The temperature of the animal's body in all forms of sickness is a matter which should be attended to with the greatest care, and the regulations to this end will vary very considerably according to the reason and the situation of the box in which the animal is kept.
In all febrile diseases the tendency is towards coldness of the surface generally, and of the ears and extremities particularly. Under such circumstances it is important to conserve the heat by the application of clothing, which, if necessary, may be made to cover the whole of the animal's body. This is done by adding to the ordinary rug a hood which will cover the head down to the nostrils, with separate cases for the ears, and reaching downwards to the withers, joining the ordinary rug which should buckle across the chest (fig. 491). The further addition of flannel bandages to the extremities will complete the clothing, which will naturally be thick or thin according- to circumstances.
Fig. 491. - Clothing for Sick Horse.
Grooming is very commonly entirely neglected in the case of sick horses, from a mistaken notion that it is better not to expose the surface of the animal to the open air, or to excite it by the employment of brush or wisp. This excess of precaution may be desirable during the continuance of the very acute stage of a febrile disease, and in cases generally where the animal's life depends upon perfect quiet being maintained; but as soon as the animal's condition will permit, friction to the surface should be employed daily, and two or three times a day it may be desirable to stimulate circulation in the extremities by removing the bandages and hand-rubbing the skin of the legs until warmth is restored, applying the bandages again immediately.
The question of the amount of light which a sick horse finds grateful will easily be decided by an observant attendant who notices the animal's movements. In diseases in which the eyes are affected, as they commonly are even from sympathy, a strong light is extremely irritating, and should be moderated at once, which can be easily done by fixing some kind of temporary blind to the window.
Presuming that the horse has a good roomy box, the want of exercise will not be severely felt for some time; but as soon as it is safe for the animal to be moved out of the stable, walking exercise once or twice a day, beginning of course with a very short time and gradually increasing, will be an important aid towards the restoration of the animal's health and condition.