SOME COMMON AILMENTS OF THE DOG AND
THE experienced dog-owner has long ago realised that cleanliness, wholesome food, judicious exercise and a dry, comfortable and wellventilated kennel are the surest safeguards of health, and that attention to these necessaries saves him an infinitude of trouble and anxiety by protecting his dogs from disease. On the first appearance of illness in his kennels the wise dog-owner at once calls in the skill of a good veterinary surgeon, but there are some of the minor ailments which he can deal with himself whilst he ought at least to be able to recognise the first symptoms of the dreaded Distemper and give first aid until the vet. arrives to apply his remedies and give professional advice.
Although more than one hundred years have elapsed since this was first imported to this country from France, a great amount of misunderstanding still prevails among a large section of dog-breeders regarding its true nature and origin. The fact is, the disease came to us with a bad name, for the French themselves deemed it incurable. In this country the old-fashioned plan of treatment was wont to be the usual rough remedies-emetics, purgatives, the seton, and the lancet. Failing in this, specifics of all sorts were eagerly sought for and tried, and are unfortunately still believed in to a very great extent.
Distemper has a certain course to run, and in this disease Nature seems to attempt the elimination of the poison through the secretions thrown out by the naso-pharyngeal mucous membrane.
Our chief difficulty in the treatment of distemper lies in the complications thereof. We may, and often do, have the organs of respiration attacked; we have sometimes congestion of the liver, or mucous inflammation of the bile ducts, or some lesion of the brain or nervous structures, combined with epilepsy, convulsions, or chorea. Distemper is also often complicated with severe disease of the bowels, and at times with an affection of the eyes.
Causes-Whether it be that the distemper virus, the poison seedling of the disease, really originates in the kennel, or is the result of contact of one dog with another, or whether the poison floats to the kennel on the wings of the wind., or is carried there on a shoe or the point of a walking-stick, the following facts ought to be borne in mind : (1) Anything that debilitates the body or weakens the nervous system paves