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Veterinary Pharmacology sources

In the early decades, the discipline of pharmacology was called "De materia medica" and included elements of pharmacology, therapeutics and pharmacy combined. At the same time, therapeutics, called rational (if the nature of the disease and the mode of action of the drug were fully known or empirical (when their knowledge was incomplete) became the experimental field for the clinician. The discovery of the properties of the vegetal drugs was undoubtedly made by attempts and the mistakes of people who have tried different plants, animals, and mineral substances from their environment as potential sources of food.



The oldest herbal remedies were described in China by Pen Ts'ao during the time of Emperor She Nnung, about 2700 BC, human and animal medicine being well developed in Asia since antiquity. In the Hammurabi Code (2200 BC), the sanctions described for malpractice appear in the case of human and animal remedies, and the Papirus of Kahuna (2000 BC) is the first recommendation of veterinary therapy.


In Ebers Papyrus (1550 BC) are presented the main diseases known in Egyptian medicine and 829 prescriptions with various remedies used in medicine of the time. The doctrine of treatments and remedies was also transmitted to Greek civilization.


Hippocrates can be considered the most important medical practitioner in early Greece. It formed a group of physicians known as the Hippocrates School that used the medicinal plants on a scientific basis. This concept related to the healing power of plants has become known as "Vis Medicatrix Natura". A perfectly current theory, nowadays, of Hippocrates' School, provides the basis for ethics of medicine: "Primum non nocere - First of all, do not harm".

The scientific basis in medicine was initiated by Aristotle (384-322 BC), who made numerous observations on animals. His student, Theophrastus, was the one who classified herbs according to their characteristics. Based on this information, Dioscorides compiled De Materia Medica in 6 volumes describing about 600 plants that can be used to treat diseases. These have been discussed in terms of name, source, morphological identification, preparation according to the form and dosage, the mode of use and the diseases where it is recommended. This contribution can be considered as the first Pharmacology Manual.


Galenos works (131-201) added to this, and the information was widely used for the next 1400 years. Publius Vegetius (Vth. Century) imposed the veterinary treaty that includes the prescription for farm animals. After the fall of Rome, Europe entered the Dark Ages.


The development of medical knowledge from that period was only found in the Muslim culture. During this time, the Arabs have greatly developed pharmacy practices and were the first to distil wine and beer to get the ethanol used to prepare tinctures. They were also the first to regulate pharmacy practice to standardize the preparation of prescribed prescriptions.


Gheber Ibn Hazar (702-765) classifies the drugs and poisons of his period and observed that the difference between drugs and poisons is a matter of dosage. Any medication is poisonous when given a large amount (confirming the Latin diction: Dosis sola facit venenum).


In Europe, during the Renaissance, the first pharmacopoeia was published by the German Valerius Cordus (1514-1544), who described the techniques of drug preparation in contrast to the secret that existed at that time. The 17th and 18th centuries represented the revival of medical and pharmaceutical sciences. Medication has flourished and medical experiments have become increasingly common.


The active principles of plants (such as Cinchona, Condodendron, Coffea, Digitalis, Strychnos, Strophantus, Thea, Thebroma etc.) have been extensively studied and numerous alkaloids have been discovered since that time. During this time, the Arabs have greatly developed pharmacy practices and were the first to distil wine and beer to get the ethanol used to prepare tinctures. They were also the first to regulate pharmacy practice to standardize the preparation of prescribed prescriptions.



Vet pharmacology in the European space and in the Romanian provinces


In Transylvania

25 years after the establishment of the first Ecole Royale Veterinaire in Lyon [1] in 1762 by Claude Bourgelat (1712-1779), the first institutionalized form of Romanian veterinary education was founded in Cluj, since 1787 under the name: "Chair of veterinary therapy"within the Medical and Surgical Institute. It is possible that this chair has existed since 1775, the year of establishing the medical-surgical institute (by the imperial order of Maria Theresa)(Ghergariu, 1994).

In 1787, the Institute, as proof, was composed of two departments:


I -  Anatomy, Surgery, Obstetrics, led by Josephus Laffer;

II - Veterinary Therapy, led, first, by Petrus Fuhrmann.


