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[Excerpt from the Official Field Service Pocket Book of 1914 Veterinary Service (UK), including simple advice and treatment in the field, issued by H. M. Stationery Office, price One Shilling. All officers were required to be aware of the principles of general veterinary care for their horses.]

1. The veterinary Service in war is under a director of veterinary services who receives instructions from the Q.M.O's branch of the staff. He is assisted by a deputy director and represented in divisions by assistant directors.

2. The veterinary Service is organized with the view of securing the efficiency of the animals of the forces in the field:--

(a) By preventing the introduction and spread of contagious disease.

(b) By reducing wastage amongst animals by means of prompt application of first aid.

(c) By relieving the field army of the care of sick and inefficient animals.

To carry out the duties specified in (a) and (b) veterinary officers are detailed for duty with the various portions of the field army. To these officers is confided the veterinary supervision and care of animals, and it is their duty to bring to the notice of commanders any measure necessary for the health and condition of the animals under their professional care.

(3) Veterinary hospitals are established on the L. of C. to which sick and injured animals are sent for treatment. When fit for duty they are transferred to the nearest remount depot for disposal.

(4) All animals including slaughtered cattle before being utilized by troops will be examined by a veterinary officer as to freedom from disease.

(5) Cold shoeing will be invariably adopted in the field. No charge will be made for shoeing public animals.


(6). Ringworm ...

Symptoms. Hair falls out in circular patches.

Treatment. Clip affected parts and burn clippings. Wash animal all over with some disinfectant (ie.. cresol, 1 part to 80 of water.) Apply tincture of iodine, if available, paraffin or soft soap to spots. Disinfect harness etc.

(7). Mange ...

Symptoms. Marked skin irritation. Horse bites and rubs himself against any available object. Hair comes off in patches and skin becomes thickened and corrugated. Prevention of spread. Obtain veterinarian aid without delay. Very contagious. Isolate affected and suspicious cases with their equipment. Men looking after them should not go among healthy animals, as they may carry infection in their clothing.

Thoroughly disinfect all stables, utensils, harness &c.

Discontinue clothing. Picket in open. Change standings. Treatment. Clip, burn clippings, dress all over with a mixture of paraffin 1 pint, soap 1 lb., and water 1 gallon.

Regular exercise and dress immediately on return every third day.

If horses urgently required make up troop of affected animals to work by themselves.

Contagious to man; suspect any rash.

8. Ticks ...

Treatment. Pull out, taking care not to leave head in the skin; or touch with paraffin, turpentine or carbolic acid.

9. Sprain tendons, &c

Treatment. Rest. Apply cotton wool and linen bandage and stand in cold water; or apply layer of soft clay. Renew when dry.

10. Heel rope galls ..

Prevention. keep head rope short.

Treatment. Grease when marching. On return to camp wash with soap and warm water. Thoroughly dry and apply dry bran poultice.

11. Cracked heels and mud fever...

Prevention. Do not wash legs when muddy but leave until dry then brush dirt out.

Treatment. cleanse and dry (if greasy, apply dry bran poultice), dust on Boric Acid or powdered starch.

12. Thrush...

Treatment. Clean frog, dress cleft with Boric Acid and then plug with piece of tow. If severe, poultice or soak foot before applying dressing. Stand on driest ground available. Shoe with tips

13. Dirty sheath...

Treatment. Draw out penis and wash it and sheath with soap and warm water or dirt will accumulate and maggots may appear.

14. Bullet wounds...

Treatment. Observe cleanliness in the treatment of all wounds.

Dust with Boric Acid and cover with clean pad of lint, wool or bandage, which must not be applied tightly unless to stop bleeding.

15. Broken knees...

Treatment. Do not poultice. Clean with warm water and treat as for 10.


16. Cuts and tears.. .

Treatment. As for 10 and 11.

17. Bit Injuries ...

Treatment. Work in snaffle or with bridle over nose; improvise martingale if necessary. Rinse mouth with clean water after feeding.

18. Girth galls...

Treatment. lf simply a swelling, lightly smooth over the swollen surface with the hand in the direction of the hair, as if to smooth it out, for 15 minutes at a time.

