The first veterinary school in North America is established in Mexico!
Formal veterinary education in Mexico began in 1853, when the National College of Agriculture (Colegio Nacional de Agricultura) was founded. The college closed in 1856, and reopened in 1857 as the National Agriculture and Veterinary School (Escuela Nacional de Agricultura y Veterinaria). It closed again in 1914 due to the Mexican Revolution. Between 1853 and 1914, about 60 Mexican veterinarians were trained.
Canada would be next to start veterinary programs (in the 1860's)
1854 Self-governing windmill perfected
1854 Florence Nightigale pioneers modern nursing in the Crimian War emphasizing cleanliness and hygiene
1855 First professional veterinary journal in the U.S.
1855 David Hughes invents the printing telegraphs allowing newspapers in London to report on the war in the Crimea in real time. This is the first major war where it was difficult to hide, spin, and lie about the results weeks and months after the fact.
1855 My ancestor Dr Milton Ross helps slaves escape on the underground railroad
1855 London sewers modernized after outbreak of Cholera
1855 Congress appropriated $30,000 to investigate using camels to carry the mail from Texas to California.
1856 Another war between British and China mostly over Opium
1857 Louis Pasteur suggests in a paper that microorganisms may cause many human and animal diseases.
1859 Charles Darwin writes the Origin of the Species
1859 The Pig War of 1859: click here for more about the Pig Wars of 1940, 1859, and 1906
This page is a timeline about the history of veterinary medicine mixed with some major events for the years 1850-1880
Discussion about problems related to the reproductive tract such as uterine infections, False Pregnancy, lack of milk, Infection of the mammary glands and trouble giving birth. But also fun stuff like new born care. Aso about undescended testicles.
There are many more links to our other pages below on your left and a complete directory of links at the bottom of the page
1860 Farmers made up 58 percent of the labor force.
1860 The Pony Express April 3 1860 - Nov 1861 although suspended for a few months due to the Paiute Indian War
1860-75 Change from hand power to horses characterized the first American agricultural revolution
Gang plows and sulky plows came into use
1861 Civil War begins in South Carolina.
1862 Major Veterinary Colleges are well established in Europe (Edinburgh, London, Alfort, and Berlin) long before schools are started in the U.S. Like future veterinary schools in the U.S. they are oriented toward scientific investigation and eradication of diseases more than the skillful treatment of individual animals.
1862 Morrill Land-Grant College Act authorized public land grants for colleges to teach agriculture and mechanic arts.
1862 Homestead Act passed. Lincoln approves the Homestead Act of 1862, which granted full title of up to 160 acres of land to settlers after five years of residence.
Although good in principle, the act was badly administered, and as a result large amounts of land passed into the hands of large corporations through "dummy" homesteaders.
1862 President Lincoln signs legislation establishing the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He called it "the people's department" since 90 percent of Americans at the time were farmers. (Today only 2 percent are farmers.)
1862 First Veterinary College in North America is in Guelph, Ontario. If you don't count Mexico which established a Vet school in 1853
Now this is Interesting:
There were veterinary colleges and early investigations into the causes and control of diseases in Europe starting about 100 years prior to veterinary programs in the U.S. and Canada.
According to one historian, the reason veterinary programs were late to get started in the North America was because there wasn't much of a need: There was very little livestock disease in the New World while in Europe animal plagues were rampant and devastating!
Native cultures in the New World didn't have farm animals or horses, so there was no disease resevoir: for almost 300 years we in the new world didn't have to worry much about major livestock diseases.
Animals brought over from Europe which were sick tended to die during the long voyage which acted as a sort of natural quarantine
Unfortunately, this all started to change in the mid 1800's starting with Hog Cholera and Bovine Pleuropneumonia which is better known as Shipping Fever.
Veterinarians around the world now co-operate in understanding and fighting diseases ... and many major breakthroughs are or were pioneered in other countries... but U.S. and Canadian veterinarians can now be proud of their leadership position; the discoveries and advances attributable to North America since we got serious about veterinary medicine in the late 1800's is awesome.
1863 U.S. Veterinary Medical Association started
1863 While the US is busy fighting our Civil War, France occupies Mexico and different wars, revolts, and rebellions are raging throughout the World
1864 International Red Cross is founded in Geneva
1864 Louis Pasteur develops pasteruization for wine
1865 Slavery abolished by 13th amendment to the Constitution. (And of course, by the price paid in thousands of lives in the Civil War)
1861-1870 Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch establish the germ theory of disease.
According to germ theory, a specific disease is caused by a specific organism.
Before this discovery, most doctors believe diseases are caused by spontaneous generation. In fact, doctors would perform autopsies on people who died of infectious diseases and then care for living patients without washing their hands, not realizing that they were therefore transmitting the disease.
