Categories: Diseases and their Remedies
This disease, as its name implies, is an inflammatory condition of the
lungs and the pleura, or the enveloping membrane of the lungs and the
lining membrane of the chest. It is sometimes called contagious,
infectious, and epizooetic pleuro-pneumonia,--contagious or infectious,
from its supposed property of transmission from the diseased to the
A contagious character th
author is not ready to assign to
it,--contagious, as he understands it, being strictly applicable to
those diseases which depend upon actual contact with the poison that it
may be communicated from one animal to another. This does not
necessarily imply the actual touching of the animals themselves; for it
may be communicated from the poison left in the trough, or other places
where the diseased animal has been brought in contact with some object,
as is often the case in glanders in the horse; the matter discharged
from the nose, and left upon the manger, readily communicating that
disease to healthy animals coming in contact with it. Contagious
diseases, therefore, travel very slowly, starting, as they do, at one
point, and gradually spreading over a large district, or section of
This disease is, however, regarded by the author as infectious; by which
term is meant that it is capable of being communicated from the diseased
to the healthy animal through the medium of the air, which has become
contaminated by the exhalations of poisonous matter. The ability to
inoculate other animals in this way is necessarily confined to a limited
space, sometimes not extending more than a few yards. Infectious
diseases, accordingly, spread with more rapidity than contagious ones,
and are, consequently, more to be dreaded; since we can avoid the one
with comparatively little trouble, while the other often steals upon us
when we regard ourselves as beyond its influence, carrying death and
destruction in its course.
The term by which this disease is known, is a misnomer. Pleuro-pneumonia
proper is neither a contagious, nor an infectious disease; hence, the
denial of medical men that this so-called pleuro-pneumonia is a
contagious, or infectious disease, has been the means of unnecessarily
exposing many animals to its poisonous influence.
In the Recueil de Medecine Veterinaire, for 1833, will be found a very
interesting description of this fatal malady. The author, M. Lecoy,
Assistant Professor at the Veterinary School of Lyons, France, says:
"There are few districts in the arrondissement of Avesnes where more
cattle are fattened than in that of Soire-le-Chateau. The farmers being
unable to obtain a sufficient supply of cattle in the district, are
obliged to purchase the greater part of them from other provinces; and
they procure a great number for grazing from Franche Comte. The cattle
of this country are very handsome; their forms are compact; they fatten
rapidly; and they are a kind of cattle from which the grazer would
derive most advantage, were it not that certain diseases absorb, by the
loss of some of the animals, the profits of the rest of the herd.
Amongst the diseases which most frequently attack the cattle which are
brought from the North, there is one very prevalent in some years, and
which is the more to be dreaded as it is generally incurable; and the
slaughter of the animal, before he is perceptibly wasted, is the only
means by which the farmer can avoid losing the whole value of the beast.
"This disease is chronic pleuro-pneumonia. The symptoms are scarcely
recognizable at first, and often the beast is ill for a long time
without its being perceived. He fattens well, and when he is slaughtered
the owner is astonished to find scarcely half of the lungs capable of
discharging the function of respiration. When, however, the ox has not
sufficient strength of constitution to resist the ravages of disease,
the first symptom which is observed is diminution, or irregularity of
appetite. Soon afterwards, a frequent, dry cough is heard, which becomes
feeble and painful as the disease proceeds. The dorso-lumbar portion of
the spine (loins) grows tender; the animal flinches when the part is
pressed upon, and utters a peculiar groan, or grunt, which the graziers
regard as decisive of the malady.
"Quickly after this, the movements of the flanks become irregular and
accelerated, and the act of respiration is accompanied by a kind of
balancing motion of the whole body. The sides of the chest become as
tender as the loins, or more so; for the animal immediately throws
himself down, if pressed upon with any force. The elbows become, in many
subjects, more and more separated from the sides of the chest. The pulse
is smaller than natural, and not considerably increased. The muzzle is
hot and dry, alternately. The animal lies down as in a healthy state,
but rumination is partially or entirely suspended. The faeces are
harder than they should be; the urine is of its natural color and
quantity; the mouth is often dry; and the horns and ears retain their
"This first stage of the disease sometimes continues during a month, or
more, and then, if the animal is to recover, or at least, apparently so,
the symptoms gradually disappear. First of all, the appetite returns,
and the beast begins to acquire a little flesh. The proprietor should
then make haste and get rid of him; for it is very rare that the malady,
however it may be palliated for a while, does not reappear with greater
intensity than before.
"In most cases, the disease continues to pursue its course toward its
termination without any remission,--every symptom gradually increasing
in intensity. The respiration becomes more painful; the head is more
extended; the eyes are brilliant; every expiration is accompanied with a
grunt, and by a kind of puckering of the angles of the lips; the cough
becomes smaller, more suppressed, and more painful; the tongue protrudes
from the mouth, and a frothy mucus is abundantly discharged; the breath
becomes offensive; a purulent fluid of a bloody color escapes from the
nostrils; diarrhoea, profuse and fetid, succeeds to the constipation;
the animal becomes rapidly weaker; he is a complete skeleton, and at
length he dies.
"Examination after death discloses slight traces of inflammation in the
intestines, discoloration of the liver, and a hard, dry substance
contained in the manyplus. The lungs adhere to the sides and to the
diaphragm by numerous bands, evidently old and very firm. The substance
of the lungs often presents a reddish-gray hepatization throughout
almost its whole extent. At other times, there are tubercles in almost
every state of hardness, and in that of suppuration. The portion of the
lungs that is not hepatized is red, and gorged with blood. Besides the
old adhesions, there are numerous ones of recent date. The pleura is not
much reddened, but by its thickness in some points, its adhesion in
others, and the effusion of a serous fluid, it proves how much and how
long it has participated in the inflammatory action. The trachea and the
bronchia are slightly red, and the right side of the head is gorged with
"In a subject in which, during life, I could scarcely feel the beating
of the heart, I found the whole of the left lobe of the lungs adhering
to the sides, and completely hepatized. In another, that had presented
no sign of disease of the chest, and that for some days before his death
vomited the little fodder which he could take, the whole of that portion
of the oesophagus that passed through the chest was surrounded with
dense false membranes, of a yellowish hue, ranging from light to dark,
and being in some parts more than an inch in thickness, and adhering
closely to the muscular membrane of the tube, without allowing any
trace to be perceived of that portion of the mediastinal pleura on which
this unnatural covering was fixed and developed.
