Injuries and Diseases

Points to Remember

1. Fellis is deadly to dragons and firelizards. In the place of that pain killer, numbweed or another remedy can be used.

2. Don't between when a dragon's in pain. Their concentration is compromised, and that could leave dragon and rider lost forever.

3. The lifemate of the healing pair can help steady the injured dragon by locking gaze and minds, with Golds being the best for this act.

4. Weyrfolk don't usually get sick, except from the occasional stomach ache from overeating or drinking, or the more common kidney or liver infection.

5. A rider untrained in the specifics of dragon healing can administer some relief to his own lifemate without the healer being present such as:

  • Purge the dragon if constipated.
  • Applying numbweed to a bitten tongue.
  • Rubbing unguents into weary muscles.

Cardiovascular

In older dragons, age and strain weakens the heart. Signs to overexertion of a strained heart are irregular beat (usually second or third heart) and lethargy and water retention.

Treatment: light daily exercise. Avoid stress.

Chafed Skin

The hide can become cracked from improperly made, sized, or unoiled straps, or even some other irritant. This can become quite painful, and even more so between.

Treatment: oiling.

Claw Fungus

An infection caused by moisture being left in the claw sheath after bathing.
Symptoms: Constant licking of claws, pain in fingers or toes, and discoloration of claws.

Treatment: A thorough scrubbing with redwort followed by soaking in a redwort and rush sap solution. Treatment is administered twice a day for three days then once a day for the following three and once a sevenday for the next month. A thorough drying prior to oiling is the recommended preventative.

Constipation

This usually occurs from overeating in weyrling dragons, and is shown by a thickened tail.

Treatment: Purge the system of uneliminated excreta. Massage down the tail to help him or her relieve it.

Cuts

Caused by a multitude of things.

Treatment: Clean with redwort, and allow to heal uncovered. If it's deep, suture it. Use numbweed to deaden the pain, assist in clotting, and keeping the injured area moist.

Diarrhea

An accumulation of an excessive amount of water in the bowels.

Symptoms: Self-explanatory

Treatment: Swamp Moss added to diet in proportion to dragon's weight.

Fractures

A dragon's bones are difficult to break, and difficult to set and heal. Broken limbs can be caused by many things from poor landings, over exuberant flying in mating flights (where'd that rim come from?), and the like. Simple fractures don't have the abnormal angle of bones, even rupturing hide surface, like compounds.

Treatment:

Simple: If the bone is unaligned, move back into place, then place splints at 90 degrees to each other, and wrap with bandages. Splints can be made.

Compound:

1. Clean the injured area with redwort.

2. Align the bone edges and lock into place. You can splint with wherry gut inside if needed.

3. Suture the damaged muscles and veins from inside or outside.

4. Wrap the splint around the injured area, using reeds and cloth.

5. Check for signs of infection and poor healing. Coat the area with numbweed 3-4 times a day until the hide has healed over.

Indigestion

A gastro-intestinal disorder generally brought about by over-eating.

Symptoms: Excessive abdominal pain, distortion of the abdomen, a feeling of bloating.

Treatment: Many are available, but these two are recommended:

1. Applying pressure to the abdomen over the primary stomach to instigate the release of trapped gas.

2. Time and patience. Usually the application of hot cloths aids in easing the dragon's discomfort.

Kidney Chill

A sympathetic illness brought on by rider's contracting of the same disease.

Symptoms: Mimicking of rider's symptoms coupled with excessive drinking.

Treatment: Illness will pass when rider is cured.

Lesions, Hide Borer

Hide borers are parasites which usually attack sick and injured firelizards. They are a problem with dragons due to their close kinship with their tiny counterparts.

Symptoms: Tiny holes similar to pin-point Threadscore, festering lesions, dullness of eyes and hide, constipation, loss of appetite, and vomiting.

Treatment: Surgical removal of the parasite combined with flushing of the infected area with redwort and packing same with mosstea and numbweed. Dragonweed added to water will fight secondary infection. The entire weyr must be scrubbed down with redwort as well.

