In the treatment of distemper the following points may prove of service to the dog-owner who finds herself obliged to combat this dreaded disease. From the beginning of the illness meat must be absolutely withheld, either in solid or liquid form. This point is of the utmost importance. The patient should be fed entirely on farinaceous and milky food, and if he refuses to eat, milk enriched with one of the dried-milk preparations now so much used, or with good condensed milk - a dessertspoonful of the latter to about half a pint of slightly warmed cows' milk - should be given, by force if necessary, in small quantities at regular intervals of an hour to two hours.
In "drenching" (or forcibly feeding) any dog with either food or medicine the jaws should never be forced apart. If the lips at the side of the mouth are held out to form a small pouch or bag, the liquid can be gently poured in, and the animal, having the free use of his jaws, will be able to swallow it.
The distempered patient must be kept warm. He should be sewn up in a flannel coat made of new house-flannel; for a young puppy a piece about 14 to 15 inches square will be necessary. Two round holes are made in this, through which the forelegs are passed, the flannel is drawn up round the neck and over the back, and stitched together. The room or kennel should be clean, dry, warm, and well ventilated. A mixture, consisting of one part of Parrish's Chemical Food to which is added one part pure cod-liver oil, should be given - one teaspoonful every four hours during the day for a puppy of less than three months, and a dessertspoonful for puppies exceeding three months. There is no finer medicine for distemper than this, and when it is given, and meat in any shape or form rigorously withheld, there is no reason why even a badly infected puppy should not recover.
Among other ailments to which the bulldog is susceptible are colds. The early stages of distemper are often mistaken for ordinary cold in the head, as usually one of the first visible signs of distemper is a running at the eyes and nose. But the discharge in the case of distemper is thicker and more prurient than the discharge caused by a cold in the head is. The most unmistakable sign of distemper is the rapid wasting away of the dog. In three days a well-fed and healthy dog will become nothing more than skin and bones.
The bulldog Thomas Ingoldsby. Owned by Henry St. John Cooper. This beautiful specimen was purchased when a puppy for £20 and is now worth more than £200
Cold in the head, though a far less serious complaint, should not be neglected. Any good remedy prescribed for children may be given with advantage to a puppy, in milder doses, of course; especially should the mixture contain morphia. Dogs that live out of doors are less susceptible to cold than those that are pampered and kept in the house. If, however, cold attacks a kennel dog, it is well to investigate whether the ailment is due to a damp bed, a leaky roof, or a draughty house.
Gastritis is a painful illness, which is due either to inflammation of the bowels through cold or to ptomaine poisoning. In any case, it is a matter requiring the attention of a veterinary surgeon. The symptoms are vomiting and diarrhoea, accompanied by intense pain, which either prevents the animal from moving at all or causes him to walk as though his joints had become stiffened. Temporary relief may be afforded until the arrival of the veterinary surgeon by administering chlorodyne or laudanum in infinitesimal quantities.
The Value of Bulldogs
Bull puppies may be purchased at all prices, from as low as thirty shillings to as high as a hundred pounds. Really good puppies are nowadays sold by reliable breeders at from five pounds to ten pounds each, the price depending on the quality of the puppy and its age. A fully matured dog, excelling in show points - that is to say, fit to win in keen competition - seldom costs less than fifty to a hundred pounds.
The dog Thomas Ingoldsby, a portrait of whom illustrates this article, was purchased by the writer as a puppy for twenty pounds, and nearly ten times that sum has since been offered in vain for him. This, of course, is an exceptional case.