"The cattle purchased in Franche Comte are brought to Avesnes at two
periods of the year--in autumn and in the spring. Those which are
brought in autumn are much more subject to the disease than those which
have arrived in the spring; and it almost always happens that the years
in which it shows itself most generally are those in which the weather
was most unfavorable while the cattle were on the road. The journey is
performed by two different routes,--through Lorraine and through
Champagne,--and the disease frequently appears in cattle that have
arrived by one of these routes. The manner in which the beasts are
treated, on their arrival, may contribute not a little to the
development of the malady. These animals, which have been driven long
distances in bad weather, and frequently half starved, arrived famished,
and therefore the more fatigued, and some of them lame. Calculating on
their ravenous appetite, the graziers, instead of giving them wholesome
food, make them consume the worst that the farm contains,--musty and
mouldy fodder; and it is usually by the cough, which the eating of such
food necessarily produces, that the disease is discovered and first
"Is chronic pleuro-pneumonia contagious? The farmers believe that it is,
and I am partly of their opinion. When an animal falls sick in the
pasture, the others, after his removal, go and smell at the grass where
he has lain, and which he has covered with his saliva, and, after that,
new cases succeed to the first. It is true that this fact is not
conclusive, since the disease also appears in a great number of animals
that have been widely separated from each other. But I have myself seen
three cases in which the cattle of the country, perfectly well before,
have fallen ill, and died with the same symptoms, excepting that they
have been more acute, after they have been kept with cattle affected
with this disease. This circumstance inclines me to think that the
disease is contagious; or, at least, that, in the progress of it, the
breath infects the cow-house in which there are other animals already
predisposed to the same disease. I am induced to believe that most of
the serious internal diseases are communicated in this manner, and
particularly those which affect the organs of respiration, when the
animals are shut up in close, low, and badly-ventilated cow-houses."
[Rec. de Med. Vet. Mai, 1833.]
No malady can be more terrible and ruinous than this among dairy-stock;
and its spread all over the country, together with its continuance with
scarcely any abatement, must be attributed to the combination of various
causes. The chief are: first, the very contagious or infectious nature
of the disorder; second, inattention on the part of Government to the
importation and subsequent sale of diseased animals; and, third, the
recklessness of purchasers of dairy or feeding cattle.
This disease may be defined as an acute inflammation of the organs of
the chest, with the development of a peculiar and characteristic poison,
which is the active element of infection or contagion. It is a disease
peculiar to the cattle tribe, notwithstanding occasional assertions
regarding observations of the disease among horses, sheep, and other
animals,--which pretended observations have not been well attested.
The infectious, or contagious nature of this virulent malady is
incontestibly substantiated by an overwhelming amount of evidence, which
cannot be adduced at full length here, but which may be classified under
the following heads: first, the constant spreading of the disease from
countries in which it rages to others which, previously to the
importation of diseased animals, had been perfectly free from it. This
may be proved in the case of England, into which country it was carried
in 1842, by affected animals from Holland. Twelve months after, it
spread from England to Scotland, by means of some cattle sold at
All-Hallow Fair, and it was only twelve months afterward that cattle
imported as far north as Inverness took the disease there. Lately, a cow
taken from England to Australia was observed to be diseased upon
landing, and the evil results were limited to her owner's stock, who
gave the alarm, and ensured an effectual remedy against a wider spread.
Besides, the recent importation of pleuro-pneumonia into the United
States from Holland appears to have awakened our agricultural press
generally, and to have convinced them of the stubborn fact that our
cattle have been decimated by a fearfully infectious, through probably
preventable, plague. A letter from this country to an English author
says: "Its (pleuro-pneumonia's) contagious character seems to be settled
beyond a doubt, though some of the V.S. practitioners deny it, which is
almost as reasonable as it would be to deny any other well-authenticated
historic fact. Every case of the disease is traceable to one of two
sources; either to Mr. Chenery's stock in Belmont (near Boston,
Massachusetts), into which the disease was introduced by his importation
of four Dutch cows from Holland, which arrived here the 23d of last May;
or else to one of the three calves which he sold to a farmer in North
Brookfield, Massachusetts, last June."
2dly. Apart from the importation into countries, we have this certain
proof--to which special attention was drawn several years ago--that
cattle-dealers' farms, and public markets, constitute the busy centres
of infection. Most anxious and careful inquiries have established the
proposition that in breeding-districts, where the proprietors of
extensive dairies--as in Dumfries, Scotland, and other places--abstain
from buying, except from their neighbors, who have never had diseases of
the lungs amongst their stock, pleuro-pneumonia has not been seen. There
is a wide district in the Vicinity of Abington, England, and in the
parish of Crawford, which has not been visited by this plague, with
the exception of two farms, into which market-cattle had been imported
and thus brought the disease.
3dly. In 1854 appeared a Report of the Researches on Pleuro-Pneumonia,
by a scientific commission, instituted by the Minister of Agriculture in
France. This very able pamphlet was edited by Prof. Bouley, of Alfort,
France. The members of the commission belonged to the most eminent
veterinarians and agriculturists in France. Magendie was President;
Regnal, Secretary; besides Rayer, the renowned comparative pathologist;
Yvart, the Inspector-General of the Imperial Veterinary Schools;
Renault, Inspector of the Imperial Veterinary Schools; Delafond,
Director of Alfort College; Bouley, Lassaigne, Baudemont, Doyere, Manny
de Morny, and a few others representing the public. If such a
commission were occasionally appointed in this country for similar
purposes, how much light would be thrown on subjects of paramount
importance to the agricultural community!
Conclusions arrived at by the commission are too important to be
overlooked in this connection. The reader must peruse the Report itself,
if he needs to satisfy himself as to the care taken in conducting the
investigations: but the foregoing names sufficiently attest the
indisputable nature of the facts alluded to.
In instituting its experiments, the commission had in view the solving
of the following questions:--
1stly. Is the epizooetic pleuro-pneumonia of cattle susceptible of
being transmitted from diseased to healthy animals by cohabitation?
2dly. In the event of such contagion's existing, would all the animals
become affected, or what proportion would resist the disease?
3dly. Amongst the animals attacked by the disease, how many recover,
and under what circumstances? How many succumb?
4thly. Are there any animals of the ox species decidedly free from any
susceptibility of being affected from the contagion of pleuro-pneumonia?
5thly. Do the animals, which have been once affected by a mild form of
the disease, enjoy immunity from subsequent attacks?
6thly. Do the animals, which have once been affected by the disease in
its active form, enjoy such immunity?
To determine these questions, the commission submitted at different
times to the influence of cohabitation with diseased animals forty-six
perfectly healthy ones, chosen from districts in which they had never
been exposed to a similar influence.
Of these forty-six animals, twenty were experimented on at Pomeraye, two
at Charentonneau, thirteen at Alfort, and eleven, in the fourth
experiment, at Charentonneau.
