History of the Dog in Animation


Dr vétérinaire, interne animaux de compagnie à l’École Nationale Vétérinaire d’Alfort
7 Avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94700 Maisons-Alfort

While the horse stood out as the choice model for illustrations in the 19th-century optical toys, small mammals, whose features were simpler to portray in animated cartoons, became popular with the birth of the motion picture. However, throughout the silent-film era, the dog struggled to gain ground, competing with feline stars which dominated the market. The moment of revenge arrived during the transition to sound and colour. Initially a hero’s likeable stooge, then becoming the main star in cartoons or full-length movies of its own, the dog character in all its forms – from the most realistic to the most anthropomorphic ones – embarked on a flourishing career which was to culminate in the computergenerated technological achievements of the modern era.


Ref. : Bull.soc.fr.hist.méd.sci.vét., 2014, 14 : 183-192

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The equine mange epizootic during World War One: prevention and therapeutic failure


Docteur Vétérinaire, Vétérinaire Général Inspecteur (2S)
Membre émérite de l’Académie Vétérinaire de France
18 avenue Jean Jaurès 92140 Clamart

Mange officially appears among the French army’s equine population in December 1914 in the wake of mobile warfare. Driven by operational conditions and difficulty in implementing an effective treatment, its evolution quickly became epizootic. For technical reasons, new and effective treatments introduced from 1917 – such as pesticide baths and exposure to a sulfuric atmosphere or sulfidation – were not widely available before 1919. Between 1914 and 1918, mange temporarily immobilizes some 460,000 horses and mules – nearly 50,000 of which are slaughtered. Insufficiently concerned command, inadequate veterinary care and particularly severe circumstances contributed to this dismal failure.


Ref. : Bull.soc.fr.hist.méd.sci.vét., 2014, 14 : 169-182

Posted in 2014, Contagious diseases and vaccination, Contemporary, Horses, Militaria | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Alfort Battalion’s battle to defend Charenton’s bridge on 30 march 1814

Emmanuel DUMAS

Vétérinaire en chef, Service vétérinaire des armées de Metz, Caserne Ney, CS 30001, 57044 Metz Cedex 1

In 1814, as the allied armies were about to invade France, pupils of the Alfort Veterinary School were formed into an infantry battalion. Known as the “Alfort battalion”, this battalion became renowned for having defended the bridge of Charenton in the battle of Paris on 30 march 1814. The author describes the creation of the battalion, the battle of the Charenton bridge and the losses suffered by the battalion.


Ref. : Bull.soc.fr.hist.méd.sci.vét., 2014, 14 : 139-168

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A paradoxical veterinary teacher, the Norman André de Chaumontel (1752-1814)

François VALLAT

Docteur Vétérinaire, Docteur en Histoire
10 rue Jean Pigeon, 94220 Charenton-le-Pont

André de Chaumontel, NCO in the French King’s Household Cavalry, was first a student at Alfort Veterinary School and later a teacher – on his return to France after having escaped the French Revolution as an “émigré”. He had to leave the institution in 1805 on account of embezzlement. Hitherto untapped documents shed some light on the personal problems which led this nobleman from Normandy to commit the irregularities.


Ref. : Bull.soc.fr.hist.méd.sci.vét., 2014, 14 : 123-138

Posted in 2014, A-F, Biography, Education, Horses, Modern | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The sheep of Bas-Berry and liver fluke disease from the end of the 18th to the middle of the 20th century

Nicolas BARON

Professeur agrégé d’Histoire-Géographie au Lycée Curie (Châteauroux), 23, rue Berlioz 36000 Châteauroux

Adopting the “animal point of view” conceptualized by Eric Baratay, this article attempts to reconstruct the lives of sheep from Indre faced with liver fluke disease between the end of the 18th and the middle of the 20th century, using local records and linking them with the publications of veterinarians, animal scientists and ethologists. The “wool-producing animals”, extremely high in number and the mainstay of Bas-Berry’s economy, had long been under threat from cruel and destructive diseases. The slow and erratic improvement in their state of health during this period owes much more to advancements in rearing conditions and disease prevention than to treatments still in their infancy and, in all instances, remains dependent on the financial resources of breeders. Through the study of animal suffering the broad outlines of animal welfare ultimately emerge.


