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;.
Pleurisy is the term used to designate inflammation of the pleura or membrane lining the chest and covering the lungs. It is often complicated with pneumonia and then becomes more serious.
Symptoms. - The symptoms are somewhat similar to those of pneumonia, except that the breathing is more painful; the elbows will stand out more than usual; the ribs will appear fixed and the breathing will be done by the abdominal muscles. There is generally a short, painful cough which sounds as if the animal was trying to suppress it. There will be a crease, called the "pleuritic ridge," running from the flank downward and forward along the lower ends of the ribs toward the elbows; the animal will walk with difficulty, as though stiff in the shoulders, giving a short, quick grunt at each step. In the beginning, if the ear is held to the side of the chest, a rasping sound will be heard; but, after a few days, this will be absent owing to the effusion of fluid into the thoracic cavity.
Treatment. - The treatment prescribed in pneumonia will be equally effective in pleurisy if begun in time. If there is no improvement after several days, effusion takes place, the chest begins to fill with water, producing the condition known as hydrothorax, when there is little hope for the patient except in the hands of the most skillful practitioner.