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History of Animals   



Cattle in herds are liable to two diseases, foot, sickness and
craurus. In the former their feet suffer from eruptions, but the
animal recovers from the disease without even the loss of the hoof. It
is found of service to smear the horny parts with warm pitch. In
craurus, the breath comes warm at short intervals; in fact, craurus in
cattle answers to fever in man. The symptoms of the disease are
drooping of the ears and disinclination for food. The animal soon
succumbs, and when the carcase is opened the lungs are found to be
rotten.
24

Horses out at pasture are free from all diseases excepting disease
of the feet. From this disease they sometimes lose their hooves: but
after losing them they grow them soon again, for as one hoof is
decaying it is being replaced by another. Symptoms of the malady are a
sinking in and wrinkling of the lip in the middle under the
nostrils, and in the case of the male, a twitching of the right
testicle.
Stall-reared horses are subject to very numerous forms of disease.
They are liable to disease called 'eileus'. Under this disease the
animal trails its hind-legs under its belly so far forward as almost
to fall back on its haunches; if it goes without food for several days
and turns rabid, it may be of service to draw blood, or to castrate
the male. The animal is subject also to tetanus: the veins get
rigid, as also the head and neck, and the animal walks with its legs
stretched out straight. The horse suffers also from abscesses. Another
painful illness afflicts them called the 'barley-surfeit'. The are a
softening of the palate and heat of the breath; the animal may recover
through the strength of its own constitution, but no formal remedies
are of any avail.
There is also a disease called nymphia, in which the animal is
said to stand still and droop its head on hearing flute-music; if
during this ailment the horse be mounted, it will run off at a
gallop until it is pulled. Even with this rabies in full force, it
preserves a dejected spiritless appearance; some of the symptoms are a
throwing back of the ears followed by a projection of them, great
languor, and heavy breathing. Heart-ache also is incurable, of which
the symptom is a drawing in of the flanks; and so is displacement of
the bladder, which is accompanied by a retention of urine and a
drawing up of the hooves and haunches. Neither is there any cure if
the animal swallow the grape-beetle, which is about the size of the
sphondyle or knuckle-beetle. The bite of the shrewmouse is dangerous
to horses and other draught animals as well; it is followed by
boils. The bite is all the more dangerous if the mouse be pregnant
when she bites, for the boils then burst, but do not burst
otherwise. The cicigna-called 'chalcis' by some, and 'zignis' by
others-either causes death by its bite or, at all events, intense
pain; it is like a small lizard, with the colour of the blind snake.
In point of fact, according to experts, the horse and the sheep have
pretty well as many ailments as the human species. The drug known
under the name of 'sandarace' or realgar, is extremely injurious to
a horse, and to all draught animals; it is given to the animal as a
medicine in a solution of water, the liquid being filtered through a
colander. The mare when pregnant apt to miscarry when disturbed by the
odour of an extinguished candle; and a similar accident happens
occasionally to women in their pregnancy. So much for the diseases
of the horse.
The so-called hippomanes grows, as has stated, on the foal,
and the mare nibbles it off as she licks and cleans the foal. All
the curious stories connected with the hippomanes are due to old wives
and to the venders of charms. What is called the 'polium' or foal's
membrane, is, as all the accounts state, delivered by the mother
before the foal appears.

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