• 1867
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General Remarks About Dogs in Physic


Keep them dry and warm, especially when you use calomel or any mercurial preparation. Always remove them from the kennel, and put them into an hospital apart from the rest, to prevent infection, as well as to insure the poor brutes quietness. Study the appearance of the eyes, feet, nose, extremities, pulse, &c.


To make a bitch inclined to copulate.—Seven drops Tincture of Cantharides twice a day till effect is produced—about six days, probably.

Mange.— Caused by dirty kennels, neglect, want of nourishing, or improper, food. Cure—1 oz. salts, if dog of moderate size. Rub every third day well into the skin quantum suf. of the following mixture:  Train oil—tanner's will do—one quart; spirits turpentine one large wineglass full; sulphur sufficient to let it just run off a stick. Mix well. Three applications are generally sufficient. Let it stay on the animal for a fortnight, when wash well with soap and water. Remember, it takes nearly two hours to well scrub the above into the skin. Smearing over the hair is no use. It must get well into the skin; and if neatly and properly done, the dog scarcely shows the application.

Worms.— Cowhage, half a drachm; tin filings, very fine, four drachms. Make into four or six balls, according to size of dog. One daily, and a few hours afterwards a purge of salts or aloes. Powdered glass, as much as will lie on a shilling, i.e. a quarter dollar, new coin, in lard. Repeat once or twice alternate days. Finish off with one to two drachms Socotrine Aloes, rolled up in tissue paper. Mind, the glass must be ground into the finest kind of powder, else it will injure the coats of the stomach.

To make a dog fine in his coat.—A tablespoonful of tar in oatmeal. Make bolus.

Distemper.—Distemper is caused by low keep, neglect, and changes of atmosphere. Symptoms of the disease are as follows:—Loss of spirit, activity, and appetite, drowsiness, dulness of the eyes, lying at length with nose to the ground, coldness of extremities, legs, ears, and lips, heat in head and body, running at the nose and eyes, accompanied by sneezing, emaciation, and weakness, dragging of hinder quarters, flanks drawn in, diarrhœa, sometimes vomiting. There are several receipts for this, the worst and most fatal of all diseases. One is better than another, according to the various stages. This first, if commenced at an early stage, seldom fails. Half an ounce of salts in warm water, when the dog is first taken ill; thirty-six hours afterwards, ten grains compound Powder of Ipecacuanha in warm water. If in two days he is no better, take sixteen grains Antimonial Powder, made into four boluses; one night and morning for two days. If no improvement visible, continue these pills, unless diarrhœa comes on, in which case you must use the ipecacuanha day about with the pills. If the animal is much weakened by this, give him one teaspoonful Huxam's Tincture of Bark three times a day. Keep warm, and feed on rich broth. James's Powder is also almost a certain remedy Dose four grains; or Antimonial Powder and Calomel, three parts of first to one of latter, from eight to fifteen grains; or, after the salts, Ant. Powder, two, three, or four grains, Nitrate Potash, five, ten, or fifteen grains; Ipecacuanha, two, three, or four. Make into ball, and give twice or three times a day, according to appearances.

Repeat the purge or emetics every fourth day, but avoid too great looseness of bowels. Diarrhœa sometimes supervenes, in which case give Compound Powder of Chalk, with Opium, ten grains. In case of fits coming on, destroy the animal. The same may be said of paralysis. If this disease is taken in its early stage, and attended to, and the dog kept warm, there is not much danger. Otherwise it is very fatal.

Wounds.—Poultice for a day or two; then apply Friar's Balsam, covering up the place.

For a Green Wound.—Hog's lard, turpentine, bees' wax, equal parts; verdigris, one fourth part. Simmer over a slow fire till they are well mixed.

Purgative Medicines.—Salts, one ounce; Calomel, five grains; or Socotrine Aloes, two drachms for moderate sized dog.

Stripping Feet.Wash in bran and warm water, with a little vinegar; after apply Tincture of Myrrh. Apply sweet oil before he goes out. If his feet are tender, wash them in brine, to harden them. When actually sore, buttermilk, greasy pot liquor, or water gruel, are best. Brine inflames. The dog should be kept at home till feet are healed. Then apply the brine and vinegar.

