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----THE FARMERS' CIRCLE.

ANTHRAX.

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ANTHRAX. The Board of Agriculture consider it desirable, in view of the recent increase in the number of outbreaks of anthrax, to publish the following observations: —Anth- rax is due to the entrance into the blood of a minute rod (bacillus), which is one of a large family of fungi, and grows from spores or seeds. Any substance which is brought on to a farm may act as a carrier of the infecting agent: fodder, litter, manure, whether from home or foreign sources, may contain the spores. A watercourse may carry the poison. In fact, the channel- through wh ch the infecting agent may I el conveyed to the susceptible animal are beyond calculation. Diseased animals dn; not transmit the infection to others in the ordinary way by association. The organism on which the disease depends must be intro- duced into the blood through a wound how- ever small, or an abrasion however slight, before the affection can be communicated, aud it may be said without exaggeration that the carcase of an animal, d-ad of anthrax, is more dangerous than the diseased animal was at any time during life. SYMPTOMS AND POST-MORTEM APPEARANCES OF ANTHRAX. In most cases the first sign of an outbreak of anthrax or splenic-fever is the discovery of a dead animal which was left a few hours before in apparent health at least there was nothing to attract attention, or give any warning of the approaching catastrophe. Occasionally, and in the case of sheep not uncommonly, there are certain premonitory symptoms of an attack of anthrax which can be recognised by an expert. The affected animal is dull, and disinclined to move. If one of a herd or flock is attacked the fact is indicated by the separation of the sick animll from tho rest. Close observa- tion will enable the observer to detect an occasional shiver, which seems to pass rapidly over the body, and then ceases. Sometimes a little blood is discharged from the nose and also with the fceces, and from time to time the animal will cease to feed, and stand with the head bent towards the ground. On closer inspection, especially in the case of swine, it will often be found th;tt there is a good deal of swelling under the throat, extending down the neck and the swollen part will at first be tender to the touch, and hot, but as the disease goes on it becomes insensitive, cold, and clammy. The shivering fits now become more frequent, ani perhaps, while these signs are being noted, the animal will suddenly roll over on its side, and, after a few violent struggles, expire. According to the severity and suddenness of the attack, the post. mortem appearances will vary in degree, but they ar' tolerably uniform in kind. Under the- skin there are usually patches of effused blood, and a considerable quantity of viscid serious fluid will be seen in those parts which were swollen during life. On opening the cavities of the chest and abdomen, some red serous fluid generally escapes. The spleen is enlarged to three or four times its proper size and is of a deep purple or black colour, soft and easily broken down, Effused blood is also found in masses unier the kidneys, and red patches are seen in various parts of the serous membranes. The lining membrane of the intestines i$ often congested, and the contents are gener- ally mixed with blood; sometimes, indeed, the intestinal canal is almost filled with this fluid The symptoms and post-mortem appearances which have been described may, as a rule, be accepted as evidence of the existence of anthrax. But when it is abso. lutely necessary to obtain proof of the pres- eace of the bacillus anthraois in the blood a drop of that fluid from the spleen or heart should be placed on a glass slide covered with a piece of thin glass, and examined with a magnifying power of at least 400 diameters. The thin rods will appear like short pieces of fine thread crossing each other in every direction, and enclosing the blood corpuscles. This examination may be conducted in the shed or pasture, but in the laboratory staining processes are employed. PROCEDURE. In the case of an outbreak, slaughter of animals affected with or supposed of anthrax should at one? be adopted without the shedding of blood, but in the majority of cases the diseased animals die too quickly to admit of the adoption of this measure. The healthy animals on the pasture or other place where the outbreak occurred should be moved under proper restrictions to a con-

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COLLIERS.

THE SUMMEK OF 1818.

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ANTHRAX.