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قراءة كتاب Special Report on Diseases of the Horse

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‏اللغة: English
Special Report on Diseases of the Horse

Special Report on Diseases of the Horse

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 8

and auscultation. When a cask or other structure containing air is tapped upon, or percussed, a hollow sound is given forth. If the cask contains fluid, the sound is of a dull and of quite a different character. Similarly, the amount of air contained in the lungs can be estimated by tapping upon, or percussing, the walls of the chest. Percussion is practiced with the fingers alone or with the aid of a special percussion hammer and an object to strike upon known as a pleximeter. If the fingers are used, the middle finger of the left hand should be pressed firmly against the side of the horse and should be struck with the ends of the fingers of the right hand bent at a right angle so as to form a hammer. The percussion hammer sold by instrument makers is made of rubber or has a rubber tip, so that when the pleximeter, which is placed against the side, is struck the impact will not be accompanied by a noise. After experience in this method of examination one can determine with a considerable degree of accuracy whether the lung contains a normal amount of air or not. If, as in pneumonia, air has been displaced by inflammatory product occupying the air space, or if fluid collects in the lower part of the chest, the percussion sound becomes dull. If, as in emphysema, or in pneumothorax, there is an excess of air in the chest cavity, the percussion sound becomes abnormally loud and clear.

Auscultation consists in the examination of the lungs with the ear applied closely to the chest wall. As the air goes in and out of the lungs a certain soft sound is made which can be heard distinctly, especially upon inspiration. This sound is intensified by anything that accelerates the rate of respiration, such as exercise. This soft, rustling sound is known as vesicular murmur, and wherever it is heard it signifies that the lung contains air and is functionally active. The vesicular murmur is weakened when there is an inflammatory infiltration of the lung tissue or when the lungs are compressed by fluid in the chest cavity. The vesicular murmur disappears when air is excluded by the accumulation, of inflammatory product, as in pneumonia, and when the lungs are compressed by fluid in the chest cavity. The vesicular murmur becomes rough and harsh in the early stages of inflammation of the lungs, and this is often the first sign of the beginning of pneumonia.

By applying the ear over the lower part of the windpipe in front of the breastbone a somewhat harsh, blowing sound may be heard. This is known as the bronchial murmur and is heard in normal conditions near the lower part of the trachea and to a limited extent in the anterior portions of the lungs after sharp exercise. When the bronchial murmur is heard over other portions of the lungs, it may signify that the lungs are more or less solidified by disease and the blowing bronchial murmur is transmitted through this solid lung to the ear from a distant part of the chest. The bronchial murmur in an abnormal place signifies that there exists pneumonia or that the lungs are compressed by fluid in the chest cavity.

Additional sounds are heard in the lungs in some diseased conditions. For example, when fluid collects in the air passages and the air is forced through it or is caused to pass through tubes containing secretions or pus. Such sounds are of a gurgling or bubbling nature and are known as mucous râles. Mucous râles are spoken of as being large or small as they are distinct or indistinct, depending upon the quantity of fluid that is present and the size of the tube in which this sound is produced. Mucous râles occur in pneumonia after the solidified parts begin to break down at the end of the disease. They occur in bronchitis and in tuberculosis, where there is an excess of secretion.

Sometimes a shrill sound is heard, like the note of a whistle, fife, or flute. This is due to a dry constriction of the bronchial tubes and it is heard in chronic bronchitis and in tuberculosis.

A friction sound is heard in pleurisy. This is due to the rubbing together of roughened surfaces, and the sound produced is similar to a dry rubbing sound that is caused by rubbing the hands together or by rubbing upon each other two dry, rough pieces of leather.


The first point in connection with the examination of the organs of digestion is the appetite and the manner of taking food and drink. A healthy animal has a good appetite. Loss of appetite does not point to a special diseased condition, but comes from a variety of causes. Some of these causes, indeed, may be looked upon as being physiological. Excitement, strange surroundings, fatigue, and hot weather may all cause loss of appetite. Where there is cerebral depression, fever, profound weakness, disorder of the stomach, or mechanical difficulty in chewing or swallowing, the appetite is diminished or destroyed. Sometimes there is an appetite or desire to eat abnormal things, such as dirty bedding, roots of grass, soil, etc. This desire usually comes from a chronic disturbance of nutrition.

Thirst is diminished in a good many mild diseases unaccompanied by distinct fever. It is seen where there is great exhaustion or depression or profound brain disturbance. Thirst is increased after profuse sweating, in diabetes, diarrhea, in fever, at the crises of infectious diseases, and when the mouth is dry and hot.

Some diseases of the mouth or throat make it difficult for the horse to chew or swallow his feed. Where difficulty in this respect is experienced, the following named conditions should be borne in mind and carefully looked for: Diseases of the teeth, consisting in decay, fracture, abscess formation, or overgrowth; inflammatory conditions, or wounds or tumors of the tongue, cheeks, or lips; paralysis of the muscles of chewing or swallowing; foreign bodies in upper part of the mouth between the molar teeth; inflammation of throat. Difficulty in swallowing is sometimes shown by the symptom known as "quidding." Quidding consists in dropping from the mouth well-chewed and insalivated boluses of feed. A mouthful of hay, for example, after being ground and masticated, is carried to the back part of the mouth. The horse then finds that from tenderness of the throat, or from some other cause, swallowing is difficult or painful, and the bolus is then dropped from the mouth. Another quantity of hay is similarly prepared, only to be dropped in turn. Sometimes quidding is due to a painful tooth, the bolus being dropped from the mouth when the tooth is struck and during the pang that follows. Quidding may be practiced so persistently that a considerable pile of boluses of feed accumulate in the manger or on the floor of the stall. In pharyngitis one of the symptoms is a return through the nose of fluid that the horse attempts to swallow.

In some brain diseases, and particularly in chronic internal hydrocephalus, the horse has a most peculiar manner of swallowing and of taking feed. A similar condition is seen in hyperemia of the brain. In eating the horse will sink his muzzle into the grain in the feed box and eat for a while without raising the head. Long pauses are made while the feed is in the mouth. Sometimes the horse will eat very rapidly for a little while and then slowly; the jaws may be brought together so forcibly that the teeth gnash. In eating hay the horse will stop at times with hay protruding from the mouth and stand stupidly, as though he has forgotten what he was about.

In examining the mouth one should first look for swellings or for evidence of abnormal conditions upon the exterior; that is, the front and sides of the face, the jaws, and about the muzzle. By this means wounds, fractures, tumors, abscesses, and disease accompanied by eruptions about the muzzle may be detected. The interior of the mouth is examined by holding the head up and inserting