Ethnoveterinary Medicine in the Blue Ridge: Community Based Animal Healthcare in Southern Appalachia

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Shawn Terrell (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Susan Keefe

Abstract: This paper explores a folk veterinary medical system in the southern Appalachian region of North Carolina and Tennessee. In addition to a review of literature on ethnoveterinary medicine, the study utilizes ethnographic methods to examine folk veterinarians [small-holder stock-keepers] and phenomena surrounding how and why vernacular veterinary medicine functions in Southern Appalachia. A five county study area was chosen in the Blue Ridge, and qualitative data was obtained from 16 informants. Semantic domains of illness were established to aid in ethnographic analysis. Human folk medicine has been extensively researched in Appalachia; however little is known about folk veterinary medicine in the region. This paper demonstrates that ethnoveterinary practices have both detrimental and beneficial effects on human, animal, and environmental domains of health. Folk practitioners are not only the first responders in animal emergencies; they commonly address a wide variety of farm animal illnesses. Many ethnoveterinary techniques and beliefs differ significantly from those of formally trained practitioners; however, there are also considerable similarities. Instead of relying on DVMs, stock-keepers along the Blue Ridge often depend on the knowledge of local experts who prescribe readily available medicines and/or offer advice and skill in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of farm animal illnesses.

Additional Information

Terrell, Shawn. (2015) Ethnoveterinary Medicine in the Blue Ridge: Community Based Animal Healthcare in Southern Appalachia. Unpublished master's thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
Language: English
Date: 2015
Folk-Medicine, Ethnoveterinary-Medicine, Appalachian Southern-Appalachia, Veterinary Medicine

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