Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/450

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A New Treatment for Distemper in Dogs

By Dr. George W. Little

Chief Surgeon of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

��NO other disease of dogs is more prevalent and, with the exception of rabies, more fatal, than "distemper," a disease peculiar to dogs and young horses. Its cause is a specific infection or poison finding its way into the system through the lungs and air passages. Young and growing animals are generally at- tacked. It runs a course as a catarrhal fever, affecting all of the mucous mem- branes of the body and is in many cases accompanied with certain nervous symptoms and erup- tions of the skin.

Distemper is highly contagious and is communicated only by infection. The Scotch term for it is "the snifters," which conveys graphically to the mind one important characteristic of the disease, namely, the snifting noise — half sneeze, half cough

which demonstrates the effort on the part of the animal to rid himself of the mucus which accumulates in the air passages.

In the treatment of dog distemper many things must be impressed upon the nurse and the owner as of the utmost importance. Strict attention should be paid to the diet. No meat whatsoever should be given. Boiled rice, the broth of meat with fat re- moved, dog biscuit, milk and stale bread can be given. Vegetables such as peas, beans and asparagus may be mixed with the rice or other food. Food not 'eaten should be taken away immediately after- ward.

Regarding the medicinal treatment of distemper, more specifics have been used and recommended than in any other disease in the category of dog ills. After numer- ous experiments and the use of all available

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��Injecting inula and distemper out of

��medicines, vaccines and antitoxins, I have found only two medicines that have proved of exceptional value. These drugs are inula and echinacea. They are non-poison- ous and work together to raise the natural resisting power of the blood against invad- ing bacteria and disease.

Administered in hypodermic injec- tions into the mus- cles every twenty- four hours, inula and echinacea kill dis- temper, finally driv- ing it out of the system. Five or six hypodermic injec- tions are usually nec- essary, alternating first on one side and then on the other side of the body. These must be made by a veterinary who understands intra- muscular injections. The improvement in the patient after two or three injec- tions is remarkable. The dog, seemingly in the last stages of distemper, revives and recovers his appetite and there is a corresponding decrease in the severity of all the symptoms of the disease. The recovery is so rapid that the dog does not become debilitated to any great extent. I have treated eighty cases of distemper, using inula and echinacea. The percentage of mortality in these cases is the only tangi- ble proof, aside from the rapid recovery of the animals, upon which the efficiency of the compound can be based. Of the eighty cases treated, sixty-eight have recovered. The mortality, therefore, is fifteen per cent of the total number. The usual death rate according to the best authorities is from sixty to seventy per cent. The dogs treated were in all stages of the disease. Some had very high temperatures with pneumonia, bronchitis, bronchial coughs and typhoid symptoms.

��echinacea to drive the dog's system


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