Canker in the Ear.—Wash well with soap and warm water; fill up the ear with finely powdered charcoal or powdered borax. Clean out daily with sponge on stick and warm water, and repeat the dusting till it heals. Or, perhaps, the best receipt is,—clean out ear with sponge fastened on a pliable stick, using warm soap and water. When quite clean, dip the sponge in Sulphate of Copper-water, turning it gently round. Put seton in the neck just under the ear.

Oak Bark, one pound, chopped fine, and well boiled in soft water. When cold, take of the Decoction of Bark four ounces, Sugar of Lead, half a drachm. Put a teaspoonful into the ear night and morning, rubbing the root of ear well, to cause it to get well into the cavities. This is one of the best receipts in this book.

To make Sulphate of Copper Water.—Sulphate of Copper half a drachm, water one ounce. Mix well and keep corked.

External Canker of Ear.—Butter of Antimony, diluted in milk to the thickness of cream, will cure it; or Red Precipitate of Mercury, half an ounce, with two ounces of hog's lard, mixed well.

To make a Seton.—Take a dozen or two strands of a horse's tail; plait them; rub blistering ointment on them. Pass it through two or three inches of the skin with a curved surgical needle. Tie the two ends together. Move daily.

Bleeding.—You may readily bleed a dog in the jugular vein by holding up his head, stopping the circulation at the base of the neck. Part the hair, and with the lancet make an incision, taking care not to stick him too deeply. If the animal rejoices in a heavy coat, it may be necessary to shave away the hair. From one to eight ounces are the quantities; but in this, as in most prescriptions, the old proverb is the safest—"Keep between the banks."

For a Strain.Use Bertine's Liniment; or one ounce Turpentine, half a pint of old beer, half a pint of brine; bathe the part and repeat; or Sal Ammonia, one ounce, vinegar one pint.

Bruises or Strains of long standing.—Gall, Opodeldoc, excellent. Shaved Camphor two ounces, Spirits of Wine three quarters of a pint. Shake well, and cork close, placing it near the fire till the camphor dissolves. Then add a bullock's gall. Shake well together. Apply, rubbing it well into the part affected till it lathers.

Dog Poisoned.—Give teacupful of castor oil. After he has vomited well, continue to pour olive oil down his throat and rub his belly.

Staggers and Fits.—This generally happens in warm weather. Throw water on them, if convenient. If not, bleed in neck, if you have lancets. If not, with your knife slit the ears, which you can cause to adhere together again; or run your knife across two or three bars next the teeth. Bitches coming off heat are more subject to this than dogs in good health.

To reduce the time a bitch is in heat.—Give her a little Nitre in water, and a dose of Calomel, four grains or thereabouts, followed by salts or aloes.

Bilious Fever.—Is caused by want of exercise and too high feeding. Calomel, six or eight grains; or, in an obstinate case, Turpeth Mineral or Yellow Mercury, six to twelve grains in a bolus.

To destroy Lice.—Sometimes the receipt below for fleas will prove efficacious, but not always; but a small quantity of Mercurial Ointment, reduced by adding hog's lard to it, say an equal quantity, rubbed along the top of the dog's back never fails. The greatest care must be taken to keep the animal warm.

Fleas.— Scotch snuff steeped in gin is infallible; but must be used with great care, and not above a teaspoonful of snuff to a pint of gin,—as the cure, if overdone, is a deadly poison.

Torn Ears.—Laudanum and brandy, equal parts. Mix well. Apply alternately with sweet oil.

Feed for Greyhounds in training.—Wheat flour and oatmeal, old, equal parts. Liquorice, aniseed, and white of eggs. Make into a paste. Make loaves. Bake them. Break up into very rich broth.

Swelled Teats.Make pomade of Camphorated Spirit, or brandy, and goose grease, two or three times a day.