Veterinary Medical Education was teached along with the Human Medical one at the Institute until 1872, graduates receiving title of Magister chirurgiae et obstetritiae veterinariae, which empowered to exercise both, human and veterinary medicine. According to the  Summa Praeceptorum Chirurgiae et Studium cursum biennalem determinatium (Maizner J., cit. Ghergariu, 1994) curriculum in 1793, lay out as following:


First Year

Semester I:    Anatomy,

Semester II:   Theoretical Obstetrics, Forensic medicine, Physiology, Biology,

Second year

Semester I:   Pathology, Pharmacy and Veterinary therapy I.

Semester II:  Veterinary Therapy II, Ophthalmology.


Since 1834, education during extended to three years, is the last year being executed terminal year internships (Ghergariu, 1994).


In Valachia

In 1860, is created by Dr. Carol Davila, The School of Medicine and Pharmacy, and from 1 January 1861, the same Carol Davila as consequence of "High resolution" of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, will set up in Bucharest, The Veterinary School belonging to the War Ministry, along with The School of Medicine and Pharmacy.

In this school, in the IIIrd year of studies, appeared, as fundamental matter, the Veterinary pharmacology, course taught at the beginning by Carol Prokesch, famous veterinarian trained in Vienna (who came to Romania in 1852), also the titular of Veterinary clinics, its place being taken by the veterinary doctor Ion Popescu (Simionescu, 1984).


Also during this period the first works describing elements of veterinary therapy appear. In 1814 appears to Buda "The 100 years calendar (1814-1914)" at the expense of Nicola Nicolae from Brasov, where 31 pages were allocated to some treatments "against some illness that happens easily and often in horses, oxen and others". During the same period appears the brochure: "Doftorie contra galbezii = Medicine against flukes" of Stefan Gaing, where the author recommends root of Filice (Filis major) against trematode Fasciola hepatica.

In Moldova

Although, in 1834, in Iasi, appeared the work "Rural and Domestic Economy", under the care of the Draghici Manila, however, the first real veterinary medicine book can be considered: "Some teachings for the search for diseases and the slaughter of domestic cattle" in Bucharest in 1842, written by physician Ion Huboti, diplomat of the Vienna Veterinary School.


Since 1864, following the "Instruction law", Veterinary School of Iasi will be considered part of superior instruction, study duration increasing from three to five years (Simionescu, 1984).

By the 1864 Veterinary Schook Regulations, which remained in force until 1872, the subjects were divided into 6 chairs and distributed over 5 years of study as follows:

• Natural sciences, Physics, Chemistry.

Veterinary pharmacology, Botany.

• Anatomy, Physiology, Outside of domestic animals.

• Anatomy and pathology of hooves, shoeing art.

• Pathological anatomy, General pathology and internal clinic.

• Surgical pathology, Veterinary clinic surgery.

• Hygiene, Health policy, Epizootic and contagious diseases, Legal medicine.


From the Journal of the Academic Committee of 1843, we find out that the "Public Education Committee of the Principality of Moldavia" met "to think about the reform to be made in the Mihailean Academy" and, after the "puzzlement", in the sketch of the new regulation elaborated, a "veterinary" course.


Recognized and adopted since the dawn of modern veterinary medicine, veterinary pharmacology has had valuable exponents who represented the elite of Romanian medical intellectuality, being an occasion of pride and gratitude for the many generations of veterinarians from their pharmacology teachers: C. Prokesch, Al. Locusteanu, G. Slavu, N. Popescu, Fr. Popescu, Olimpia Vechiu, E. Licperta, P. Balaci, M. Mircea, A. Vintan, O. Schöbesch, C. Statescu, A. Gherdan, Ingeborg Bogdan, R. Tudorache.


Pharmacologiae Veterinariae Timisaensis


Discipline of Veterinary Pharmacology in Banat Region has started to work for the first time in Arad city, to the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, under denomination: Veterinary pharmacology and Recepture.


The first course titular to discipline was:


Prof. Dr. Aurel Vintan

With the establishment, in 1962, of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Banat's capital, Timisoara (Temeswar), Dr. Aurel Vintan was requested to become the head of Veterinary Pharmacology and Recepture discipline that led her to his retirement in 1974. For a while, Professor Vintan tought the Medical botany course.

Professor Aurel Vintan combined, happily, his exceptional professional ability, with an unsurpassed smoothness in gestures and behaviour, with a great distinction and spiritual sensitivity, with a constant concern for his students and collaborators, eager to help and to understand them.

