An infectious form of catarrh is now generally recognized, and as such the disease periodically visits most lai'ge establishments where a great number of horses are stabled. Young horses, fresh from the country and drafted into town studs, seldom escape an attack, but their susceptibility to further infection would appear to be materially reduced as a consequence.
Slight shivering fits usually usher in the attack, which more often than not pass unobserved. Then follow yawning and listless-ness, hanging the head and general dulness, staring of the coat, which feels harsh to the touch. The temperature of the extremities is variable, while that of the central parts of the body is increased, the thermometer introduced into the rectum indicating a rise more or less marked according to the severity of the attack. In some individuals sneezing is a prominent symptom, but it cannot be described as general. The nasal membrane is dry and the colour somewhat heightened, this symptom being followed by a watery discharge, in which the eyes also may participate. The watery fluid changes in a few days to a thick mucus or muco-purulent discharge. The appetite is usually impaired during the febrile stage, while a painful cough is a frequent concomitant later on.
With good nursing, pure air, and suitable food a common cold is not difficult to manage. Danger in these cases mostly results from neglect in giving timely attention to the case, or in putting the patient to work too soon. A fortnight should be allowed in which the disease may run its course. There is no remedy that will cut it short, but such agents as are selected will be given with a view to ameliorate the symptoms and enable nature to throw it off as soon as possible. In the early stage salycine in one or other of its combinations appears to hasten the discharge and lower temperature, spirit of nitrous sether being given with the same object. Acetate of ammonia has also been long in favour. When the discharge has become thick, and provided there is no cough, the sulphates of iron and copper are calculated to impart tone and arrest a tendency to a chronic discharge. If cough accompanies the disease, a smart liniment may be applied over the region of the throat, and a mixture of paregoric and glycerine, with some of the sweet spirit of nitre, may be found beneficial. Where a difficulty in swallowing points to an inflamed condition of the pharynx a gargle of chlorate, or nitrate, of potash is recommended, there being no objection to its being swallowed. Where debility and languor continue after the acute symptoms have abated, carbonate of ammonia with bitter vegetable tonics are prescribed. The nostrils should be sponged with warm water to which a little permanganate of potash has been added, and the edges anointed with vaseline to facilitate the discharge of nasal mucus. The food should be moistened and easy of mastication: linseed-tea, mashes, and carrots, with chaff and hay steamed, and the drinking-water should have the chill taken off in winter. If grass is available it may be given freely, nor need the attendant be alarmed if it imparts some of its colour to the discharge escaping from the nostrils.