Procedure: After washing both wound and hands in redwort, apply a thin coating of numbweed. Make an incision across the wound approximately twice the diameter of the lesion. Gently pry apart and probe for the parasite. Taking care to remove it intact, gently extract the parasite. Once parasite is removed, pack the wound with a mixture that is 2 parts numbweed, 2 parts redwort, and 1 part mosstea. Allow wound to remain open for 2-4 days, changing the packing three times a day. Once signs of healing are evident, remove packing and stitch closed. Continue cleaning and covering the wound until healed.

Lesions, Simple

Caused by excessive drying of the hide, distinguished from Hide Borer by lack of redness.

Symptoms: Itchy, dry skin, pain and slight splitting of hide. May be a runny discharge from lesion.

Treatment: Hard scrubbing with redwort followed by packing with numbweed and covering with a pressure bandage.

Lesions, Complex

Unlike simple lesions, these are always fatal should the rider exercise the foolish decision to take the dragon between.

Symptoms: Itchy, dry hide, extreme pain and splitting in lesion combined with runny discharge and ichor from the wound.

Treatment: Surgical repair of the wound.

Procedure: After throroughly washing hands and wound in redwort, numbweed the wound and proceed to remove the edges of the wound. (A note: If the dragon or his rider seem agitated, fellis may be administered to render patient unconscious.) The amount removed depends on the severity of the wound. Usually 2-3 millimeters will suffice. Afterward, stitch the wound closed. Any affected muscle tissue should be dealt with and stitched closed first, followed by the membrane that lies between the muscular and epidermal layers, then finish with the epidermal layers, each in turn. The wound should be coated with numbweed and kept covered until completely healed. The dressing should be changed twice daily.

Over Stressing

Another common ailment of weyrling dragons is caused by growing muscles and overdoing things. Sometimes it's caused by older dragons from flights, sweeps, and Fall. The signs of it are the area being favored, limping, or in the case of a wingbone, the sail will seem misshapen.

Treatment: Wrap the area with cloth, using reeds to immobilize if necessary, and have the dragon rest. Sometimes swimming helps regain control of the stressed tendon. No flying if hindleg or wing is injured this way.

Patchy Hide

This is usually seen in younger dragons, or in dragons with wrong sized harnesses. The hide will seem dry, patchy and itches.

Treatment: Oil. The growing dragons are supposed to be oiled daily, and if this is the case more oil or a switch in the strength of it.

Respiratory

Colds are evident by runny nose and lethargy.

Treatment: Plenty of water and rest.

Pneumonia is rare, and caused by a secondary infection after an extensive thoracic injury (like Thread). Signs of it are high temperature, labored breathing, coughing with no phlegm, dull eyes, cold hide that's clammy to the touch or hot, clammy hide.

Treatment: Warm water, keep warm with blankets. She/He will need to breathe in steam-vapors of hyssop, thymus and/or aconite.

Rupture Veins

This can be caused by Threadscoring, and is evident by seepage of unclotted ichor.

Treatment: Cover with numbweed to clot the ichor. Stitch area plus a finger's breadth on either side of the wound, using fine stitches of treated thread. Apply numbweed and keep area moist until healed.

Sprains

See Over Stressing.

Stomach Complaints

Either overeating or bad firestone causes discomfort in the dragon's stomachs.

Treatment: If it's from firestone, this usually clears up after expelling the ash. Overeating can lend itself to other problems like constipation.

Stone Fever

An intestinal tract disease that is usually found in young dragons. It is caused by the accidental ingestion of firestone into the primary stomach.

Symptoms: Dullness of eyes, vomiting after eating, and high fever

Treatment: Multiple purges, mosstea and nettles added to food, and featherfern added to water.

CAUTION: It is imperative that close monitoring is given when using these medicines in this combination. Exact measurements are strongly recommended.

Suturing

  1. Clean the area with redwort, treat the needles and thread.
  1. Gut thread is used for inside since it dissolves over time.
  1. Treated tanner thread is used for outside.
  1. Cross stitch heavily used areas.
  1. Back stitch the end of the suture.

Talon Loss

Weyrling dragons commonly lose a talon during the flying and hunting lessons.

Treatment: The talon will regrow in several sevendays.