Inflammation of the Bowels.—Symptoms: Dulness of appearance and eyes; loss of appetite; lying on the belly, with outstretched legs; pulse much quickened; scratching up of the bed into a heap, and pressing the belly on it; desire to swallow stones, coal, or any cold substance not voidable; inclination to hide away. It is very dangerous; requires active treatment. Bleed most freely, till the dog faints away. Clap a blister on the pit of the stomach. Give Aloes, fifteen grains, and Opium, half a grain. Repeat dose three times a day. Bleed after twelve hours, if pulse rises again, and continue dosing and bleeding till either the dog or inflammation gives in. No half measures do in this disease. After determining that it is inflammation of bowels, set to work to get the upper hand. When that is done, there is no trouble. Otherwise it is fatal. Feed low, and attend carefully to prevent relapse.

Films over the Eyes.—Blue stone or Lunar Caustic, eight grains, spring water, one ounce. Wash the eyes with it, letting a little pass in. Repeat this daily, and you will soon cure it.

Films caused by Thorn Wounds.—Rest the dog till perfectly healed over, washing with rose water. If much inflammation, bleed, and foment with hot water, with a few drops of laudanum in it—about forty drops of laudanum to one ounce of water; or two grains of opium to one ounce of water—one as good as the other. Then apply four or five times a day the following wash:—Superacetate of Lead, half a drachm, Rose Water, six ounces.

To extract Thorns.—Cobbler's wax bound on to the place, or black pitch plaster or a poultice, are equally good.

To preserve Gun Barrels from rust of salt water.—Black lead, three ounces; hog's lard, eight ounces; camphor, quarter ounce; boiled together over a slow fire; the barrels to be rubbed with this mixture, which after three days must be wiped off clean. This need not be repeated above twice in the winter.

Bite of a Snake.—Olive oil, well rubbed in before a fire, and a copious drench of it also.

To render Boots or Shoes Water-proof.—Beef suet, quarter of a pound; bees' wax, half a pound; rosin, quarter of a pound. Stir well together over a slow fire. Melt the mixture, and rub well into the articles daily with a hard brush before the fire.

To Soften Boots.—Use hog's lard, half a pound; mutton suet, quarter of a pound; and bees' wax, quarter of a pound. Melt well, and rub well in before the fire; or currier's oil is as good, barring the smell.

Water-proofing for Gun Locks.—Make a saturated solution of Naphtha and India rubber. Add to this three times the quantity of Copal Varnish. Apply with a fine, small brush along the edges of the lock and stock.


How best to convey to my readers a clear, and at the same time succinct account of this disease, has much troubled me. This is now the third attempt made to set before my brother sportsmen, who have had little or no experience, in the plainest terms, the symptoms and features of the disease, as well as the best remedies to be applied to its various stages and ever varying types.

After considerable doubts on the subject, I fancy that by setting before you a series of cases which have come under my own treatment, the peculiar features of each case, the remedies prescribed, and the termination, whether fatal or otherwise, I shall best serve the interests of my readers. I beg expressly to state, that with one or two exceptions—the cases of the older dogs—of which I write from recollection, after a lapse of several years, and consequently cannot be so positive about, the others have all recently passed through my hands, and the course of treatment, &c., has been especially noted, and here recorded with minute exactness.

The range of cases are, I believe, sufficiently numerous to meet any form and stage of the disease, from the most simple to the most complicated and fatal. With the sole exception of chorea or paralysis, a case of which I have never fairly seen through, one or two cases are noted, in which this would[Pg 59] have been the termination, but for the remedies applied. The system pursued has been a combination of a great many various receipts, adapted to each peculiar case; and through the very severe cases that this year have depopulated my kennel, I have been under great obligations to a very talented medical man, whose advice I ever found of great service, and whose professional knowledge enabled him so to vary the quantities and forms of the medicines as best to overcome some particular form or other.

