When a horse's heels are first observed to swell in the stable, rod to subside on taking exercise, care must be taken to wash them very clean, after every journey, with soap-suds, urine, or a mixture of vinegar and water. Thus, with proper rubbing, the disease will often be effectually prevented, or removed. Or, the heels should be well bathed twice a day either with old verjuice, or the following mixture, which is well calculated to brace the relaxed vessels : Take of rectified spirit of wine 4 oz. dissolve in it 1/2 oz. of camphor ; then add 0 oz. of wine-vinegar or verjuice, and 1 oz. of white vitriol, dissolved in a gill of water. After' mixing these ingredients, cloths dipped in the liniment should be applied to the heels of the animal, and fastened with a proper bandage for a few days, during which the cure Will generally be performed. Alaced stocking, made of strong canvas, or coarse cloth, neatly fitted to the part affected, will afterwards be found very useful, and might be easily contrived.
But, if cracks or scratches are perceptible, which suppurate, the hair should be carefully clipped away, as well to prevent a gathering, as to admit of eleansing the animal's heels from all impurities, which would tend considerably to aggravate the disorder. Should this be the case, or if the heels be covered with hard scabs, it will be requisite to begin the cure with poultices, prepared either of boiled turnips and lard, with a handful of bruised linseed, or oatmeal and rye flour, with a little common turpentine and hog's-lard, boiled up with strong-beer grounds, or r d-wine lees. Beside applying either of these poultices for two or three days, the sore parts ought at the same time to be dressed with the digestive ointment, in order to soften them, promote a discharge, and reduce the swelling; when sores may be dried up with the following absorbent: Take white vitriol and burnt alum, of each 2 oz. Mel AEgyptiacum (see Frush) 1 oz.; and lime-water 2 or 3 pints; wash the sores 3 times a day, with a sponge dipped in this mixture; and apply the common white ointment spread on tow, adding previously 2 drams of sugar of lead to one ounce of this salve.
When the distemper is only local, and requires no internal medicines, the method above described is generally successful; but if the horse be full and gross, his legs much gorged, so that the hair stares up, and is, as farriers term it, pen -feathered, discharging a fetid matter from deep four sores, in such case it will be advisable to apply to a skilful veterinary surgeon ; as the disorder is then be-come of a dangerous tendency.