statistical and general report of the army veterinary service for 1909
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the small intestine, made after embedding in paraffin, showed a <:olossal number of acid-fast bacilli. These were present as single dements and as dense clumps. They were most numerous towards the surface of the mucous membrane, but were also present in considerable numbers in the deepest part of the glandular layer. Microscopical sections of the mesenteric glands also showed numbers of blciIli, and nothing resem bling a tuberculous formation could be seen.
Inoculation experiments performed on the small animals of the laboratory showed that the acid-fast bacilli were apparently not those of tuberculosis.
These observations justify the statement that sheep may under natural conditions become infected with J ohne's disease, and that this animal must now be considered a factor in the epizootiology of this affection. They do not, however, warrant the conclusion that the disease known as "scrapie" is a form of J ohne's disease, as it is possible, of course, that two different diseases may sometimes affect the same animals. It is to be noted, moreover, that certain sheep (three) formerly examined, and mentioned in the above Annual Report, showed the characteristic skin irritation, but in only one <:ould distinct lesions of Johne's disease be found, and in the animals affected in this later outbreak classical symptoms and lesions of J ohne's disease were observed, but no itching of the skin was noticed. In relation to the typical case of" scrapie," however, in which distinct 1esions of J ohne's disease were discovered, it is not without possible significance that this second outbreak of disease originated on a previously clean farm amongst sheep which had come from another farm where" scrapie" has been known to exist for many years.
I am indebted to Mr A. L. Sheather, M.R.C.V.S., B.Sc., for the accompanying micro-photograph.
Statistical and General Report of the Army Veterinary Service for 19°9.
THE Annual Reports of the Director-General of the Army Veterinary Service always contain information of which the interest is not confined to army veterinary officers, although it is to be feared that they seldom receive the .attention which they'deserve from civilian members of the profession. The present Report will certainly rank as one of the most interesting uf the series, thanks to the able analysis to which Major-General Smith has subjected the ·statistical material which forms its basis.
The Report shows that the wastage of army horses in the United Kingdom was higher during the year under review than it was in 1908, but below the mean of the five years 1903-7. It is not a little remarkable to find such a -close agreement in the matter of horse wastage and inefficiency between the home army and the army in India. Thus, the wastage (deaths, destructtions, and veterinary castings) was 6'59 per cent. of the average strength at home, and 6'31 per cent. in India.
In the Report figures are also given to show how the army at home compares in respect of horse wastage with foreign armies, and the figures as they
stand indicate that, with the single exception of Spain, the British army has; the highest mortality in Europe. Apparently, however, the figures are to some extent misleading owing to the fact that in several of the Continental, armies they do not include the losses occurring in the remount depots.
As in former years, the chief cause of wastage from deaths was diseases of the digestive system, these being responsible for more than one-third of the total number of deaths. Only two cases of glanders occurred during the twelve months, viz., one at Manchester and one at Longmoor. The former case was detected in a remount, but the second case must have been contracted in the service, and, it is surmised, probably from a hired horse during, the Aldershot manreuvres. There were 629 cases of strangles (with fourteen deaths), fourteen fatal cases of tetanus, and eight fatal cases of anthrax. A very satisfactory feature of the year was that the cases of these so-called 'C specific diseases" were less than one-third of the average for the past ten, years.
The parts of the Report which are of outstanding interest, although here they can only be mentioned, are those in which the Director-General discusses the source of infection in the cases of anthrax, the etiology of the' disorders of the digestive organs which are responsible for such a large proportion of the fatal cases of illness, and the effects of sero-vaccination against strangles.
The Report, price 9d., may be obtained from Wyman & Sons, London,. Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh, or Ponsonby, Dublin.
A Text-book on Disease-producing Micro-organisms, especially intended for the use of Veterinary Students and Practitioners. By Maximilian Herzog, M. D., Professor of Pathology and Bacteriology in the Chicago· Veterinary College. Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia & New York .. English Agents: Bailliere, Tindall & Cox, London, 1910.
IT will be generally admitted by those who have to teach bacteriology to· veterinary students at the present time that instruction is seriously handicapped by the non-existence of a good up-to-date text-book dealing with the bacterial diseases of the domesticated animals. The present work, which is specially designed to meet the requirements of veterinary students and practitioners, extends to a little over 600 pages, and it has, in addition to fourteen coloured plates, over 200 illustrations in the text. The opening, chapters are devoted to general bacteriology, including such questions as· morphology, distribution in nature, methods of infection, immunity, artificial. cultivation, etc. In the remainder of the work all the important pathogenic bacteria of the domesticated animals and the lesions which they occasion are dealt with.
Regarded as a whole, the book may be commended as one in which the' ordinary veterinary student will probably find all the information which is. required regarding bacteriology for examination purposes. Unfortunately, however, it contains rather numerous errors regarding some important matters of fact, and a perusal of it leaves the impression that the author has himself had a very limited experience in connection with a good many of the diseases which he has undertaken to describe. A few of these errors may here be' noticed.
In the chapter dealing with anthrax it is stated that the bacilli appear in large numbers in the blood ten to 'twelve hours before death (p. 242). As a general statement that is certainly inaccurate. A more curious error appears on p. 25 I, where it is said that the anthrax vaccine No. I is a bouillon culture of anthrax bacilli grown in successive generations in the: