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stomach petechiæ. In a fourth case, where the spleen was dark purple and weighed two and three-quarter pounds, the mucous membrane of the bladder was reddened, and that of the fourth stomach showed petechiæ. Nine out of twenty examined by one observer had petechiæ of the mucous membrane of the fourth stomach ; while in sixteen out of sixty-four seen by another observer, the same part was "spotted.".
In the face of these facts it is impossible to admit that the different observers, according to their particular idiosyncrasy described the same condition by different terms, and we must conclude as well from Dr. Smith's facts as from those presented by others that a part of the cattle killed for food in Texas show lesions similar to, though less intense, than those seen in the fatal cases of Texas fever.
I don't care to dwell upon this fact, as the present condition of our knowledge is not such that we can thoroughly define its meaning. We have no means of knowing whether it is necessary for Southern cattle to show lesions of disease in order to communicate it, or whether it is possible for them to distribute infection when we are unable to find abnormal appearances either before or after death. It is sufficient for my purpose to establish the fact that a very considerable proportion of Texas cattle, apparently in the best of health when killed for food, present appearances similar in character to those seen in fatal cases of the so-called Texas fever at the North.
The next point to which I beg leave to direct your attention is as to whether native Texan cattle suffer from any disease similar to that known at the North as Texas fever. Texas people at present are very sensitive on this point, and where the question is answered in a general way it is not always answered with absolute exactness.
Dr. Smith has not furnished us with many reports in regard to loss among Texas cattle, and these few vary greatly and are extremely indefinite, yet they scarcely support his conclusion that but a small portion of Texans die, and these mostly old cows, from being unable to stand the winters. We are told that at Presidio del Norte, while there is “no prevailing disease of any kind,” it has happened that two or three times during the last fifteen years a large proportion of the herds about the Cheuati Mountains, and upper Chihuahua died almost suddenly without apparent cause, from a disease that affected the liver. The principal cattle raiser in the town of Del Norte, "a tolerably intelligent Mexican," places first in his list of prevalent diseases one of an epizootic nature, which prevails in the fall and of which the characteristic systoms are wasting, loss of appetite, and bloody urine. If this is not Texas fever will some one mention another disease to which the description will apply? The second disease is also epizootic, the symptoms are quietude, tendency to drop the head, loss of appetite and dryness of the horns. This I suspect is but a different type of the same disease. The third disease mentioned is undoubtedly black quarter—the charbon symptomatique of the French,
“Mr. Rooney has one thousand head of cattle on the Pecos river. He lost fourteen head of cattle last year and fifty-four head this year. The disease has been among his cattle for three or four years. He made a post mortem examination of one animal and found the gall bladder filled with material black and thick as tar. Bladder distended with blood. The disease lasts about three days. Symptoms: the animal is sleepy ; froths at
the mouth.” This description may not be entirely satisfactory, but in the distended gall bladder, the bloody urine and the duration of the disease, I recognize the lineaments of our old acquaintance.
Mr. Richards on the Pecos lost fifty head last year and fifty head this year (I take all these cases from Dr. Smith's papers,) from a disease which prevails most in October and in which “the spleen was black and soft."
Mr. Kieeling, also on the Pecos, lost eighty-seven in one season and found the bladder filled with “black fluid."
Mr. Johnson lost two head ; "the animals urinated blood and the bladder was filled with blood."
In some of these cases the disease was attributed without evidence to poisonous weeds.
Dr. Gerard heard of a certain “murrain” which killed a number of cattle near Fort Stockton two or three years ago. The term murrain I have learned from experience is used from Georgia westward to designate the disease from which cattle die when imported from the North-in other words, it is synonymous with Texas fever, and hence this report conveys an impression to my mind which it does not to the casual reader.
These cases then look very like Texas fever, and they are about as numerous as we should expect to have developed by an inquiry of this kind in a section where the native cattle unquestionably possess an extraordinary degree of insusceptibility to this disease, and where the people believe it to their interests to-suppress the facts.
