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Diseases Of Dogs
( Originally Published 1920 )
Some affections of the eye arise from debility, others are due to injuries. Ingrowing lashes or the presence of irritating bodies are also common causes.
EYE: Symptoms.-Increased sensitiveness to the light; dimness of the eyeball; an excessive flow of tears from the eyes, running down over the cheeks; from the corner of the eye a discharge which thickens and becomes purulent, gluing together the swollen lids. Sometimes at the roots of the hair at the edge of the lids there appear small pustules. These break and discharge matter that dries into crusts, matting the hair, gluing the lids together, and destroying the lashes.
Treatment.-Do not expose the animal unnecessarily to the light; bathe the eye every hour with warm water to soften the discharge, and use a small wedge-shaped piece of sponge to remove accumulations of matter. Restrict the diet, give Dent's purifying pills three times a day, and apply several times a day a saturated solution of boracic acid. Another useful lotion is: Zinc sulph., 15 grains; morph. sulph., 4 grains. Water to make 4 ounces. It should also be dropped between the lids.
CANKER OF THE EAR.-The ear is the most complicated structure in the body and subject to a variety of disorders, the largest number of which are generally considered under one head of cankera most painful disease that if neglected will result in deafness.
Water dogs are most frequently affected, not only by water gaining entrance to the ear, but by the shocks to the system following the exposure they undergo, bringing on an unsettled condition of the digestive system, skin, and blood.
Thorns, injuries, pulling the dog's ears, accumulation of wax and foreign substances entering the ear are also responsible to a degree for these ailments. Attention to the dog's general health and condition, judicious selection of food, and the treatment of all intestinal disorders, with attention to all those details that will keep the blood pure and the stomach healthy, will be found the real secret for the prevention as well as cure of affections of the ear.
There is also a condition of the ear confounded with canker in which the edges of the ear become hot, dry, and scaly, and the roots of the hair are covered with a whitish scurf. The dog is continually shaking his head or scratching at his ears to relieve the irritation. These cases should be treated for what they are; that is, a form of eczema, and the scurf is the eggs of lice. The ears should be washed and soaked in warm water until all scurf and scales are removed, then carefully dried and mange lotion applied to the affected parts. The ointment recommended for eczema is also useful in these cases.
In another class of cases, as a result of injuries or inflammation, the entire flap of the ear becomes greatly swollen, very feverish and tender, and a quantity of fluid forms between the cartilage and the skin of the ear. These cases are difficult to treat. The swellings are lanced easily and the fluid drawn off, but the ear fills up again in the course of a few hours. The best treatment is to insert on the inside of the flap a seton of tape from above downward, which will keep the wound open until the discharge ceases, when it can be withdrawn and the openings treated by dusting iodoform over them twice a day.
When the membrane lining the external passage of the ear is inflamed and otherwise affected we have external canker of the ear. At first there is a redness and slight swelling, which is seldom noticed, or no importance is attached to it. The dog will shake his head and show uneasiness. This is followed by ulceration and suppuration; a black, offensive discharge develops which may extend both ways. Sometimes it runs back into the head and involves the ear drum and the small bones of the ear, producing internal canker; but more often it runs outward and involves the outer passages, and we have external canker. The ear will be found red and swollen, the exudation dries and forms scabs, pus is generally present, and there are numbers of bright red spots on the inside of the flaps and along the ear passage. The dog holds his head on one side and shakes it violently as though to get something out of it, and will slide along the floor on his ear or dig at it with his paw. The flaps of the ear become bruised and ulcerated, and the tips become cracked or split and are very sore.
Treatment.-The general health should be attended to first. If the disease is chronic, but the animal's digestion is good, cod-liver oil emulsion four times a day is useful. If the system is deranged and the blood is out of order-and in most cases it is-it is highly important that the system be thoroughly cleansed and the blood cooled and purified by giving blood-purifying pills three times a day. If the dog is troubled with worms, take measures to secure their expulsion.
