is, in this, like in most other causes, of very great importance. If the causes are promptly removed, a great many sick animals not already too far gone may be saved. If the same are not, the very best medical treat ment will be of little avail. The sick animals must be separated from the herd, must be pro vided with a clean and dry resting-place, must have pure air to breathe, clean water to chink and healthy, clean and easily digested food to eat. He recommends giving to each hog at the begin ning of the disease a good emetic, composed either of powdered white hellebore (Veratrum album) or of tartar-emetic, in a dose of about one grain for each month the sick animal is old, provided the latter is of good average size. The largest dose to be given a full-grown animal should not exceed fifteen or sixteen grains.. The emetic is best administered by mixing the same with a piece of boiled potato, or, if the hellebore (which he prefers) is chosen, strewing the powder on the surface of a small quantity of milk, as neither boiled potato nor milk will be refused by any hog unless the animal is verysick, and in that case it will be too late to make use of an emetic. After the desired action has been produced the animal will appear to be very sick, and will try to hide itself in a dark corner; but two or three hours later it will naake its appearance again, and will be willing to take a little choice food, such as a few boiled potatoes, a little milk, etc. At this thine it will be advisable to again give a small dose of medicine, either a few grains (two or three to a full-grown animal and to a pig in pro portion) of tartar-emetic or of calomel. Mix with a piece of boiled potato, or, if the symptoms should not have returned, mix with a small pinch of flour and a few drops of water (sufficient to make a stiff dough) and form into small round pills. The doctor here remarks that a sick hog should not be drenched with medicine under any circumstances, for a drench, given by force, is very apt to pass down the windpipe into the lungs as soon as the animal squeals, and fre quently causes instant death. The tartar-emetic has to be chosen if the disease has its principal seat in the respiratory organs or presents itself in its catarrhal-rheumatic form, and the calomel deserves preference if the gastric or bilious rheumatic form is prevailing, but especially if the liver is seriously affected. Either medicine may be given in such small doses as mentioned three times a day for several days in succession, or until a change for the better becomes appar ent. It is also advisable, particularly if the disease exhibits a very typhoid character, to now and then mix for each animal a few drops of car bolic acid with the water for drinking or with the slops. Convalescent animals, which have become very weak and emaciated, will be bene fited by giving them once a day from a few grains to half a drachm of sulphate of iron (cop peras) mixed with their food, but the use of iron must be discontinued if the patients become con stipated or if the excrements turn black. Those convalescents in which the lungs have become hepatized to a considerable extent may receive repeatedly small doses of carbonate of potash for the purpose of promoting the absorption of the exudations deposited in the tissue of the lungs. The size of the dose of carbonate of potash as well as of iron depends upon the size and the age of the animal. A local or external treatment is also of considerable importance. A good counter irritant or blister, composed of cantharides, or Spanish flies, and oil, made by boiling one ounce of the former and four ounces of the latter for half an hour over a moderate fire, or for one hour in a water-bath, should be applied on both sides the chest in all such cases in which the organs situated in that cavity are seriously affected. Such a counter-irritant has usually a very beneficial result. In most cases one appli cation will prove sufficient to relieve the animal to a considerable extent, provided the oil is thor oughly rubbed in before the disease has made too much headway, or before the vitality of the organism has been destroyed. If the effect of the fly-blister proves insufficient, it may be applied again the next day ; but if the same produces no effect at all, it may be taken as an indication that the animal is going to die, and that any further treatment will prove of no avail. Fon tanels (an issue or rowel) and setons have really the same effect as a fly-blister, but they act slower, are less reliable, and may otherwise cause damage, especially if the typhoid character of the disease is very much developed, by weaken ing unnecessarily the constitution of the patient. In relation to prevention and treatment, Dr. Dettnars, in a late report, say-s: The worst thing that possibly can be done, if swine-plague is pre vailing in the neighborhood, is to shelter the hogs and pigs under or in an old straw or hay stack, because nothing is more apt to absorb the contagious or infectious principle, and to preserve it longer or more effectively than old straw, hay, or manure-heaps composed mostly of hay or straw. It is even probable that the contagion of swine-plague, like that of some other contagious diseases, if absorbed by, or clinging to, old straw or hay, etc., will remain effective and a source of spreading the disease for months, and may be for a year. Thera peutically, but little can be done to prevent an outbreak of swine-plague. Where it is sufficient to destroy the infectious principle outside of the animal organism, carbolic acid is effective and, therefore, a good disinfectant ; but where the contagious or infectious principle has already entered the animal organism its value is doubt ful. Still, wherever there is cause to suspect that the food or the water for drinking may have become contaminated with the contagion of it will be advisable to give every morning and evening some carbolic acid, say about ten drops for each animal weighing from 120 to 150 pounds, in the water for drinking; and wherever there is reason to suspect that the infectious principle may be floating in the air, it vgill be advisable to treat every wouud or scratch a hog or pig may happen to have immediately