Book Reviews

books for veterinarians

Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Practice Management Consult (3rd edition)

Lowell Ackerman, DVM, DACVD, MBA, MPA, CVA

985 pages. 2020. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-119-44254-7. Price $119.99.

Imagine a continuing education venue where you could obtain 28 hours of top-quality veterinary management advice from 71 of the industry's best experts. In a nutshell, that summarizes the third edition of Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Practice Management Consult. This book is a great value for the price.

This book is designed as a comprehensive reference to quickly answer management questions on topics that range from basic to MBA level. Each section concisely covers an essential topic for successfully running a veterinary practice. The book is a must-have for new hospital owners and managers. It can be used as a quick reference for addressing specific questions or, if taken as a whole, a primer for understanding business. The content addresses many management issues not covered in most veterinary school curricula and facilitates entrepreneurialism. It also offers guidance regarding employment and compensation at a level that is appropriate for all readers. For experienced hospital owners and managers, this book provides up-to-date summaries with links to resources for more in-depth review.

The book is well organized with topics geared toward a diverse audience. Whether you practice companion animal or mixed practice, practice general or specialty care, or are an early career veterinarian or actively working on your succession plan or next career move, this book contains topics that will be of interest. It also contains a limited amount of information for international practitioners. Throughout the book, there is a strong focus on human resources and communication. Financial and marketing themes are also well covered.

The appendices provide additional useful resources, such as lists of books, benchmarking tools, financial calculators, and professional organizations for further reference. Several sample documents are included in the print copy of the book and are available for download on the companion website. Personally, I would have liked to have seen the AAHA/VMG Chart of Accounts included in the book because it is the accounting standard recommended by the AVMA for classifying revenue, expense, and balance sheet accounts in practice. Other than that omission, this edition is a complete and valuable reference that should be in the library of every veterinarian.

Reviewed by Kate Crumley, MS, DVM

Blue Heron Consulting, Franklinton, NC

Veterinary Clinical Epidemiology: From Patient to Population (4th edition)

Ronald D. Smith, DVM, PhD

247 pages. 2020. CRC Press (an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group). ISBN 978-1-138-39242-7. Price $79.96.

Epidemiology can be taught in different ways, such as prioritizing theory for deep comprehension, presenting how-to problem-based activities with minimal theory, or simply encouraging awareness of tools and terminology. Each approach has advantages and disadvantages. The fourth edition of Veterinary Clinical Epidemiology: From Patient to Population primarily uses the how-to and awareness options. The book begins with a description of epidemiological foundations and then proceeds to discuss task-oriented tools (eg, diagnostic tests, measuring populations, statistics, prognoses, and clinical trials) and ends with chapters relating to outbreak investigations. The arrangement and flow of the information are intuitive. The price of this soft-covered book approaches $100, which is not inconsequential for a student on a budget but seems typical for this type of textbook.

The how-to sections (ie, the first 10 chapters) are admirably presented. The author clarifies issues and techniques superbly, giving readers a near-immediate ability to do quality work. The text is simply written without excess verbiage. It is peppered with examples and questions (with answers) for consideration. The awareness chapters (eg, Statistics, Clinical Trials, and Economics) offer introductory understanding and nicely present purposes and general methods. However, it is unlikely that most readers would be able to perform the techniques described without further instruction on theory and additional exercises.

Textbooks are compromises. The lack of deep theory in this book makes it fairly easy to read, and readers' interest is maintained by content that focuses on problem solving. However, it inhibits appreciation of the big picture at times (eg, study designs are discussed across several chapters, which hinders readers' appreciation of their hierarchy to address differing health questions).

Overall, I believe the author made good choices in balancing theory, tools, and awareness in this introductory textbook. I wish it had been available when I first learned veterinary epidemiology.

Reviewed by Barrett D. Slenning, MS, DVM, MPVM

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Mental Health and Well-being in Animals (2nd edition)

Franklin D. McMillan, DVM, DACVIM, DACAW

388 pages. 2020. CABI. ISBN 978-1-78639-340-1. Price $105.00.

The first edition of Mental Health and Well-being in Animals was published in 2005. There have been vast improvements in knowledge and a steady progression in the field of animal mental health and well-being in the subsequent 15 years; thus, this new edition is warranted. A whole new group of authors were recruited to contribute to the second edition, and a quick look at the table of contents reveals that the book has been updated and the text rewritten and reorganized. Each chapter is well documented and has an extensive list of current references.

The expansion of our understanding of the animal mind that has occurred over the last 2 decades was driven by rising societal considerations about animal welfare. In that process, we transitioned from providing for the needs of animals in our care, as reflected in the influential Five Freedoms, to having an increasing concern for the impact that our interactions with animals may have on their mental well-being, as reflected in the progressive transition toward the masterful Five Domains model.