Of this number, twenty-one animals resisted the disease when first
submitted to the influence of cohabitation, ten suffered slightly, and
fifteen took the disease. Of the fifteen affected, four died, and eleven
recovered. Consequently, the animals which apparently escaped the
disease at the first trial amounted to 45.65 per cent., and those
affected to 21.73 per cent. Of these, 23.91 per cent. recovered, and
8.69 per cent. died. But the external appearances in some instances
proved deceptive, and six of the eleven animals of the last experiment,
which were regarded as having escaped free, were found, on being
destroyed, to bear distinct evidence of having been affected. This,
therefore, modifies the foregoing calculations, and the numbers should
15 enjoy immunity, or 32.61 per cent.
10 indisposed, " 21.73 "
17 animals cured, " 36.95 "
4 dead, " 8.98 "
Of the forty-two animals which were exposed in the first experiments at
Pomeraye and Charentonneau, and which escaped either without becoming
affected, or recovering, eighteen were submitted to a second trial; and
of these eighteen animals, five had, in the first experiment, suffered
from the disease and had recovered; five had now become affected; and
four had been indisposed. The four animals submitted to the influence
of contagion a third time, had been affected on the occasion of the
first trial. None of the eighteen animals contracted the disease during
these renewed exposures to the influence of contagion.
From the results of these experiments, the commission drew the following
1stly. The epizooetic pleuro-pneumonia is susceptible of being
transmitted from diseased to healthy animals by cohabitation.
2dly. All the animals exposed do not take the disease; some suffer
slightly, and others not at all.
3dly. Of the affected animals, some recover and others die.
4thly. The animals, whether slightly or severely affected, possess an
immunity against subsequent attacks.
These are the general conclusions which the commission deemed themselves
authorized to draw from their experiments. The absolute proportion of
animals which become affected, or which escape the disease, or of those
which die and which recover, as a general rule, cannot be deduced from
the foregoing experiments, which, for such a purpose, are too limited.
The commission simply state the numbers resulting from their
experiments. From these it transpires that forty five of the animals
became severely affected with pleuro-pneumonia, and twenty-one per cent.
took the disease slightly, making the whole sixty-six per cent. which
were more or less severely attacked. Thirty-four per cent. remained free
from any malady. The proportion of animals which re-acquired their
wonted appearance of health amounted to eighty-three per cent., whereas
seventeen per cent. died. Many minor points might be insisted on, but it
is sufficient here to say, that the most careful analysis of all facts
has proved to practical veterinarians, as well as to experienced
agriculturists, and must prove to all who will calmly and
dispassionately consider the point, that pleuro-pneumonia is
pre-eminently an infectious, or contagious disease.
Symptoms.--From the time that an animal is exposed to the contagion to
the first manifestation of symptoms, a certain period elapses. This is
the period of incubation. It varies from a fortnight to forty days, or
even several months. The first signs, proving that the animal has been
seized, can scarcely be detected by any but a professional man; though,
if a proprietor of cattle were extremely careful, and had pains-taking
individuals about his stock, he would invariably notice a slight shiver
as ushering in the disorder, which for several days, even after the
shivering fit, would limit itself to slight interference in breathing,
readily detected on auscultation. Perhaps a cough might be noticed, and
that the appetite and milk-secretion diminished. The animal becomes
costive, and the shivering fits recur. The cough becomes more constant
and oppressive; the pulse full and frequent, usually numbering about
eighty per minute at first, and rising to upwards of one hundred. The
temperature of the body rises, and all the symptoms of acute fever set
in. A moan, or grunt, in the early part of the disease indicates a
dangerous attack, and the alae nasi (cartilages of the nose) rise
spasmodically at each inspiration; the air rushes through the inflamed
windpipe and bronchial tubes, so as to produce a loud, coarse
respiratory murmur; and the spasmodic action of the abdominal muscles
indicates the difficulty the animal also experiences in the act of
expiration. Pressure over the intercostal (between the ribs) spaces, and
pressing on the spine, induce the pain so characteristic of pleurisy,
and a deep moan not infrequently follows such an experiment. The eyes
are bloodshot, mouth clammy, skin dry and tightly bound to the
subcutaneous textures, and the urine is scanty and high-colored.
Upon auscultation, the characteristic dry, sonorous rale of ordinary
bronchitis may be detected along the windpipe, and in the bronchial
tubes. A loud sound of this description is, not infrequently, detected
at the anterior part of either side of the chest; whilst the respiratory
murmur is entirely lost, posteriorly, from consolidation of the lungs. A
decided leathery, frictional sound is detected over a considerable
portion of the thoracic surface. As the disease advances, and gangrene,
with the production of cavities in the lungs, ensues, loud, cavernous
rales are heard, which are more or less circumscribed, occasionally
attended by a decided metallic noise. When one lobe of the lungs is
alone affected, the morbid sounds are confined to one side, and on the
healthy side the respiratory murmur is uniformly louder all over.
By carefully auscultating diseased cows from day to day, interesting
changes can be discovered during the animal's lifetime. Frequently, the
abnormal sounds indicate progressive destruction; but, at other times,
portions of the lungs that have been totally impervious to air, become
the seat of sibilant rales, and gradually, a healthy respiratory
murmur proves that, by absorption of the materials which have been
plugging the tissues of the lungs, resolution is fast advancing. Some
very remarkable cases of this description have been encountered in
Unfortunately, we often find a rapid destruction of the tissues of the
lungs, and speedy dissolution. In other instances, the general symptoms
of hectic, or consumption, attend lingering cases, in which the
temperature of the body becomes low, and the animal has a dainty
appetite, or refuses all nourishment. It has a discharge from the eyes,
and a fetid, sanious discharge from the nose. Not infrequently, it
coughs up disorganized lung-tissue and putrid pus. Great prostration,
and, indeed, typhus symptoms, set in. There is a fetid diarrhoea, and
the animal sinks in the most emaciated state, often dying from
suffocation, in consequence of the complete destruction of the
Post mortem appearances.--In acute cases, the cadaverous lesions
chiefly consist in abundant false membranes in the trachea, or windpipe,
and closure of the bronchial tubes by plastic lymph. The air-vesicles
are completely plugged by this material, and very interesting specimens
may be obtained by careful dissection, in the shape of casts of the
bronchial tubes and air-vesicles, clustered together like bunches of
grapes. On slicing the lungs in these cases, hepatization is observed,
presenting a very peculiar appearance, which is, in a great measure, due
to the arrangement of the lung-tissue in cattle. The pulmonary lobules
are of a deep-red or brown color, perfectly consolidated, and
intersected or separated, one from the other, by lighter streaks of
yellowish-red lymph, occupying the interlobular, areolar tissue. In the
more chronic cases, the diseased lobes and lobules are found partly
separated from the more healthy structures.
