• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Historic note
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Credits
 Synonyms
 Post-mortem appearances in the...
 Microscopic post-mortem examin...
 The cattle tick
 Texas fever in Florida
 Immunization by tick-infestati...
 The blood-injection method...
 Treatment of Texas fever
 Salt-sick














Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ; no. 64
Title: Texas cattle fever and salt-sick
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026403/00001
 Material Information
Title: Texas cattle fever and salt-sick
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: p. 524-550, 1 leaf of plates : ill., map ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Dawson, Charles F ( Charles Francis ), 1860-1928
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Lake City Fla
Publication Date: 1902
 Subjects
Subject: Babesiosis in cattle   ( lcsh )
Babesiosis in cattle -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Cattle -- Diseases -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Charles F. Dawson.
General Note: Cover title.
Funding: Bulletin (University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station)
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026403
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000921020
oclc - 18156340
notis - AEN1460

Table of Contents
    Historic note
        Historic note
    Title Page
        Page 521
    Table of Contents
        Page 522
    Credits
        Page 523
    Synonyms
        Page 524
        Page 525
        Page 526
    Post-mortem appearances in the acute form
        Page 527
        Page 528
    Microscopic post-mortem examination
        Page 529
        Page 530
        Page 531
        Page 532
    The cattle tick
        Page 533
        Page 534
        Page 535
    Texas fever in Florida
        Page 536
        Page 537
        Page 538
    Immunization by tick-infestation
        Page 539
        Page 540
        Page 541
    The blood-injection method of immunization
        Page 542
        Page 543
    Treatment of Texas fever
        Page 544
        Page 545
    Salt-sick
        Page 546
        Page 546a
        Page 547
        Page 548
        Page 549
        Page 550
Full Text





HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida











FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION.

(DEPARTMENT OF VETERINARY SCIENCE.)



Texas Cattle Fever and Salt=Sick.


(PAoto. by Prof. H. H. Hume.)
A Victim of Chronic Texas Fever.
By DR. CHARLES F. DAWSON.

The Bulletins of this Station will be sent free to any address in Florida upon applica-
tion to the Director of the Experiment Station, Lake City, Fla,


DeLand, Fla.:
E. O. PAINTER & COMPANY,
1902.


BULLETIN NO. 64.


OCTOBER, 1902.














CONTENTS.


Synonyms.......... .................. ........ 524
The name Texas fever............. ......... ..... 524
Geographical distribution. ........................ 524
Animals affected...... ......................... 524
Cause of the disease.............................. 524
Symptoms of acute form. ................... ....... 525
Symptoms of chronic form. ..................... ., 526
Gross post-mortem appearances..................... 527
Microscopic post-mortem appearances ................ 529
The micro-parasite, when and by whom discovered..... 532
How to demonstrate the parasite. .................... 533
The cattle tick, U. S. quarantine line and life-history. .. 533
Texas fever in Florida.............. ............. 536
How to prevent disease in natives .................. 537
How to determine the true cattle tick ................. 539
Acquired and produced immunity by tick-infestation.... 539
Immunization by blood injections.......... .......... 543
Treatment of acute and chronic forms... ...... ..... 544
"Salt-sick. ................ .. ............... 546
"Wasting disease" of cattle in Jamaica...... ........ 548
Recapitulation....... ........ ................. 548












BOARD OF TRUSTEES.

GEO. W. WILSON, President ................. Jacksonville.
F. E. HARRIS, Vice-President. .................... Ocala.
J. D. CALLAWAY, Secretary ................. Lake City.
C. A. CARSON, Ohairman Executive Committee, Kissimmee.
J. R. PARROTT..... ............. .......... Jacksonville.
E. D. BEGGS. .......... ....... ............. Pensacola.
L. HARRISON............................... Lake City.



STATION STAFF.

T. H. TALIAFERRO, C. E., Ph.D................. Director.
H. K. MILLER, M. S .......... Vice-Director and Chemist.
H. A. GOSSARD, M. S.................... Entomologist.
H. H. HUME, B. Agr., M. S...... Botanist and Horticulturist.
CHAS. F. DIAWSON, M. D., D. V. S............. Veterinarian.
*C. M. CONNER, B. S ............ ... Agriculturist.
A. W. BLAIR, M. A. ...... ..... .... ..Assistant Chemist.
W. P. JERNIGAN ............ .... Auditor and Bookkeeper.
C. S. BROCK ................ Stenographer and Librarian.
LUCIA MCCULLOCH .... Asst. Biologist and Asst. Librarian.
JOHN F. MITCHELL ............ Foreman of Station Farm.
JOHN H. JEFFERIES. Gardener in Horticultural Department.
Louis DEGOTTRAU, Supt. Citrus Experiments at Boca Raton.

*Supt. Farmer's Institutes.













Texas Cattle Fever,

With Remarks Upon the So-Called Salt Sick.

SYNONYMS.
Texas Fever is known by a great variety of names, among
which may be mentioned, Southern cattle fever, Tick fever,
Spanish fever,/Splenic apoplexy, Red-water, Hxematuria, Dis-
temper, Bloody murrain, Pasture poisoning, Acclimation fev-
er, Town cow disease, Hollow-tail, Hollow-horn.
The disease is called Texas fever in this bulletin because it
is the one now generally adopted by all writers upon the subject
and not because it should be called by that name by reason of
its having originated in Texas.,
Geographical Distribution.-Texas fever has a very wide
geographical distribution. It is not only found in much of that
portion of the United States known as the South and South-
west, but disease of a similar nature in cattle has been reported
from the West Indies, South Africa, Australia, the Danube
basin in Europe, Roumania, South Russia, South America;,
Central America and Mexico.
. Animals affected.-So far as is known, Texas fever is
found affecting only the bovine species, it being most fatal to
adults. Calves under a year old generally do not take the disease
in a fatal form, although every susceptible bovine when sub-
jected to the infection contracts the disease, and frequently in a
fatal form, if an adult, and in a mild form if under six months
of age.
The Cause.-This remained for a long time' a mystery.
Over a hundred years ago, an outbreak of disease occurred in








