Withers, a term in farriery, denoting the juncture of the shoulder-bone, at the bottom of the neck and mane. - This important part of the horse's body, is liable to bruises, generally occasioned by a narrow saddle; frequently forming imposthumes ; and, if improperly treated, becoming fistulous.
On the first appearance of the swelling, it should be bathed with hot vinegar, three or four times in the day: but, if this fomentation be insufficient to disperse the tumor, an ounce of oil of vitriol may be added to a quart of vinegar, or half an ounce of white vitriol dissolved in a small portion of water, may be mixed with the former liquid, and the compound be applied to the part affected. - If the swelling be attended with pain, heat, and small watery pustules, it ought to be bathed with the following preparation : - Take 2 oz. of crude sal ammoniac, and boil it in a quart of lime-water: when it has subsided, pour off the decoction, and add to it half a pint of spirit of wine ; after which, the tumor should be dressed with linseed oil, or elder-ointment, in order to soften the skin.
In critical swellings, however, repellents should, on no account, be resorted to ; but it will be proper to apply suppurating poultices. Experienced farriers advise, never to open these tumors till they spontaneously burst; as otherwise the excoriation will become spongy, discharge a bloody ichor, and speedily degenerate into a foul ulcer. Where fungous flesh happens to be troublesome, and the. matter discharged is of a yellow colour, and an oily, viscid, consistence, pledgets soaked in the following composition have proved very successfull: Dissolve half an ounce of blue vitriol in a pint of water; add oil of turpentine, and rectified spirit of wine, each 4 OS.; white-wine vinegar 6 oz.; oil of vitriol, and oxymel of verdigrease, each 2 oz. - Farther, let the tumefied part be washed with a mixture of spirit of wine and vinegar. But, when the cavities of the wound are fistulous, the callosities must, if practicable, be ex tirpated with a knife, and the remainder destroyed by escharotics.