Publication Details

Degeling, C. (2008). Canines, Consanguinity, and One-Medicine: All the Qualities of a Dog except Loyalty. Health and History, 10 (2), 23-47.


The rise of pet culture and the expansion of medical science occurred concurrently in the late nineteenth century. From this time in Anglo-American societies dogs were simultaneously valorised as 'man's best friend' and the 'ideal model' for experimental medicine. By tracking the hounds into our laboratories and onto the settee, changes in our conception of the properties of blood and canine breeding can be used to excavate covert connections between the contradictory social and scientific utilisations of this species. Describing the movement of genealogical and medical knowledge between the benchtop, the kennel and the clinic illustrates how Rudolph Virchow's earlier promotion of a concept of 'one-medicine' foreshadowed the twentieth-century concomitant development and intermingling of the biomedical sciences and a sophisticated companion animal medical expertise.



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