This occurs from gangrene, and putrefactive changes, or in some
instances, from the ulcerative process, so constantly observed in the
segregation of dead from living tissues. Abscesses are not infrequently
found in different parts of the lungs. Sometimes circumscribed, at
others connected with bronchial tubes, and not infrequently
communicating with the pleural cavity. True empyema is not often seen;
but, at all times, the adhesions between the costal and visceral pleura
are extensive, and there is much effusion in the chest. In dressed
carcasses of cows that have been slaughtered from pleuro-pneumonia, even
though the disease has not been far advanced, it will be found that the
butcher has carefully scraped the serous membrane off the inner surface
of the ribs, as it would otherwise be impossible for him to give the
pleura its healthy, smooth aspect, from the firm manner in which the
abundant false membranes adhere to it. The diseased lungs sometimes
attain inordinate weight. They have been known to weigh as much as sixty
Treatment.--The veterinary profession is regarded by many who have
sustained heavy losses from pleuro-pneumonia, as deeply ignorant,
because its members cannot often cure the disease. Persons forget that
there are several epidemics which prove equally difficult to manage on
the part of the physician, such as cholera, yellow fever, etc. The
poison in these contagious, epizooetic diseases is so virulent that the
animals may be regarded as dead from the moment they are attacked. Its
elimination from the system is impossible, and medicine cannot support
an animal through its tardy, exhausting, and destructive process of
clearing the system of so potent a virus. All antiphlogistic means have
failed, such as blood-letting and the free use of evacuants.
Derivatives, in the form of mustard-poultices, or more active blisters,
are attended with good results. Stimulants have proved of the greatest
service; and the late Prof. Tessona, of Turin, strongly recommended,
from the very onset of the disease, the administration of strong doses
of quinine. Maffei, of Ferrara, states that he has obtained great
benefit from the employment of ferruginous tonics and manganese in the
very acute stage of the malady, supported by alcoholic stimulants.
Recently, the advantages resulting from the use of sulphate of iron,
both as a preventive and curative, have been exhibited in France. It
would appear that the most valuable depurative method of treatment yet
resorted to is by the careful use of the Roman bath. Acting, like all
other sudorifics in cases of fever and blood diseases, it carries off by
the skin much of the poison, without unduly lowering the vital powers.
Prevention.--The rules laid down in Denmark, and indeed in many other
places, appear the most natural for the prevention of the disease. If
they could be carried out, the disease must necessarily be stopped; but
there are practical and insuperable difficulties in the way of enforcing
them. Thus, a Dr. Warneke says, prevention consists in "the avoidance of
contagion; the slaughter of infected beasts; the prohibition of keeping
cattle by those whose cattle have been slaughtered, for a space of ten
weeks after the last case occurring; the disinfection of stalls vacated
by slaughtering; the closing of infected places to all passing of
cattle; especial attention to the removal of the dung, and of the
remains of the carcasses of slaughtered beasts; and, finally,
undeviating severity of the law against violators."
Dr. Williams, of Hasselt, suggested and carried out, in 1851, the
inoculation of the virus of pleuro-pneumonia, in order to induce a mild
form of the disease in healthy animals, and prevent their decimation by
the severe attacks due to contagion. He met with much encouragement, and
perhaps more opposition. Didot, Corvini, Ercolani, and many more
accepted Dr. Williams's facts as incontestable, and wrote, advocating
his method of checking the spread of so destructive a plague.
The first able memoir which contested all that has been said in favor of
inoculation, appeared in Turin, and was written by Dr. Riviglio, a
Piedmontese veterinary surgeon. This was supported by the views of many
others. Prof. Simonds wrote against the plan, and, in 1854, the French
commission, whose report has been before mentioned, confirmed, in part,
Riviglio's views, though, from the incompleteness of the experiments,
further trials were recommended.
Inoculation is performed as follows: A portion of diseased lung is
chosen, and a bistoury or needle made to pierce it so as to become
charged with the material consolidating the lung, and this is afterward
plunged into any part, but, more particularly, toward the point of the
tail. If operated severely, and higher up, great exudation occurs, which
spreads upward, invades the areolar tissue round the rectum and other
pelvic organs, and death soon puts an end to the animal's excruciating
suffering. If the operation is properly performed with lymph that is not
putrid, and the incisions are not made too deep, the results are limited
to local exudation and swelling, general symptoms of fever, and gradual
recovery. The most common occurrence is sloughing of the tail; and in
London, at the present time, dairies are to be seen in which all the
cows have short-tail stumps.
Dr. Williams and others have gone too far in attempting to describe a
particular corpuscle as existing in the lymph of pleuro-pneumonia. All
animal poisons can be alone discovered from their effects. In structure
and chemical constitution, there is no difference, and often the most
potent poisons are simple fluids. The Belgian Commission, appointed to
investigate the nature and influence of inoculation for
pleuro-pneumonia, very justly expressed an opinion that Dr. Williams had
not proved that a specific product, distinguished by anatomical
characters, and appreciable by the microscope, existed in this disease.
The all-important question, "Is inoculation of service?" has to the
satisfaction of most been solved. The Belgian and French commissions,
the observations of Riviglio, Simond, Herring, and many others, prove
that a certain degree of preservative influence is derived by the
process of inoculation. It does not, however, arrest the progress of the
disease. It certainly diminishes to some extent--though often very
slightly so--the number of cases, and, particularly, of severe ones.
This effect has been ascribed to a derivative action, independent of any
specific influence, and, indeed, similar to that of introducing setons
in the dewlap.
In London, some dairymen have considerable faith in inoculation, though
its effect is uncertain, and the manner of its working a mystery. The
best counsel, in the premises, which can be given to the keeper of dairy
stock is, to select his own animals from healthy herds, and strictly to
avoid public markets. In many instances, a faithful observance of these
injunctions has been sufficient to prevent the invasion of this terrible
The existence of this disease in the United States was not generally
known until the year 1859, when Mr. Chenery, of Belmont, near Boston,
Massachusetts, imported several cows from Holland, which arrived in the
early part of the spring of that year. Some of the animals were sick
when they arrived, but the true nature of the disease was not at that
time suspected. Several of them were so bad that they were carried in
trucks to Mr. Chenery's barn. Some two months passed away before the
character of the disease was discovered.