Professor Vintan proved to be a real man, with feelings, beliefs and facts, was an excellent teacher, who managed to mix harmoniously the theoretical aspects with practical skills of his students. Its lectures at highest level, backed by passion and vibration in his voice can not be forgotten by his former students.

Materials written by Prof. Aurel Vintan were

Reproductia animalelor domestice”, authors: N. Luca, N. Popescu, N. Gluhovschi, A. Vintan, Ed. Didactica si Pedagogica Bucuresti, (1965), “Botanica Medicala”, (1948, reed. 1971), “Farmacologie veterinara si receptura”, authors: A. Vintan, O. Schöbesch, L. Enescu Ed. Didactica si Pedagogica Bucuresti, (1967), “Farmacologie veterinara”, A. Vintan, (1972).

Professor Aurel Vintan enjoyed also professional prestige abroad. In 1971, for example, was in Hungary, where he held exposures at the University of Veterinary Medicine and Central Laboratory for Diagnosis of Budapest, and in different institutions with veterinary medical profile from other parts of Hungary. Themes discussed, which focused provitamin A in cattle, were assessed in terms of praise as can be, causing extensive and numerous discussions and interest in running the program set out in the neighbouring country.

Scientific work of Professor Aurel Vintan, knowed also as "The Lord", can be considered rich, original and valuable. He was a man of high culture, great teacher, with original scientific achievements, the pattern of conduct for students and colleagues. As research main directions, which had great results can be mentioned:

"The specifics metabolism and effects of carotene and vitamin A in cattle",

"Sulphonamides: kinetics, dynamics and uses in therapy" .


Lecturer Aurel Gherdan

It was initially, appointed part time (1963) as Assistant professor to the discipline and then, full-time Assistant (1968). From 1971 Dr. Gherdan worked as Lecturer and course titular of the Nutritional diseases and toxicoses discipline (1972-1973).

From year 1973 until 1981, Dr. Gherdan was given also the course of Veterinary toxicology, when discipline was taken by Dr. Alexandra Trif.

From this time it is to remember the textbook: Toxicology and toxicoses, written together with the professors: Suteanu (Bucharest), Ghergariu (Cluj) and Popescu (Iasi). With the retirement of Prof. Vintan, in 1974, Dr. Gherdan, took the course of Veterinary pharmacology, becoming the head of the discipline until 1997.

From the work of particular concern to the discipline of Dr. Aurel Gherdan it is to remember the numerous research grants won in many areas as follows:

• Pharmacotherapeutic study of Helleborus purpurascens components,

• Researches on obtaining new drug formulations in the animal diseases treatment,

• Carotene and vitamin A in the field of breeding cows.

• Testing of atomised yeast product with ergosterol in young animals,

• Pharmacotherapeutic research with 500 IU Nystatin respiratory infections in birds.


After dr. Gherdan's retirement, in 1997, the disciplines titular became dr. Romeo T. Cristina.


From the establishment, until now, to the veterinary pharmacology discipline of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Timisoara have activated:


Veterinary Pharmacology (and Pharmacy, since 1998) as Course titulars:


Prof. Dr. Aurel Vintan                        1962-1974;  (),           Head of discipline 

Lect.  Aurel M. Gherdan                    1963-1974; 1974-1997, Head of discipline

Prof. Dr. Romeo T. Cristina               1991-1997; from 1997-, Head of discipline


Teachers who taught hours of practical works to the discipline:


Asist. Dr. Marin Moldovan                1962-1968 ()

Asist. biol. Ileana Garici                   1966-1970

Asist. biol. Aftina Tosici                    1966-1977

Asist./Lect. Dr. Alexandra Trif           1968-1972; 1978-1990

Asist. Drd. Dana Duta                       1998-2002

Asist. Drd. Krisztina Zongor              2002-2003

Asist. Dr./Lect. Eugenia Dumitrescu  2003 - present


Researchers to the discipline:


Pharm. Head Lab. Ana Biruescu          1964-1980 ()

Eng. Chim. Dr. Dorel Parvu                 1981-1991


Discipline staff at the veterinary clinics’ pharmacy:


Pharm. Antita Micsa                           1966-1970


Technical staff to the discipline:


Tehn. Zdravco Stoianov                     1966-1978

Princ. tehn. Constantin Honea            1978-2010




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