History of veterinary medicine in Pennsylvania

History Of Veterinary Medicine In Pennsylvania

History of veterinary medicine in Pennsylvania

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The Need for Veterinary Medicine

By 1710 pioneers had settled land as far as sixty miles from Philadelphia. As early as 1757, Carlisle has become a supply center for the forts of the frontier. The occurrence of animal disease was surrounded by mystery, superstition, and ignorance.

This letter was written in November 1776 by Ephraim Blaine of Carlisle to John Hancock, President of the Congress:



The fact that it was even possible to accumulate three hundred cattle in the vicinity of Carlisle in 1776 is testimony enough that Pennsylvania had a visible livestock industry. The words "Veterinarian". "horse doctor", or even "animal doctor" were not part of the vocabulary of the time. Even the practitioners who cared for the horses in the Roman Army were called "veterinarii" and veterinary science progressed in Europe with the first veterinary school being chartered at Lyon, France in 1762.

The neighbor who was good with animals grew out of necessity because the colonists, far removed from society were thrown upon their own ingenuity. The occurrence of animal disease was surrounded by mystery, superstition and ignorance. It's not much of an indictment because the physicians were not much better informed. As often, the problem was simple … the cure was not. The scientists approached both human and animal disease with fundamental knowledge and an effort to establish a cause and to affect a cure. Often, when an animal was sick a Ferrier or...
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