TEXAS CATTLE FEVER AND SALT-SICK


Pennsylvania native cattle shortly after a herd of cattle from
South Carolina had been driven through the state. These cat-
tle themselves were apparently in perfect health, yet it was
shown that they scattered the contagion along their trail. Sim-
ilar outbreaks have occurred in times past, and in some of
them tbe losses have been enormous. We thus see that the dis-
ease is recorded to be a century old in America even, and it is
highly probable that it is as old as the cattle industry itself in
the temperate and tropic zones. It is now definitely known that
Texas fever is a blood-disease, and the infective principle is
carried from one bovine to another by the cattle tick, whose
scientific name is Boophilus'annulatus. It is equally well known
that the cattle tick produces the disease by inoculating cattle
with a germ which it harbors in some part of its own body.
This germ is so small that it requires a high-power microscope
to detect it in the blood of the sick animal. After it has entered
the body through the bitten areas it penetrates the red cor-
puscles of the blood and destroys them, thus producing a train
of symptoms indicative of the disease.
Symptoms.-Texas fever occurs in two forms, the acute
and the chronic. In the acute form the symptoms are about as
follows: A fever which may be as high as io8 degrees F. occurs
in the animals several days before they are known to be sick.
During the first twu or three days the temperature will be high-
est in the evening; then the morning temperature will gradual-
ly rise and the fever remain permanent for seven or eight days,
when the animal either dies or recovery begins. In either case,
the fall of the temperature to normal, or even below normal, is as
sudden as was the onset. The respirations are increased from
twenty, the normal, to sixty or seventy, and the pulse from sixty
to one hundred per minute. There is complete loss of all. tlite,








BULLETIN NO. 64


and emaciation is very rapid, even continuing after the fever
has ceased. In severe cases, and in miost cases that will terminate
fatally, the urine is wine-colored, or blackish from the blood
coloring-matter it contains; \a condition which has given the
disease the names, red-water, black-water and hematuria.
While the fever is on, the bowels are usually constipated; but
when the fever subsides, a diarrhoea may set in, the feces being
of a yellow color. During the height of the fever there is loss
of vision, some delirium and staggering gait. Finally the ani-
mal becomes so weak that it is unable to rise when down. The
blood becomes quite thin and pale in color. In some of these
acute cases the animal becomes almost wild and persons de-
scribe them as being blind and crazy. In a recent outbreak in na-
tive range cattle in Alachua county, the animals exhibited
symptoms of intense itching behind the ears, and wild delir-
ium. One poor animal constantly rubbed against the end of a
sharp fence rail until it penetrated the hide and was forced into
the tissues of the neck for a distance of several inches, produc-
ing an infected wound whose swollen and bloody condition re-
minded one of a case of black-leg, a western cattle disease. Re-
lapses frequently occur, but are milder in character than the
initial attack.
In the chronic form of the disease all the symptoms describ-
ed as occurring in acute attacks are milder in character and are
prolonged. The temperature rarely rises above 105 degrees F.
in the evening while in the morning it is about normal. Red-
water is not present as a symptom. The blood disease continues
but is less rapid in its effects. In fact, the chronic form of the
disease could hardly be diagnosed during life, without the aid
of a microscope, and not even then in some cases. It is not al-
ways fatal, and the animal makes a slow recovery after being
out of condition for a month or two.







TEXAS CATTLE FEVER AND SALT-SICK


POST-MORTEM APPEARANCES IN THE ACUTE FORM.
If an animal which has died in the acute form of the disease
be cut open and examined, -the following gross appearances
will be noted: On cutting through the skin there may exude
through the incision small gas bubbles and yellowish liquid.
The skin frequently presents no important alterations. The
region of the dew-lap, the udder and escutcheon show the effects
of the tick-bites. Passing the hand over these regions, one feels
the little elevations, and sometimes the hair is matted together
by the blood or serum which has escaped from the bites. Some-
times the fat is yellowish from jaundice. The meat is of a ma-
hogany color, and emits a disagreeable odor.
The Mouth.-Sometimes the alterations here consist of
dark-red spots or patches in the substance of the tongue. Fre-
quently there is nothing abnormal in this situation.
The Rumen, or paunch, or first stomach is sometimes dis-
colored. The epithelial lining will peel off in cases where the
animal has been dead some hours; but the condition is not al-
ways present, and has little diagnostic value, although it is
made much of by some persons.
The Reticulum, or second stomach usually presents no
marked alterations.
The Omasum, third stomach, the book or manyplies, seems
to attract the most attention fr6m the lay observer. It is fre-
quently described as being full of dry food, and shedding its
lining; while in reality it is more often natural in appearance.
Sometimes it is slightly reddened and sheds its lining when the
animal has been dead for some hours. In some cases the con-
tents, are somewhat hard and dry, or they may be soft. Upon







BULLETIN NO. 64


the whole the appearances here have no bearing upon the cause
of death.
The Abomasum, fourth or true stomach, is always congest-
ed, and frequently ulcers of the mucous membrane, especially
at the outlet, or pylorus, are to be found.
The Intestines.-These are also congested and present
about the same appearances, except the ulcers, as the fourth
stomach. However, portions of the mucous membrane may be
passed with the dung, or a catarrhal discharge may occur from
the bowels.
The Lungs show no changes except hypostatic congestion,
or a reddened condition of the lungs due to the gravitation, of
the blood to the side upon which the animal is lying.
The Heart will, upon close examination, present very im-
portant changes. It will be noted that the small blood vessels
upon its surface are much enlarged and congested, and that
here and there small areas of reddened tissue appear. Upon
cutting open the heart these reddened patches are more easily
seen on the inside membrane. They are practically hemor-
rhages due to the inability of the small, arteries to keep the
blood within their walls. The heart muscle itself is pale and
easily torn, and the interior of the heart contains clotted blood.
The right side of the organ is distended and filled with a solid
blood clot, while the teft side is contracted and contains only a
small amount of.clotted blood. The blood vessels leading from
the heart are tiuiall\- filled with blood clots from which the
blood corpuscles have been removed; they are of a yellow color
and may be removed as long cylinders.
The Liver.-This organ is always affected. It is enlarged.
Its margins are rounded, and its tissue is very easily torn with
the fingers. Upon cutting through it, one discovers that its.








