CAUTERY ACTUAL. In medicine, actual is opposed to potential. Hot iron is called an actual cautery, in contradistinction from chemical caustics, which have a power of producing the same effects on animal solids as actual fire, and which are called potential. Boiling water is actually hot, and brandy is potentially hot, as it heats the body, though of itself cold. In veterinary practice, the actual cautery is employed in the operation of docking; also in cases of curbs, spavins, splints, and of severe injury to sinews.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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