Upon the facts becoming known, the citizens of Massachusetts became
panic-stricken, as the disease was rapidly spreading over that State. An
extra session of the Legislature was speedily convened, when a Joint
Special Committee was appointed, to adopt and carry out such measures as
in their judgment seemed necessary for the extirpation of this monster,
The Committee met in the Hall of the House of Representatives, Thursday,
May, 31, 1860, to receive evidence as to the contagious or infectious
character of the disease, in order to determine concerning the necessity
of legislative action.
Mr. Walker, one of the commissioners appointed by the Governor, made the
following statement: "The disease was introduced into North Brookfield
from Belmont. Mr. Curtis Stoddard, a young man of North Brookfield, went
down, the very last of June, last year, and purchased three calves of
Mr. Chenery, of Belmont. He brought these calves up in the cars to
Brookfield. On their way from the depot to his house, about five miles,
one of the calves was observed to falter, and when he got to his house,
it seemed to be sick, and in two or three days exhibited very great
illness; so much so, that his father came along, and, thinking he could
take better care of it, took the calf home. He took it to his own barn,
in which there were about forty head of cattle; but it grew no better,
and his son went up and brought it back again to his own house. In about
ten days after that, it died. His father, who had had the calf nearly
four days, in about a fortnight afterward observed that one of his oxen
was sick, and it grew worse very fast and died. Two weeks after, a
second also sickened, and died. Then a third was attacked and died, the
interval growing wider from the attack of one animal to that of another,
until he had lost eight oxen and cows. Young Stoddard lost no animal by
the infection,--that is, no one died on his hands. Prior to the
appointment of this Commission, about the first of November,--for
reasons independent of this disease, which I don't suppose he then knew
the nature of,--he sold off his stock. He sold off eleven heifers, or
young animals, and retained nine of the most valuable himself; which
shows that he did not then know any thing was the matter with them.
"These nine were four oxen, and five young cattle. The four he took to
his father's, three of the others to his uncle's, and the remaining two
to his father-in-law's; distributing them all among his friends,--which
furnishes another proof that he did not suppose he was doing any
mischief. He disposed of his herd in that way. From this auction, these
eleven animals went in different directions, and wherever they went,
they scattered the infection. Without a single failure the disease has
followed those cattle; in one case, more than two hundred cattle having
been infected by one which was sold at Curtis Stoddard's auction, when
he was entirely ignorant of the disease.
"When the commission was appointed, they went and examined his cattle,
and were satisfied that they were diseased,--at least, some of them.
They examined his father's herd, and found that they were very much
diseased; and when we came to kill Curtis Stoddard's cattle, seven of
the nine head were diseased. Two were not condemned, because the law
says, 'Cattle not appearing to be diseased, shall be appraised.'
Nevertheless, it proved that these animals were diseased; so that his
whole herd was affected.
"In regard to Leonard Stoddard's cattle, he lost fourteen of his animals
before the commissioners went to his place. They took eighteen more, all
of which were diseased,--most of them very bad cases,--indeed, extreme
cases. That left eight heads, which were not condemned, because not
appearing to be diseased. Here I remark, that when this disease is under
the shoulder-blade, it cannot be detected by percussion. The physicians
did not say that the animal was not diseased, but that they did not see
sufficient evidence upon which to condemn. Such animals were to be paid
for, upon the ground of their not appearing to be diseased.
Nevertheless, it is proper to state that the remaining eight which were
not condemned, were suspected to be diseased, and we told Mr. Stoddard
that we had the impression that they were diseased, notwithstanding
appearances. He said, 'There is a three-year-old animal that has never
faltered at all. She has never manifested the slightest disease. If you
will kill her, and she is diseased, I shall make up my mind that I have
not a well animal in my stalls.' We killed the animal, and found her to
be badly diseased.
"Thus, the first two herds were all infected by the disease; and in the
last of Curtis Stoddard's oxen which we killed, we found a cyst in the
lungs of each. One of these lungs is now in this building, never having
been cut open, and medical men can see the cyst which it contains. I
have said in what manner Mr. Curtis Stoddard's cattle spread the
"In regard to Mr. Leonard Stoddard's: in the first place, he kept six or
eight oxen which he employed in teaming. He was drawing some lumber, and
stopped over night, with his oxen, at Mr. Needham's. Needham lost his
whole herd. He lost eight or ten of them, and the rest were in a
terrible condition. Seven or eight more were condemned, and his whole
herd was destroyed, in consequence of Mr. Stoddard's stopping with him
over night. Mr. Stoddard sold an animal to Mr. Woodis of New Braintree.
He had twenty-three fine cows. It ruined his herd utterly. Seven or
eight animals died before the commissioners got there. Mr. L. Stoddard
also sold a yoke of cattle to Mr. Olmstead, one of his neighbors, who
had a very good herd. They stayed only five days in his hands, when
they passed over to Mr. Doane. In these five days they had so infected
his herd that it was one of the most severe instances of disease that we
have had. One third were condemned, and another third were passed over
as sound, whether they were so, or not. They did not appear to be
diseased. The cattle that were passed from Mr. Stoddard through Mr.
Olmstead to Mr. Doane, were loaned by Mr. D. to go to a moving of a
building from Oakham to New Braintree. They were put in with twenty-two
yoke of cattle, and employed a day and a half. It has since been proved
that the whole of these cattle took the contagion. They belonged to
eleven different herds, and of course, each of these herds formed a
focus from which the disease spread. Now, in these two ways the disease
has spread in different directions.
"But, when the commissioners first commenced, they had no idea that the
disease extended further than those herds in which there were animals
sick. Hence, their ideas and the ideas of those who petitioned for the
law, did not extend at all to so large a number of herds as have since
been proved to be diseased, because they only judged of those who
manifested disease. As soon as we began in that circle, we found a
second circle of infection, and another outside of that; and by that
time it had branched off in various directions to various towns. It
assumed such proportions that it was very evident that the commissioners
had not the funds to perform the operations required by the law. The law
confines the commissioners to one operation,--killing and burying. No
discretionary power is given at all. The commissioners became entirely
dissatisfied with that condition of things, because other measures
besides merely killing and burying, are quite as necessary and
important. When they arrived at that point and discovered to what extent
the infection had spread, they stopped killing the herds, and I believe
there has not been a herd killed for twenty days.
"The policy was then changed to circumscribing the disease, by isolating
the herds just as fast as possible and as surely as possible. A man's
herd has been exposed. There is no other way than to go and examine it,
and take the diseased animals away. Then he knows the animals are
diseased, and his neighbors know it. That has been the business of the
commissioners for the last twenty days; and the facts that they have no
discretionary power whatever, and that they were entirely circumscribed
in their means, and that it was hard for the farmers to lose their stock
and not be paid for it,--induced them to petition the Governor, in
connection with the Board of Agriculture, for the calling of a session
of the Legislature, to take measures for the extinction of the disease."