TEXAS CATTLE FEVER AND SALT-SICK


ducts are stagnant with bile and large quantities of dark, stag-
nant blood escape from the cut blood vessels. The gall-bladder
is usually filled with thick, ropy bile.
The Spleen.-This organ is also much affected. It is very
noticeably enlarged, and if cut into, a dark, tarry substance es-
capes; or if it is held up by one end, the contents.gravitate to
the lower end in time.
Departures from the normal condition in the, abdominal
cavity are of frequent occurence, such as dropsical conditions
in the region of the liver, kidneys and small intestine.
The Omentum, caul, or fat on the stomach, very frequently
shows little fleshy growths which consist of small arteries dis-
tended with blood. In some cases these growths are quite
prominent, and are the subject of special remark upon the part
of bystanders.
The Kidneys.-These organs are generally much congest-
ed, dark in color, and enlarged. Their substance is easily brok-
en with the fingers. There is frequently considerable discolor-
ation of the tissue surrounding these organs. Upon section,
blood will ooze from the cut surfaces.
The Bladder usually contains urine of a high color, some-
times that of wine; or, it may be as dark as coffee. I have fre-
quently noticed little or no deviation from the normal color.
Generally albumen may be detected, and always in the high-
colored urine. The specific gravity may be as high as io40,
with strong alkaline reaction. Later in the course of the dis-
ease it may fall to 1020, is slightly alkaline or even acid in re-
action.
MICROSCOPIC POST-MORTEM EXAMINATION.
If slices of the heart, spleen, liver and kidneys be cut so







BULLETIN NO. 64


thin that they are transparent and are otherwise properly pre-
pared for microscopic examination, very important chi.m;ge. in
these organs will be noticed. Sections so prepared from the
heart muscle show the minute blood vessels or capillaries
densely packed or engorged with red blood corpuscles. The
individual muscle cells making up the heart muscle will, in
many instances, show that their protoplasmic substance has
changed to fat; in other words the heart has undergone fatty
degeneration.
Microscopic examination of sections of the spleen show
that the great increase in size of the organ is due to the enor-
mous increase in the blood-corpuscle content, and coloring mat-
ter from the blood.
Sections of the liver show that this organ has also under-
gone fatty degeneration of the cells making it up, and that the
ibile channels which surround the cells are clogged with bile
-which gives each hepatic cell the appearance of having a gold-
,en border. In addition, here and there a hepatic cell has in its
substance irregular clumps of bile or blood pigment.
If similar sections of the kidneys are examined, the blood
,::-, are engorged with red corpuscles and a considerable
amount of pigment is to be seen scattered here and there, with
occasional fatty degeneration of the epithelial lining of the
uriniferous tubules.
While the changes in the liver, spleen, heart-muscle and
kidneys are of a serious nature, they are only secondary to
those which have taken place in the blood, which tissue is the
primary seat of the disease. A microscopic examination of the
blood will show an enormous decrease in numbers of the red
blood corpuscles; a decline from about 5,000,000, the normal
number, to as low, in some cases, as 1,5oo,ooo per cubic milli-









TEXAS CATTLE FEVER AND SALT-SICK


meter. The corpuscles will also exhibit great changes in size and
shape, appearing shriveled and created. If a drop of the blood
of an animal suffering with the fever be prepared for examina-
tion, in the fresh state, by means of a microscope of five hun-
dred to one thousand amplification, one notes, in addition to the
shriveled and created condition of the corpuscles the presence,
here and there, of bright bodies inside the red corpuscles. In
some cases it is impossible to detect these bodies in the blood ob-
tained from the skin of the animal during life. In others a
small percentage of the corpuscles will contain them, some-
times only two or three per cent. Although we find that the
peripheral blood during life may contain so few of the affected
corpuscles that none may be found after a careful search
through several blood preparations, quite a different condition
of affairs will be found if, after death, some of the blood of the
liver, kidney, heart-muscle or the fleshy growths previously
noted as occurring on the caul or momentum be subjected to mi-
croscopic examination. In such specimens the infected cor-
puscles may reach as high as fifty per cent. These bodies are.
the cause of the disease. They are inoculated into the animal
by the cattle tick. They then enter the corpuscles and destroy
them at the rate of about a million per cubic millimeter per
day. It is the effort of the kidneys to rid the blood of the
debris resulting from this enormous destruction which causes
the urine, in many acute cases, to become bloody. Where the
destruction is slow, as in a few acute cases, and in all chronic
cases, we do not find the urine so noticeably affected. If the
blood preparation be made from the live animal suffering with
the fever, the intracorpuscular bodies mentioned above will be
pear-shaped or pyriform and will occur in pairs, or there will
be two, in most cases, in each corpuscle. If the preparation be