Every keeper or sportsman has, or professes to have, some never-failing nostrum or other. Believe me, this is all stuff. There have been, are, and ever will be, cases incurable; but I will venture to say, that ninety-nine out of a hundred who know anything of the subject will admit that these remedies contain some one or more of the following medicines, all of which are of value:—Epsom Salts, Calomel, Jalap, Tartar Emetic, as purgatives or vomits; Antimony, Nitre, James' Powder, Ipecacuanha, as sudorifics, diaphoretics, or febrifuges. From these medicines, the most used, it is evident to see what tendency the course of treatment is designed to have, and when it fails, extra means must be employed till that is effected. Here it is that study, practice, and an intimate knowledge of medicines and their combinations prove of great advantage. At this stage more dogs are lost for want of knowledge what next to do than in any other way; for they are either getting worse or better, never standing still, and each day's illness tells much against the recovery, from the great emaciation and weakness which commences from the first, and keeps increasing daily. Never was there a more appropriate quotation than "Opus est consulto, sed ubi consulueris mature facto."

It were idle to speculate on the origin of the disease. Suffice for us that we have it, and that we consider it an affection of the mucous membrane, solely, in the earlier stages, but ultimately combining itself with general mucous affections. But it will not be foreign to our purpose to state several influences which are supposed, if not actually to cause, at all events, greatly to increase its virulence. They are these:—Low Diet, Dirt, Confinement in close, unhealthy, damp kennels, too great a quantity of raw, or even boiled flesh, too little exercise, sudden changes in the atmosphere, and contagion. It cannot be called endemic, since it exists everywhere. Neither is it exactly an epidemic, though some years it does assume that form, while at other times it does not.

Bleeding we see recommended in the Field Sports. Some practitioners are very fond of the lancet. We confess quite a contrary penchant, and hold that bleeding is seldom or ever justifiable, except in cases of violent inflammations.

In distemper, we would not draw blood, once in a hundred times; for the usual course of the disease is so enervating, that in ordinary circumstances nature is reduced far more than agreeable; and as purgatives must be used under any circumstances, they will in general be sufficient to reduce any fever. We will now mention the ordinary symptoms whence we determine this complaint. Lowness of spirit, drowsiness, dimness of the eyes, staring of the coat, loss of appetite, may be noticed, and frequently disregarded. Here we will remark that a mild dose of Epsom salts, according to age—vide[Pg 61] prescriptions at the end, No. one,—will suffice. In a day or two, however, if neglected, sometimes a running at the nose will be seen; or the ears and feet will be cold, while the head and body will be feverish; the nose will be hard, dry, and cracked.

By degrees, if neglected, the nose will discharge a thick purulent matter, the belly become hotter and distended, the dog will lie full stretch, belly to the ground, the hind legs begin to fail. He may also have spasmodic and convulsive twitchings, giddiness, foaming at the mouth, epileptic fits. Now he will ravenously eat anything cold, drink any quantity of water.


Three Setter pups, two to three months old. Appearance, &c.—Slight drowsiness, dimness of eyes, staring of coat, fæces hard. Gave two teaspoonfuls No. one, and repeated next day. Intermitted a day. Repeated dose to make sure. All well.


Three Setter puppies, same age at the same time.—Symptoms same, and also heat in body and head; coldness of extremities; bodies inclined to hardness; fæces dark and irregular. Gave four teaspoonfuls No. one. Next morning, if anything worse, belly still hard and swelling, gave each half a grain of Calomel, half a grain of Tartar Emetic. After an hour, no vomit having been attained, repeated the dose. At night gave each a pill—Antimony, two grains, Nitre, ten grains, Ipecacuanha, three grains.

Third day.—Saw pups about eight a.m. One had had a fit, another had one while we were present, and the third seemed likely to have one. Its eyes looked wild; it was unnaturally brisk, and running about; the nose discharged more freely, but not yet any foul matter. Gave all three Calomel and Tartar Emetic as before, and repeated, it not having produced any effect. Between the doses, the two had each a fit, and several, we may as well mention, through the day, the earlier ones being the most severe. About one hour after the vomit, gave each one tablespoonful Castor oil. Fed them with bread and milk. At night gave pill to each—Antimony, three grains, Nitre, ten grains, Ipecacuanha, two grains. Next morning two pups were better. Gave them No. one, two teaspoonfuls, pill as before, night and morning, for two days. No. one the third day. Sent them to kennel. The third of this lot we found not to have had fits; but his bowels were hard, and his secretions black and improper. Gave him Calomel and Tartar Emetic as before, with No. one, usual dose, and pills as above. Gradually he got weaker and weaker, and at last he died. The error here was undoubtedly in not increasing the calomel, and leaving out emetic, so as to endeavor to alter the secretions. A pill, for instance, in this form, would have better met the case. Calomel, one grain, Antimony, two grains, Nitre, five grains, followed up in three hours by one teaspoonful No. two.


