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The Tetanus Bacillus


THE TETANUS BACILLUS is common in the filth of stable floors and in gardens. In some localities this infection is much more general than in others and there fore an antiseptic treatment of wounds must be applied promptly in all cases in order to avoid the development of tetanus. In the treatment of tetanus, good results have been obtained by the use of anti-tetanus serum. This serum is commonly prepared from the blood of horses recovered from tetanus and pro duces immunity to tetanus in man or horses. In large doses it occasionally gives good results after the first symp toms of the disease have appeared. In all cases of tetanus, however, a veteri narian should be called to administer the treatment. The results obtained from the use of the anti-tetanus serum, while not uniform, still furnish a basis for reasonable hope of ultimate con trol of this disease. In a number of cases good results have been obtained from treating horses with the serum after the disease had reached an acute form. In such cases the serum was given in repeated doses of large size. In some cases the best results have been obtained from rubbing the serum into the wound through which infection took place. One German investigator claims to have cured horses by firing a gun close to the head during the height of the muscular spasms. The shock is said to have caused a relaxation of the mus cles. Likewise good results have been reported in a few instances from the use of sodium iodide in doses of fivo grams. Quite recently a Spanish inves tigator has reported the cure of a few cases of tetanus by means of a subcu taneous injection of carbolic acid. Apparently, however, the chief reliance in cases of this disease is to be placed on the timely treatment of wounds with antiseptics and the use of anti-tetanus serum.

Rabies The virus of rabies, or hydro phobia is found in the saliva of affected animals and is usually transmitted only by the bite of such animals, which in the vast majority of ea.-es are dogs. (Sec under Diseases of Dogs.) Surra While surra probably does not occur in the United States, it is com mon in the Philippines, where it has caused great loss among horses and mules, as well as among earabao and other animals. The disease attacks both sexes and all ages, but white or gray mules are said to be more susceptible than those of other colors. Surra is al most invariably fatal and the course of the disease extends ordinarily over a period somewhat less than two months. This disease is due to the presence of a parasite in the blood which is carried from one animal to another by means of biting insects. The symptoms of surra include fever, loss of appetite, dullness and a stumbling gait. The temperature runs up to 101° F. Occa sionally there may be slight catarrhal symptoms, with discharge from the nos trils. Chills are never observed in the course of this disease. There is almost always some swelling of the legs, partic ularly between the fetlock and hock; the sexual organs are also likely to be come greatly swollen. In the later stages of the disease the animal becomes markedly paralyzed. The appetite is ravenous, but there is a gradual and ex treme emaciation. There is no satis factory treatment and affected animals should therefore be slaughtered at once and buried.

meningitis is, in the most instances at least, a non-con tagious disease which occurs in horses in isolated cases or occasionally in ex tensive outbreaks. The symptoms of the disease are not well defined and it is therefore probable that several different diseases have been referred to under the same name. Similar, if not identical, diseases have been called choking dis temper, grass staggers and blind stag gers. Horses of all ages and both sexes are affected and temperament and phys ical condition have nothing to do with susceptibility to the disease. Mules are affected as well as horses and the mor tality among them is equally great. Ac cording to certain European investiga tions, this disease is due to a bacterial organism in the membranes of the brain. Such conditions were found in an outbreak investigated in Maryland. Other writers have attributed the dis ease to ergot, smuts and other fungi which are supposed to be taken with the food. In some instances improper feeding has been considered the cause of the disease. Occasionally the use of moldy corn causes a rapidly fatal dis ease in horses, usually referred to as cerebrospinal meningitis.

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