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Veterinary medicine can be defined as the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of animal health problems in the context of human–animal relationships. This broad definition is used in this book to include many types of animal healing throughout history. However, this "concise" history of veterinary medicine does not attempt to include all important topics in the history of animal healing. Instead, the history of animal healing and veterinary medicine is framed using a global and world history approach. Activities are included at the end of each chapter that encourage readers to explore the veterinary history of their own region and nation. Every chapter considers how animal healing interacted with tensions between the economic, military, and cultural value, status, and uses of domesticated animals. Who were the animal healers? What was their social status? How were they trained? What skills and knowledge did they have? How did people explain or theorize, and respond to, animal health problems in each place and time period?
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