A dog’s life… Multiple trauma and possible abuse on a medieval dog, a paleopathological case study

by Annelise Roman-Binois, Docteur Vétérinaire, Doctorante contractuelle Paris I, équipe « Archéolologies environnementales », UMR 7041 ArScAn, Adel. annelise.binois@mae.u-paris10.fr

Preventive excavations carried out around Guimps (Charente, France) in 2011 unearthed a medieval silo contain-ing a single dog burial. The animal exhibits numerous skeletal lesions. The excellent preservation of the remains allowed us to carry out a retrospective diagnosis and to demonstrate the presence of two independent patholo-gies, a radius-curvus and a medial patellar dislocation. These affections are here of traumatic origin, as are the many fractures the animal also displays. The possible causes of such multiple injuries are therefore discussed, and the chronology of the lesions and their skeletal distribution are examined in the light of modern data. This leads us to suggest animal abuse as a probable cause and to raise the question of the identification of animal abuse in archaeology.

Bull.soc.fr.hist.méd.sci.vét., 2012, 12 : 37-50