This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
Drs. Paul and Josias used oxygen in this malady, and, although the patients died, some relief was given to the symptoms of asphyxia. Recently Dr. Schmidt has recorded the case of a girl, aged twelve, who, when recovering from diphtheria, was bitten by a mad dog; seventeen days afterward she had difficulty of breathing and of swallowing, and oxygen-inhalation relieved her; she relapsed next day with convulsions, spasms of respiratory muscles, and unconsciousness; oxygen again relieved her, and, after some complications traceable to the diphtheria, she ultimately recovered (Medical Record, 1878).
Free action of the skin offers one of the best hopes in this disease, and may be secured by means of the Turkish or vapor-bath. Buisson, a French physician, has recorded that, having become inoculated with the poison of rabies, and feeling the access of the malady, he went into a hot vapor-bath (107° F.) with the intention of committing suicide, but found his symptoms shortly relieved, and by a course of such baths (127° to 140° F.) quite cured. He adds that he has treated many similar cases successfully (Lancet, ii., 1877). In a case of Mr. Southam's, which occurred recently at the Manchester Infirmary, a girl was very much relieved of severe symptoms while in a "lamp-bath" and perspiring freely, though a sudden spasm of the larynx caused her death some hours afterward (Medical Record, October, 1879).