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Special Report on Diseases of Cattle by Atkinson

Umbilical hernia breach at the navel


must begin with the purity of the buildings and the navel, as noted in the last article.

_Treatment._--Treatment is in the main antiseptic. The slighter forms may be painted daily with tincture of iodin, or an ointment of biniodid of mercury (1 dram) and lard (2 ounces) may be rubbed on the affected joints daily until they are blistered. In case of swellings containing matter, this may be drawn through the nozzle of a hypodermic syringe and the following solution injected: Compound tincture of iodin, 1 dram; distilled (or boiled) water, 2 ounces. Internally the calf may take 5 grains quinin twice daily and 15 grains hyposulphite of soda, or 20 grains salicylate of soda three times a day.


This may exist at birth from imperfect closure of the muscles around the opening; it may even extend backward for a distance, from the two sides failing to come together. Apart from this, the trouble rarely appears after the calf has been some time on solid feed, as the paunch then extends down to the right immediately over the navel, and thus forms an internal pad, preventing the protrusion of intestine.

_Symptoms._--The symptoms of umbilical hernia are a soft swelling at the navel, with contents that usually gurgle on handling, and can be entirely returned into the abdomen by pressure. The diseases of the navel hitherto

considered have no gurgling contents and can not be completely returned into the abdomen. The only exception in the case of the hernia is when the walls of the sac have become greatly thickened. These will, of course, remain as a swelling after the bowel has been returned; and when the protruding bowel has contracted permanent adhesion to the sac, it is impossible to return it fully without first severing that connection.

_Treatment._--Treatment is not always necessary. A small hernia, like an egg, in a new-born calf, usually recovers of itself as the animal changes its diet to solid feed and has the paunch fully developed as an internal pad.

In other cases apply a leather pad 8 inches square attached around the body by two elastic bands connected with its four corners, and an elastic band passing from its front border to a collar encircling the neck, and two other elastic bands from the neck collar along the two sides of the body to the two bands passing up over the back. (Pl. XXIV, fig. 6.)

For small hernias nitric acid may be used to destroy the skin and cause such swelling as to close the orifice before the skin is separated. For a mass like a large goose egg one-half ounce of the acid may be rubbed in for three minutes. No more must be applied for 15 days. For large masses this is inapplicable, and with too much loss of skin the orifice may fail to close and the bowels may escape.

The application of a clamp like those used in castration is a most effective method, but great care must be taken to see that all the contents of the sac are returned so that none may be inclosed in the clamp. (Pl. XXIV, fig. 7.)

Another most effective resort is to make a saturated solution of common salt, filter and boil it, and when cool inject under the skin (not into the sac) on each side of the hernia a dram of the fluid. A bandage may then be put around the body. In 10 hours an enormous swelling will have taken place, pressing back the bowel into the abdomen. When this subsides the wound will have closed.


A sac formed at the navel, by contained liquid accumulated by reason of sucking by other calves, is unsightly and sometimes injurious. After making sure that it is simply a dropsical collection it may be deeply punctured at various points with a large-sized lancet or knife, fomented with hot water, and then daily treated with a strong decoction of white-oak bark.

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