The Denver Medical Times [August 1899 vol. XIX, no. 2, pp. 65-71] was the venue for James Weir Jr.’s compendium of observations on how animals treat themselves when afflicted by diseases.
Among the highlights:
- Several safari travelers report that elephants shot by hunters may plug their wounds with moistened clay.
- “In 1882 there was on exhibition at the St. Louis fairgrounds a magnificent specimen of the dog-faced ape, or chacma.” The chacma, what we would now call a baboon, injured himself on a nail. He immediately grabbed a pile of sawdust and pressed it to the cut until it stopped bleeding.
- Pregnant lobsters afflicted by Histriobdella worms expose their egg clusters to the sun, so the sunlight can kill the parasites.
- One of the author’s dogs, Toney, serves as doctor to other dogs by licking wounds that they can’t reach on their own bodies.
- A sow had been diagnosed with peritonitis after being kicked by a mule, and was desperately trying to escape her pen. After her owner took pity on the doomed animal, she made a beeline for an iron-rich spring that had been fenced off.