Veterinary medicine

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Reference to a resident veterinarian with an Aesculapian staff

The veterinary medicine , veterinary medicine or veterinary medicine (from the French word vétérinaire ), deals with the diseases and injuries of animals , with animal welfare and accompanying research , but also with food of animal origin and related topics. The latter in particular is of great importance in the context of constantly increasing consumer protection , as the control of food of animal origin, both in production and in processing, is the responsibility of the veterinary authorities.



The Egyptian papyrus of Kahun from 1900 BC. BC is one of the first documents to prove veterinary medicine - Shalihotra (around 2400 BC) is generally accepted as the founder.

Shalihotra documents, about 2400 BC. u. Z.

In the edicts of Ashoka ( 3rd century BC ) it is written:

"Everywhere King Piyadasi (Asoka) made two kinds of medicine (चिकित्सा) available, medicine for people and medicine for animals. Where there were no healing herbs for people and animals, he ordered that they be bought and planted. "

German translation:

“King Ashoka made two kinds of medicine available everywhere, for humans and for animals. Where no medicinal plants were available, he ordered purchase and cultivation. "

The depiction of Asklepios on a provincial Roman coin from Parium in Mysia at the time of the Roman Emperor Alexander Severus, on which he was examining the hoof of a bull, suggests that Asklepios was not only regarded as a god of healing, but also a veterinary god. In addition, Hercules was also considered the patron god of the animal herds and their health.

Asklepios examining a bull, coin from Parium z. Currently Alexander Severus'

In the 5th or 6th century AD, the compilation of ancient publications on equine medicine, the Hippiatrica, appeared . In the Middle Ages, the six-part handbook of equine medicine Hippiatria by Jordanus Ruffus , Oberhofmarschall Friedrichs II., Written around 1250 , was widespread and has also been translated into various languages ​​since the 13th century.

German language area

From the Middle Ages to the early modern period, veterinary texts are also attested in German-speaking countries. One of the most widespread publications on equine medicine, which was translated into many languages ​​from the 13th to the 18th century, was the so-called Rossarzneibuch of Master Albrant, who worked in Naples as the Marstaller of Emperor Frederick II. The oldest veterinary college in the German language is the 1765 training school for the cure of livestock diseases founded University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna . In what is now the Federal Republic of Germany, academic training in veterinary medicine goes back to 1771 and has its roots at the University of Göttingen . At that time, the Göttingen polymath Johann Christian Polycarp Erxleben received approval to found the Vieharzney Institute at the university. The current veterinary institute of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen is therefore the oldest and first university educational institution for veterinary medicine in Germany, at which, however, it is no longer possible to study veterinary medicine.

The oldest, still existing, independent veterinary university in Germany is the one in 1778 under the reign of George III. University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover founded as the Roßarzney School (since 2003 Foundation of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover). The anatomist Henryk Kadyi (1851–1912) put a school leaving certificate and a four-year degree in veterinary medicine as prerequisites for the approval of veterinarians in Lemberg, Austria .

Studied in Germany

The training to become a veterinarian is regulated by the state through the ordinance on the license to practice medicine for veterinarians (TAppV).

You can study veterinary medicine in Germany at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover , in Berlin ( Free University of Berlin ), Gießen ( Justus Liebig University ), Leipzig ( University of Leipzig ) and Munich ( Ludwig Maximilians University ). In the Republic of Austria, studies are only possible in Vienna, in Switzerland at the universities of Bern and Zurich . It is divided into the sections pre-physics, physics and clinical sections. It ends with the final exam and the license to practice medicine as a veterinarian .

Depending on the university, the training takes place in two variants. The classic method is taught according to subjects ( surgery , internal medicine , theriogenology, etc.), while the North American method differentiates between animal species and then teaches all subjects together (clinic for ruminants , horses , small pets , etc.). A hybrid form is practiced in Leipzig in which farm animals as well as small animals and birds are treated subject-specifically.

This may be followed by a dissertation with the academic degree Doctor medicinae veterinariae (Dr. med. Vet.), An additional veterinary examination as part of a qualification as a specialist veterinarian (so-called district examination) or further training as a specialist veterinarian . Recently, a standardized advanced training course for Diplomate of the European College for many disciplines (e.g. Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgery, Dipl. ECVS) has emerged across Europe based on the American model . This is coordinated by the European Board of Veterinary Specialization .

Similar to human medicine, there are various specializations among veterinarians as part of postgraduate training to become a specialist veterinarian. There are both discipline-dependent specialist veterinarians (e.g. surgery, pathology , internal medicine), animal species-related specializations (e.g. small animals, horses, cattle , pigs , poultry ) and, in addition to the actual specialist veterinarians, area names (e.g. ophthalmology , acupuncture ) (→ List of medical specialties ).

Specialist literature in a veterinary practice

In the agriculture veterinary medicine plays a major role. Among other things, this is about animal disease protection , so that the killing of animal herds in the event of infections ( FMD , BSE, etc.) and the protection of humans against animal diseases ( zoonoses such as rabies, etc.) fall into the field of veterinarians.