BULLETIN NO. 64


made an hour before death these p1 ii f..i rn bodies will be seen
to be nucleated or to contain a round, more opaque spot. If
these blood examinations be deferred for some time after death
the intracorpuscular bodies will be found to have changed their
size and shape. They are now much smaller and round, not
pear-shaped. This change in size and shape from the large
pyriform to the small round form would seem to indicate that
the round form is the inactive or resting stage in the life-his-
tory of the parasite.
The parasite of Texas fever was discovered by Professor
Theobald Smith in 1889, and was named by him Pyr,.. ..,i
bigeminum. It is to Smith's splendid work upon Texas fever,
given to the scientific world through the medium of a govern-
ment report* that we owe most of our present knowledge of
this disease. His investigation has also thrown much light upon
the subject of insect-borne diseases, as it was the first publica-
tion of importance to record experimental data which proved
beyond doubt that disease can be carried by insects; thus pav-
ing the way, not only for a new line of investigations into ani-
mal diseases, but also into human and plant diseases as well.
In studying the blood for the demonstration of the parasite
of Texas fever, it is better to use some stain which will color
the parasite and not the blood corpuscle. This will render it
easily visible, and moreover, there are other bright bodies
which occur in the blood corpuscles of cattle, in a state of
health, which might confound the observer. These bodies do
not take up the stain, and therefore, when the stain is used no
mistake will occur. The stain which was first,used by Smith,
"Invest gations into the nature, causation and prevention of Texas
or Southern Cattle Fever."-U 8. Dept. Agr. Bureau of Ani oal Industry,
Bulletin No. 1, 1893.








TEXAS CATTLE FEVER AND SALT-SICK


and which has given general satisfaction, is an alkaline solution
of methylene blue. It is prepared by adding to one ounce of a
saturated alcoholic solution of methylene blue, three ounces of
a solution of caustic potash in water, of the strength i :Io,ooo.
A blood preparation for study is prepared as follows: The
hair is clipped from a nickel-size space on the ear or rump. The
skin is cut through with a fleam, and a drop of the blood which
wells up from the wound is transferred to a clean microscopic
cover glass. This drop of 'blood is then spread in a very thin
layer by laying upon it another cover glass and pulling them
apart. The films thus prepared are quickly dried over a lamp
or other heater, and then passed through the flame of an alco-
hol lamp slowly, three times, to "set" the specimen. A drop or
two of the stain is put on and in about a minute is washed off
in water and allowed to dry. The preparation is now ready for
examination with a microscope magnifying one thousand di-
ameters, after it has been mounted upon a glass slide in Canada
balsam.
THE CATTLE TICK.

Has a very wide geographical distribution in the United
States, and is a standing menace to the cattle industry of the
North and West: (See map.) As soon as it was established
that the tick was the carrier of the disease the Fed-
eral Government established a quarantine restricting the
movement, North and West, of cattle from all territory where
it could be shown that cattle ticks were found. This quaran-
tine puts certain Southern states wholly south of the line, and
designates them as permanently infested territory. In states
through which the quarantine line runs, part of the state
is above the line, and therefore not quarantined, while








BULLETIN NO. 64


that portion of the state south of the line is quarantined. In
other words, the quarantine line does not follow the northern
boundary line of the tick-infested states, and portions of some
states have, therefore, an internal as well as external quaran-
tine. The following states were wholly south of the quaran-
tine line in 19oo: South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama,
Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas,. Indian Territory, while
parts of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas
and California are above the line. In other, words, the north-
ward extension of the permanently infested territory is limited
by climatic conditions. Although a large portion of the South
is quarantined the greater part of the year, there are many
tick-free pastures in every Southern state. This was recently
verified on the Station farm. Some yearlings had been practi-
cally raised around the barns and had only had the run of a
sandy lane where any ticks that fell from the cattle returning
from tick-infested pastures would perish in the hot sand. These
young cattle were finally turned upon an unfenced pasture re-
cently acquired by purchase for the college. In a few days the
largest heifer was found dead. A microscopic examination of
the blood showed she had died of acute Texas fever. This ex-
perience is probably repeated frequently in Florida and else-
where in the South, resulting, in the death of thousands of
cattle every year. Had this animal been repeatedly infested
with crops of ticks from birth, she would have been immune to
Texas Fever, and could have been placed upon a ticky pasture
with impunity.
The life-history of the cattle-tick is about as follows, ac-
cording to Dr. Cooper Curtice: The ripe female falls off the
cattle, and after the second day lays eggs for two weeks,
(about 2,000 in number), when hatching begins which occu-









TEXAS CATTLE FEVER AND SALT-SICK


pies three weeks, that is, the eggs first laid, hatch first; the
young ticks or seed ticks lie in wait for cattle, hidden under
leaves or resting in clumps upon the ends of blades of grass.
These crawl upon passing cattle and remain attached to them
for three or four weeks when, having reached adult size, they
drop off, lay their eggs and die; the cycle of time from
egg to egg-laying being about six weeks. These eggs are
oval and quite small, being about I-50th of an inch long and I-
7oth of an. inch in diameter, and are brownish-red in color.
When the female tick is in the act of egg-laying, she remains
quiet for three or four days, when a few eggs will be noticed
on the mouth. The size of the egg-mass increases day by
day, and as a rule the number of eggs varies with the duration
of the egg-laying period. To the casual observer it would ap-
pear that the eggs came from the mouth of the tick, but they in
reality emerge from the genital pore which is situated in the
space between the second pair of legs on the under surface of
the body. The young ticks as they emerge from the egg shell
are quite small and are difficult to detect under ,the hair of an
animal, without the aid of a magnifying glass. However, they
are very active at this stage, and can cause the fever. At this
time they have only six legs. Their further development de-
pends entirely upon their getting upon an animal. They soon de-
velop a fourth pair of legs and remain until maturity upon their
host. Although the young ticks, or seed ticks are quite active,
neither they nor the adult ticks ever crawl any considerable dis-
tance. They must either be transported by an animal, be washed
distances by rains, or be carried by other means, such as cattle
trains, hides of ticky cattle air currents. Hence, we find one pas-
ture ticky and therefore a menace to all cattle grazing in it, an-
other not, according as the chance for its infestation has exist-
ed by some of the means enumerated above.








