Harper's New Monthly Magazine,  11 (1885–86), 583–94.

Dogs and Their Management

Hugh Dalziel



Relevant illustrations:

eng. [2]


Animal Behaviour, Breeding, Veterinary Science, Nutrition, Theory, Controversy, Sanitation, Instinct, Mental Illness, Disease, Parasitology, Pharmaceuticals

    Aims to 'ameliorate the condition of the whole race' of dogs 'by spreading far and wide a true knowledge of his nature and requirements' (584). Insists that domestication 'surely raises the dog nearer to our own intellectual status, as he is led more and more to exercise those mental faculties with which he is more than any other of the lower animals endowed' (583). Gives advice on appropriate foods for dogs, and argues against the 'theories propounded by Dr. Billings, V.S., of Boston, Massachusetts', who claimed that because the 'dog is a carnivorous animal' it 'should be fed entirely on flesh, and even went so far as to say that farinaceous food was poison to the dog'. Remarks that all those with experience of keeping dogs are 'dead against Dr. Billings's theory, which, indeed, should rather be named a "crochet"'. (587) Warns against the use, when cleaning dogs, of 'Carbolic acid soaps and all containing poisons', and instead recommends the use of 'Spratt's patent as its insecticide properties are due to a vegetable extract innocuous to the dog' (588). Scorns the 'too popular theory' of certain 'writers, including those who at the present time are often quoted as authorities, [who] attribute the presence of worms to feeding with cow's milk, and have gravely recommended goat's milk to be substituted, that, it is asserted, being, unlike cow's milk, free from the ova of worms', and insists that 'Five minutes' consultation of Dr. Spencer Cobbold would show these people that the theory is wholly imaginary' as 'pups appear to be born with worms in their intestines' (593). Recommends 'Goulard's extract (liquor plumbi subacetatis)', as well as several other remedies for particular canine ailments (594). Dismisses public fixation with the so-called 'Mad dog!', and reveals that many a 'dog has been cruelly done to death because a fit of temporary duration has been interpreted as evidence of madness', when in fact a dog that suffers merely from 'recurrent paroxysms of rage' can generally be cured with a 'dose of castor oil' (591) and 'bromide of potassium in water' (592). Admits that there is as yet 'no known cure' for the 'dreadful disease rabies', but insists that 'it is pleasant to record that a gleam of sunshine on this dismal subject comes to us from France, where M. Pasteur has been prosecuting researches into the nature of this disease, which has baffled the learned of every country for more than two thousand years' (594).

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