While “luxury animals ” such as horses and small pets such as dogs , cats or guinea pigs can be provided with care comparable to human medicine, the medical care of farm animals is mainly based on economic aspects .

Another focus of veterinary medicine is ensuring food hygiene . For this purpose, for example, ante-mortem and meat inspections are carried out by veterinarians or under their supervision. This includes the control of animal transports and hygiene in food operations such as B. in slaughterhouses . Food science is an essential part of veterinary training.

The former male domain has increasingly become a profession for women. At some universities the percentage of female veterinary students rose to over 90%; the national average the numbers for new students were: 1974 24%, 1980 50%, 1990 74%, 2001 87%.

In recent years there has been a "shift from teaching to learning" in veterinary medicine training, in which curricula have increasingly been adapted with the aim of equipping students with relevant competencies (competence-oriented teaching). In addition, efforts are being made to subdivide content and competencies no longer ostensibly according to disciplines, but comprehensively according to thematic blocks (e.g. cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system). Furthermore, an increasing number of veterinary universities recognize the importance of institutionalized, systematically given, high-quality teacher feedback to students in order to make the acquisition of clinical skills more efficient and effective.

Studied in Switzerland

The Bologna system has been in effect at all universities since the year that began in 2007 , in which the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (B Vet Med) is awarded after the third year .

In the following two years of the master’s degree, a master’s thesis must be written, and after passing the final examinations, one receives the title Master of Veterinary Medicine (M Vet Med). The federal final examination (federal diploma of the respective subject) is then taken by all courses after the master’s degree; the master’s is the admission requirement.

After completing the master’s degree, a doctorate (Dr. med. Vet.) Can be obtained in a further year by submitting a doctoral thesis.

The course is offered in Bern and Zurich (joint faculty Vetsuisse) and is subject to a numerus clausus .

Professional organizations

In addition to the statutory organs of professional self-administration ( corporations under public law), the 17 state veterinary chambers (there are two chambers in North Rhine-Westphalia), the independent professional associations also take care of the interests of the profession. While all veterinarians are compulsory members in the state veterinary associations, membership in the professional associations is voluntary. Accordingly, the associations can act and argue more freely.

The oldest organization is the German Veterinary Medicine Society (DVG), founded in 1949 and registered in the register of associations in 1951. The goals of the DVG are to promote research , teaching and science in veterinary medicine, the promotion of young talent, advanced training and scientific congresses and the administration of several foundations for the promotion of science. It is an umbrella organization of 36 specialist groups that take on the role of the veterinary medical societies in Germany (e.g. German Society for Small Animal Medicine DGK-DVG, Section Horse Diseases , Section Animal Welfare Law, FG Zoo Animals, Wild Animals and Exotic Pets ZWE, FG Physiology and Biochemistry etc. .) and six committees (e.g. disinfectants committee of the DVG or working group veterinary infection diagnosis AVID). The DVG has been testing and listing disinfectants for animal husbandry and the food sector since 1970 . This list is binding for all official disinfection measures.

In 1953 the BpT e. V. at that time the Federal Association of Practical Veterinarians, now the Federal Association of Practicing Veterinarians . The BpT has a federal association and 16 regional associations. and is the lobbying association for practicing veterinarians. In addition to his extensive professional policy tasks, he takes care of advanced training through a wide range of events. He is a collective bargaining partner in the negotiations of collective agreements for veterinary employees .

In 1954, the state veterinary associations merged to form the German Veterinary Society. V. together. At the end of the 1990s, this was called the Bundestierärztekammer e. V. (BTK) around. The BTK is not a corporation under public law, but an association. Due to the compulsory membership in the state veterinary associations, every professional is a member of the BTK. This sees itself as a nationwide association of all veterinarians and takes care of professional issues. For authorities and politics, she is the first point of contact in the profession. While the role as an overall organization used to be clear, since the other veterinary medical associations could also become members of the BTK with equal rights, this has been put into perspective since legal concerns (BTK as an association of public corporations) led to the abolition of equal membership. On behalf of the state veterinary chambers, which have to ensure further training in accordance with the statutory mandate (health professions laws of the federal states), the BTK has carried out further training events via the subsidiary ATF - Academy for Veterinary Further Education , since 1974. The BTK publishes the Deutsche Tierärzteblatt .

The Federal Association of Civil Servants Veterinarians e. V. (BbT) represents the professional policy interests of veterinarians who work as civil servants or on a publicly appointed basis.

In addition to these four large associations, there are a large number of smaller associations in veterinary medicine.

