WORMS.—Borrs. The botts are distinguished from all other species of worms by their shape and length; they are of an oval form, and their length varies from half an inch to one inch; in shape and general appearance they resemble casks in miniature: the basis of their colour is red, always presenting, however, a dark brown or yellow hue. Botts are frequently found in great numbers, resembling solid masses, and adhering firmly to the internal coat of the stomach, by means of two strong curveted fangs, situated at the smaller end, and by a series of very short feet, arranged on each side of the belly. The body of the bott is composed of ten or twelve circular hoops or joints, and the mouth is generally supposed to be placed at the smaller end, between the two fangs already mentioned.
Round Worms. In shape, and other circumstances, the round worm differs materially from the bott: its colour is usually white; its appearance much resembles that of the common earth worm; its length averages from eight to ten inches; and it is generally found infesting the small intestines.
Ascarides differ in every respect from the preceding species of worms; they generate exclusively in the larger intestines, and, although they keep the horse in a poor condition, they scarcely ever prove fatal; and then only when the constitution of the animal has been much decayed. Both the ascarides and the round worm are frequently voided with the dung. The treatment of all three species of worms is now pretty well understood. It is similar in each case, and, by paying a due and prompt application to the following line of treatment, a cure may be easily and speedily effected: Take calomel, one drachm ; Castile soap, one drachm ; mix this into a mass with sirup of buckthorn, and i give it to the horse at night. In the morning it will be necessary to administer either the following purging drink or ball, as may be preferred: Take Barbadoes aloes, according to the age and strength of the horse, from three to six drachms; worm seed in powder, half an ounce; powdered gentian, half an ounce; powdered caraway seeds, one ounce: mix these, and administer it in a pint of strong decoction of wormwood. This drink must be repeated in four or five days' time; but the mercurial ball must be omitted after the first exhibition.
" I think lightly of worms," says Nimrod, in one of his letters on the Condition of Hunters. " A dose of mercurial physic has always answered the end in my stable; but I have very seldom had occasion to resort to it on this account. Horses that are properly physicked, and regularly dieted, are but little subject to worms; that is to say, such as are liable to injure them. As for botts, we learn from Mr. Bracy Clarke, they have a salubrious influence on the stomach of the horse, by promoting digestion. Be this as it may, very few horses—none I believe which have been at grass late in the summer—are free from botts." Their natural history, provided it be correctly given us, is extremely curious ; and it is no less extraordinary that no medicine which can be administered to a horse will occasion their death. " That Nature," says Mr. Percivall,II should have created an animal, and designed it as an inhabitant of the stomach of another animal, without some good, but I suspect unknown end, I think, in unison with others, highly improbable, and irreconcilable with other beautiful and more readily explained operations. I am, however, for my own part, unable to draw up the curtain which is here interposed between fact and design."
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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