A trip to the vet is a regular event for us dog lovers. But only a century ago, you'd be hard pressed to find a small animal practice in most places.
Founded in 1762 in Lyon, France, the first veterinary school was established to treat horses and other animals that contributed to the agricultural based economy.
|Source: Old Vet Books|
Between 1762 and 1800, parallel to the blossoming awareness that human and animal lives were mutually interdependent, nineteen vet schools were founded in Europe and the UK. By the 1850s, Boston, New York and Philadelphia all had their own vet schools, but none focused on dogs.
|Apparently people didn't have access to |
the "naturally tasty treat with a built in pouch for hiding a tablet, capsule or
liquid medication - Pill Pockets - the #1 veterinarian-recommended
choice for giving pills!"
In 1790, Delabere Pritchett Blaine established a vet practice in Sussex, England, that mainly treated animals not attended to by farriers, meaning mostly dogs. He had apprenticed with surgeons but was neither a qualified vet or a professor, although he called himself both. His practice saw more than 2500 dogs per year.
|Blaine wrote this book in 1824. |
It's a fascinating read for a
dog science nerd like Dr. Barkman.
|The Dog (1824)|
You can purchase an original copy
from Go Antiques
for a hundred bucks.
As you'd expect, those Victorian dog eccentrics were the first to benefit from the increase in small animal hospitals. By the early 1900s, there were many such clinics in big cities.
|First patient at New York City's Dog Hospital, sponsored by|
the New York Women's League for Animals, 1914
Library of Congress
The Agnew Small Animal Sanitarium in Pasadena, California, may have been the first large hospital established to care primarily for dogs and cats. It flourished well into the 1970s. Below is an advertisement published in the 1916 Tournament of Roses magazine.
|Image courtesy of Altadena Historical Society|
In rural areas, dogs enjoyed good health with the availability of over-the-counter remedies you could buy at your local grain feed store.
|New York's Bideawee Home for Animals|
was one of the first welfare organizations
in the U.S. to provide treatment to dogs.
Photo: Library of Congress