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Hanging with Hafen: A look back at veterinary cage designs


Here's a look at how caging and caging needs have changed over the years.

Just as the design of veterinary facilities has changed over time, so has caging and caging needs. I recently read an article in a human healthcare magazine that talked about the increased importance of progressive care units. These units equate to what we call telemetry units, intermediated care units, or step-down wards. For the most part these are relatively new concepts to veterinary facility design. And while they might not be found in a small one- or two-doctor practice, almost all of our larger specialty projects have intermediate care wards. Let's look back at how we got to this point.

In the very earliest veterinary hospital (and school), L'Ecole Veterinaire (established in Paris in 1760), there were no surgical or medical areas; there was just an oversized stable. There was no distinction between wards or stalls or medical working areas. Wherever the animal was standing was where procedures took place. And when James Herriot wrote about veterinary practice in mid-twentieth century Yorkshire, England, the typical veterinary facility was still pretty spartan. A kitchen table in a thatched roof house served as the surgery theatre. But in the United States, things progressed a little faster.

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