CHAPTER LI. SOME COMMON AILMENTS OF THE DOG AND THEIR TREATMENT

There is a round-worm which at times infests the dog's bladder, and may cause occlusion of the urethra; a whip-worm inhabiting the caecum; another may occupy a position in the mucous membrane of the stomach; some infest the blood, and others the eye.

(2) Tape-worms—There are several kinds, but the treatment is the same in all cases. The commonest in the country is the Cucumerine.

This is a tape-worm of about fifteen inches in average length, although I have taken them from Newfoundland pups fully thirty inches long. It is a semi-transparent entozoon; each segment is long compared to its breadth, and narrowed at both ends. Each joint has, when detached, an independent sexual existence.

The dog often becomes infested with this parasite from eating sheeps' brains, and dogs thus afflicted and allowed to roam at pleasure over fields and hills where sheep are fed sow the seeds of gid in our flocks to any extent. We know too well the great use of Collie dogs to the shepherd or grazier to advise that dogs should not be employed as assistants, but surely it would be to their owners' advantage to see that they were kept in a state of health and cleanliness.

Treatment—We ought to endeavour to prevent as well as to cure. We should never allow our dogs to eat the entrails of hares or rabbits. Never allow them to be fed on raw sheep's intestines, nor the brains of sheep. Never permit them to lounge around butchers' shops, nor eat offal of any kind. Let their food be well cooked, and their skins and kennels kept scrupulously clean. Dogs that are used for sheep and cattle ought, twice a year at least, to go under treatment for the expulsion of worms, whether they are infested or not; an anthelmintic would make sure, and could hardly hurt them.

For the expulsion of tape-worms we depend mostly on areca-nut. In order that the tape-worm should receive the full benefit of the remedy, we order a dose of castor oil the day before in the morning, and recommend no food to be given that day except beef-tea or mutton broth. The bowels are thus empty next morning, so that the parasite cannot shelter itself anywhere, and is therefore sure to be acted on.

Infusion of cusco is sometimes used as an anthelmintic, so is wormwood, and the liquid extract of male fern, and in America spigelia root and pumpkin seeds.

The best tonic to give in cases of worms is the extract of quassia.

Extract of quassia, 1 to 10 grains; extract of hyoscyamus, 1/2 to 5 grains. To make one pill. Thrice daily.

PARASITES.—EXTERNAL.

FLEAS.

Washing with Spratts' medicated soap. Extra clean kennels. Dusting with Keating, and afterwards washing. This may not kill the fleas, but it drives them off. Take the dog on the grass while dusting, and begin along the spine. Never do it in the house.

TICKS.

I have noticed these disagreeable bloodsuckers only on the heads and bodies of sporting or Collie dogs, who had been boring for some time through coverts and thickets. They soon make themselves visible, as the body swells up with the blood they suck until they resemble small soft warts about as big as a pea. They belong to the natural family, Ixodiadae.

Treatment—If not very numerous they should be cut off, and the part touched with a little turps. The sulphuret of calcium will also kill them, so will the more dangerous white precipitate, or even a strong solution of carbolic acid, which must be used sparingly, however.

LICE.

The lice are hatched from nits, which we find clinging in rows, and very tenaciously too, to the hairs. The insects themselves are more difficult to find, but they are on puppies sometimes in thousands. To destroy them I have tried several plans. Oil is very effectual, and has safety to recommend it. Common sweet oil is as good a cure as any, and you may add a little oil of anise and some sublimed sulphur, which will increase the effect. Quassia water may be used to damp the coat. The matted portions of a long-haired dog's coat must be cut off with scissors, for there the lice often lurk. The oil dressing will not kill the nits, so that vinegar must be used. After a few days the dressing must be repeated, and so on three or four times. To do any good, the whole of the dog's coat must be drenched in oil, and the dog washed with good dog soap and warm water twelve hours afterwards.