Lampas is a congested state of that portion of the palate situated immediately behind the upper row of front teeth. It is mostly seen in young animals during the period when the teeth are being changed, but adult horses are also liable to it as the result of disorders affecting the stomach and bowels, and as an accompaniment of fever attacks.
It is of no great consequence in itself, but has been regarded with exaggerated importance for generations past, and has been the pretext for endless cruelty by ignorant grooms and pretenders to the art of horse surgery.
In this state of the palate the act of feeding is materially interfered with, and the horse is noticed to fail in his appetite or drop the food from his mouth. Examination of the palate shows the membrane to be swollen and to extend below the teeth. It is red, tense, and painful to the touch, and not infrequently attended with slight fever and general constitutional disturbance.
In large numbers of instances swollen palate is of a temporary or passing nature, and subsides without medical or surgical interference; but the severity and continuance of some cases call for special attention. In these it may be desirable to scarify the palate with a sharp, clean lancet or penknife, and remove a few ounces of blood; or, in the case of digestive troubles, a dose of physic, followed by a short period of dieting, will be sufficient to effect a cure.
While the pain and swelling continues, the food will be rendered more agreeable to the patient by being damped or scalded. It need hardly be said that the practice of burning the "bars" with a hot iron is barbarous and useless, and it should be generally known that such acts are cruel and punishable by law.