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Watch The Dogs

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A Btirprising mercase in cases of hydrophobia lias been observed in the United States dnririg the past ñve years. Tl) o ratio appears to be growing still greater ; and infstead oí' being lookedupon as ainiost an imaginary diseaso, on account of tíie rarity of the instances and tbc (lisposition to treat every report as oithor fiatiou or súpcrstition, or an unusunl combination oí' nervous disorders, tlio medical profession no longer makes any pretense oí donying its existence, it8 canse;, the want of a remedy, and the inevitable' fatal result following the most aniel and horrible stxftering. The lfttest case luis occurred in Philadelphia. A bar-kecper named Michael Croeson went into a cellar on Christmas day to draw ale. He chanced to kick and anger a terrier whick snarled at and bit him, infiicting what appeared to be m insignificant wound. Orosson paid no attontiou to the incident, and, in a week, no trace of the bite remained except a fllight discoioration. A fortnighst ince, some three months having eiapsed, he began m ieel pain in the plae of the wonnd, iuflammation set in, and a reddish eniption appeared and disappeared at short inters-als. At last Crosson was compelled to go to bod by the severity of the pain in his arm and shoulder, and the physicinn who was called, Dr. Carroll, bëing ignorant of the real cause, administered a powerful anodyne, which had no effect. In an hour the man's condition revealed the truth, the circumstances of the bite were recalled, and,before anything further couid be done, the case was hopeiess, as it probabiy woiüd have proved to be oven if treated from tlie beginning with the utmost resoiuce whicli the medical profession is able to. apply. Crosson's delirium was so violent that four men wero required to hold him in bed, and ho diod from exhaustion; Iub mind having remained clear up to the precipitation of the paroxysms. He did not froth at the mouth, but the contraction of the muscles of the neck, peculiar to the disease, occurred whenever liquida were brought within his visión. His death occurred within eighty minutes of beginning of the paroxysms, and in about ten hours after the pain in the wound became severe. Two cases which occurred about threo months ago in Chicago were clearly authenticated, one victim dying in Mercy Hospital, the other in the county hos pital. The facts in the second instance were never obtained f ully m detail, on account of tlio ignorance of the mau's relatives. Instances are appearing constan tly all over the country, and the natural desire of the afflicted family and fricnds keeps them out of print as the only means of evading the impudence of : curious people. The history of this terrible disease is nothing but a record of the vain but gallant struggle of human intelligence to discover its secret. It is as old, probably, as man ; Aristotle speaks of its virulence among carnivorous animáis, but ■waa of opinión that it could not, or at least did not, attaok the human species. It has always been a source of debate, among both physical scientists rcnd medical practitioners, as to whether the origin of the disease is spontaneous among thelower breeds, or is distributed by inoculation. Tiiis much is universally admitted : That the poison is conveyable throwgh the saliva of hydrophobic dogs, cats, horses, cows, sheep, rabbits, oxen, and man, and that, once in the blood, torture and death ensue. Experiment has demonstrated that even hens may become hydrophobic from inoculation with the saliva of stock animáis suffering from rabies. The chiefest danger lies in the deceptive delay which may ensue between the infliction of the bite and the development of the earliest symptoms. In the dog, this delay may be of a few days only, or it may extend to weeks, and even months. The symptoms attackthe horse more uniformly within a few weeks ; but no rule has yet been formulated concerning the period of incubation in the human species. The only hope of escaping the fatal consequence lies in the instant and thorough excisión of the wounded part, and as this can rarcly be done in time, or, if in time, is not done thoroughly enough, the virus steals into the blood, and defies science. . The popular notion that hydrophobia is more likely to appear among animáis in the spring and during the hottest interval of summer is pronounced by scientists to be erroneous. The disease is capable of development at auy time, and its undeniable increase seems to demand that prudent measures be constantly in operation to anticípate its deadly outbreak.


Old News
Michigan Argus