In response to a question, "Whether any animals that had once been
affected, had afterward recovered?"--the same gentleman stated that
instances had occurred where cattle had been sick twice, and had,
apparently, fully recovered; they ruminated readily, and were gaining
flesh. Upon examination, however, they were pronounced diseased, and,
when killed, both lungs were found in a hopeless case, very badly
Dr. George B. Loring, another of the commissioners, stated that eight
hundred and forty-two head of cattle had, at that time, been killed, and
that, from a careful estimate, there still remained one thousand head,
which should either be killed, or isolated for such a length of time as
should establish the fact that they had no disease about them. Twenty
thousand dollars and upwards had already been appraised as the value of
the cattle then killed.
As to disinfecting measures, the farmers who had lost cattle were
requested to whitewash their barns thoroughly, and some tons of a
disinfecting powder were purchased for the advantage of the persons who
wished to use it. An early application was advised, that the barns might
be in readiness for hay the then coming season.
The practice adopted by the commissioners was, to appraise the cattle
whenever a herd was found which had been exposed, and a surgeon was
appointed to pass judgment upon the number of diseased animals. After
that judgment, the remaining animals that were pronounced sound were
killed and passed to the credit of the owner, after an appraisement made
by these persons. The fair market-prices were paid, averaging about
thirty-three dollars a head. At the time of the meeting of the
committee, some seventy cattle had died of the disease.
An examination was made of some of the animals killed, and the following
Case 1.--This cow had been sick for nineteen days; was feeble, without
much appetite, with diarrhoea, cough, shortness of breathing, hair
staring, etc. Percussion dull over the whole of the left side of the
chest; respiration weak. Killed by authority. Several gallons of serum
were found in the left side of the chest; a thick, furzy deposit of
lymph over all the pleura-costalis. This lymph was an inch in
thickness, resembling the velvety part of tripe, and quite firm. There
was a firm deposit of lymph in the whole left lung, but more especially
at its base, with strong adhesions to the diaphragm and
pleura-costalis near the spine. The lung was hard and brittle, like
liver, near its base. No pus. Right lung and right side of chest
Case 2.--This cow was taken very sick, January 30th. In fourteen days,
she began to get better. April 12th, she is gaining flesh, breathes
well, hair healthy, gives ten quarts of milk a day, and in all other
respects bids fair for a healthy animal hereafter, except a slight
cough. Percussion dull over base of the left lung, near the spine, and
respiration feeble in the same regions.
Autopsy.--Left lung strongly adherent to diaphragm and costal pleura;
the long adhesions well smoothed off; pleura-costalis shining and
healthy. Also, the surface of the lung, when there were no adhesions,
sound and right; all the lung white, and free for the entrance of air,
except the base, in which was a cyst containing a pint or two of pus.
Loose in this pus was a hard mass, as large as a two-quart measure,
looking like marble; when cut through its centre, it appeared like the
brittle, hardened lining in case 1. It appeared as though a piece of
lung had been detached by suppuration and enclosed in an air-tight cyst,
by which decomposition was prevented. The other lung and the chest were
sound. It is to be inferred, as there were adhesions, that there had
been pleurisy and deposit of lymph and serum, as in case 1, and that
Nature had commenced the cure by absorbing the serum from the chest, and
the lymph from the free pleural surface, and smoothed off every thing to
a good working condition. The lump in the cyst was brittle and
irregular on its surface, as though it was dissolving in the pus. No
good reason can be given why Nature should not consummate the work which
she had so wisely begun.
Case 3.--This cow had been sick fourteen days; was coughing and
breathing badly; percussion dull over both chests and respiration
Autopsy.--Both chests filled with water; deposits of lymph over all the
pleura-costalis, presenting the same velvety, furzy appearance as in
Case 1. Both lungs were hardened at the base, and the left throughout
its whole extent, and firmly adherent to diaphragm and costal pleura,
near the spine. The right lung had nearly one-third of its substance in
a condition for the entrance of air; but this portion, even, was so
compressed with the water, that a few hours longer would have terminated
the case fatally without State aid. This case had not proceeded far
enough for the formation of the cyst or pus.
In Mr. Needham's herd, about twenty-eight days intervened between the
first and second case of disease, instead of about fourteen, as in Mr.
Case 4.--A nice heifer, in fair condition, eating well, only having a
slight cough. Percussion dull over base of the left lung.
Autopsy.--Base of left lung adherent to diaphragm and costal pleura;
lung hardened. On cutting into base, found ulceration and a head of
Timothy grass, four or five inches long. Animal in every other way well.
Case 5.--This cow was taken, January 1st, with a cough, difficulty of
breathing, and the other symptoms of the disease, and continued sick
till March 1st. On taking her out, April 12th, to be slaughtered, she
capered, stuck up her tail, snuffed, and snorted, showing all the signs
of feeling well and vigorous.
Autopsy.--Right lung firmly adherent to diaphragm and costal pleura,
near the spine. Base of lung hardened, containing a cyst with a large
lump, of the size of a two-quart measure, floating in pus; outside of
the lump was of a dirty yellow-white, irregular, brittle, and cheesy;
the inside mottled, or divided into irregular squares; red like muscle,
and breaking under the finger, like liver. Costal pleura smooth,
shining; adhesions where there was motion; card-like and polished; no
serum; lung apparently performing its functions well, except for a short
distance above the air-tight cyst, where it was still hardened. It would
seem as though Nature was intending to dissolve this lump, and carry it
off by absorption. She knows how, and would have done it, in the opinion
of the writer, had she been allowed sufficient time.
Case 6.--Was taken December 18th, and was very sick; in three weeks she
was well, except a cough, quite severe, and so continued till about the
first of March, when she coughed harder and grew worse till seven days
before she was killed, April 12th, when she brought forth a calf, and
then commenced improving again.
Autopsy.--Right lung adherent to diaphragm and costal pleura. At its
base, was a flabby, fluctuating cyst. In cutting into it, the lump was
found to be breaking up by decomposition, and scenting badly. Every
thing else normal. Was not the cyst broken through by some accident,
thus letting in the air, when she grew worse? Would she not, probably,
have overcome this disagreeable accident, and recovered, in spite of it?
This cow's hair did not look well, as did that of those in which the
cyst was air-tight; but still she was beginning to eat well again, and
appeared in a tolerable way for recovery.
Case 7.--This heifer had coughed slightly for six weeks, but the owner
said he thought no one going into his herd would notice that any thing
was the matter with her.
