This section is from the book "Sporting Dogs. Their Points And Management In Health, And Disease", by Frank Townend Barton. Also available from Amazon: Sporting Dogs; Their Points and Management in Health and Disease.
Masters of Hounds and Sporting-dog men in particular, are nearly all acquainted with this troublesome complaint.
Where dogs are kenneled on damp or low-lying ground, there may we expect to find kennel lameness—a title under which it has been known for many and many a score of years.
A previous attack is a predisposing influence to its recurrence.
Rheumatism may be either acute or chronic.
Although not common in its acute form, the writer has treated dogs that could hardly bear anyone to enter—much less shake—the rooms where they have been kept, the slightest shake causing the dog to howl from the agony of pain so induced.
Under these circumstances, the diagnosis of rheumatism becomes a certainty, much more so than in its chronic condition, when confined to a limb, joint, etc.
The muscles of the chest—Chest-founder—and the neck, are commonly affected.
Stiffness and difficulty in moving—the dog often suddenly howling from pain—are the chief signs. There is not much (if any) swelling in this complaint, as it occurs in the dog.
The shifting character of rheumatism is a great aid to diagnosis.
Keep dog in a dry and warm kennel.
Don't wash, especially in winter.
Give soda water to drink.
For the chronic manifestation of the affection, administer 5 grains of iodide of potash night and morning.
Open bowls with a purgative.
If acute, 20 grains of salicylate of soda every eight hours in a tablespoonful of water.
Rub the muscles with some stimulating liniment, such as white oil, belladonna, or aconite liniments.
Feed on soft food and nurse dog well.
Many cases of rheumatism never get any better, the dog remaining a confirmed cripple, though worse in damp weather.