Another relevant difference between the 2 editions of this book is that the current edition reflects the evolution of the field of animal welfare science toward an emphasis on the promotion of positive mental states instead of focusing on the prevention of negative emotions. Although the topics of distress and discomfort still have a presence in the second edition, there are numerous chapters that focus on the need to find ways to encourage the presence of pleasant experiences if we are truly interested in maximizing the well-being of animals. Examples that were rarely mentioned a couple of decades ago take center stage in this book. For example, the importance of providing animals opportunities to control what happens in their environment or the relevance of happiness to well-being, which were timidly discussed in the first edition, are now emphasized and documented.

This edition comprehensively summarizes the vast amount of knowledge about the animal mind that has accumulated. It also reviews the often-forgotten relationship between mental and physical health, providing an overview of the literature on the physiologic, environmental, and genetic influences that explain that relationship. Of particular interest to the members of the veterinary profession is how this edition describes the effects that positive and negative emotions have on animal health. Veterinarians are encouraged to consider both the mental and physical health of their patients.

Readers who were fascinated by the first edition of this book will find the second edition to be a well-documented update and may be surprised at the amount of new information focused on the mental well-being of animals. Those who did not read the first edition will experience an interesting, well-written, and well-referenced book on the relevance of the mental health of animals to their well-being. This book will be of interest to all those who interact or work with animals, including veterinarians.

Reviewed by Jose M. Peralta, DVM, PhD, DACAW, DECAWBM

Western University of Health Sciences Pomona, Calif

Small Animal Medicine and Metabolic Disorders: Self-Assessment Color Review (2nd edition)

Craig Ruaux, BVSc, PhD, DACVIM

275 pages. 2019. CRC Press (an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group). ISBN 978-1-138-03572-0. Price $35.16.

The second edition of Small Animal Medicine and Metabolic Disorders: Self-Assessment Color Review is an affordable review of internal medicine and metabolic conditions that affect small animals. This edition is a much-needed update to the first edition, which was penned more than 20 years ago, providing details on updated and advanced testing and diagnostic imaging options that bring the information into the 21st century.

The book covers more than 150 disorders in a case-based approach. Each case is concisely presented and is often accompanied by nice photographs, illustrations, images obtained by various diagnostic imaging modalities, and photomicrographs of cytologic preparations to provide readers with a thorough visual overview. There are thoughtful questions provided at the end of each case to encourage readers to think through the pathophysiology of the disease process as well as diagnostic testing and treatment options. The answers to the questions are provided on subsequent pages. The nature of the cases presented varies, with some cases being simple and straightforward and others being more complex and thought-provoking.

This book will be an exceptionally good resource for third- and fourth-year veterinary students and veterinary interns to help bridge the gap between the classroom and clinic floor. It is also a great reference for general practitioners because it provides a quick review of a large number of medical and metabolic diseases.

Overall, this book is an incredible value for the money. It is engaging for readers and helps improve understanding and clinical acumen.

Reviewed by Julia Bates, DVM, DACVIM

Mobile Veterinary Specialists, Madison, Wis

Cowell and Tyler's Diagnostic Cytology and Hematology of the Dog and Cat (5th edition)

Amy C. Valenciano, DVM, MS, DACVP, Rick L. Cowell, DVM, MS, DACVP

556 pages. 2020. Mosby (an imprint of Elsevier). ISBN 978-0-323-53314-0. Price $169.00.

Cowell and Tyler's Diagnostic Cytology and Hematology of the Dog and Cat has been a standard textbook for clinical pathologists and practitioners since the first edition was published in 1989, offering thorough coverage of small animal cytology, with more basic coverage of hematology and urinalysis. The book also includes useful advice for practitioners on practical matters such as the collection and submission of clinical pathology samples. The fifth edition is no different. The extensive illustrations are generally of excellent quality. The structure and arrangement of topics are similar to the previous edition. Revisions are particularly evident in the chapters on the female reproductive tract (this edition includes pathology of the ovaries and uterus), liver, and bone marrow.

The fifth edition actually has fewer pages than the fourth edition, but that is because a smaller font size was used rather than a reduction in the amount of information presented. Purchase of the print copy of the book comes with free access to the enhanced eBook version. The web browser version of the eBook is easy to use and navigate. However, reading the eBook through the Inkling app is disappointing and occasionally frustrating because the images do not load properly and the app often crashes when trying to open an image.

Overall, the latest edition of this standard textbook remains a useful and important reference for clinical pathologists and for small animal practitioners with a special interest in cytology, hematology, and urinalysis.