1870 Joseph Lister publishes Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery, one of the most important developments in medicine. Lister was convinced of the need for cleanliness in the operating room, a revolutionary idea at the time. He develops antiseptic surgical methods, using carbolic acid to clean wounds and surgical instruments.
The immediate success of his methods leads to general adoption. In one hospital that adopts his methods, deaths from infection decrease from nearly 60% to just 4%
Ambulance drill about 1860
From the Cornell Veterianary College website:
The history of the teaching of veterinary medicine at Cornell predates the establishment of the college in 1894.
Shortly after the university was founded in 1865, Ezra Cornell insisted that a chair of veterinary medicine be instituted. He instructed Andrew D. White, the university's first president, to seek the best-qualified person to teach courses in veterinary medicine and surgery.
President White secured the services of Dr. James Law, an already distinguished veterinarian and teacher, who was a graduate of the Edinburgh Veterinary College in Scotland.
Dr. Law became the first professor of veterinary medicine in the United States, and thus Cornell was the first American university to accord veterinary medicine equal rank with other sciences.
When the university opened in the fall of 1868, Dr. Law's first classes included students who were working toward degrees in agriculture and the biological sciences, as well as those pursuing veterinary degrees.
At Law's urging, Cornell set much higher requirements for a veterinary degree than any other institution at that time. Four years of study were required for a bachelor of veterinary science (BVSc) and an additional two years for a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM).
In 1876, Cornell was the first university in the United States to award a DVM degree to Daniel E. Salmon, who had been a member of the university's first entering class and received the BVSc degree in 1872.
Dr. Salmon became the founding chief of the US Bureau of Animal Industry and is best known today for identifying the infectious pathogen Salmonella and pioneering the fight against contagious diseases.
Funding to construct a veterinary building was provided by the state in 1894 at the time of the charter of the New York State Veterinary College. When the college first opened for classes in the fall of 1896, there were six professors, two instructors, and 11 students.
The scholastic requirement for entrance was a high school diploma, a high standard at the time.
1866 Gregor Mendel showed that traits pass from parents to offspring, the foundation of modern genetics.
1866 Alfred Nobel invents dynamite
1866 The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was formed.
1866 Robert Whitehead invents underwater torpedo
1867 Joseph Lister develops the use of antiseptic surgical methods and publishes Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery, one of the most important developments in medicine.
1867 Domion of Canada created
1867 US buys Alaska for $7.2 million
1867 First patent issued for barbed-wire fencing.
1867 Refrigerator railroad car patented.
1867 USDA begins research on animal disease.
1869 First transcontinental railroad completed.
1869 Gypsy moth accidentally brought into the U.S. from France; established in Medford, MA.
1869 Suez Canal opened.
1869 First practical spring-toothed harrow patented; eliminated breaking teeth on roots and stones.
1869 Dmitry Mendeleyev published the organizational groundwork for the periodic table of elements.
1870 Of gainfully employed persons, 47.4 percent were engaged in agriculture. This was the first time that farmers were a minority.
1870 Silos came into use
1870 Foot-and-mouth disease first reported in the U.S.
1870 First systematized, synchronous meteorological report ever taken in the U.S. was read and transmitted by telegraph.
1870 Rockefeller starts Standard Oil Company
1870 France declares war against Prussia over who controls Spain. Seige of Paris by Prussians ... whose advance is halted mainly due to severe diarrhea of the troops
1870 Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur establish the germ theory of disease
European trained veterinarians...many of whom have trained in the labs of Louis Pasteur, Lister, and Robert Koch migrate to America bringing with them the idea of diseases being caused by "germs". These relatively well trained veterinarians play a big role in our country's early fight against the major diseases of the time.
1870 Glanders disease in horses (and people) was so devastating during the civil war...as were outbreaks of respiratory disease outbreaks and "Texas Fever" in cattle and cholera in swine, that these were primary issues used to justify the establishment of veterinary schools.
1872 The "Great Epizootic Outbreak of Equine Catarrh" sickened a large percentage of horses. Officials blamed the illnesses of fire engine horses for the poor response of fire crews that allowed a fire to destroy much of Boston's downtown. Such events fuel the call for veterinary schools and government involvement modeled after European programs.
1873 Grasshoppers became a serious pest in the West.
1873 The Washington navel orange introduced into California with trees secured from Brazil by USDA.
1873 Aberdeen-Angus bulls imported from Scotland.
1874 Mennonites make first important introductions of wheat from Turkey into Kansas.
1874 Glidden barbed-wire patent granted. Availability of barbed wire allowed fencing of rangeland, ending era of unrestricted, open-range grazing.
My comment: barbed wire will also cause lots of nasty wounds on livestock and horses keeping veterinarians busy.