with diluted carbolic acid. During a time, or in a neighborhood in which swine-plague is pre vailing, care should be taken not to ring nor cas trate any pig or hog, because every wound, no matter how small, is apt to become a port of entry for the infectious principle, and the very smallest amount of the latter is sufficient to pro duce the disease. Still, all these minor measures and precautions will avail but little unless a dis .seraination of the infectious principle, or disease _germs, is made impossible, as, 1. Any transporta tion of dead, sick, or infected swine, and even of hogs or pigs that have been the least exposed to the contagion, or may possibly constitute the bearers of the same, must he effectively prohibit -ed. 2. Every one who loses a hog or pig by swine-plague must be compelled by law to bury the same immediately, or as soon as it is dead, at least four feet deep, or else to cremate the car oa.ss at once, so that the contagious or infectious .principle may be thoroughly destroyed, and not be carried by dogs, wolves, rats, crows, etc., to -other places. Another thing may yet be men tioned, which, if properly executed, will at least _aid very materially in preventing the disease; that is, to give all food either in clean troughs, -or if corn in the ear is fed, to throw it on a wooden platform which can be swept clean before each feeding. If the cause and the nature of the morbid process and the character and im portance of the morbid changes are tak.en into proper consideration, it cannot be expected that .a, therapeutic treatment will he of much avail in _a, fully developed case of swine-plague. Spec ific remedies, such as are advertised in column advertisements in certain newspapers, and war ranted to be infallible, or to cure every case, can do no good whatever. They are a downright fraud, and serve only to draw the money out of the pockets of the despairing farmer, who is ready to catch at any straw. No cure has ever been found for Glanders, Anthrax, and Cattle plague, diseases that have been known for more than two thousand years, and that have been investigated again and again hy the most learned veterinarians and the best practitioners of Eu rope, and yet there is to-day not even a prospect that a treatment will ever be discovered to which those diseases, once fully developed, will yield. Neither is there any prospect or probability that fully developed swine-plague will ever yield to treatment. It is true that the bacilli anis and their germs can be killed or destroyed if outside of the animal organism, or within reach on the surface of the animal's body. Almost any known dlsinfectant--carbolic acid, thymic acid, chloride of lime, creosote, and a great many others—will destroy them. But the bacilli and their germs ,are not on the surface of the body, except in such parts of the skin and accessible mucous mem branes (conjunctiva and gums) that may happen to have become affected by the morbid process. They are inside of the organism, and not only in every part and tissue morbidly affected, in every morbid product, and in every lymphatic gland, but they are also in every drop of blood, and in every particle of a drop of blood circula, ting in the whole organism. Who, I would like to ask, will have the audacity to assert that he is able to destroy those bacilli and their germs with out disturbing the economy of the animal organ ism to such an extent as to cause the immediate death of the animal? But even if means should be found by which these bacilli and their germs can be destroyed without serious injury to the animal, a destruction of the same will not be sufficient to effect a cure. Important morbid changes must be repaired; extensive embolism is existing in some very vital organs; a rapid pro liferous growth of morbid cells has set in; some of the intestines (cacuin and colon) may have become perforated; exudations have been depos ited in the lungs, in the thoracic cavity, in the pericadium, and in the abdominal cavity; the heart itself may have been morbidly changed, and every lymphatic gland in the whole organ ism become diseased. How, I would like to know, will those quacks who advertise their sure cure and their . high-sounding specifics to swindle the farmer out of his hard-earned dol lars and cents—how, I ask, will those quacks restore, repair, stop, and reduce all those morbid changes? Still, I do not wish to say that a rational treatment can do no good; on the con trary it may, in many cases, avert the worst and most fatal morbid changes, and may thereby aid nature considerably in effecting a recovery in all those cases in which the disease presents itself in a mild form, and in which very dangerous or irreparahle morbid changes have not yet taken place. A good dietetical treatment, however, including a strict observation of sanitary prin ciples, is of much more importance than the use of medicines. In the first place, the sick ani mals, if possible, should be kept one by one in separate pens. The latter, if movable—movable ones, perhaps six to eight feet square, and with out a floor, are preferable—ought to be moved once a day, at noon, or after the dew has disap peared from the grass; if the pens are not mov able, they must be kept scrupulously clean, because a pig affected with swine-plague has a viti ated appetite and eats its own excrements and those of others, and, as those excrements contain innum erable bacilli and their germs, will add therehy fuel to the flame; in other words will increase the extent and the malignancy of the morbid process by introducing into the organism more and more of the infectious principle. The food given ought to be clean, of the very best quality and easy of digestion, and the water for drinking must be clean and fresh, be supplied three times a day in a clean trough, and he drawn each time, if possible, from a deep well. Water from ponds and water that has been standing in open vessels, and that may possibly have become contaminated with the infectious principle, should not be used. If the diseased animal has any wounds or lesions, they must be washed or dressed from one to three times a day with diluted carbolic acid or other equally effective disinfectants. (See Disinfec tion.)