In answer to your request in June RECORDER, am sending this as it may prove to be of interest.
To prescribe for animals and children is in a way more satisfactory than to work with grownups, because there is no pretense with the former and they are strongly individualistic.
We at one time had some twenty goats. We like the animals, and rate them among the most intelligent. To give you an idea how different they are from each other I will describe a few just as I found them.
Kinnsy Kinnsa was a nubian grade. I only prescribed for her septicaemia; gave Pyrogen and Lachesis and then chloroformed her. For any other ailment I should have given her platinum. She was about the proudest and stateliest goat I have ever seen. She always walked deliberately and gracefully – head high in the air, even as a small kid. She was pretty and she knew it. If she wanted to leave the coral she opened the gate and took the whole herd into the orchard, and everybody was blamed except the goat.
One day Mrs. S. had left the coral, doing some work before going into the house. To her surprise she presently saw the goats leaving the coral. She was sure she had closed the gate properly, but made doubly sure this second time. She had barely left the gate when again the whole herd came out.
Mrs. S. put them in again and then watched and waited. She saw that K.K. did the work and called me to watch how the animal did. The gate was fastened with a button during the day and with a button and extra hook at night. K.K. put her head through the fence, pushed the button into a perpendicular position and the gate opened by gravity. We closed the gate again and this time fastened it additionally with the night hook, which was out of her reach. K.K. put her head again through the fence, pushed the button into perpendicular position and waited for the gate to open.
As it failed to do so she withdrew her head and gave the gate to open. As it failed to do so she withdrew her head and gave the gate a push. As the gate failed to yield she again put her head through the wire fence and inspected the button carefully but did not move it, as it was in the right position to allow the gate to swing open. The puzzle expression on her face was worth seeing. It expressed perplexity and a high degree of intelligence, one could almost say reasoning.
Wigmore Pansy, Anglo-Nubian, fourteen years old, reduced to skin and bones, shivering and barely able to stand on her feet when we first saw her. We bought her out of pity. She was hungry, but food caused bloating and pain, prevented further eating, and the other goats would take her food away from her. We put her in a separate stall and fed her on sprouts from rose-bushes, the only thing green available. She was alive with lice – I combed and combed, killing the lice in hot water. Then we put a blanket on her. (We always blanket all our animals every night during the cold season, although we seldom have any ice).
Six oclock next morning I was called by her cry. I went into the coral and found her with a bad chill and the whole body cold. I put an extra army coat on her and hot water bottles underneath and gave Verat 1 m. dose. She had only one more chill and that the following morning.
Her daughter, “Wendepunkt,” is always put to order by Nat. m. 1 m. She may need two or three powders in a month and again may go five or six months without medicine. She has the most amiable disposition I ever saw – she never fights, adores her mother and her daughter, who is six years old. She is excessively fond of rubbing, of salt, and of hot drinks (counterindicating Phos.). Her main aggravation is A.M.
Kundry is the daughter of Wendepunkt. She is very nasty to her mother, and we wondered why she should single her out. We concluded it was jealous. Her mother is the great favorite and recipient of much petting. Besides jealousy there was an alertness that means fear. She was afraid in the dark. (We have light in the coral all night.) Hyos. 1 m. at intervals changed the animal completely.
Picara, a Toggenburg, would come bolting down the hill the minute she saw me and would never leave my side. She wanted to get her face stroked.
A little black doe would jump out of her skin if you touched her and yet if she had gas pains she would call me and let me knead her abdomen. Nux. 1 m. always helped her. During labor they got their constitutional medicine. All other got Puls. After labor all got Arn. 1 m.
The first dose usually has to be forced into their mouths, but if it helps they will ask for more and take it out of your hand. If one makes a wrong prescription, one has a hard time to administer the next dose unless one has help.
A friend of mine had a large male pet lion. He had quite an array of symptoms, especially loss of appetite and constipation and worse before noon. Sul. 1 m. usually helped him.
H.C. SCHMIDT, M.D.