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;.
Pneumonia is inflammation of the lung substance and may be in one or both lungs. It is often caused by exposure to cold or wet, or by sudden changes of the weather; it may follow a severe case of catarrh.
Symptoms. - One of the first symptoms is a chill or shivering, but this often passes unnoticed. The appetite fails, rumination ceases, the muzzle becomes dry, and the nostrils are dilated. The breathing becomes more rapid and difficult and if the ear is held against the side of the chest there will be an absence of the natural respiratory murmur, and instead will sometimes be heard a dry wheezing sound or, if the pleura is involved, there will be a rasping sound as of two pieces of dry leather being rubbed together. The pulse will be strong and full at first but as the disease progresses it will grow small, weak and wiry an d gradually increase in frequency. The temperature may be from 103 degrees to 105 degrees Fah., which can only be determined by the use of the thermometer. The animal stands with its fore legs wider apart than usual. Unlike horses, cattle sometimes lie down in pneumonia always resting upon the sternum; they evince signs of pain and do not remain in a recumbent position long at a time.
Treatment. - In this disease prompt action and good nursing are of the greatest importance; the patient must be shielded from cold and wet. Give four drachms of nitrate of potash and one drachm of the sulphate of cinchonida every four hours until the fever begins to abate then give the same dose three times a day. If the patient is thin in flesh or appears weak, give with each dose two ounces of sweet spirits of nitre or three ounces of Mindererus' spirit. If the bowels are not already loose give from one to three drachms of calomel in the beginning of the disease. These medicines are best given in gruel. Rub the sides of the chest thoroughly with ammoniacal liniment three or four times a day, or until the skin becomes tender. Give the animal all the cool water it can drink and feed on laxative, nourishing diet. If treatment is begun in the early stages the chances for recovery are good.