See also

Portal: Veterinary Medicine  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of veterinary medicine

Older veterinary works

  • Georg Friedrich Sick: Lessons for the farmer as well as for every pet and cattle owner to avert and cure cattle diseases and contagious cattle epidemics that are common and common in times of war. Berlin 1807; Reprint, with a comment by Dieter Lösch, Leipzig 1990.
  • Georg Friedrich Sick: About the nature of rinderpest and the dangers with which all of Germany is threatened by this devastating plague in the course of the current war [...]. Berlin 1813.
  • Joh. Nicol. Rohlwes: General cattle pharmacopoeia or instruction on how the farmer should raise, wait and feed horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and dogs, and recognize and cure their diseases. 17th edition (anastatic reprint) Reutlingen 1879.


  • Angela von den Driesch : History of veterinary medicine. 5000 years of veterinary medicine. Callwey, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-7667-0934-8 .
  • Reinhard Froehner : Cultural history of veterinary medicine. I – III, Konstanz 1954–1968.
  • Cynthia M. Kahn (Ed.): The Merck veterinary manual , 10th ed., John Wiley, Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck, Chichester, 2010, ISBN 978-0-911910-93-3 .
  • Emmanuel Leclainche: Histoire illustrée de la médicine vétérinaire, presented by Gaston Ramon. I – II, Paris 1955.
  • Emmanuel Leclainche: Veterinary Medicine in Antiquity. in R. Toellner (Hrsg.): Illustrated history of medicine. Volume 5. Andreas Verlagsbuchhandlung, Salzburg 1990, pp. 523-571.
  • Emmanuel Leclainche: Veterinary medicine from the Middle Ages to the end of the 18th century. In: R. Toellner (Ed.): Illustrated history of medicine. Special edition in six volumes, Salzburg 1986, volume 3, pp. 1723–1773.

Web links

Commons : Veterinary Medicine  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. Thrusfield, Michael (2007), Veterinary epidemiology, Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN 978-1-4051-5627-1 , Google Books, November 21, 2011
  2. ^ Finger, Stanley (2001), Origins of neuroscience: a history of explorations into brain function, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-514694-3 , Google Books, November 21, 2011 .
  3. ^ Hermann Junghans: Asklepios as a veterinarian? In: Monetary History News. March 2020, p. 39.
  4. ^ Gundolf Keil : Ruffus, Jordanus. In: Author's Lexicon . Volume VIII, Col. 377 f.
  5. ^ Gundolf Keil: 'Liber de cura equorum' ('Practica equorum', 'Roßarzneiliche Albertus-Magnus-Template'). In: Author's Lexicon . Volume V, Col. 752-756.
  6. Gerhard Eis : Two animal remedies from Arnold Doneldey's Pharmacopoeia from 1382. In: Deutsche Tierärztliche Wochenschrift 63, 1956, p. 62 f.
  7. ^ Gerhard Eis: German remedies for pets from the year 1321. In: Deutsche Tierärztliche Wochenschrift 65, 1958, No. 4, p. 115 f.
  8. ^ Wilhelm Tzschacher: Salzburger Tierheilkunst around 1520. In: Veterinärhistorische Mitteilungen. Volume 10, No. 9, 1930, p. 71 f.
  9. Willy Louis Braekman: Zestiende-eeuwse Veterinaire Literatuur uit de Nederlanden. Brussels 1987 (= Scripta: Mediaeval and Renaissance texts and studies. Volume 20).
  10. ^ P. Rainer Rudolf SDS: Master Albrant. In: Author's Lexicon . Volume I, Col. 157 f.
  11. ^ Johann Christian Polykarp Erxleben: Practical lessons in the Vieharzney art. Göttingen and Gotha 1771.
  12. J. Stahnke: Ludwik Teichmann (1823–1895). Anatomist in Krakow. In: Würzburger medical historical reports 2, 1984, pp. 205–267; here: p. 216.
  13. ^ Official veterinarian, official veterinarian, terms and qualifications - an opinion
  14. cf. exemplary: GC Haubner: Landwirthschaftliche Thierheilkunde ... , 2nd edition Anklam 1847.
  15. Competence check at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
  16. C. Burger, M. Pirker, EM Bergsmann, P. Winter: Quality management in competence-oriented teaching: theory and practice at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna [Quality management in competence-oriented teaching: Theory and practice at the Vetmeduni Vienna]. In O. Vettori, G. Salmhofer, L. Mitterauer & K. Ledermüller (eds.), A question of effectiveness? Quality management as a driving force for changes at universities. Row 6: Quality - Evaluation - Accreditation [A question of effectiveness? Quality management as innovation generator for changes at universities. Series 6: quality - evaluation - accreditation] UniversitätsVerlagWebler, Bielefeld 2015, ISBN 978-3-946017-00-4 , pp. 145–160.
  17. ^ E. Bergsmann, J. Klug, C. Burger, N. Förster, C. Spiel: The competence screening questionnaire for higher education: Adaptable to the needs of a study program. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education , 2017. doi: 10.1080 / 02602938.2017.1378617
  18. Buchner, HHF, Nawrocik, D., & Burger, C. (2017, in press). Student-initiated feedback using clinical encounter cards during clinical rotations in veterinary medicine: A feasibility study. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.
  19. Information page of the University of Zurich
  20. Vetsuisse information page