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The Medical Marketplace For Animals

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the range of men and women who provided 'free service' for animals. The framework of a 'medical marketplace' consisted of various healers, treatments and medical products. The main categories of animal healers consisted of 'professional' farriers, self-styled farriers, horseleeches and horse-doctors and leeches specialising in other types of working animals. The highest level of animal practitioners was taken by those who worked with horses and held the legal right to be called a farrier and to treat horses in London. The term 'leech' was also used by practitioners who treated other types of 'cattel' or working animals. The largest category of medical providers falls under the heading of 'lay-healers'. It can be argued that the medical care they provided would often have been superior to that offered by 'professional' animal healers, particularly those who treated all types.

Keywords: animals; farrier; leeches; medical marketplace



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