Two Setter pups, same age as the last.—Case very bad. Fits had taken place more than once. Bodies hard, tumid[Pg 63] head and belly hot, evidently much pain in body; ears and feet icy cold; nose hard and thick, pus in it; fæces not noticed. Gave instantly, vomit as before; Calomel and Tartar Emetic, half a grain. Repeated in one hour, not having operated. Half an hour after this had taken place, gave two teaspoonfuls No. two to each. This purged very quickly. One of the puppies appeared to be in much pain. Gave it a saltspoonful of mustard in a little milk.

Fits constantly occurring, with intervals of one or two hours, repeated the mustard, and gave Spirits of Hartshorn, six drops, Camphor water, sixty drops, Sweet Spirits Nitre, twenty drops, Laudanum, six drops. Repeated this dose in six hours' time. Kept them all night by the kitchen stove. Slightly better next morning. Gave pill—Antimony, three grains, Calomel, one grain, Nitre, ten grains. Three hours after, two teaspoonfuls No. two. Fits had ceased before night. Gave pill—Antimony, two grains, Ipecacuanha, three grains, Nitre, ten grains, each night and next morning. Next day improvement visible. Wildness of the eye abated; fever in body and coldness of extremities much diminished: secretions, however, still irregular; nose dry and hard. At night gave pill—Ipecacuanha, three grains, Nitre, ten grains, Ginger Essence, five drops. Next morning gave two teaspoonfuls No. two. At night, half teaspoonful diluted Quinine Mixture. Next day gave Quinine twice. Day after, two teaspoonfuls No. one. Sent well to kennel. These were the worst cases of epileptic fits we ever saw. The pair could not have had less than twenty fits each, which lasted from a quarter to half an hour, during which they uttered most piercing howlings.


Pointer puppy ten months old.—Brought in from kennel: food chiefly raw flesh. Condition high. Appearance—Eyes very dull; drowsy; nose hard, dry, with thick mucous effusion; evacuations very offensive. Should consider this the putrid type. Gave half an ounce of salts in warm water. Two days after, gave ten grains Compound Powder of Ipecacuanha. No better: nose running a thick, heavy matter; fæces very offensive. Two days after giving last medicine, gave four grains Antimonial Powder, night and morning, for two days. Dog died.

Remarks.—This case happened years ago, when we were young. Our treatment was bad from the commencement, but the case was a vile one also. The following formulæ would have been more befitting:—Calomel, half a grain, Tartar Emetic, half a grain, repeated with intermissions of an hour, till a vomit was secured. Wineglassful of No. two in an hour afterwards. At night, Antimony, four grains, Nitre, ten grains, repeated next morning. If secretions then offensive, Calomel, two grains, followed by wineglass No. two, in three hours. Then use Antimony, Nitre, and Ipecacuanha, more or less, according as you wish to act on the skin, or on the lungs or kidneys. If the cough is bad, increase the Ipecacuanha. If fever prevails, add to the Antimony. Nitre acts on the bladder.


A Terrier bitch in very low condition, pups having been lately weaned. Age, two or three years.—Symptoms very mild. Gave half an ounce of salts, and two days after, ten grains Ipecacuanha, followed up by four grains Antimonial Powder, for two days. Results: bitch was cured of distemper, but so dreadfully weak, could not feed itself. Gave one teaspoonful of Huxam's Tincture of Bark, three times a day. Hand-fed her frequently with rich beef soup, milk, and bread. After a very hard fight, brought her round.

