Medical treatment of animals in slavs in the middle ages

Keywords: blacksmiths, horses, horse doctor, medical business, animals, folk medicine, diseases, medicines, instru-ments.


How the treatment of animals in Galicia evolved before the first printed veterinary works appeared today is little known to tell. The reason for this is the lack of relevant historical research in this area. However, this gap will no doubt be widened over time. This work is long and exhausting, since it is based on archival research and also on literature, which refers to a specific period. These will be pieces from different spheres of life, which, after proper segregation, will make it possible to complete this chapter. The above mentioned text of the treatment of horses by Slavs since 1394 is the oldest known mention of an equine doctor, as well as the salary for surgery and payment for medication. Confirming that in medieval Galicia, both the forging and the treatment of horses belonged to the blacksmith's duties. Preparation of medicines for horses was carried out by those who treated them. The blacksmiths, who were treated, began to be called Konoval. The oldest mention is recorded on parchment in 1505, also there is a guild sign of people of this profession. This is also evidenced by the engraving, whose origins date back to the Middle Ages. Blacksmiths are in the first place in the Middle Ages like equestrian doctors, they are already mentioned in the literature from the XI century. The grooms appear near the blacksmiths, but the name of the groom began dating only in the early 13th century. Since then, there are the first written mentions of poultry, falconers and dog-keepers. They were responsible for the care and treatment of the poultries or animals that had been cared for. In addition to agricultural content, there were also guidelines for the treatment and breeding of pets. In very few cases, veterinary writers describe the signs or causes of diseases, mainly by continuing to give the name of the disease and method of treatment. Therefore, treatment is empirical in the full sense of the word. Following the custom at the time of treatment, describe the treatment of each disease, as it is today in surgery, that is, starting from the head and ending at the feet. When the doctor could not make the correct diagnosis, he called the horse sick and recommended to treat it with a mixture consisting of butter, eggs and salt. By the term “attack” the author understood the signs of a very acute and usually fatal illness. Since drugs that deserve attention, we recommend sulfur, copper greens, turpentine, mustard, quicklime, mercury, tar, used as an ointment or liniment for external treatment. In addition to the aforementioned measures, the burning of the ferrous iron of the tumors was applied and then sprinkled with green copper, indicating the treatment of cutaneous form of sap. Medicines can be divided into three groups, namely: Medicinal products of vegetable, animal and mineral origin. The medicines were mixed and prepared mainly by the horse doctor, the medicines consisted mainly of home remedies and were readily available to anyone. In the liquid form were infused into the mouth, nose, enemas, ablution, bathing. Water, wine, vinegar and olive oil are the basis for liquid medicines. Ointments, suppositories, patches, pastes and poultices were used in the condensed form, Ointments are often used in a warm state. The basis for this was fats and wax. In the form of powdered substances that have blown into the eye or wounds. In addition to the above remedies, medicinal products and magical procedures were used for therapeutic purposes: words with superstitious signs related to religious worship were used to achieve treatment. Dressings and surgical instruments. A horn was served to deliver the medication, with certain preparations filled in the horn. Wounds were washed using a copper syringe. A leather bag made of the same material has replaced today's pourer. A hoof knife, a blood dispenser, a razor to remove hair are also mentioned, and also iron for burning ulcers and eczema. The dressing material is hemp yarn, scarves, mostly blue, spartan shale.


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Prysyazhnyuk, V. (2019). Medical treatment of animals in slavs in the middle ages. Scientific Messenger of LNU of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnologies. Series: Veterinary Sciences, 21(96), 71-74.