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DISTEMPER. This disease is generally caused by sudden transitions from heat to cold, where the animal, in a state of excessive perspiration, and overcome by great exertion, is immerged in cold water, or (as is too frequently the abused practice) drenched with buckets full, by way of refreshing the horse. The general symptoms are severe cough or catarrh, excessive drowsiness, moisture from the eyes and nostrils, quick pulse and breathing, quinsey in the throat, universal debility, &c. The best remedy is immediate and free bleeding; then turn out the animal to a well enclosed and sheltered pasture, where, in due process of time, with the assistance of wholesome grass, and good air, the disease will be effectually removed. If the horse cannot conveniently be stirred from the stable, he should be fed on light bran mashes, and very small portions of the very best hay; if grass could be obtained, it would be much better. The best medicine is nitrate of potass (nitre), to be given in three doses; the first in the morning, the second at one o'clock in the afternoon, and the third at night, in the quantity of half an ounce to each dose. Clysters should also be served sufficiently frequent to keep the body in a free and cool state. The above regimen and treatment should be continued until the animal be in a state of perfect convalescence; then very small proportions of oats, well bruised and wetted, may at intervals be allowed him. Vaccination also is found to be an effectual remedy or rather preventive of distemper. When the distemper arises from worms, the most effectual vermifuge that can be used is tin filings or powdered glass, and half a drachm of either may be given twice a day.

Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.

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