1962-Voice Of The Tennessee Walking Horse 1962 December Voice | Page 8

6 December, 1962 UnPQF FFVFR __By reprinted Charles McCammon, M. D. llWlwC PC V Cl\ from Western Horseman A DOCTOR GIVES HIS VIEWS ABOUT A SERIOUS AND CATCHING MALADY As many of you are new to the horse world, I want to take this op­ portunity to discuss what I think is a serious problem. This problem, an illness, is not unique to any geo­ graphic region, however, you may already have noticed its existence. Al­ though slightly contagious, is rarely fatal, but does occasionally leave some noticeable scars and deformities. I am speaking of “horse fever.” Horse fever shows definite age and sex relationships. The most suscepti­ ble group to horse fever is young females from about the age of 9 to 16 years. Although the illness may run a stormy course and reduce near psh- chotic day dreams, the desire to wear only jeans and boots and to live with horses, recovery is usually complete. There is no more pathetic sight than that of the 12- or 13-year-old girl hanging over a horse pasture fence mooning over a herd of horses. One case of severe infection that I ob­ served was in a 12-year-old while girl who, besides exhibiting tile symptoms of chronic day dreaming, neglecting her school work to draw pictures of horses, and filling her room with pictures and miniature statues of horses, actually ran around the house on hands and knees neighing like a horse. These severe symptoms have existed for four years but are gradually subsiding. Although viewed with amusement by friends and relatives, this illness often causes much parental concern. 1 feel that you can safely assure these parents that their daughter will not only survive but will recovery is very' rapid in a few cases merely by per­ mitting the victim to become horse owners. Many more recover because their parents assume a firm and un­ sympathetic attitude and deny the victim horse ownership. In the more severe cases recovery begins when the victim begins to think that the human male may be as interesting as the equine male. In recent years there has been some shift in infectivity as far as sex is con­ cerned. Although the teen-age male is still susceptible, he does not seem as susceptible as he was one and two generations ago. This probably is be­ cause horse fever in the young male is usually associated with cowboyilis. The combination of these two illnesses frequently caused these young males to abandon home, friends, and school to aitach themselves to a ranch or c