If skin is chafed treat as for wounds.

To work horse, strap girth back, tying it under the belly to circingle, which should be placed over fans of saddle. When healed, place piece of sheep-skin under girth.

19. Sore backs and saddle galls...

Prevention. Careful supervision and fitting of saddlery.

Treatment. If swelling only, treat as at 14 or bathe with cold salt water. If skin chafed, treat as for wounds. Keep saddle off back until healed.

20. Sore withers...

Treatment. Keep arch of saddle well clear of withers. If swelling only, bathe with cold salt water. If skin broken, treat as for wounds.

21.Coughs and colds... Any animal with a nasal discharge should be isolated and veterinary aid obtained as soon as possible.

Treatment. Steam heart and apply liniment or mustard mixed as for the table, to throat from ear to ear, and leave on for 15 minutes. Give soft food. Keep body warm with rugs and bandages and give plenty of fresh air.

22. Fever...

Symptoms. Horse off feed, dull temperature over 100 degrees F

Treatment. Isolate and apply for veterinary aid. Give soft food, and green stuff when available. Keep water always by and change frequently. If procurable, give a handful of Epsom salts in each bucket of water. Keep body warm with rugs and bandages and give plenty of fresh air.

23. Exhaustion after hard work...

Treatment.. Give pint of warm beer, or half tumbler of rum or whiskey in a pint of water. Rug up arid bandage. Rest and light exercise. Feed with bran mashes, steamed oats, oiled linseed, oatmeal, gruel &c. if available in small quantities and often.

24. Colic...

Symptoms, Horse looks round at his sides, tries to lie down and roll, stamps with hind legs and kicks at belly.

Treatment. Walk about, give chloral hydrate ball, if available, or 2 ozs. turpentine well shaken up, either with one and a half pints of linseed oil or eggs and milk. If not relieved in an hour repeat the dose and give in addition an aloes ball. In the absence of drugs give half tumbler of rum or whiskey in a little warm water, or one and a half pints of warm beer with a teaspoonful of ginger mixed with it. Hand-rub belly and give frequent enemas of soapy water.

A large bottle with the bottom knocked out makes a useful enema funnel.

25. Sand colic...

Prevention. Feed off blankets, &c. Clean food.

Treatment. Give chloral hydrate balls and linseed oil.

26. Constipation ...

Treatment. Soft food and greens also, if available, regular work and frequent enemas.

27. Diarrhoea . . .

Treatment. Dry bran. Keep body warm with rugs and bandages.


28. Strangles ...

Symptoms. Swelling at the back of or under the jaw. May be some difficulty in swallowing.

Treatment. Isolate and obtain veterinary aid. Rest, soft food, rug up and bandage, plenty of fresh air and foment swelling. When swelling bursts treat as for wounds.

29. Glanders ...

Symptoms. Thick, gluey discharge from one or both nostrils, ulcers on the membrane inside nostrils, glands between lower jaw enlarged, hard, and appear to be fixed to bone.

Treatment. Very contagious. Rigid isolation of affected cases, in-contacts and whole unit, if possible. On suspicion immediately obtain veterinary aid.

Very Contagious to Man.

30. Farcy ...

Symptoms. Skin form of glanders. Appears as a string of running sores, usually on inside of hind legs, occasionally neck and face. No tendency to heal.

Treatment. As for glanders.

31. Epizootic Lymphangitis ...

Symptoms. Sores similar to and in similar situations to Farcy. 'I'hey have a greater tendency to heal. Usually originates from a wound, from which point cord-like swellings appear and on the course of which these sores form.

Treatment. Very contagious. Proceed as for Farcy

32. To make:-- (a) Bran mash...

Put 2 double handfuls of bran in a bucket and pour on as much boiling water as the bran will soak up. (Cover bucket with rug and leave till cool enough to eat. Teaspoonful of salt improves.

(b) Steamed oats...

Substitute oats for bran and proceed as above. Gruel...Cook oatmeal as for porridge and thin down with water, or may mix oatmeal with water straight away.

33. To shoot a horse...

Lift up forelock and place it under brow band. Place muzzle of revolver almost touching the skin where the lowest hairs of the forelock grow.

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