I will add a little information to this, however, which I trust may make the matter as clear as can be desired. In Special Report No. 22, U. S. Department of Agriculture, I published a letter originally written by the National Live Stock Journal, in which the following sentence occurs : “In the section of the country known as the Pan-Handle of Texas I might make a fair estimate by saying that one thousand head of cattle die annually from that disease,'' i. e. Texas fever.
In Special Reports Nos. 12, 22 and 34 we have published information in regard to diseases by counties, and I would mention particularly the following, which refer very plainly to the disease under consideration : “Camp County-Several cattle have died of bloody murrain. "Dallas County-Cattle die mainly of bloody murrain. “Hopkins County--Cattle are affected with bloody murrain.
“Nevarro County-Cattle are frequently attacked by bloody murrain, but I do not regard this as an infectious or contagious disease.
“Titus County-Cattle are affected with murrain and black tongue.
“Uvalde County-Cattle are mainly affected by some kind of slow fever known generally as Spanish fever, (a synonym of Texas fever.)
“Walker County-Murrain is very prevalent among cattle, and but few attacked recover."
During the present year a gentleman at Dallas, Texas, wrote as follows to the Rural New Yorker : "For several years we have lost cattle at intervals in spring, summer and fall by what is here called bloody murrain by some, and Spanish fever by others. So far every case has proven fatal. Symptoms—First, nose and horns cold, with dysentery; after a few hours the affected animals pass from the bowels a dark mucous steaked with blood, The urine is a bright red, looking as if half blood ; sometimes the beasts appear in great pain, while at other times they are quiet."
In the month of August of the present year the Department of Agriculture received a letter from Dr. Gardner, Major and Surgeon of the U. S. Army, of Fort Davis, Texas, asking for information in regard to a very serious contagious or epizootic disease among the cattle in that vicinity. Dr. Gardner did not apparently suspect that the disease was Texas fever, and this affection was not alluded to in his correspondence, but he named another and a very different malady as the one which he supposed was responsible for the losses. I mention this because it is important.to understand that this description, though familiar enough to some of us, was entirely original with him. The disease appeared about the fifth of August; the animals were sick about three days before they recovered or died; probably one-half the cases were fatal, and the twentieth of August it was stated that many hundreds of cattle had already died. Later we received a letter with fuller particulars from which I extract the following:
"About the first of July a herd of sixteen hundred cattle from somewhere along the gulf coast debarked from the Southern Pacific railroad at Murphysville station, making northward through this section. * * * I have heard it stated that before this herd of cattle left their gulf coast range the most of them were sick, and many had died. It is uncertain whether any of this herd died while en route through this section. It is, however, certain that in a few weeks cattle kept upon ranges through which this herd passed were found to be sick ; the epidemic spread all through the herds kept on ranges crossed by their line of march, and in many cases the disease was very fatal One freighter on the road (in Lymphia Canon) losing seven individuals out of a total of nine attacked. The disease appeared to me to be highly contagious, but not epidemic.
“I had opportunities of observing the disease in several living animals, and noted the following symptoms: The sick animals were weak and staggered in their gait; the pulse was frequent and feeble; the inspiration was shallow, hurried and panting; * * * the alvine evacuations were either scanty and dry or else profuse and watery; the urinary secretion was either entirely absent or profuse and bloody ; * * * I am under the belief from the action of the animals that there was more or less delirium in every case. * * * * * * * *
“I was only able to make post mortem examinations of the bodies of four individuals that died of the disease. In every instance the spleen was found to be enlarged, elongated, dark purple, almost black and friable; the liver was enlarged and congested, and the gall-bladder filled with a thick dark green, semi-crystalline bile; the kidneys were enlarged and congested, and in every instance the urinary bladder was filled with dark bloody urine."
This outbreak had already abated by the 28th of August.
Here is a wonderfully accurate portrayal, from one who supposed he was describing an entirely different disease, of what is usually seen in an outbreak of Texas cattle fever. There is the drove from the Gulf coast, driven to the mountainous district of southern Texas, probably entirely beyond the section permanently infected with this disease ; it crosses the ranges of healthy cattle, which in the course of a few weeks begin to sicken by the hundred; the course of the disease is rapid, yet not sufficiently rapid for