Page 37 - Horses in the Coal Mines
ISSUE : Issue 32
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/8/1
Sometimes they'd get burned with that cop- perous water in the pit--it'd just take the hide right off of them. It's a reddish water comes out of the coal, I guess. It's the colour of copper. And that would burn in around the fetlocks, the feet, you know. We had a preparation over there. We'd clip off the hair. Oh, it would smell terrible when they got burned up with that; it would just peal the flesh right off. And with doctoring and that with the different medicines we had, we used to get them dried up and healed, and they'd go back to work. , Number 2 mine was a mine where they were very often getting lockjaw, that's tetanus. They say a horse can get that with a lit? tle scratch that you don't see. This germ gets into it, and the horse stiffens right up. His tail will come out straight. His head stiffens right up, and his jaws lock, and all the breathing he does is just through his teeth. His nostrils are pro? truding, trying to gasp for air, and he'll stiffen right up. We did get some in the very early stages--a sharp stableman would detect it and he'd get the horse to the surface right away. In Dr. Maclsaac's time we treated a few of them that we got in the early stages. But Dr. Sullivan would destroy the horse right away. He said that breathing it, you could possibly catch that germ. He wouldn't let you stand in front of them. He used to take them out right away and shoot them. So I got looking in the magazines and I saw where there was an antitoxin to pre? vent lockjaw. What we were using was a cure--but not a preventive. So we got this preventive serum. And we went to #2 col? liery, and we inoculated all the horses in that mine. There were around 200 horses at that time. We gave them an injection. We couldn't do it in a night, to get around, so much travelling, you know, and bad tra? velling too. Do a section one night--maybe a third of the colliery. And 4 days after, we went back and gave them the second. And you know what? They never had a lockjaw case up until the colliery closed. It was something that saved a lot of horses. There was always a fear, you know, that if a miner would get it, maybe the miners wouldn't work, they'd be that scared of it. So it was very lucky there were never any humans got it. I would like to tell you a little more a- bout those two veterinaries that I worked under--the late Dr. John L, Sullivan, he came with the company around 1920, and Dr. Maclsaac. Before Dr. Sullivan's time there was a Dr. Jakeman. At that time the com? pany didn't have as many horses. He'd treat the horses that came out of the mine, but there were a lot of cattle in those days, so he was out on the road. He was working for the company, and he was al? lowed to go out. If you had a sick cow or some other animal, he would treat it, which was very good for the public, you know. But when Dr. Sullivan came it was strictly coal company business, company horses. There was no outside practice. So he devoted all his time to the betterment of horses. One of the best things done was he built a horse hospital out in the Sterling Yard. And that hospital had an operating table. It was a piece of heavy hardwood, and he would tip it up straight. Then you put the horse alongside of it, and there were straps to go on the two legs, and two girths would go around his body and draw him right in tight to the table. And then the table'd crank down, and you had him right on the table in about 5 minutes. And Areyoul ? Counselling Assistance to Small Enterprises If you are retired, possess business experience and think you would gain satisfaction in sharing it with owners and managers of small businesses, consider becoming a counsel? lor with CASE (Counselling Assistance to Small Enter? prises.) CASE is a management counselling service available to established businesses as well as those just ??getting started. Improving their methods of doing business is the objective. If you feel you would be interested in providing your services as a CASE counsellor, please call me, collect: • ' ,, * . D. E. Hams, CASE Co-ordinator, 48-50 Dorchester Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia Phone 539-6910 ? Federal Business Development Bank We Buy & Vie Sell and We're as Near as your Telephone Sid's Used Furniture 436 Charlotte St, Sydney . 564-6123 Keltic VfoodVforlcl 539-1715 Ready to Finish Furniture Wood Toys Solid Birch Furniture Pine Furniture 1115 Kings Road Sydney River FINDLAY OVAL Eligible for Grant of up to $800 The Alternate Energy Shop 500 Esplanade, Sydney 539-0238 (37)
Cape Breton's Magazine