Blain (animal disease)
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Blain was an animal disease of unknown etiology that was well known in the eighteenth- and nineteenth centuries. It is unclear whether it is still extant, or what modern disease it corresponds to.
According to Ephraim Chambers' eighteenth-century Cyclopaedia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, blain was "a distemper" (in the archaic eighteenth-century sense of the word, meaning "disease") occurring in animals, consisting in a "Bladder growing on the Root of the Tongue against the Wind-Pipe", which "at length swelling, stops the Wind". It was thought to occur "by great chafing, and heating of the Stomach".
Blain is also mentioned in Cattle: Their Breeds, Management, and Diseases, published in 1836, where it is also identified as "gloss-anthrax". W. C. Spooner's 1888 book The History, Structure, Economy and Diseases of the Sheep also identifies blain as being the same as gloss-anthrax.
Modern scholarship suggests that "gloss-anthrax" was not the same disease as modern-day anthrax, but instead could have been foot-and-mouth disease, or a viral infection with a secondary Fusobacterium necrophorum infection. It has also been suggested that it may have been due to a variant strain of true anthrax that is no longer in existence. Other sources also report epizootics known as "blain" or "black-blain" in the 13th and 14th centuries, but it is not clear if the disease involved was the same as "gloss-anthrax".
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "Blain". Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (first ed.). James and John Knapton, et al. p. 106.
- ed. William Youatt (1836). "Cattle: Their Breeds, Management, and Diseases". Retrieved 2012-10-05. page 326, page 386
- W. C. Spooner (1888). "The History, Structure, Economy and Diseases of the Sheep". Retrieved 2012-10-05. page 310
- Jones, Susan D. (2010). Death in a Small Package: A Short History of Anthrax. JHUP. p. 22. ISBN 9781421402529.
- Jones, Susan D. (2010). Death in a Small Package: A Short History of Anthrax. JHUP. p. 27. ISBN 9781421402529.
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