Recorded Cases. - 1. 'On the evening of September 28 last, I was called rather hurriedly to attend a posting-horse which had just arrived from a twenty-one miles' journey, and was said to be "very ill." I lost no time in proceeding to the spot, and found my patient "very ill" indeed. No need for long consideration as to diagnosis; the symptoms showed at once that I had an uncommonly severe case of acute founder before me. On examination I found the pulse was 120, the respirations 100, and the thermometer 106° F. The poor brute could not move, the fore-legs were well out before, and the hind-legs thrown back behind; in fact, he was, as one might say, propping himself up with his four legs!
'On examining his feet, I discovered what I had never either seen or heard of before - namely, blood freely oozing out at the coronet of all four feet; if anything, the hind-feet were the worst, and, showing that this bloody discharge at coronets had commenced during progression and before he was stabled, the inside of the thighs were all shotted over with blood, which had been thrown up by his feet while he was trotting or walking. He was completely soaked all over with perspiration.
'My prognosis could not well be otherwise than unsatisfactory. I resolved, however, to do all I could to relieve the poor suffering brute. As a matter of course, jugular phlebotomy was utterly impracticable; so, to relieve the pressure in the feet, I had him (after, with extreme difficulty, removing the shoes) bled, or rather opened, at all four toes, and hot poultices applied. On opening the off-side toe, in both hind and fore feet, I found an escape of very dark-coloured blood, with a great many bubbles of gas, thus showing that the destructive process was fairly established in the two bony extremities mentioned. The near fore and near hind feet showed no signs of gas-bubbles on being opened at the toe.
'I gave a laxative in combination with a diffusible stimulant, and ordered doses of aconite and potassium iodide; I also applied strong sinapisms to each side, immediately behind the shoulders. After three hours I found my patient rather easier; respiration about 90, and temperature 104°; willing to take a little water, and even attempted to take some hay. Ordered continued applications of hot water to the poultices at feet, and clothed him up for the night. Next morning there was little improvement; respirations over 80, and temperature 103.5°. Continue same treatment. Second morning, horse apparently easier; temperature 102.5°, but very difficult respiration; laxative had operated during the night; ordered diffusible stimulants. About two hours and a half after my last visit, the horse turned round in his stall and dropped down dead!
'History of the Horse. - He belonged to an extensive horse-hiring establishment; was purchased a short time before for £60 - a long price for a post-horse - had recently suffered and been off work from some "severe cold"; was taken out, and did forty-seven miles of a journey the day before I saw him; on forenoon of the day on which he was attacked he did two or three short turns, and then twenty-one miles of a journey in the afternoon, during which he became so ill as scarcely to be able to conclude the twenty-one miles; this was the last turn he was to do. He was a grand stepper, and no doubt was pushed a little during this final journey, as the driver intended, after a short rest, to finish off with the twenty-six miles between this and home. With the short turns on the second forenoon, this would have been over 100 miles in less than two days, with a horse just out of a severe cold.'[A]
[Footnote A: Veterinary Journal, vol. xvii., p. 314 (A.E. Macgillivray).]
2. 'Whilst attending a patient on a farm on September 5 last my attention was called to a cart-horse, five years of age, that had been castrated in the standing position by a travelling castrator about ten days previously.
'I found the animal presenting the following symptoms: Head down, blowing hard, very dull, and disinclined to move, temperature 105° F., hard, rapid, slightly irregular pulse, membranes injected, appetite lost; scrotum, sheath, and penis tremendously swollen, castration wounds unhealthy, and exuding a thin, reddish-brown discharge of a most foetid odour.
'The next day well-marked symptoms of laminitis were present. I finally ceased attending him about the middle of October, and at the end of that month he was turned out for the winter.'[A]
[Footnote A: Veterinary Record, vol. xiv., p. 649 (Charles A. Powell).]
3. 'On July 8 an interesting case of laminitis came under my notice. The subject was a mare, eight years old, which had been running on the common here for some months, and was taken up on the night of July 2 by a boy, who did not observe anything amiss with her. The following morning, on the owner going to the stable, he found the animal in great pain, and at once sent for me. I discovered her to be suffering from laminitis, and saw her again in the evening, when she was much worse. The attack proved to be a most severe one.
'The owner informed me that she had not been allowed any corn for two months, and that she had no distance to travel on the road from the common.
'Though on such a poor pasture, the mare was very fat; she had never been unwell before this attack.
'This is the first case I have seen of laminitis occurring when the animal was on grass.'[A]
[Footnote A: Veterinary Journal, vol. ix., p. 176 (W. Stanley Carless).]