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Texas Fever affected the economic lives of many Missourians. Many cattle herds were totally lost or had significant fatalities. There was a large lack of knowledge about the disease, such as, where it came from, how it was transmitted and how to treat the disease. Here are some actual accounts that prove the immense concern regarding Texas Fever among the citizens of Missouri in 1868.

Mr. William Montgomery, of Stockton, Missouri, wrote,

"We are at a loss as to how the disease is communicated, as there is no apparent disease among the Texas cattle; but wherever they are herding any length of time, our cattle take some disease peculiar to dry murrain, and the actions of the animal, with the disease, are similar to a horse with the botts or colic. They seem to suffer severely with inward fever. When dissected, they appear to be dry and scorched with inward fever. Nearly all that take the disease die, unless treated immediately. Our remedy is, to drench them with lard, or slugs of fat bacon. It does not look reasonable that the Texas cattle could communicate the disease themselves; but the general opinion is that the disease is communicated by the breath."

Another gentleman of Southwest Missouri, wrote:

"I have lost very heavily this season by the Texas Fever and although it is very strange to me how an animal that is healthy itself can impart so dangerous a disease to other healthy cattle, I am nevertheless satisfied that it can be done, as I have lost about one hundred and fifty head by the disease. They show the first symptoms by standing perfectly still in the position that they take to hold back, head down, fore feet thrust a little forward, ears dropped down, and are neither hungry nor thirsty. Their bowels become very costive and their intestines almost entirely dried out, and unless an operation can be obtained, they die. Our most successful mode of treatment was to make them swallow a piece of fat meat (bacon), and force another one up their posterior (rectum) with the arm, as large as admissible, and as far as possible. We saved about sixty after we adopted this mode of treatment, but the hair came off in spots from one to five inches in diameter. I doubt whether it can be cured in every case. I have heard a great many theories about it; but I understand you want facts and I have written them."

Dr. Albert Badger of Vernon county stated,

"From the first breaking out of this fever, it was found to be confined to the large roads or highways running through the county from south to north, and finally was centered on the Texas cattle, I believe, in the year 1853, by its being confined to one highway through the country, over which these cattle passed in that year. On this road the disease was quite fatal, killing about fifty per cent of all on the road; the persons living near the water courses over which the road crossed, lost as high as ninety per cent. Captain Freeman Barrows, and Peter Colley, the one living at the ford of the Osage river, the other near by, lost the latter per cent; one of them owning about one hundred head, while the former had considerably above that number. Mr. Collins, living at the ford of Clear Creek, south of the above, lost an equal proportion."

Mr. Frock stated certain examples of experiences in his cattle during the later stages of Texas Fever,

"The Ulcers first appear about the belly, the quarters and the teats, but they spread everywhere and particularly about the mouth and muzzle. The mouth is invariably ulcerated, the tongue is blistered and ulcerated too, and there is either a discharge of sanious, offensive or bloody fluid from the nose and mouth, or considerable hemorrhage from both of them. Now, the urine, which has before been high-colored, becomes darker, or bloody; the dung likewise has streaks of blood over it, and both are exceedingly fetid. In this state the animal may continue two or three days, until it dies a mass of putridity, unless there has been an active assistant, who never shrinks from his duty, and who will properly dress the ulcers and administer the medicines."



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