Autopsy.--Slight adhesions of lung to diaphragm. Near these adhesions
are small cysts, of the size of a walnut, containing pus and cheesy
matter; about the cysts a little way the lung was hardened, say for half
an inch. There were several cysts, and they appeared as though the
inflammation attacked only the different lobes of the lungs, leaving
others healthy between,--Nature throwing out coagulable lymph around the
diseased lobe, and forming thereby an air-tight cyst, cutting around the
diseased lobe by suppuration, so that it could be carried off by
In the herd to which this animal belonged, nine days after the first cow
died, the second case occurred. First cow was sick five weeks. The time
of incubation could not have been over six weeks,--probably not over
three weeks. Of these cows, one improved in eight weeks, the other in
Case 8.--This cow had been sick three weeks. Killed.
Autopsy.--Large quantities of serum in left chest; lung adherent, and
hardened at base. On cutting into the hardened lung, one side of the
lump was found separated from the lung, with pus between the lines of
separation, and the forming coat of the cyst outside of the pus; the
other side of the lump was part and parcel of the hardened lung which
had not yet had time to commence separation. The costal pleura was
covered with organized lymph to the thickness of an inch, with the usual
characteristics. The right chest contained a small quantity of serum,
and had several small, hardened red spots in that lung, with some
tender, weak adhesions; but most of the right lung was healthy.
Case 9.--Sick four weeks. Killed.
Autopsy.--Right lung hardened at base; adherent to diaphragm and costal
pleura; lump separated on one side only. Cyst beginning to form, outside
of separation; pus between cyst and lump, but in a very small quantity.
These two cases settle the character of the lump, and the manner of the
formation of the cyst; the lump being lung and lymph, cut out by
suppuration,--the cyst being organized, smoothed off by suppuration,
Case 10.--Killed. Hair looked badly; but the cow, it was said, ate, and
appeared well. This case, however, occurred in a herd, of which no
reliable information, in detail, could be procured.
Autopsy.--Base of lung hardened, adherent to diaphragm; containing a
cyst, in which was a lump, of the size of a quart measure, but little
pus. This lump had air-tubes running through it, which were not yet cut
off by suppuration; and in one place, the cyst was perforated by a
bronchial tube, letting in the external air to the lump, which was
undergoing disorganization, and swelling badly. When cut into, it did
not present the red, mottled, organized appearance of those cases with
Quite a number of other cases were examined, but these ten present all
the different phases. One or two cases are needed of an early stage of
the disease, to settle the point, whether, in all cases, the primary
disease is lung fever, and the pleurisy a continuation, merely, of the
primary disease; together with some six or eight cases, during five,
six, seven, eight months from attack, and so on till entire, final
recovery. Some cases were sick almost a year since, and are now
apparently quite well; perhaps all the lump and pus are not yet gone.
Many practitioners think that no severe case will ever recover, and some
think that none ever get entirely well. Others, however, can see no
reason why, as a general rule, all single cases should not recover, and
all double cases die.
The disease was the most fatal in Mr. Chenery's (the original) herd,
although it was the best-fed and the warmest-stabled. He attributed the
fatality, in part, to a want of sufficient ventilation. The other herds,
in which all the fatal cases occurred in two hours, consisted,
originally, one of forty-eight head, of which thirteen died, or were
killed, to prevent certain death; of twenty-three head, of which seven
died; of twenty-two head, of which eight died; of twenty-two head, of
which eight also died; and of twenty-one head, of which four died. A
little less than thirty per cent., therefore, of these herds died.
This estimate excludes the calves. Most of the cows which had not calved
before being attacked, lost their calves prematurely. The probable time
of incubation, as deduced from those Massachusetts cases, is from two to
three weeks; of propagation, about the same time; the acute stage of the
disease lasting about three weeks.
The author's attention was first directed to this disease, upon its
appearance in Camden and Gloucester counties, New Jersey, in the year
1859, at about the same time it made its advent in Massachusetts. The
singularity of this coincidence inclined him for the time to regard the
disease as an epizooetic--having its origin in some peculiar condition of
the atmosphere--rather than as a contagious, or infectious disease,
which position was at that time assumed by him.
This opinion was strengthened by the fact, that no case occurring in New
Jersey could be traced to a Massachusetts origin, in which State it was
claimed that the disease never had existed in this country previous to
its introduction there. It was, therefore, denied by the veterinary
surgeons in the Eastern States, that the disease in New Jersey was the
true European pleuro-pneumonia, but it was called by them the swill-milk
disease of New York City, and it was assigned an origin in the
distillery cow-houses in Brooklyn and Williamsburg.
In 1860 it found its way across the Delaware River into Philadelphia,
spreading very rapidly in all directions, particularly in the southern
section of the county, known as The Neck,--many of the dairymen losing
from one third to one half of their herds by its devastating influence.
In order to save themselves--in part, at least--from this heavy loss,
many of them, upon the first indications of the malady, sent their
animals to the butcher, to be slaughtered for beef. In 1861 the disease
found its way into Delaware, where its ravages were severely felt. So
soon, however, as it became known that the disease was infectious or
contagious, an effort was made to trace it to its starting-point; but,
in consequence of the unwillingness of dairymen to communicate the fact
that their herds were affected with pleuro-pneumonia, all efforts proved
fruitless. In 1860 the disease found its way up the Delaware to
Riverton, a short distance above the city of Philadelphia. A
cattle-dealer, named Ward, turned some cattle into a lot, adjoining
which several others were grazing. The residents of this place are
chiefly the families of gentlemen doing business in the city, many of
whom lost their favorite animals from this destructive malady.
The first case occurring at this place, to which the author's attention
was called, was a cow belonging to Mr. D. Parrish, which had been
exposed by coming in contact with Ward's cattle, had sickened, and died.
An anxiety having been manifested to ascertain the cause of the death,
the author made an examination of the animal, which, upon dissection,
proved the disease to be a genuine case of the so-called
pleuro-pneumonia. This examination was made August 20th, 1860, at the
time of the Massachusetts excitement. Two cows, belonging to Mr. Rose,
of the same place, had been exposed, and both had taken the disease.
His attention having been called to them, he placed them under the
author's treatment, and by the use of diffusible stimulants and tonics,
one of these animals recovered, while the other was slaughtered for an
examination, which revealed all the morbid conditions so characteristic
of this disease.
The next case was a cow belonging to Mr. G. H. Roach, of the same place,
which had been grazing in a lot adjoining that of Mr. Parrish. This cow
was killed in the presence of Charles Wood, V.S., of Boston, Mass., and
Arthur S. Copeman, of Utica, N. Y., who was one of a committee appointed
by the New York State Agricultural Society for the purpose of
investigating the disease. Both of these gentlemen having witnessed the
disease in-all its forms, as it appeared in Massachusetts, were the
first to identify this case with those in that State.