BULLETIN NO. 64


TEXAS FEVER IN FLORIDA.
Many Floridians know through experience that there are
certain precautions to be observed in bringing cattle into
the State from Northern points. These are that they
should be brought late in the fall, or that they must
be brought here as sucking calves or just after they have been
weaned. Those who disregarded these conditions know to their
sorrow that the losses are great, They are not all aware that the
tick, which we have always with us, is responsible for the
deaths of their imported stock. It will thus be seen that the time
of bringing northern-bred animals into Florida is limited
to a few months in the year. Southern cattle that have been in-
fested with ticks from birth do not take the fever; but South-
er cattle which have not been regularly infested with ticks will
take the fever as quickly as a Northern animal and die just the
same. A Southern animal raised upon a tick-free pasture will,
in all probability, die of Texas fever the first time it is allowed
to graze upon a tick-infested pasture. This means that the
Southern animal is only immune to the fever when it has been
ticky from birth. These conditions have deterred stockmen
and farmers from trying to improve the cattle breeds upon any
extended scale and has resulted in much inbreeding and the
scrubby cattle noticed everywhere in the State. Sometime ago
a carload of twenty-seven head of graded bulls of several
breeds were bought in the Chicago market and shipped to Kis-
simmee. A short time after their arrival a mysterious disease
developed. I was summoned to investigate the outbreak and
found they were dying of acute Texas fever. Just half of them
died. This experience has probably been repeated by others; but
one experience of the kind generally converts the owner to the
tick theory in theproduction of the fever. Anotherman purchas-








TEXAS CATTLE FEVER AND SALT-SICK


ed some blooded stock in Tennessee. He lost three and all had
the fever. The balance are now recovering from the chronic
form of the disease. Although these were Southern cattle and
were supposedly immune to Texas fever they were probably
raised on tick-free pastures, or in that part of Tennessee which
is above the quarantine line. At any rate they were insufficiently
protected by previous tick infestations to withstand the ticks in
Florida. Although the Southern animal, if kept under the con-
ditions indicated in the foregoing remarks, is believed to be
immune to Texas fever, there can be no doubt that this fever
kills more cattle in Florida than all other diseases combined.
There are very few epidemics, except in the cases of animals
brought here under improper conditions, but deaths from the
disease are always occurring here and there, one or two at a
time, and little attention is paid to the matter. This means that
in the aggregate thousands of animals die annually not only in
Florida, but all over the South from a disease to which they
should be immune, it being entirely preventable.
How to prevent the disease in native cattle is the question
of immediate importance to the largest number of.stockmen at
present. It has been stated before in this bulletin that cattle
which have from birth up been infested with successive crops
of ticks (the brown-headed variety) will not die from Texas
fever. Were this not true, there would be very few cattle in the
South. Because the vast majority of cattle in Florida do not die
of Texas fever and because there is no general epidemic of the
disease here, little is known of its existence. Could all the
deaths of cattle be reported and investigated Floridians would
probably be surprised at the results, which would, no doubt,
show that Texas fever had claimed nine-tenths as victims. It
will be seen from what has been said that the way to prevent








BULLETIN NO. 64


our native cattle from dying from, Texas fever is to see that
they are infested with the cattle tick at least once every year,.
and that this periodical infestation' must, begin early in life.
This is, of course, what occurs under natural conditions.
Deaths occurring early in life among cattle from Texas fever,
means the cattle were not infested with ticks early enough,
that theywere raised on pastures where there were no ticks. Be-
cause, however, most pastures are ticky, cattle which have been'
raised on tick-free ones, are always menaced v hlen changed to-
a fresh pasture. This explains why the movement of cattle from
one section to another is sometimes attended with sudden and
unaccountable deaths. How, then, can a man in one county
safely bring cattle from 'another to his own farm which he
knows is tick-infested? The answer is plain. Buy only those
cattle upon which he sees the cattle tick, or those which show
the marks of previous infestation. These can be plainly felt as
little elevations'upon the udder, upon the skin of the thighs just
behind the udder, or upon the dew-lap.
It is plain, then, that the best way to prevent Texas fever
in native animals is to see that they are infested with ticks
from birth. It is equally plain that if a cattleman has a tick-free
farm, his cattle raised upon that farm will be susceptible to
Texas fever. That if he buys a ticky animal, the farm will be-
come infested, and his susceptible animals will take the fever,
and some of them will die. It is not to be inferred from what has
been said regarding the willful tick-infestation of cattle thht all
cattle are to be subjected indiscriminately to the ticks. It is only
young calves which may be thus treated. Should older animals,
say those ranging from one year old and upwards, become
infested for the first time, some may die. The management of
adult susceptible animals which are liable to become infested








TEXAS CATTLE FEVER AND SALT-SICK


will be discussed in another paragraph under the heading "Im-
munization by tick-infestation."
How to determine the true cattle tick.-There are eight
species of ticks which infest cattle in the United States. They
are so much alike, especially the large ones (females) that none
but an expert could decide definitely, were it not for the fact
that the true cattle tick is most numerous and has the widest
distribution. While it is called the cattle tick, it is not found
upon cattle alone, but also upon horses, occasionally. The true
cattle tick which carries the germ of Texas cattle fever has a
chestnut-brown head, and when one wishes to take cattle of any
age into a new territory, he should ascertain whether they have
been previously infested with such ticks, and whether the new
territory is also infested with the same tick. If his cattle have
not been thus infested and if the new territory is infested with
them, he may expect to lose some of his cattle with Texas fever.
IMMUNIZATION BY TICK-INFESTATION.
Immunity to Texas fever by tick-infestation may occur in
two ways. One is by the natural method. This is the way in
which the vast majority become immune. The other method
is by placing the young ticks upon the animal by hand--or by
artificial tick-infestation. To do this a few largefemale ticks,
(male ticks, are quite small) are removed rrom an animal
placed in a fruit jar containing some moist earth and covered
with a piece of cheese-cloth. In a iew days they will begin
laying eggs to the number of about 2,000 each, and when
they have finished they will die and dry up. In a few weeks
the eggs will hatch out if kept in a warm, moist place.
These seed ticks, which have buc: six legs, can never develop
into aJult ticks, which have eight legs, unless they get









