Popular Technology Volume II Part 24

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12. From the preceding account, it is evident, that the light of science has shone conspicuously, in Europe, on the domestic animals, in relation to their treatment, both while in health, and when laboring under disease. In the United States, we have no inst.i.tution for the cultivation of this branch of knowledge. The press, however, has been prolific in the production of works treating on the various branches of the veterinary art; and many persons, by their aid, have rendered themselves competent to administer to animals in cases of disease, in a rational manner.

13. Nevertheless, the practice of animal medicine is confined chiefly to illiterate men, who, from their laborious habits, or from other causes, have not attained to that degree of information on animal diseases, and the general effects of medicine, that might enable them to prescribe their remedies on scientific principles. But this state of things is not peculiar to our country; for, notwithstanding the laudable efforts of enlightened men in Europe, the blacksmiths form a vast majority of the horse-surgeons and physicians in every part of it; and the medical treatment of the other domestic animals is commonly intrusted to persons who are still more incompetent.

14. The attention of blacksmiths was very early turned to the diseases of the horse, from the practice of supplying him with shoes. The morbid affections of the foot were probably the first which attracted their notice; and descanting upon these induced the general belief, that they understood every other disease which might affect the animal.

15. These men, as artificers in iron, were originally termed ferrers or ferriers, from the Latin word _ferrum_, iron; and their craft, ferriery. These terms, by a usual corruption or improvement in language, have been changed to farrier and farriery, both of which still remain in general use, the former as applied to persons who shoe horses and administer to them medicines and surgical remedies, and the latter to the art itself, by which they are, or ought to be, guided.

16. The appellation of veterinary surgeon is applicable to persons who have received a diploma from some veterinary college, or who have, at least, studied animal medicine scientifically. There are a few such individuals in the United States; and the great value of the domestic animals, and the general increase of knowledge, certainly justify the expectation, that their number will increase.


Popular Technology Volume II Part 24

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Popular Technology Volume II Part 24 summary

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