Upon opening the cow, the left lung was found to be completely
consolidated, and adhered to the left side, presenting the appearance
usual in such cases. As she was with calf, the lungs of the foetus
were examined, disclosing a beautiful state of red hepatization.
The author's attention was next called to the herd of Mr. Lippincott, a
farmer in the neighborhood, who had lost several cattle by the disease;
but as he had been persuaded that treatment was useless, he abandoned
the idea of attempting to save his stock in that way. From Riverton it
soon spread to Burlington, some ten miles farther up the river, where it
carried off large numbers of valuable cattle, and it continued in
existence in that neighborhood for some time.
The disease was not then confined to these localities alone, but has
spread over a large extent of country,--and that, too, prior to its
appearance in Massachusetts, as will be shown by extracts from the
following letters, published in the Country Gentleman:--
"We have a disease among the cattle here, I will class it under these
names,--congestion of the lungs, terminating with consumption, or dropsy
of the chest. Now, I have treated two cases; one five years since, as
congestion,--and the first is still able to eat her allowance, and give
a couple of pails of milk a day,--and the other, quite recently. The
great terror of this disease is, that it is not taken in its first
stages, which are the same in the cow as in the man--a difficulty in
breathing, which, if not speedily relieved, terminates in consumption or
dropsy. I have no doubt that consumption is contagious; but is that a
reason why every one taken with congestion should be killed to check the
spread of consumption? So I should reason, if I had pleuro-pneumonia in
my drove of cattle. J. BALDWIN.
"NEWARK, N. J., June 11, 1860."
"I notice that a good deal of alarm is felt in different parts of the
country about what is called the cattle-disease.
"From the diagnosis given in the papers, I have no doubt this is
pleuro-pneumonia, with which I had some acquaintance a few years ago. If
it is the same, my observation and experience may be of some service to
those suffering now.
"It was introduced into my stock, in the fall of 1853, by one of my own
cows, which, in the spring of that year, I had sent down to my brother
in Brooklyn, to be used during the summer for milk. She was kept
entirely isolated through out the summer, and in November was sent up
by the boat. There were no other cattle on the boat at the time, nor
could I learn that she had come in contact with any in passing through
the streets on her way to the boat; and she certainly did not, after
leaving it, until she mingled with her old companions, all of whom were
then, and long afterward, perfectly well. After she had been home about
two weeks, we noticed that her appetite failed, and her milk fell off:
she seemed dull and stupid, stood with her head down, and manifested a
considerable degree of languor.
"Soon her breathing became somewhat hurried, and with a decided catch in
it; she ground her teeth; continued standing, or, if she lay down, it
was only to jump up again instantly. Her cough increased, and so, too, a
purulent and, bloody discharge from her nostrils and mouth. The
excrement was fetid, black, and hard.
"In this case, we twice administered half a pound of Epsom-salts, and
afterward, a bottle of castor-oil. Very little, but a temporary effect
was produced by these doses.
"The symptoms all increased in intensity; strength diminished; limbs
drawn together; belly tucked up, etc.; until the eight day, when she
partly lay, and partly fell down, and never rose again.
"In a post-mortem examination, the lungs were gorged with black, fetid
blood; the substance of them thickened and pulpy. The pleura and
diaphragm also showed a good deal of disease and some adhesion. This
cow, on her arrival here, was put in her usual place in the stable,
between others. She remained there for two or three days after she was
taken sick, before we removed her to the hospital.
"In about three weeks from the time she died, one and then the other of
those standing on either side of her were attacked in the same way, and
with but two days between. This, certainly, looks very much like
contagion; but my attention had not before been called to this
particular disease, and to suppose inflammation or congestion of the
lungs contagious was so opposed to my preconceived notions, that I did
not even then admit it; and these animals were suffered to remain with
the others until their own comfort seemed to require the greater liberty
of open pens.
"One of them was early and copiously bled twice, while Epsom-salts were
administered, both by the stomach and with the injective-pump. The other
we endeavored to keep nauseated with ipecacuanha, and the same time to
keep her bowels open by cathartic medicine. All proved to be of no
avail. They both died,--the one in ten, the other in thirteen days.
Before these died, however, others were taken sick. And thus, later, I
had eight sick at one time.
"The leading symptoms in all were the same, with minor differences; and
so, too, was the appearance after death, on examination.
"Of all that were taken sick (sixteen) but two recovered; and they were
among those we did the least for, after we had become discouraged about
trying to cure them. In all the last cases we made no effort at all, but
to keep them as comfortable as we could. In one case, the acute
character of the disease changed to chronic, and the animal lived six or
eight weeks, until the whole texture of the lungs had become destroyed.
She had become much emaciated, and finally died with the ordinary
"At the time the first case appeared, I had a herd of thirty-one
animals, all valuable Ayrshires, in fine condition and healthy. In all
the first cases, I had a veterinary surgeon of considerable celebrity
and experience, and every ordinary approved method of treatment was
resorted to and persevered in. The last cases--as before intimated--we
only strove to make comfortable.
"After I had paid the third or fourth forfeit, I began to awake up to
the idea that the disease was, in a high degree, contagious, whether I
would have it so or not; and that my future security was in prevention,
and not in remedy. I therefore separated all the remaining animals; in
no instance having more than two together, and generally but one in a
"All were removed from the infected stalls, and put into quarantine.
Isolated cases continued to occur after this for some weeks, but the
spread of the disease was stayed; nor did a single case occur after
this, which we did not think we traced directly to previous contact.
"It is impossible to account for the first case of which I have spoken.
But, as the cow in that case was put into a sale-stable in New York
while waiting for the boat,--though there were no cattle then
present,--yet I have supposed it not unlikely that diseased animals had
been there, and had left the seeds of the disease.
"But, account for this case as we may,--and I have no doubt it is
sometimes spontaneous,--I feel convinced it is very highly contagious;
and that the only safety to a herd into which it has been introduced, is
in complete isolation,--and in this I feel as convinced that there is
safety. My cattle were not suffered to return to the barnyard or to any
part of the cattle-barns, except as invalids were sent to 'the hospital'
to die, until late the next fall, i.e., the fall of 1854. In the mean
time, the hay and straw had all been removed; the stables, stalls, cribs
and all thoroughly scrubbed with ashes and water, fumigated, and white
washed with quicklime. I have had no case since, and am persuaded I
should have avoided most of those I had before, if I had reasonably