Observations on Typhoid (Intestinal) Fever in the Pig
BMJ (Clinical Research Edition)
THE very remarkable disease of which I propose to show you some of the results to-night was frst brought to my knowledge by Professor John Gamgee, of the New Veterinary College, Edinburgh. On the 27th of August last, I received a letter from that gentleman, stating-i. That an outbreak of typhoid fever, attended by ulcerations of the intestine, had occurred among pigs in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh; 2. That the disease had been imported by stock from Wolverhampton; and 3. That he had
... hat he had succeeded in stopping its spread by measures-as I inferred from his note-directed against contagion. Professor Gamgee concluded his letter with the kind offer to send me specimens, or a whole pig, should I desire it. I immediately telegraphed for a whole pig; and, in the afternoon of the same day, I received from the professor the following message: a Pig sent off, packed in ice; dead thirty-six hours." On the 29th, atte at night, the box contanin this interesting relic was delivered at my house. As the weather was ertremely hot at the time, the carcase, when I opened the box next morning, stank so badly as to put my pathological zeal to a test of no common severity. The post mortem examination did not the less disclose some results of high interest. The intestinal follicles presented, in fact, alterations which, although limited in extent and differing somewhat in the order of their distribution, bore a close resemblance to the well known ulcers of the typhoid fever of man. In following the course of the ileum downwards, the last sxk or eight patches were somewhat more conspicuous than common; but the only really cha. racteristic changes were confined to the large folli. cular patch, which in the pig, as in man, is seated immediately above the ileo-ewcal valve; and to a cluster of the smaller follicles which beset the cwcum. The Peyerian patch immediately above the valve was very vascular and much thickened, standing out in strong relief on the surface of the gut. This Patch was the seat of three ulcers, of irregular oval shape, varying from a third to half an inch m diameter, and having their edges sharply cut. These ulcers had destroyed the mucous membrane through its whole depth. Their base-and the same observation applies to the ulcers found in the cvecum also-was formed by an adventitious deposit, presenting, as far as I could judge from the state of the parts, the general characteristics of the yellow deposit which occurs in the typhoid fever of man. In the cmecum I counted six other ulcers, for the most part of smaller size, but presenting precisely the same appearances. The diseased patch in the ileum was too rotten to preserve; but by inspecting the aocum, which is now B Read before the Bath and Bristol Branch, on March 2nd and April 13tb, 1863. before you, you may satisfy yourselves of the correct. ness of the description I have just given. I ought to add, that the mesenteric glands corresponding to the ulcerated follicles were much enlarged and highly vascular. The rest of the intestinal canal presented nothing abnormal. My knowledge of this porcine malady was limited to these few data,* when, about three weeks ago, I received a note from my friend Mr. H. Grace of Kingswood, to say that some pigs at the Clifton Union Workhouse had died of intestinal fever, and that others were still labouring under the disorder. Early next morning I visited the survivors, and learnt from the master of the workhouse the particulars of the outbreak. The subjects of the disease were a lot of ten young pigs recently bought in Bristol Market. When first brought to the workhouse, they all appeared quite well; but, about a week afterwards, more or less, two or three of their number began to show signs of illness. The disorder did not, however, attract much attention until, at feeding time one morning, one of the pigs was found lying dead in the stye. On minute examination, it was discovered that five or six of the remaining nine were already in various stages of the same complaint. Two days afterwards, another pig died; and, before a week had passed, five more had perished. The disease followed in all an exactlI similar course. I cannot give a better general idea of the malax than to say that, as far as outward signs go, it is the exact counterpart of typhoid fever in Juan; more rapid, indeed, and more deadly; but in all essentials singularly like to the human fever. Thirst, loss of appetite, sudden loss of strength, great dulness, and an indisposition to move, were the first symptoms to challenge attention. From the peculiar fixed way in which the sick animals held their heads, the master of the workhouse had come to the conclusion that, in the first stage of the malady, they suffered severely from headache. I may add, that the aspect of one of the pigs, which I myself saw in this stage, left the same impression on my mind. These first symptoms were either attended, or soon followed, by profuse diarrhlea; the liquid ochre-coloured stools presenting a striking resemblance to those which occur in the human fever. As death drew nh, the bright yellow hue of the evacuations generally gave place to a dark olive, or to various shades of chocolate; this last tinge being due to a greater or less admixture of blood. In some pigs, repeated and violent vomiting showed that the functions of the stomach also were much disturbed. In the worst cases, the prostration early became extreme, and was attended either by stupor or by delirium more or less active. In the early stage, there was in all great heat of skin; and the pulse continued to be frequent through. out. As the malady advanced, the tongue became dry; sordes collected about the nostrils; and the belly was more or less tympanitic. In some, a special loss of power, almost amounting to paralysis, befel the hinder extremities in the later stages of the complaint. I had almost forgotten to say that, at the onset, the whole skin was said to be the seat of a bright red exanthem-a characteristic which appears to have been long familiar to pork-butchers, and which, from the resemblance of the colour to the military red, * Decomposition had advanced so far in the specimen I received from Professor Uamgee, that I caunot speak with the same certainty of its pathological interpretation, as if i had seen the iaris in a fresh state. Taking the appearances in connection with thn Professor's brief account of the outbreak, I am probably, however, not wrong in assuming that the disease was identical with that which killed the Clifton pigs.