top of page


AVMHS Time-Bites are historical “mini-stories” about specific aspects of veterinary medicine and animal health from ancient times through the ages. They highlight how veterinary medicine has changed over time and, in many instances, provide examples of how human and veterinary medicine have interrelated in the past.


We invite you to feed your intellectual appetite for history, read the words of other veterinary-history enthusiasts, and stand in solidarity with the remarkable scientific and societal contributions of past generations.


The History of Time-Bites

The AVMHS began this project in 2006 to educate and inform veterinarians, students, scientists, public servants, academics, and all animal health professionals about their rich heritage.


Since 2009, Time-Bites have been published on the Veterinary Information Network (VIN)® (, an online membership community for veterinarians and veterinary students. In most cases, VIN has added some current resources (eg, recent journal articles) related to the Time-Bite content. If you are a member of VIN, look for Time-Bites under the “VIN Library” tab, and then select “Miscellaneous” and “AVM History Society Time-Bites” from the drop-down menus.


Time-Bites that have also appeared in issues of Veterinary Heritage, the Society's semi-annual bulletin, are now posted below for all members to access and enjoy.


Susan E. Aiello, DVM, ELS

Time-Bites Editor



United States and Canada, Pre-1930s

What to call a veterinary degree: VS. DVS, MDV, DVM, MDC...?

     Vet Herit. 2021 Dec;44(2):83-84.

Summary: Talks about the campaign to establish a uniform veterinary degrees before D.V.M. became the standard; include diplomas and biographical information on Dr. Henry Oscar Kelpe.

California, U.S.A., ca. 1947

Lip tattoos to identify racehorses

     Vet Herit. 2022 Jul;45(1):30.

Summary: Points out how a military veterinarian’s technique came to become standard practice for identifying race horses.

Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A.,1891

Cannabis for equine colic use by late 19th Century practitioners

     Vet Herit. 2022 Dec;45(2):65-66.

Summary: Talks about Dr. Sesco Stewart’s experience in recommending the use of cannabis for equine colic patients. 

New York, New York, U.S.A., 1868

Coping with summer heat in the city

     Vet Herit. 2023 Jul;46(1):37-38.

Summary: Covers the need for humane treatment of urban working horses through Dr. John Busteed’s advice for treating heat stroke. 

Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 1875

Suturing with horsehair

     Vet Herit. 2023 Dec;46(2):75-76.

Summary: Provides description of the “discovery” of horsehair for suturing by human surgeons in the late 19th century and its use out of necessity during the American Civil War when silk and other materials were unavailable.

bottom of page