Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952 Page: 65
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REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1952 65
Veterinary research is concerned not merely with healing sick animals
but with the prevention of disease and general improvement in
the health and quality of animals. An important fact to be remembered
in future research in this field is that it is more important to
search out fundamental facts upon which practical control and preventive
measures may later be based than to emphasize the service
and diagnostic and survey phases, which undoubtedly contribute to
the studies and often indicate problems for which additional information
is needed. Service, diagnostic, and survey studies rightfully
fall into the sphere of the practicing veterinarian or the State and
Federal livestock sanitary officials who in the long run profit by results
of the above-mentioned fundamental type of veterinary research.
A few examples that illustrate the progress of veterinary research
at the experiment stations are presented here.
'X-Disease" (Hyperkeratosis of Cattle)
Last year it was reported that the study of X-disease "has been narrowed
to two phases-one, investigations of the chemical nature of a
toxic agent found to be a possible cause; two, study of an apparently
infectious agent which in some respects causes a similar condition but
which may or may not be a direct or associated cause of this disease."
During the year excellent progress was made in this well-coordinated
study and as a result the infectious phase has been ruled out.
Leaders of this study agree that cattle may become affected with
X-disease by exposure to or by eating highly chlorinated naphthalenes
contained in certain lubricants or by as yet unknown toxic ingredients
in feedstuffs. The study is being continued in an effort to disclose
other possible causes of X-disease as well as products that might
contain toxic chemicals. Meanwhile, with a view to preventing or
greatly reducing incidence of this condition in cattle, farmers have
been advised to keep their cattle away from tractors, combines, and
other farm machinery where it may be possible for them to contact or
eat grease or oil. The farmers have been further advised that used
crankcase oil,'or oil drums and similar containers, should be kept
away from cattle; and that drainage from around grease racks and
in farm machinery sheds should not be allowed to contaminate lots
or pastures to which cattle have accesss.
The disease was described in our 1948 report as a mysterious condition
in cattle, and it was noted that formal research memoranda were
being drawn up at that time by several of the State experiment stations
and the Department, for the purpose of studying the disease.
The concerted efforts of the Department and the State experiment
station researchers have resulted in lifting much of the mystery surrounding
X-disease. The Department and the following 17 State experiment
stations are responsible for the coordinated, continuing study
of this problem: Alabama, Colorado, Storrs (Conn.), Georgia, Illinois,
Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey,
New York (Cornell), North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas,
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952, book, January 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5990/m1/67/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.