Surgical Tools

The 18th and 19th century surgical tools featured in this exhibit are part of a larger collection housed at the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Items in the collection at CVM were previously part of the Vet 2011 global celebrations that marked the 250th anniversary of the first veterinary school in Lyon, France. Dr. Fred Born, MSU CVM Class of 1962, generously granted permission for their use in this exhibit.

Horse drench.

Horse Drench, circa 1720

This pewter spoon-like object was used to blow medications into horses and cattle. It was also used to give castor oil and powders to children. The original patent was issued to Farrier William Gibson in 1718.

Pasteur syringe.

Pasteur Syringe, Paris, 1860s

Horse twitch.

Horse Twitch

A twitch is used to restrain horses during veterinary treatment. When applied to the upper lip of the horse the pressure causes a release of endorphins, producing a calming effect.

Forge firing iron.

Forge Firing Iron

Forge firing irons were used in the treatment of lameness in the horse.

Seton needle.
Seton needle. Image 2.

Seton Needles

A seton is used in the repair of fistulae, joining tissue and running a cord through to allow for drainage.


Horse Trocar and Canula

Trocars were originally used to relieve pressure caused by build-up of fluids or gasses. In modern times they are used to perform laparoscopic of 'keyhole' surgery.

Dental tool.
Dental tool. Image 2.
Dental tool. Image 3.

Partial Set of Equine Dental Instruments