Cleanliness of the parts is, of course, important, but too much washing and neglecting to dry the ear properly will retard healing. The ear should be washed carefully with lukewarm water and dog soap, and, if necessary, use a small syringe to soften and remove all hardened wax. After washing, dry the ear carefully and do not wash again until it is necessary to do so from an accumulation of wax or purulent discharges. It must be borne in mind that too much washing at this stage is very harmful. The ear should be carefully dried with soft cotton and a canker lotion injected into the ear passage. Dent's canker lotion is very good. The best of the lead and zinc lotions commonly used for this purpose is:
Oxide of zinc ointment, 2 drachms.
Resorcin, 10 grains.
Almond oil, 1 ounce.
In treating canker of the ear, have an assistant take the dog between his knees and turn the head to one side, so that the canker lotion can be carefully and slowly injected into the ear.
COUGHS.-In themselves, coughs, no matter of what character, are not a disease, but simply an evidence of some other derangement of the system. To decide what particular disease is indicated by the cough is in some eases very difficult, for in many cases annoying coughs are the only symptoms that animals otherwise in the best of health present. It is quite important that all coughs be given attention, for the first symptom of many dangerous diseases is a simple cough that, if treated in time, might prevent a serious illness.
Causes.-Most coughs are associated with some derangement of the respiratory organs and air passages. They may be produced, however, by a small bone or other hard substance sticking in the throat. Worms are responsible for some coughs through reflex actions, as well. as by inducing accumulations of mucus.
Symptoms.-Coughs vary in character, as do the diseases of which, in many cases, they are the most prominent symptom. The cough of distemper has a peculiar husky, hollow sound. It loosens as the secretions of mucus become abundant and the huskiness disappears. It is sometimes accompanied by sniffling, retching, and vomiting. In the case of common colds the cough is slight and generally soft and moist. In laryngitis or sore throat the cough is hoarse, brassy, and can be induced by slightly choking the upper part of the throat. It is accompanied by more or less pain in swallowing, and in some cases difficulty in breathing. In cases of acute bronchitis the cough at first is short, dry, and dull. It soon becomes easier and looser, and can be excited by pressure on the chest. In chronic bronchitis the cough is hacking and persistent, and continues week after week without change in character or severity. In pneumonia the cough is at first short, dry, and intermittent. Later it becomes more frequent, and the matter brought up is of a reddish tint like iron rust. This is considered diagnostic of the disease. In pleurisy the cough is short, dry, hacking, and very painful. In asthma the cough is wheezy, the breathing jerky, and the entire appearance is that of suffocation.
Treatment.-All coughs do not yield to the same treatment. Some of the chronic coughs following colds, distemper, pneumonia, and bronchitis are relieved by cod liver oil. Dent's Distemperine will cure many, while a cough syrup as follows is good for others:
Liquor morphia, 2 drachms.
Syrup of squills, 1 oz.
Syrup of lemon, 1 oz.
Water to make three ozs.
Dose, from half a teaspoonful to a dessert spoonful three or four times a day.
Dogs afflicted with hacking, gagging stomach coughs should first be treated for worms with vermifuge, and then have their systems toned up by a course of treatment with condition pills.
GOITER.-Bronchocele and Goiter are terms applied to enlargements of the thyroid glands that are located in the neck on each side of the windpipe about halfway down to the chest. The cause of these enlargements is not known. Some appear over night, others are slower about developing. Generally they are free from redness or pain, and to the touch are soft and elastic. Occasionally they are very hot and painful and increase in size so rapidly as to interfere with breathing, and the patient dies of suffocation. This affection is very common among puppies and is not unusual among.old dogs. They are unsightly affairs, dangerous in some cases, and should be removed.
Treatment.-The commonest treatment is painting with the tincture of iodine. Three applications, with an interval of two days between each application, is sufficient in some cases; in others it will be necessary to use Dent's Goiter treatment, both internal and external, to effect a cure.