Handbook of Veterinary Pain Management (2nd edition); Pathology of Laboratory Rodents and Rabbits (3rd edition); Handbook of Veterinary Clinical Research

Handbook of Veterinary Pain Management (2nd edition)

Reviewed by Alicia Z. Karas, DVM

The second edition of the Handbook of Veterinary Pain Management is, similar to the first edition, a small paperback volume jam-packed with useful information. In essence, the textbook provides information on why pain should be managed, how it can be assessed and managed, and the physiologic and pharmacologic bases for nearly every type of treatment in use. One of the most useful aspects is a series of case examples. Each major analgesic drug modality has at least 1 entire chapter devoted to it, and adjunctive drugs and nutraceuticals are also covered. Detailed instructions and figures should enable practitioners to try new methods of local or regional analgesia. Still included are valuable chapters on ethics, pharmacologic principles, pain scoring, and pain associated with cancer as well as a glossary of terms and an appendix with species-specific drug doses.

Slightly bigger and much heavier with a larger font size and improved demarcation of text boxes, the second edition lies open on a desk more easily than does its predecessor, which makes it easier to read. Chapter formats vary from entirely outline and bullet points to well-written text; chart or table formats are enhanced by shading, and photographs, figures, and diagrams supplement the chapters. There is new content from a dozen additional authors and 8 new chapters, including chapters on analgesia in cats, birds, reptiles, and ferrets and rabbits. Nonpharmacologic methods of pain relief are covered in a chapter on complementary and alternative veterinary medicine and in chapters on canine and feline rehabilitation. Two new chapters on quality of life and hospice and palliative care are a testament to the evolving nature of veterinary pain medicine.

This textbook represents an extraordinary effort to be an all-inclusive text, and as such it should be useful to veterinary medical students, technicians, general practitioners, and specialists, including laboratory animal veterinarians. It is definitely worth replacing the first edition with this edition, particularly for a small animal practice that treats exotic patients. In many cases, the book can be quickly consulted to obtain a dose or a fact; in other cases, it is necessary to read portions of several chapters to obtain information on a new technique. The book is adequately indexed. Although many nonpharmacologic techniques are described in various chapters, the case examples could incorporate more of such modalities (application of ice to surgical sites or nutraceutical use in animals with chronic pain) to illustrate their use. Adding chapters on exotic pets has helped temper the inevitable species bias; in approximately the first 22 chapters, nearly all authors write from a perspective of treating dogs or cats. In this second edition, the sole chapter on pain management in large animals has been expanded from horse-only to horses and cattle. If large animals and other species are slighted, it is not because of a lack of the editors' concern for horses or farm animals but more from a general lack of information and research and specific limitations in those species. The development of cutting-edge pain management techniques for canine and feline patients has progressed to a far greater degree than for other animal species. This textbook is as progressive as it can be, and it is definitely worth the cost.—By James S. Gaynor & William W. Muir III. 641 pages; illustrated. Elsevier-Mosby, 11830 Westline Industrial Dr, St Louis, MO 63146. ISBN 978-0-323-04679-4. 2009. Price $56.95.

Pathology of Laboratory Rodents and Rabbits (3rd edition)

Reviewed by René Meisner, DVM, DACVP

The third of edition Pathology of Laboratory Rodents and Rabbits continues to be an indispensable component of the library of anyone in a veterinary pathology residency program and an essential reference for all veterinary pathologists and clinicians who work with laboratory animals. The text maintains a concise summary of classic and potentially reemergent natural diseases affecting small laboratory animals as well as a catalogue of strain variations and age-related changes. As the authors acknowledge, many of the diseases detailed in the text may not currently be common in laboratories, but they do have the potential to reemerge.

In recognition of the prevalent use of mice in research, the most notable evolution in this edition is the expansion of the first chapter on mice, which includes a brief overview of the most commonly used strains and lists of additional online and print references that can be used to facilitate tracking down unique phenotypes for the boundless variety of genetically engineered strains.

The overall organization of the new version is the same as in the preceding versions. Chapters are on each species and subdivided by etiology. For infectious etiologies, there is a further breakdown of epizootiology and pathogenesis, pathology, diagnosis, and importance. The organization of the index has been revised to eliminate separation by species. Whether this is more or less helpful is likely a personal preference. Throughout the text, the addition of newly recognized pathogens can be found. The additional photographs of gross lesions and increased size of most photographs are improvements appreciated by this reviewer.—By Dean H. Percy & Stephen W. Barthold. 325 pages; illustrated. Blackwell Publishing, 2121 State Ave, Ames, IA 50014-8300. ISBN 978-0-8138-2101-6. 2007. Price $124.99.

Handbook of Veterinary Clinical Research

Reviewed by David C. Dorman, DVM, PhD, DABVT

The Handbook of Veterinary Clinical Research provides a concise and useful primer for the conduct of veterinary clinical trials and other forms of clinical research and largely meets the authors' stated goal of helping veterinarians to increase the quantity and quality of veterinary clinical research. Subjects addressed include funding sources and proposal writing, protocols and experimental designs, types of clinical trials, ethical and legal considerations, questionnaire design, study conduct, data management and analysis, and writing and reviewing scientific papers. Each chapter begins with a list of clearly defined objectives and ends with a series of multiple choice questions that assist in reviewing the materials. Most chapters have 1 or more examples drawn from published veterinary clinical trials that highlight key concepts described in the chapters. The figures and tables used to illustrate additional materials are generally well conceived and complement material provided in the text. Although references are by no means exhaustive, each chapter contains adequate references with additional reading materials provided. This book provides more depth than breadth on this complicated topic. This lack of depth is most noticeable in the chapters that discuss statistical methods, where only power analyses and selection of study size are thoroughly addressed. Chapters providing information on research funding and ethical considerations lack wide application outside of the United Kingdom. This book will have only limited appeal to most practicing veterinarians. Despite that, this book will be welcomed by veterinarians and veterinary students currently involved in or that have completed advanced clinical or research training.—By Mark Holmes & Peter Cockcroft. 221 pages; illustrated. Blackwell Publishing, 2121 State Ave, Ames, IA 50014-8300. ISBN 978-0-4051-4551-0. 2008. Price $59.99.