Lameness of the Horse eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 275 pages of information about Lameness of the Horse.

Symptomatology.—­Lameness, mixed or swinging-leg, signalizes the presence of acute lymphangitis.  There is always more or less swelling present and manipulation of the affected parts gives pain to the subject.  Depending upon the character of the infection and its extent, there is presented a varying degree of constitutional disturbance.  There may be a rise in temperature of from two to five degrees, and in such instances there is an accelerated pulse.  Where much intoxication is present, anorexia and dipsosis are to be noticed.

Swelling may increase gradually and in time discharge of pus may take place spontaneously without drainage being provided for, if the character of the infection does not cause early death.  In these cases lameness is pronounced and the cause of the disturbance is to be sought, particularly if the condition be due to a nail puncture.

[Illustration:  Fig. 62—­Elephantiasis.]

Treatment.—­Location of the site of injury is advisable in all cases and in some instances provision for drainage, as in puncture wounds, is helpful.  Locally, curettage and the application of suitable antiseptics are indicated.  Hot fomentations are beneficial and should be continued for several days if necessary, to stimulate resolution.  A brisk purge should be admintered at the onset and strychnin, because of its indirect stimulative effect upon the circulation together with its tonic effect upon the musculature, is beneficial.

In all such cases rational treatment, good hygiene and careful nursing are the principal factors which stimulate recovery.  Individual resistance or lowered vitality has a marked influence on the course of this affection.


This type of lymphangitis is associated with, or the result of, a derangement of digestion.  It affects heavy draft horses, rarely other types of animals, and involves one or both hind legs.

Occurrence.—­In healthy and well nourished horses irregularly used, this affection may suddenly manifest itself.  It occurs in singular instances in mares that are in advanced pregnancy even when such animals are at pasture.  Usually, however, this malady is found in heavy draft horses that have been kept stabled from one to three days.

Symptomatology.—­At the outset in severe cases, there is elevation of temperature, labored breathing, accelerated pulse, anorexia and more or less swelling of the affected members.  Swelling is very painful and when the affected legs are palpated, pain is manifested by flinching.  The inguinal lymph glands are often swollen but in some cases they are not affected in any perceptible degree.  In the average case suppuration does not occur and when conditions are favorable, resolution is complete within ten days.  The extent of the involvement and the intensity of the affection vary materially in different cases and a chronic lymphangitis may succeed the acute attacks and finally in some instances, elephantiasis results.

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Lameness of the Horse from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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