Scab, or Shab, a disorder per culiar to sheep : it is attended with an intense itching and scabby eruptions on the skin, occasioned by an impure state of the blood ; and being most prevalent in wet land, or during rainy seasons. As this disease is generally believed to be in fectious, the animals under its influence ought to be carefully separated from the flock.
Various remedies been devised for the cure of the scab : the most common of washing the part with a decoction of strong tobacco in water, to which is added a small portion of oil of turpentine. Another application consists in rubbing the sheep with tobacco-water, sulphur, and alum boiled together, if the eruption extend over the whole animal ; but, if it be only partial, a mixture of tar and grease will be sufficient.
In an inveterate scab, the anonymous author of the "Farmers Calendar" recommends sulphur and bay-salt, or purging salts, to be given internally, and the distempered beast to be dressed with a strong mercurial ointment mixed with Mel Egyptiacum (for the preparation of which, see vol. ii. p. 343) ; or to be washed with a lather of black soap, or sublimate-water, lime-water, and oil of turpentine. The treatment, stated under the article Fly-struck, is likewise said to be efficacious in this malady.
The following preparation is stated in the "Cardiganshire Land-lord's Advice to his Tenants" as being effectual in removing the scab, namely : Take one pound of tobacco, six quarts of beef brine, six penny-worths (or about one ounce) of white arsenic, and one pint of oil of turpentine. These ing. ents are to be mixed with a small portion of tar, and boiled: previliniment, it will be to break every scab, and the sheep must be well rubbed, so that the liquid may thoroughly penetrate.
In some places, the animals a fected with the scal, are usu washed with human urine: but such treatment is pernicious ; for, if the disorder be only partial, it will in the course of two or three days spread as far as the sheep may have been wetted.
There are various other expedients suggested for the cure of eruption ; but we believe the fol-ng to be one of the most efficacious : it was communicated by Sir Joseph Banks, Bart, to the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, etc. in 1789. He directs of pure quickr 1lb. 1 of Venice turpen: and common oil of turpentine half a pound each; and of hog's-lard four pounds, to be triturated in a mortar, till the mercury be completely incorporated with the ingredients.
The method of using this oint-ment is as follows: The head of the sheep must first be rubbed ; after which a furrow is to be drawn with the finger, from the region between the ears, along the back to the point of the tail, so as to divide the wool, till the skin be exposed to the touch. Next, the finger, being slightly clipped in the preparation, should be drawn along the skin. Similar lines should farther be be opened down the shoulders and thighs, as far as the wool extends; and, if the animal be considerably infected, two other furrows are directed to be traced, parallel to that on the back, and one should like-be drawn downwards, on each side between the fore and hind legs.
After this application, the sheep may be turned among the flock, without any danger of the infection
; communicated ; because, in a few the blotches will dry up; the itching will cease; and the animals be completely cured ; nor have any instances occurred, in which such unction has been in the least injurious. - Sir J.Banks, however, observes, that this external remedy ought not to be delayed to a later period than Michaelmas.