Ref. : Bull.soc.fr.hist.méd.sci.vét., 2014, 14 : 111-121

Posted in 2014, Modern, Parasitology, Sheeps and goats | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Veterinary and animal suffering: from indifference to compassion

Par François VALLAT

Docteur vétérinaire, Docteur en Histoire, 10 rue Jean Pigeon, 94220 Charenton-le-Pont

The evolution of empathy for animals among French veterinarians can be traced through the professional press. The cruelty of the practises of surgery in the schools before 1878, and the difficulties in introducing the general usage of anaesthetics attest to an indifference to pain, as opposed to the attitude of their British colleagues. In the 1960s, pets become the object of attentions still unknown to food-producing animals, despite the global conversion of practitioners to compassion.


Ref. : Bull.soc.fr.hist.méd.sci.vét., 2013, 13 : 77-109

Posted in 2014, Modern | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The forgotten pathology of work horses, 1800-1918 — Contribution of the written sources and anatomical collections of the Alfort Veterinary School

par François VALLAT

Dr vétérinaire, Dr en Histoire, 10, rue Jean Pigeon, 94220 Charenton-le-Pont, francoisvallat@hotmail.com

The old anatomopathological collections and written documents provide evidence of diseases in horses during the 19th and 20th centuries that have now disappeared or decreased in severity, such as overworking, harness sores, exostoses, quittor, polysaccharide storage myopathy, lathyrism and intestinal calculus. The circumstances in which these illnesses occurred suggest an overuse of horses, which tends to be forgotten.


Ref. : Bull.soc.fr.hist.méd.sci.vét., 2014, 14 : 49-75


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The Charlier method of farriery, history of a controversy

Par Christophe DEGUEURCE

Professeur à l’École nationale vétérinaire d’Alfort et conservateur du Musée Fragonard, Centre de Recherche en Histoire Européenne Comparée, Université Paris-Est Créteil, École nationale vétérinaire d’Alfort, 7 avenue du général de Gaulle, 94700 Maisons-Alfort cedex, cdegueurce@vet-alfort.fr

Pierre Charlier, veterinarian of a transport company of Paris, presented 1765 a revolutionary method of farriery. His horse shoe was made of an iron hook inlaid into the edge of the wall that limited the wear of the hoof while the sole and frog came into contact with the ground and limited slips. This patented device called into question the principles of the French method of farriery, threatened Parisian workshops owned by veterinarians in sight und thus unleashed a controversy of a rare violence that flourished the following


Ref. : Bull.soc.fr.hist.méd.sci.vét., 2014, 14 : 35-47

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Restraint of horses during the Middle Ages


Archiviste paléographe, 6 rue Lemaignan 75014 Paris, yvonne.poulle@laposte.net

There is no medieval treatise on the subject and the relevant information is to be gleaned from the general medieval veterinary literature; for this article, only recently edited treatises were consulted. Iconography provided another important source of information. During the Middle Ages, the restraint technique focused on the horse’s head: a bit (frenum) was inserted into its mouth or a halter (capistrum) was used with a tether (retina). A traginellus was achieved by binding the horse’s front feet to one of its rear feet. Shackles (pedica, pastoria) were made of wool not to hurt the horse’s legs. Restraint in an upright position was achieved by suspension or by placing the horse in a trave (machina). Casting horses was a dangerous operation and anaesthetics, first innovatively applied to animals by Teodorico Borgognoni, could sometimes reduce the risk. Stablemen were the only persons to perform restraint of horses.


Ref. : Bull.soc.fr.hist.méd.sci.vét., 2014, 14 : 19-33

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The restraint of horses as described by ancient Greek and Roman authors, from first to fourth century AD

François VALLAT

Dr vétérinaire, Dr en Histoire, email. francoisvallat@hotmail.com

The study of texts by Columella (Ist century) and by hippiaters of the late Roman Empire (IVth century) reveals characteristics of ancient restraint methods used in performing surgery on large domestic species. Because of its large size, Columella’s travis (machina) could not be used as is done nowadays, but as a cage in which animals were strapped in a surgical position. Moreover, an original method of steadying the animal’s head reminds one of the present-day self-locking feed barrier. The travis also made it possible to suspend (suspendere, statuere) horses that could not remain standing on their own, for the duration of the recovery period. And a rustic version of machina was used as a mating corridor for horses. Rather than resort to a machina, a fixed piece of equipment found on large estates, ancient veterinaries preferred casting horses (deponere, exponere, elidere), which was faster but required real expertise. In this context, the use of a pit (fossa) is analyzed.


Ref. : Bull.soc.fr.hist.méd.sci.vét., 2014, 14 : 7-17

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