The treatments of pursiness in the ancient time

par Christophe Degueurce, Musée Fragonard, Ecole nationale vétérinaire d’Alfort, Adel.

The pursiness is a very old disease known since antiquity whose name comes from the fact that affected horse have difficulties to expirate air and produce a movement of forced expiration to expel air. This symptom is now mainly related to pulmonary emphysema. Treatments remained generally the same from antiquity to the nineteenth century. They used mainly bleeding and therapeutic mixtures supposed to work on the lung. The revolution was to come in the nineteenth century with the use of arsenic.

Bull.Soc.Hist.Méd. Sci.Vét., 2009, 9: p.69-87