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An Inquiry Into the Rot in Sheep and Other Animals : In Which a Connection is Pointed Out Between It, and Some Obscure and Important Disorders in the Human Constitution, by Edward Harrison

Book #91: An inquiry into the rot in sheep and other animals : in which a connection is pointed out between it, and some obscure and important disorders in the human constitution, by Edward Harrison (1804).

Edward Harrison (1759-1838) was an English physician who wrote several works on both human and veterinary medicine. A medical reformer, he wrote and spoke against “quack” doctors, eventually leading to his participation in a bill for medical reform in 1806. Although this medical reform was ultimately unsuccessful, his writing would have influence on later legislation concerning apothecaries and the Medical Act of 1858. Harrison would come to specialize in diseases of the spine during his career, producing Pathological and Practical Observations on Spinal Diseases in 1827, and Observations on Spinal Diseases in 1832.

For more extensive biographical information about Edward Harrison, see his entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:
Irvine Loudon (revised). “Harrison, Edward”. In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. 23 September 2004.

See also:
Neil J. Morley, “Edward Harrison (1759–1838): An overlooked advocate of EcoHealth and One Health in the early 19th century.” Journal of Medical Biography. 28 April 2020.

Harrison begins An Inquiry Into the Rot in Sheep and Other Animals with a dedication to Sir Joseph Banks, the noted naturalist and who was a patient and patron to Harrison. An Inquiry Into the Rot in Sheep and Other Animals is a relatively short volume that explores the various influences on the development of rot, a liver disease primarily affecting sheep and cattle.

Harrison explores the various causes of rot and makes a number of recommendations on how to prevent rot from developing. He particularly focuses on the environments in which sheep are kept, recommending, for example, that they should be kept out of cold, damp environments, especially at night and be fed well then. The work then moves into an outline of the history of rot. He also makes a number of observations about the influence of various environments more broadly on human health, and makes some specific observations and recommendations for soldiers.

Explore an 1804 full-text edition of this work here.