1874 Mechanical refrigeration invented.
1874 H Soloman introduces pressure cooker for canning foods
1875 First state agricultural experiment station established at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT.
From The Ontario Veterinary College Website
In 1875 27 pioneering veterinarians met in Toronto to form the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association.
This launched a new era of organized veterinary medicine in Canada and the association would later become incorporated by statute in 1879 as the Ontario Veterinary Association.
This important date in the history of Ontario’s veterinary profession marked the beginning of a long, hard struggle to attain "true professional status" and the privilege of self-governance that the profession enjoys today.
The inception of organized veterinary medicine in Ontario came about early in the province’s history, considering Upper Canada had been virtually an empty region only 90 years before. Across the border, in the older states, veterinary organization was still in its fledgling stages, and in Great Britain, Queen Victoria had approved of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons only 35 years earlier.
The beginnings of veterinary work in Ontario are rooted in the history of its agricultural community.
Settlers required growing veterinary attention for their livestock and by the 1860's, the advent of travel by steamship and railway stimulated a greater need for better animal care as livestock became more vulnerable to European diseases.
Hog cholera, foot-and-mouth disease, anthrax, and other serious animal diseases were breaking out in the U.S., causing heavy losses and threatening to infect Canadian stock.
Unease over this situation and the lack of scientific training and diplomas to practice veterinary medicine prompted the establishment of a veterinary teaching college for Canada.
Andrew Smith was appointed to head the new college and in 1862, he began by giving supplementary lectures in veterinary subjects to agricultural students in Toronto.
Smith went on to form the private Upper Canada Veterinary School, and its successor, the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), which is today, the oldest veterinary school in Canada and the United States.
The first class of three young men received their diplomas in 1866. In contrast, the 1999 graduating class of the Ontario Veterinary College has 99 students, and 67 of these are women.
In 1871, the veterinary profession reached another milestone when the Agriculture and Arts Act of Ontario was amended to provide that no one should append their name to the title of veterinary surgeon unless certified by a veterinary college.
The Veterinary Science Practice Act of 1931 broadened the scope of veterinary medicine by extending to include domestic animals as well as livestock.
1876 Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone
1876 Custer's Last Stand
1876 Nicholas Otto invents the internal combustion engine in Germany
1876 Russo-Turkish war includes many of the Balkan States revolting against Turkey and the beginning of the fall of the Ottoman Empire
1876 Our Country's 100th Birthday!
1876 Telephone patented by Alexander Graham Bell.
1876 Germ theory of disease verified. It takes a little time, but this changes everything!
1876 Kudzu ("The vine that ate the South") brought over to US to World Expostition celebrating our Centennial in Philadelphia. Click here for more information about this amazing a frustrating plant... maybe we should introduce it to Iraq and Afgahnastan.
1876 Charles Darwin wrote the first complete analysis and description of hybrid vigor called Cross- and Self-Fertilization in the Vegetable Kingdom.
1877 First shipment of refridgerated meat from Argentina to France
1877 Edison invents the phonograph
1877 Queen Victoria becomes Empress of India
1878 Milking machine invented.
1879 Formalized veterinary education began at Iowa State College, making it the oldest state veterinary college. This may seem to contradict Cornell's claim to be the first, but note that Iowa claims to be the first STATE vet college.
1879 French vineyards devasted by disease brought from America
1879 First vaccine for cholera
1879 Edison invents the electric light bulb
1879 Desert Land Act encouraged development of irrigation in arid lands; offered land at 25 cents per acre if irrigated and cultivated for 3 years.
1879 United States Entomological Commission established to study grasshoppers.
1879 British traders sent seed of the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) from Brazil to Malaya; began Asian dominance of rubber market.
1879 One of the important milestones in the improvement of military veterinary service was the requirement set forth in Army General Orders of 1879 and first included in Army Regulations of 1881 that thereafter all appointed as veterinary surgeons with Cavalry were to be graduates of established and reputable veterinary schools or colleges. The regulations also provided that the veterinary surgeons would have rank and precedence comparable to those of a sergeant major. Pay for a senior veterinarian was set at $100/month
1879 First Laboratory Vaccine
Louis Pasteur produced the first laboratory-developed vaccine: the vaccine for chicken cholera (Pasteurella multocida).
Pasteur attenuated, or weakened, the bacteria for use in the vaccine. He happened upon the method of attenuation by accident: in his lab, he was studying fowl cholera by injecting chickens with the live bacteria and recording the fatal progression of the illness. He had instructed an assistant to inject the chickens with a fresh culture of the bacteria before a holiday. The assistant, however, forgot. When the assistant returned a month later, he carried out Pasteur’s wishes using the culture that had been left sitting for the month. The chickens, while showing mild signs of the disease, survived. When they were healthy again, Pasteur injected them with fresh bacteria. The chickens did not become ill. Pasteur eventually reasoned the factor that made the bacteria less deadly was exposure to oxygen.
