Most veterinary schools have a collection of pathological pieces. Depending on the disease, they may be stored in liquid in jars, dried in the open air, moulded in wax or plaster and, at present, plastinated. All types of injuries are preserved, from the osteoarthritic joints to the injuries of infectious diseases, including a veritable library of organs.
Many injuries show how the animal, even when very seriously ill, continued to do its job in ancient times.
These collections have educational value and an increasingly scientific value. The extraordinary development of modern-day genetic engineering enables both work on infectious micro-organisms that are still present in the preparations as well as the study their evolution. The preservation of this heritage far surpasses the simple safeguarding of an iconography of pathology. It also bears witness to living conditions in past times, the consequences of using horses and even indirectly to their value, since many injuries show how the animal, even when very seriously ill, continued to do its job.