BULLETIN NO. 64


nourishment from ca'-:'e or horses. They will live as seed-
ticks for about four months under favorable conditions
of heat and moisture. To give the young calf his first dose of
ticks, a few of these seed-ticks, about one hundred or more, are
counted and placed upon the animal's back. Being quite active,
they soon disperse and fasten themselves. If too many are plac-
ed upon the animal, it may take a fatal form of the disease.
Because this procedure approaches the natural method most
closely. it is supposed to be the safest one to use.
The immunization of adult cattle by artificial tick-infestation
is a more dangerous proceeding, but can be done under proper
supervision ivith comparative safety as the following letter
from Mr. C. W. Ward, Secretary of The United States Land
Company, of Washington, D. C., shows. He says, under head-
ing and date, Washington, D. C., July II, 1902:
"Senator Carson, of Kissimmee, has forwarded your letter
regarding the Jersey cattle which we took to Florida last year,
to me, with request that I write you.
"I take pleasure in informing you that we have had no
trouble whatever with the two Jerseys since about last Febru-
ary when I sent samples of blood to you, through Senator Car-
son, for examination.
"Last fall we shipped a four-vear old cow, a t wo-year old
heifer and a six-months ol1l bull from the Miller & Sibley
Prospect Farm, Franklin, Pa., to Kissimmee, Fla. Ten days
after their arrival at Kissimmee the two year old cow died
quite suddenly with symptoms of Texas fever. The young bull
has never shown the least ill effects from the change, neither
has the four year old cow, with the exception that she aborted
her calf at seven months. I was there at the time, found quite
a good many ticks on these animals, and being anxious to know









TEXAS CATTLE FEVER AND SALT-SICK


whether or not the fever was in their blood, I sent samples to
you as stated above for examination, receiving the report from
you that the blood of both animals showed Texas fever germs.
The method that I pursued with these animals from the first
(after the death of the other one) was to keep them for the
greater. part of the time, for the first three months, in a tick-
tight enclosure, allowing a very few ticks on them at first.
Then we turned them out to pasture before the hot weather
came-gradually leaving them out until finally we paid no at-
tention to the ticks whatever. They are apparently immune
now. The cow should drop another calf early in December and
if you care to hear further, I will be pleased to let you know
about the first of January what the conditions are.
(Signed) Very truly yours;
C. W. WARD.
The great danger in allowing ticks to get upon the animals
under natural conditions is that too many may attack an animal
and cause a fatal infection. It is far safer to pen the animal and
regulate the number of ticks. This can be done as before stated
by hatching the eggs and placing about one to two hundred
ticks upon the back of the animal. This is best done in the cool-
er months so as to escape the debilitating influences of summer
weather. If a sucking calf is brought into Florida from the
North, its chances of withstanding the onslaught of the tick
are good. Needless to say an excessive number of ticks should
nbt be allowed to remain upon it. This, indeed, applies to all
animals, as there can be no'doubt that ticks, as they are seen
sometimes, by the thousands, upon cattle, do much to cause un-
thriftiness by the abstraction of blood, and by irritating the
skin. In nearly every fatal case of acute Texas fever which has
come under my notice, in Florida, no large ticks have been no-








BULLETIN NO. 64


ticed. This is because the animal died before they could develop.
The small ones could be seen by raising the hair and examining
with a magnifying glass.
Immunization by blood-injections.-If blood from an ani-
mal suffering with Texas fever be injected into another sus-
ceptible animal, it will contract the fever. This is also true of
the injection of blood from a Southern, healthy, tick-infested
animal into a Northern or other susceptible animal, because the
blood of all Southern tick-infested cattle contains the germ of
Texas fever. This fact is taken advantage of as a means of im-
munising animals without the direct agency of the tick, as by
this method also an animal may be given a non-fatal attack of
true Texas fever which confers immunity. Both these methods
of immunization were first, demonstrated by Professors Smith
and Kilborne in their report before referred to. The methods
have been repeated since by the Australian government, and by
the Experiment Stations of Missouri,,Texas, Louisiana, Mis-
sissippi and Alabama on a sufficiently large scale to prove their
economic value.
THE BLOOD-INJECTION METHOD OF IMMUNIZATION.
The animal which is to supply the blood should
be healthy, three or four years old, and must have
supported successive crops of ticks from birth. SuchI an
animal is easily found in Florida. The hair is shaven
from the neck, over the jugular vein; the neck is washed
with soap and water, a five per cent. solution of carbolic
acid, and then with water which has been boiled. Put a strap
around the neck and draw it tight. Place under it and over the
jugular vein a block about an inch square. This will cause the
vein to swell. Insert into the jugular vein a large hypodermic
needle to which is attached a piece of small rubber tubing, b9th