Pasteur would soon develop a vaccine for rabies
Think about this; Vaccines have saved more lives... human and animal... than all other medical procedures combined.
Below I've written a brief history of the development of vaccines and some pretty surprising historical comments.
1798 Edward Jenner develops the first vaccine (to protect agains Small Pox) given by a needle in the arm. It is a vaccine made with a culture of Cow Pox... a lesser but similar disease... that gives immunity to Small Pox, a much deadlier disease. He deserves a lot of credit.... BUT the fact that exposure to Cow Pox gave some defense to deadly Small Pox was known by at least a few people many centuries earlier.
1000-1880 Starting about 1000 AD with the Chinese, then the Muslims in Turkey it was discovered that Small Pox Disease might be prevented if the pus from the remaining sores of a person lucky enough to be in recovery from this disease was scratched into the skin of a healthy person, than that healthy person would also get sick .... but not as bad as most... and would thereafter be immune.
1777 21 years before Jenner invented the first real vaccine, General George Washington, as you'll read below had his troops purposely exposed to cow pox in hopes of preventing them from getting Small Pox.
Small Pox, by the way was, until it was finally eradicated in 1977, one of the most devastating diseases in the world and played a huge role in history. Here are just 2 examples:
It was Small Pox that wiped out as much as 90% of the native populations in South, Central, and North Americas.
If one out of two American rebel troops led by General Benedict Arnold (before he switched sides) weren't casualties to Small Pox Disease, his attempt to capture Quebec from Britain in the Fall and Winter of 1775, would probably have been successful. We might not only have won The Revolutionary War much sooner, but all of Canada might now be part of the United States.
George Washington, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, based at his headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey, ordered mandatory inoculation for troops if they had not survived a smallpox infection earlier in life—possibly in reaction to the inability of Benedict Arnold’s troops to capture Quebec from Britain the year before, when more than half of the colonial troops had smallpox.
1879 First Laboratory Vaccine
Louis Pasteur produced the first laboratory-developed vaccine: the vaccine for chicken cholera (Pasteurella multocida).
Rabies Studies Begin
A Parisian veterinarian sent Louis Pasteur samples from two dogs that had died of rabies. The number of rabid dogs had increased in Paris, and veterinarians had become concerned about the problem.
Pasteur then began careful work on rabies, attempting to infect other animals with rabies and identify the site and cause of infection.
One of the difficulties with studying rabies is that the time between introduction of the infectious agent and signs of the disease varies greatly. Pasteur was able to advance his studies by shortening this period: first, he selected for the most lethal, fast-acting strains of the virus, and, second, he injected infectious material directly into rabbit brains (in the wild, the virus is introduced via a bite and travels slowly up a nerve to the brain). Pasteur would continue to work with rabies over the next several years until his successful use of the vaccine in 1885.
1885-1930's and beyond
Starting in the late 1800's and with great intensity and government backing, scientists, physicians, and especially veterinarians were working in the lab .... using live animals and sometimes humans... for experiments trying to see how many terrible diseases were caused by micro-organisms... now that it was finally being accepted that there were micro-organisms... and how were they transmitted, and most important, what to do about it. The race was on to save millions of lives by being the first to develop the next vaccine.
An interesting result of experimenting on so many animals ... often in very cruel ways... led to a backlash of protests against what was then called vivisection... mainly by women's groups.
This, in turn led to the organization of humane societies and similar groups and a nasty rift between women's groups and veterinarians after the president of the newly formed American Association of Veterinarians made public just how he felt about silly, ridiculous, hysterical, persons of the gentle sex who were more worried about the humane treatment of cute little animals than saving millions of human (and animal) lives through the development of vaccines.
Luckily, this rift would be mostly mended in 1906 when both women's groups and veterinarians united in their political goal and efforts to get the Clean Food Act passed.
It's a little funny in hindsight that the first thing women did with their new voting power was to pass prohibition.
Continental Troops, led by the General Benedict Arnold might have won The Revolutionary War and all of Canada for the United States in the Winter of 1775 if it weren't for losing more than half of his force to Small Pox !
The Crystal Palace... the highlight of the First World Exhibition amazed the World in the 1850s ... and a symbol of Britain's unquestioned supremacy as a world power. Less than 50 years later, the "Columbian" Exposition of 1893 in Chicago would be a symbol of "American Exceptionalism" and the advent of a new world power.
Cardiology Heart disease in Cats, Cardiac Hypertrophy, Valvular disease, Cardiac Insufficiency, Congestive Heart Failure, Heartworm Disease, and a little history about the milestones in treating heart disease
Cats: general information page and directory of diseases and problems specific to cats including vaccine recommendations, leukemia, feline viral infections, feline upper respiratory disease and cats that just aren't feeling well.