This section is from the book "The Farmers Ready Reference Or Hand Book Of Diseases Of Horses And Cattle", by S. C. Orr. . Also available from Amazon: The Farmer's Ready Reference;.
This disease first made its appearance in the State of Missouri a few years ago and was thoroughly investigated by Dr. Paul Faquin, State Veterinarian of Missouri at that time, and found to be due to some vegetable parasite. Through a misconstruction of some statement made by the doctor, a report became widely circulated that the cases were of the true foot-and-mouth disease, and considerable excitement prevailed for some time; but this false report was corrected by the Secretary of Agricul ture at Washington, D. C., (if I mistake not) and the excitement, as well as the disease, soon became quiet.
Nearly every season since, there have been a few cases in Missouri and Kansas (and probably other Western States), but it has never become, serious, and if any animal ever died with the disease it must have been because the owner neglected to furnish proper food for it while its mouth was sore, and it starved to death. The disease is simply an eruption of the mucous membrane of the mouth and of the skin of the body; and although the two diseases have many symptoms in common, yet it lacks the virulence of the foot-and-mouth disease of European countries.
Symptoms. - Small blisters form on the tongue and inside of the lips; these burst open, forming small sores, and sometimes the lips become dry and cracked. The animal eats readily if food is placed well back on the tongue, but cannot take it up because of the soreness of the mouth. The jaws are kept moving and the saliva flows freely. Small eruptions appear over the body; and about the udder and other parts where the hair is thin, the skin becomes of a reddish color. The soreness on the skin extends down to the feet and sometimes cracks form around the hoofs, and, in severe cases, the hoofs come off. The animal often gets very lame and is inclined to lie down a great deal.
Treatment. - If there is diarrhoea, give a dose of raw oil; if no diarrhoea exists, give a dose of Epsom salt sufficient to open the bowels moderately; give hyposulphite of soda in the drinking water to the amount of three ounces in twenty-four hours. Swab the mouth three times a day with the following: Alum, one ounce; water, one quart; mix. Sponge all sores on the body and feet with a solution of sulphate of copper, one ounce, to water, one quart. Keep the patient in a cool, shady place, and feed on gruel, bran mash, boiled oats and other soft food.
While I know of no instance wherein the disease has been communicated to man from handling diseased animals, yet it will be a wise plan not to get any of the saliva from the mouth, or the discharge from the eruptions on the skin, in any sores that may be on the hands.