Remarks.—Could not have done better much, except would have given a combination of Antimony, Ipecacuanha, and Nitre at first, i.e. after purging with salts. Got great credit at the time for the cure, more deserved for nursing well.

From these cases you will be able to see, that for a simple purgative we prefer salts, as being a very cooling dose, and suiting a dog's constitution well. In the earlier stages, it sometimes effects a cure. Where there is a discharge of the nose, you must, after purging, work on the lungs. Where there is fever, you must double your purging, i.e. clean them out front and rear as quickly as possible. Where to this is added a visible disorganization of the secretions, you ought to call in Calomel in large doses, one or two grains, repeated, and this you may continue with Antimony, and so at the same time subdue the inflammation of the lungs. In the earlier part of spring and in fall, there is little fear of diarrhœa supervening. A slight attack of it will not be of[Pg 66] much consequence provided you take care to keep it well in hand. Opium must be used with great caution; it rather tends to epileptic fits, which, by the way, we consider to result from an almost stoppage of the bowels. Compound Powder of Chalk, Quinine Mixture, Rhubarb, Catechu, will generally be sufficient.

In the Field Sports is the following receipt, and as we have invariably found Blaine and Youatt's horse and dog receipts the most reliable, we quote it. It is new to us, and so is a violent case of diarrhœa, for that matter.

? Magnesia, one drachm; powdered Alum, two scruples; Powdered Calumba,[1] one drachm; P. Gum Arabic, two drachms. Mix with six ounces boiled starch, and give a dessert or table spoonful every four or six hours, pro re natâ.


1] Catechu, one drachm, will be better than the Calumba. It is far more efficacious.—Dinks.


We will now suppose a case, for our practice of late years has been confined to young puppies. Ears and feet cold; body and head very hot; body hard and distended; nose hard, dry, and almost stopped up with thick matter; dry, husky cough; fæces, hard; pulse rapid, evidencing much fever. Give instantly, Calomel and Tartar Emetic, half a grain each, repeating it with intermissions of an hour, till you get a vomit. One hour after, give wine glass No. two. Twelve hours after, if fever has not abated, give three grains Calomel, followed in three hours by wine glass of No. two. If the next day you find any fever still lingering, give Calomel,[Pg 67] three grains, as before,Antimonial Powder, eight grains.

This will, with, in three hours, the usual quantity of No. two, be pretty sure to be successful. You must now address yourself to the cold and other symptoms; and you may give large doses of Ipecacuanha and Nitre. Keep the bowels open, but avoid active purging, except in cases of fever. If you find at any time the body getting hard and distended, administer the emetic. Let the dog out into the air whenever it is fine and warm, keep his nose well cleaned out, and change his bed daily. Encourage him to drink fresh water, if he will.

The receipts alluded to in the previous pages are as follows:—

No. 1.For young pups up to six months old.—Of Epsom salts, take two ounces; of water, one quart. Mix well, and keep close corked.

No. 2.—Eight ounces of Saturated Solution of Epsom salts, in water; thirty drops Sulphuric Acid. Mix well, and cork close.

Antimony is preferable, when there is fever. It is an antiphlogistic. Ipecacuanha, when there is much debility. The last also affects the lungs, and is more efficient in removing cold.

Half an ounce of salts is a fair dose for a dog from nine months to any age. No. 2 is particularly recommended, whenever an early action is required. It is essentially short, sharp and decisive.[Pg 68]

Total                                      Date.
    Ruffed Grouse.
    Pinnated Grouse.
    Place where shooting.
    No. of Head to own Gun.

This will be found as convenient a form as any for recording the season's bag, and I would suggest as a means to accurately determine the number of shots, to put a given number, say 50 or 80 caps, into your cap pocket every day on going out, deducting any miss-fired and wasted ones from the balance left on returning. This will give you an exact idea of your average shootings, which will be found not to exceed three out of five shots. In the column of remarks you can state your companion, quantity of game seen, &c.; in fact, any point worthy of notice, and to which afterwards you can refer. The writer's book dates back to 1845, and records every head of game killed while he was out, by his own, as also his friend's gun, remarks on the weather, curious ornithological observations.

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