The Veterinary Magic of the Middle Ages

Medieval healers treated animals’ ailments with a mix of faith, tradition and science

The year is 1266, and your horse is acting strange. It started with a fever. But then weeping pustules appeared all over its body, and fluids poured forth from every orifice. Not long after, the horse stabled next to it came down with the same sickness. You’ve heard of this before. It’s the dreaded disease called farcy—and you’ll need more than medicine to make your animals well again.

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A workhorse in Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, 1412–1416 Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

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