TEXAS CATTLE FEVER AND SALT-SICK


of which have been boiled to sterilize them. The needle must
point toward the head. Blood will now flow, and it is to be caught
in a clean tumbler and stirred with a small bundle of wires. Af-
ter stirring for a minute or two, fibrin will collect upon the stir-
rer, and the blood will have lost itspower of clotting.Then strain
the blood through a clean piece of cheese cloth tied on the top
of a second tumbler which is to be placed in a pan of water and
kept at blood heat. A sterile Icc. hypodermic syringe with a
strong needle is filled with the blood and the contents are in-
jected under the skin of the shoulder. The place of inoculation
should be cleaned in the same manner as that from which the
blood was obtained. It is also of importance that the blood be
kept at body temperature during the process. After the opera-
tion all the utensils used should be cleaned of blood and wash-
ed with,carbolic acid solution. The operation must, on no ac-
count, be delayed after the blood is drawn. Sixty days after the
first dose, a second dose of 2 cc. may be given, although some
give only the one dose. The second dose is indicated where
the temperature of the innoculated animal did not
rise to 105 degrees F. In a typical case produced by this
means, the fever commences in a week, showing a rise
to Io6 degrees F., which continues for from five to fifteen cays
more, when it falls to the normal, about 102 degrees F. About
the thirfieth day after injection a secondary milder fever, or a
relapse, occurs which lasts several days. The best time to do this
work is between November Ist and March ist, according to Dr.
Cary, of the Alabama Experiment Station. He also advises al-
lowing a mild infestation with ticks two months after the inoc-
ulation, and keeping off an excess of ticks during the hot sum-
mer months. T Ii 1 i best done by pasturing on fields where ticks
are known not to be plentiful, or by applying once weekly to









BULLETIN NO. 64


the dew-lap, udder and escutcheon, crude Beaumont oil, or a
20 per cent. kerosene oil emulsion. The report of Drs.
Francis and Connaway, of the Texas and Missouri Experi-
ment Stations, where this work was carried on jointly on a large
scale, shows that of 1,500 animals inoculated by them,
only 3 1-2 per cent. died from the inoculation fever, and
less than 7 per cent. by exposure to tick-infested pastures af-
ter they had recovered from the blood inoculation; a loss of
about Io per cent. in all. In Texas, the animals were placed in
large pastures where no attempt was made to keep down ex-
cessive tick-infestation. At the same time Northern animals
placed on the same pastures without being immunised had a
mortality of from' 50 to 90 per cent. It is highly probable that
where the infestation subsequent to inoculation can be govern-
ed a still smaller percentage of loss would occur. In Texas the
inoculated animals ranged from a few months to a year old;.
yearlings being preferred.
TREATMENT OF TEXAS FEVER.

As regards the treatment of the acute form of fever
there is, unfortunately, little to be said. Such havoc is
played with the blood that the animal has very little chance
of recovering. We might well say there is no successful
treatment for an acute case of Texas fever. As it is a
blood disease attended with high fever and general de-
pression, tonics, febrifuges and stimulants are indicated. For
these the following might be given to a full grown animal: For
the fever give one to two drachms of sulphate or the bisulphate
of quinia dissolved in six ounces of. water and four ounces of
whiskey, every three hours. For the constipation give as a
drench Epsom salts, one pound, ground ginger, one ounce









TEXAS CATTLE FEVER AND SALT-SICK


common salt, two ounces, syrup, one pint, water, one
pint. If the animal refuses food, force down eggs, milk and
whiskey every few hours. Follow this treatment, if the animal
seems to improve, with a general tonic as follows: Sulphate of
iron, one ounce; gentian, two ounces; bicarbonate of soda,three
ounces; ginger,three ounces; sodium chloride,two ounces. Mix,
divide into twelve parts and give one three times a day in one-
half pint whiskey and one pint of water. If dangerous bloating
occur, puncture the rumen on the left side between the last rib
and the hip bone, with a pocket-knife, if a trochar is not at
hand. It will be necessary to spread the wound open. with a quill
or wire spring to allow the gas to escape. Then give any one of
the following to prevent the re-formation of gas; four ounces
bicarbonate of soda, or two ounces of aromatic spirits of am-
monia in water, or two ounces of chloride of lime in water.
One other procedure could be tried, in case of a valuable ani-
mal. This is the transfusion of all the blood from an old immune
native into the sick animal, allowing its blood to flow away
from the opposite vein; or the immune native might be bled,
its blood defibrinated, strained and while warm, injected into
the jugular vein of the sick animal. This procedure could, of
course, be carried out only by a veterinarian or physician.
Treatment of the chronic form.-Not all cattle which con-
tract Texas fever die; but the disease frequently assumes the
chronic form, running a course of several months. Such animals
are emaciated, the blood is very thin and pale, the appetite is
poor, there are gaseous eructations, some dropsical swellings
and accumulations of liquid in the serious cavities. In fact the
conditions found are in ratio to the amount of anaemia. If this
is extreme, we find extreme emaciation, or a condition better
expressed by the term poverty. For such cases there is some









BULLETIN NO. 64


hope if the disease has not run too long. In these cases we must
prescribe materials which are not only useful in building up the
system, but which are palatable as well. I have had success in
the treatment of several cases with, the following condition
powder. It has the great advantage of being palatable and can
be mixed with the feed. There are animals which have never
learned to eat anything but grass- or hay in some form. These,
of course, would either have to be taught to eat the bran con-
taining the powder, or be medicated by hand. The following is
the formula of the powder: Linseed meal, eight ounces; pow-
dered foenugreek seed, four ounces; powdered ginger-root,
three ounces; common salt, four ounces; hyposulphite of sodi-
um, two ounces; sulphate of iron, one ounce. These are thor-
oughly pulverized and mixed. The dose is a small handful in
bran morning and night, there being twenty-four doses in the
mixture.
SALT-SICK.
As far back as the memories of the oldest inhal.lita:iit of
Florida go, there has existed a cattle disease which is called
salt-sick. This disease seems to be most prevalent in the central
portir.- of the peninsula, or "back-bone" of Florida. Some
claim that it exists only in that region, but my co:rre~p;:n -lielce
indicate- t1i:it it may be found in all parts of the State, and that
there is no close agreement upon the part of stockmen as +o its
true cause. Many animals die of this disease, and occasionally
one recovers even after being sick for a year. It may affect cat-
tle of any age, but it chiefly attr cks calves and yearlings, ac-
cording to my information gained from personal observation
and from c'e orre-p.idlent-. It is by no means confined to such
animals. The -niptiirns I have observed are about the same,
as those given further on.





































