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- AGRICULTURE. ♦

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AGRICULTURE. ♦ GENERAL MANAGEMENT OF THE HORSED FOOT IN HEALTH AND DISEASE. The following suggestions on the treatment of horses' feet is given by "Veterinarian," in the Field. It is not contended that the adoption of the most perfect and scientific system of stable management will entirely prevent disease in the feet; on the contrary, causes which are occasional in their action, and only exist under certain unusual conditions, may operate with equal force upon parts which have been carefully protected or recklessly exposed. Inflammation of the vascular structures of the foot may follow a hard gallop, notwith- standing that every care has been taken to preserve a healthy state of the parts and although the hoofs may be tough and elastic, an accidental concussion may establish disease in the navicular bone. Such affections, depending as they do upon causes which only operate occasionally, cannot be certainly guarded against; but brittleness of the hoof-horn, sandcrack, seedytoe, thrushes, and contraction may be prevented by ordinary means. When a horse is suffering from disease, either affecting his feet or any other part, the general system of management often requires some special alteration to suit the new circumstances of the case. Sick horses habitually maintain the standing position, and this, in itself, is injurious to the feet, which require to be care- fully watched and frequently examined during the progress of any constitutional disease. If any unusual warmth is detected in the feet of a horse suffering from influenza, or bronchitis, or other disease bordering upon the inflammatory, immediate action must be taken, or an attack of fever in the feet is inevitable. The first thing to do is to remove the shoes and well pare out the soles, after which the feet may be soaked in warm water, and then covered with warm poultices of bran and linseed-meal, and kept moist by being occasionally dipped in warm water. Should this treatment not be found sufficiently active, bleeding from the toe will be necessary; and the warm applications must be con- tinued. In any case, when a horse has been ill for some time, it is desirable to remove the shoes and well clean out the feet, using tar dressings occa- sionally, and, if necessary, apply wet swabs, at least during the day, when they can be kept wet. When the disease from which the animals suffers is likely to be followed by a long period of convalescence, it is good practice to remove the shoes altogether after the first fortnight or three weeks, and allow the horse to lie rough," taking care that there is a sufficient covering of litter-or, what is better, tan- upon the floor of the box, to prevent the hoofs being broken. The fact of the animal not being required for work furnishes no reason for neglect; on the contrary, the necessity for extra care is indicated from the circum- stance that, the attention being concentrated upon the most prominent point, the disease for which the horse is under treatment, minor evils are likely to escape ob- servation. Thus it has happened again and again that a sick horse, whose complaint has been the subject of un- remitting care, has recovered from the acute disease only to die or be rendered useless by a subsequent attack of fever in the feet, mainly resulting from the absence of that observation which would have led to the detection of the earliest symptoms of disease, or probably alto- gether have prevented its occurrence, by dictating the timely adoption of the necessary preventive measures. When the presence of some local affection renders it undesirable to exercise the animal, the feet, again, are likely to suffer from inattention; and, in addition, it may happen that one foot is compelled to support an undue share of the weight of the body, in consequence of the disease in the opposite limb preventing the proper exercise of its function. In this case it becomes neces- sary to arrange the shoes so as to equaliselthe pressure as much as possible. This may often be done by putting a high-heeled shoe on the foot of the deceased extremity, while the shoe is either removed from the other foot, or T educed to a mere tip. In cases of disease affecting the feet, very great care in the treatment of these organs, irrespective of the medical or surgical means employed, will be called for. Many cases of disease of the foot are incurable, and the horse can only be kept in working condition by means of palliative measures. These principally consist in keeping the feet cool, carefully removing all foreign bodies which might injuriously press upon a tender sole, preserving the pliability of the horn, and adjusting the shoe in such a manner as to afford protection and avoid pressure upon parts which are not capable of supporting it. The most simple plan of keeping the feet cool and moist is by means of wet swabs tied round the coronet. The plan of the clay bed has gone very much out of fashion, and in reality there was little to recommend it. The arrangements necessary for the proper application of the clay were troublesome; and, after all, it may be questioned if any mere good was gained than would result from the use of wet wrappers round the hoof, particularly if the shoes are removed, and the floor well covered with tan. During the time that animals are under treatment for foot-lameness, it must be recollected that the hoofs are still growing, and that if left for a long period un- touched it will be difficult to get them into proper shape again. Therefore the attention of the farrier should be called to them at least once every month or six weeks, in order that the heels may be lowered and the toes shortened; otherwise, in consequence of the rapidity of the growth of the horn, the feet will become upright, and the frogs, being removed thus from pres- sure, and kept in constant contact with the wet manure which accumulates in the feet, will become rotten. The use of tar both to the wall and sole is as necessary while the horse is lying idle as when he is employed in active service even when he is turned out to grass the feet require attention, particularly when the ground is soft and wet. The difficulty under such circumstances is to get the hoof to grow in the right direction there will be plenty of material formed, but it will require fre- quent trimming and training, or the very luxuriance of the growth will be a source of embarrassment.

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FACTS AND F ACETIÆ.j .