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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

Medical beliefs and practices for animals in early modern England are discussed in this chapter. 'Modern' animal medicine is linked with the foundation of the London Veterinary College in 1791. It involved the creation of a social structure to define health and illness, providing a range of preventative and remedial treatments. The principles that lay behind preventative medicine were on not getting sick. The general advice on keeping animals healthy was not over-working them, providing a warm, dry place to sleep and appropriate foodstuffs for the season. The long established system of veterinary care in England continued through the eighteenth century and was the basis of teaching in the new college. It can be argued that the period before the founding of the first London Veterinary College deserves serious academic study and benefits understanding of animal and human health and illness in the past and present.

Keywords: England; London Veterinary College; preventative medicine; veterinary medicine

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