The only infectious disease which the horse transmits to man is rare. It is called “glanders” or “farcy.” Its rareness is shown by the fact that there were only 59 deaths registered in the United States for this disease from 1911 to 1920.
In the horse, glanders appears in the nose and in lumps, so-called farcy buds, beneath the skin. The disease is transmitted to man from the nasal secretion or spray from the whinny of the horse.
It occurs in two formsacute and chronic glanders. The symptoms are, first, the appearance of nodules under the skin, usually in the region of the lymph glands, and, afterwards, the development of pneumonia. In almost all instances it occurs in farriers and stablemen.
Treatment by vaccines has been fairly successful.
When writing about cat asthma, we mentioned the fact that of all people who have asthma from proximity to animals, by far the largest number are those who are sensitive to the dandruff of horses.
Aside from these two, the horse transmits no disease condition to mankind.
The cow, on the contrary, is able to transmit a number of diseases to man. This is, of course, largely because the diseases are transmitted in cow’s milk. Among these are septic sore throat, undulant fever and tuberculosis.
Sheep transmit one disease to man, known as “anthrax,” or “wool sorter’s disease.” The germ of this disease gets in the skin and hair of many kinds of domesticated animals. When these skins or hairs are being prepared for market the germs are breathed into the lungs and produce a form of pneumonia”wool sorter’s disease.” Sometimes the hairs are not entirely freed from such germs before being sold.
Anthrax begins as a lump, and later as an ulceration on the skin.
If untreated, anthrax is almost invariably fatal. Removing the infected spot on the skin by surgery or cautery, however, is curative in most cases. A serum has been manufactured which is also helpful in treatment.