Compiled from Government reports.)
Outline map of U. S. Approximately all territory south of the heavy.line crossing the
country is permanently infested with the cattle tick


(Ploto. by Prof. H. H. Hume.)
THE SALT-SICK COW.








TEXAS CATTLE FEVER AND SALT-SICK


An investigation* of this disease was made under the au-
spices of the Florida Agricultural College by Professor Stock-
bridge, assisted by Drs. French and Ennis.
They came to the conclusion that "salt-sick is not a
specific disease, but rather a condition resulting from improp-
er environment, especially insufficient nutrition; that the con-
dition is most prevalent at the end of the winter season, when
animals have been for several months confined upon range or
pasture consisting of the dry wire-grass and other inferior
vegetation of the sand ridge portion of the State; that the dis-
ease is distinctly digestive in character, has its seat in the ali-
mentary canal and finally develops into chronic inflammation
of the small intestine, resulting in mal-nutrition, anaemia and
frequent death from starvation; that the symptoms show those
generally attendant upon' chronic anaemia; loss of appetite,
emaciation, abnormal appetite, craving foreign substances such
as sand, earth, bones; diminishment of red corpuscles, swell-
ings or ulcerations under the jaw; bloodless appearance of
mucous membranes inside the mouth and eyelids." They sug-
gest as treatment alimentary correctives and tonics and used
successfully air-slaked lime one-half ounce, sulphate of iron,
one-sixth ounce in three gallons of water, to be given the ani-
mal as a drink instead if the usual water. They also recommend
a change of pasture.
From what I have seen of "salt-sick" and from what we
know of Texas fever, the role which it should play in diseases
of cattle in the South, and especially in Florida, where the tick
is ever-present, I am forced to believe that "salt-sick" is chron-
ic Texas fever and that the conditions named by Dr. Stock-

*Florida Experiment Station Report 1900-1901, pp. 43-58.








BULLETIN NO. 64


bridge as being the cause of the disease are not the sole causes,
but are contributing causes. The loss of appetite which occurs
early in "salt-sick" cannot in all cases be attributed to poor
pastures and it would occur, nr.' ..1,.:-- f of pasture conditions,
in an animal attacked with Texas fever.
In all cases of "salt-sick" where I have had an opportunity
of making a post-mortem examination, I have found the ap-
pearances to be those which are attendant upon the extreme
anaemia which follows an attack of Texas fever. These are
pale, watery blood, dropsical conditions, light-colored, blood-
less liver and extreme emaciation. Most important of all was
the occurrence in fairly large numbers of the germ of Texas
fever in the red blood corpuscles, in the mental fringes, and
of ulceration of the pyloric end of the fourth or true stomach.
In 1896, Pr ..1[- .. William V'. !:ii, of New Veterinary,
College, Edinburgh, assisted by his son, T. A. Williams, in-
vestigated a cattle disease in the island of Jamaica, for the
British government. Their description of the disease fits very
closely our "salt-sick." In Jamaica it is called the "wasting dis-
ease." These investigators also found the germ of Texas fever
in the blood and stated that the disease is a form of Texas fev-
er. This preliminary statement concerning "salt-sick" may be
ended by saying that several cases have been cured by the use
of the powder advised for chronic Texas fever. It is 'highly
probable that in those cases where the anaemia is profound the
damage to the blood and other organs is irreparable and treat-
ment is almost useless.
Recapitulation.
I. Texas cattle fever, the most important cattle disease in
Florida, is carried by the common cattle tick. The disease can
also be transmitted by the mechanical transference of blood








TEXAS CATTLE FEVER AND SALT-SICK


from a sick to a well, susceptible animal; the blood corpuscles
being the place of residence of the germ which causes the dis-
ease.
2. All bovines, irrespective of place of birth, are naturally
susceptible to Texas fever; this susceptibility increasing with
age. Even though the parent be immune, this immunity is not
conferred upon the offspring.
3. All cattle, whether Northern or Southern, acquire im-
munity to the disease from non-fatal attacks which may be
produced by natural tick-infestation, artificial tick-infestation,
or by the injection of small quantities of blood from an animal
that has had the disease.
4. One animal can not catch the disease directly from an-
other. It must be carried, and is carried only, so far as our pres-
ent knowledge goes, from one sick animal to a healthy one, by
the common cattle tick.
5. The cattle tick does not crawl any considerable distance,
but generally stays where dropped and lays her eggs, which
hatch out in time. The young or seed-ticks then get upon the
first animal that passes. The old ticks cannot re-attach them-
selves, once they have let go. Their legs are too short. Ticks will
not crawl over a fence rail. Therefore'one pasture may be dis-
ease-producing, and another adjoining it, not.
6. In Florida it is wise to allow a moderate number of ticks
to get upon cattle every season.
7. No ticky animal should be introduced, into a herd which
is known to have been raised upon tick-free pastures.
8. If your cattle are, or have been ticky, and you to wish to
introduce fresh cattle, see that the new cattle bear either the
cattle ticks, or show the scars of previous tick-infestations.
9. Cattle may be brought into Florida with comparative








BULLETIN NO. 64


safety as suckling calves. If older, they should be brought in be-
tween November ist. and March Ist. and infested artificially
with newly hatched cattle ticks, as per method described else-
where in the bulletin.
o1. Cattle cannot be brought into Florida during the hot
months profitably. Nor should artificial immunization be at-
tempted at that time.
II. Pregnant cattle generally abort when attacked by
Texas fever.
12. Immune cattle after a time (two or three years) lose.
their immunity and may contract the fever when they again
become ticky.
13. Treatment of acute Texas fever is, as a rule, useless.
The chronic form will generally respond to tonics such as those'
given in this bulletin.
14. The writer believes that the so-called "salt-sick" is.
mainly due to ticks, that it could be more appropriately called
"tick-poverty;" that the disease is primarily chronic Texas.
fever, and that poor pastures are a contributing cause.




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs