Trush is a nasty disease of the foot, secreting unhealthy and offensive smelling matter from the cleft of the frog.  All classes of horses are more or less subject to this disease.  The cause of the disease is mostly the filthy and unclean condition of the stable in which the animal is kept.  Mares are liable to contract the disease in the hind feet, while the gelding and the stallion will develop it in the fore feet.  Hard work on hard roads, a sudden change from dryness to excessive moisture may also induce the disease.  The treatment consists of cleanliness.  The diseased parts are to be pared away, the foot should then be poultice for a day or two with boiled turnips, to which should be added a few drops of carbolic acid and a handful of powdered charcoal to absorb the secretion and destroy the offensive odor.  The cleft of the frog should be filled with dry calomel, and the foot dressed with oakum and a roller bandage, which may be changed every other day.  A long run in a clean pasture is a good thing.  Shoes with high calks should be used when the horse must be shod, in order to raise the foot out of the mud as much as possible.  Shoes with common calks should be restored when the disease is cured.

Ring Bone and Navicular Disease


Mange is a skin disease, caused by an insect lodged in the skin, producing terrible itch and scab, causing the hair to fall off in patches, and the horse to rub against everything.

Wash the affected parts in soap water quite warm, dry and then rub in the following ointment:  oil of tar, 4 ounces; Sulphur, 6 ounces; linseed oil, one pint.


Worms are of several kinds.  Three kinds of tapeworms and as many as seven kinds of other worms have been found in the horse.  For common worms give the following:  calomel, one drachm; tartar emetic, one drachm; sulphate of iron, one drachm; linseed meal, half a pound.  Mix and give in one dose for a few days, then give a purgative.  This should be repeated in three weeks to get rid of the young worms left in the bowels in the form of eggs, which have since hatched out.


Make a strong tea of tobacco and wash the horse all over with it, and the lice will die.


For bots give a strong purgative for a time or two.


Colic is a very common disease, divided into two kinds:  spasmodic and flatulent.  In spasmodic colic the pains are spasmodic; there are moments of relief when the patient is free from pain.  Flatulent colic is recognized by bloating symptoms, and the pain is continual; the horse kicks, paws, tries to roll and lie on his back.  Treatment for spasmodic colic:  laudanum, 1/2 ounce; whiskey, 1/2 pint; water, 1/2 pint.  Mix well and give in one dose.  If not relieved in half an hour repeat the dose.

For flatulent colic:  laudanum, 1/2 ounce, turpentine, 1/2 ounce; raw linseed oil, 1/2 pint; chloroform, 1/4 ounce; water, 1/2 pint.  Mix and give in one dose.  Repeat in one hour if not relieved.


Distemper is a disease of the blood.  Symptoms:  swelling under the jaw, inability to swallow, a mucous discharge from the nose.  Treatment:  give the patient a dry and warm place and nourishing food.  Apply hot linseed poultice to the swellings under the jaw and give small doses of cleansing powder for a few days.


As there is no remedy discovered that will cure this horrible disease, the patient should be destroyed as soon as a case has been satisfactorily recognized.


Ringworm is a contagious disease, and attacks all kinds of animals.  The cause is poverty and filth.  It first appears in a round bald spot, the scurf coming off in scales.  Treatment:  Wash with soap and water and dry.  Apply the following once a day:  twenty-five grains of corrosive sublimate mixed in 1/2 pint of water; use till a cure is effected.

Inability to Urinate

Symptoms:  the patient is looking around on his side, tries to urinate, lies down, rolls and stretches.  Treatment:  alum, 1/2 pound; oil of camphor, 3 drachms.  Mix and give in three pills.  Give one a day with a drench made of three spoons of saltpeter and one quart of water, divided into three doses; on a day to be given.

Rattlesnake Bite

When a horse has been bitten by a venomous serpent, such as a rattlesnake, copperhead, or other snake, give the following:  Hartshorn, 1 pint; whiskey, 1 pint, warm water, 1/2 pint.  Mix and give in one dose.  Repeat in one hour if not relieved.  The wound should be burned at once with a hot iron, and a sponge soaked in ammonia kept on the wound for an hour or two.

Hoof Ointment

Mutton tallow, 4 ounces; resin, 4 ounces; pine tar, 4 ounces; fish oil, 4 ounces; beeswax, 4 ounces.  Mix well and apply every night.


Aloes, 3 drachms; ginger, 1 drachm; gamboge, 2 drachms; gentian, 1 drachm; molasses to combine in a ball.  Give in one dose.


Balking is generally the result of abuse.  The horse has been overloaded and then whipped to make him perform impossibilities, which he resents by balking.

Many cruel methods for curing this habit have been tried, but kindness is the most successful.  A balking horse should not be hitched to a load he cannot pull.  The man that is used to the horse should drive him.  When a balking spell comes on it is best to try to divert the mind of the animal from himself.  A little tinkering around the horse, such as lifting the harness, pulling in the different straps, talking to him, and sometimes a handful of oats.  But if there is no time to spend this way, pass a rope or chain around his neck and pull him along with another horse.  If this has been done once the next time the horse will generally start at the sight of the chain, or rope, as the case may be.


Spavin is a disease divided into four kinds:  bone spavin, bog spavin, blood spavin and occult spavin.  (See Plates 24 and 26.)

Various Types of Spavin

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Bone Spavin

Ring Bone

Ring Bone is a disease of the coronet, caused by hard labor in early life, blows, bruises and sprains.  Call a veterinarian as soon as a case is recognized.  (See No. 1, Plate 32.)

Ring Bone

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It is, and has been for some time, the fad to ride behind a horse with a docked tail.  That this fad is cruelty to animals is a question already settled by our societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals.  I will not describe the mode in which the horse is so mutilated and robbed of his only defense against insects, as well as a very ornamental part of his anatomy.  Let no man be so cruel as to dock his horse.

Docking a Horse's Tail

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