Threadscore

Minor scoring can be treated by the rider. A dragon is supposed to go between when scored to kill off the Thread. The worst injuries occur to the wing's edges: leading, tailing and finger sail.

Treatment: Cleanse with water, and douse with numbweed for pain. Let heal uncovered.

Tooth Decay

Usually found in dragons over forty Turns old, or whose rider is over sixty. Not all is due to advanced age, however. Some is simply due to meat being trapped between teeth and causing rot. The best prevention is for the rider to insure that the mouth is washed after every feeding and examined for trapped food.

Symptoms: Pain while eating or chewing firestone, constant working of jaws and tongue, insomnia, loss of appetite, and bleeding gums.

Treatment: Depending on state of decay, you have two options:

1. Filling: Apply numbweed liberally, then using a hammer and chisel, remove all decayed matter. Afterward, drill several horizontal holds, then use a mixture of hardset and powdered herdbeast bone to fill cavity.

2. Pulling: Apply numbweed very liberally. Ensure the dragon is fully numb before proceeding. Secure a piece of stout rope to offending tooth. Have a beast of equal or greater size yank the tooth out. Afterward, fill the hole with a paste of numbweed soaked into gauze.

Transfusions

Rarely needed, they are used to replenish ichor by drawing, through a large needlethorn syringe, from a healthy dragon and placed over the injuries of the hurt one.
Bones and cartilage will soak up the new ichor.

Tongue Bites

When learning to chew firestone, weyrling dragons tend to bite the tongue.

Treatment: Apply numbweed to the affected area.

Venereal Diseases

Unlike its human counterpart, this is not a sexually transmitted disease. The general cause is failure on the rider's part to ensure the area around the genital flap is cleaned thoroughly. It has been noted, however, that the dragons of affected riders show these symptoms.

Symptoms: Scratching of the area, swelling and discoloration of the flap, no interest in matings flight what so ever.

Treatment: The area must be thoroughly scrubbed with redwort twice daily. Soaking in cool water for up to six hours per day or sitting in snow for up to an hour a day will reduce the swelling. The rider should practice celibacy until the dragon has recovered. However, if this is caused by the the rider's "discomfort", no treatment is necessary, though you may recommend the soaking treatment for extreme empathy.

Wing

Wing tears can be quite dangerous. Minor ones will heal in a few days, and major will take a few sevendays. For help in visualizing the wing and its parts, see the diagram.

Fragmented Leading Edge: The cartilage of the leading edge is torn, stretched, bent.

Wrenched Finger Tip: The forestay tip is broken, or bent back from the joint above.

Stretched Tendon: Tendons around any one of the bones stretched, misshaping the sails.

Tattered Mainsail: The wing itself is torn or broken through.

Treatment: The healer will need a table, bolt of cloth, basket reeds, assistance, jug of oil, pot of thin numbweed, needle box, spool of treated thread, and a washing bowl.

1. Survey the damage from dragonback, then put a table in front of the wing to stand on.

2. When the dragon landed, assistants should have already slathered numbweed on the wounds in order to promote clotting, and to deaden pain.

3. Coat hands with oil three times then dry, then two more to lessen the effect that numbweed will have.

4. Have everyone wash up in redwort.

5. Have someone cut lengths of cloth as long as the leading edge.

6. Have someone thread needles with armslength of thread.

7. Support the wing underneath with cloth, then stitch it to the wingbone and stretch it tight from dorsal (with assistance of course) to the finger joint.

8. Make neat tacks along the dorsal, and use liberal amounts of numbweed so that there is no pain.

9. Fasten to the underside, pull taunt again, and attach the cloth and basket reeds below the wing to substitute for shattered battens and sails.

10. Take numbweed paddle and smear the cloth with salve thin enough so wing tatters can be placed on the cloth for regrowth and formation.

11. Lay on the cloth what wingsail fragments remain.

12. Brace the trailing edge with reeds and gauze.

13. If all goes well, the dragon's wing will mend with overlapping of growth. The wing will be a bit scarred for a few Turns, but will eventually be worn down to smoothness. She/he will learn how to compensate for the change in wing's form once in flight.