Reviewed by Perry Bain, DVM, PhD, DACVP

Tufts University, North Grafton, Mass

Exotic Animal Laboratory Diagnosis

J. Jill Heatley, DVM, MS, DABVP, DACZM & Karen E. Russell, DVM, PhD, DACVP

630 pages. 2020. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-470-96035-6. Price $174.99.

Exotic Animal Laboratory Diagnosis is an excellent textbook for veterinary practitioners who treat exotic animals or wildlife. It is also a beneficial resource for professionals who specialize in veterinary diagnostic testing, including clinical pathologists.

The first chapter of the book contains an introduction to veterinary diagnostic testing and clinical pathology, with sections dedicated to reference intervals, quality control, cell staining, cell counting, and blood smear preparation. Each of the subsequent chapters is dedicated to a particular type of animal to help readers readily access information for that species. The first chapters are devoted to mammals followed by reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, and birds.

Each chapter begins with an introduction and overview of recommended anticoagulants, blood collection sites and techniques, and sample preparation and storage. Discussions of clinical chemical analyses, urinalysis, coagulation testing, endocrine testing, toxicological testing, and serologic or immunologic assays follow. Reference intervals are provided in tabular format when available for a particular species.

Photographs that depict patient restraint and illustrations of blood vessel anatomy help readers visualize appropriate venipuncture techniques for various species. Photomicrographs of blood cell morphology are of good quality and provide an excellent guide for evaluation of blood smears for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and pathologists.

This book is moderately priced, but I consider it a worthwhile investment and excellent addition to the library of any practitioner interested in exotic animal or wildlife medicine. It is a practical, user-friendly, comprehensive, and relevant reference.

Reviewed by Cheryl A. Lawson, DVM, MS, DACVP

Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

Handbook of Equine Parasite Control (2nd edition)

Martin K. Nielsen, DVM, PhD, DACVM & Craig R. Reinemeyer, DVM, PhD, DACVM

229 pages. 2018. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-119-38278-2. Price $139.99.

The second edition of Handbook of Equine Parasite Control is an enjoyable and easy-to-read reference on the control of internal parasites in equids. The authors describe parasites and host behavior with clarity and wit, which is unexpected yet definitely appreciated. The book has 4 sections, which lead readers through the life cycles and transmission of common internal parasites, principles of parasite control, diagnostic testing, and 22 case histories. Although each section stands on its own and is informative, reading the book in its entirety provides a practical foundation of knowledge in parasite diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and control.

The authors highlight the weak spots in the life cycles of various parasites, which aids readers in determining when and what control methods are necessary for a single backyard horse or multiple horses maintained in a busy show stable. Useful tidbits are scattered throughout the book, which help explain years of academic parasite textbook content not readily understood by nonparasitologists.

The book also contains practical information for busy practitioners. Twenty-two real-life clinical case histories along with relevant questions and answers are presented as examples for readers who may encounter similar scenarios. The answers to the questions and discussion are insightful and thought-provoking. Reading the case histories and trying to answer the questions before reading the answers and discussion will help readers assess what they do and do not know.

Anthelmintic resistance is discussed in detail in 2 chapters but is referenced throughout the text to inform readers and highlight the importance of mitigating this emerging problem in veterinary medicine. The “Ten Commandments of Parasite Control” serve as the book's take-home message for readers. Parasite control is not simple, and veterinarians must be knowledgeable about parasites and their control to inform owners. In my opinion, this is a must-read book for any veterinarian who treats horses.

Reviewed by Linda D. Mittel, MSPH, DVM

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

books for veterinary technicians

Veterinary Medical Terminology (3rd edition)

Dawn E. Christenson, LVT, MDiv

377 pages. 2020. Saunders (an imprint of Elsevier). ISBN 978-0-323-61207-4. Price $83.95.

The preface of the third edition of Veterinary Medical Terminology states that “Context is everything.” With this book, readers are encouraged to learn medical terminology in the context of its normal usage rather than by memorizing stark word lists. Each chapter covers the anatomy and physiology of a different body system, along with disease conditions and other topics relevant to that system. Medical terms appear in bolded italic font within the text for easy visibility and are accompanied by concise definitions.

The embedding of new terminology within a larger discussion ably accomplishes the book's stated goal of immersing students in the language, with immediate applicability to help them understand and retain the vocabulary. A potential downside to this approach is that the text may appear dense and overwhelming to students just beginning their program of study. However, the lively conversational tone of the text and its clinically oriented nature, along with a wealth of illustrations, help to hold the interest of readers. The medical information presented has been updated throughout the book. New to this edition are case studies and practice questions. Word lists are still present, but they appear in the appendices and are organized by chapter for quick reference.

The book is intended for preveterinary, veterinary technology, and veterinary students. Its value extends beyond the medical terminology course; by covering a wide range of topics at an introductory level, this book will serve as a helpful reference for subsequent courses. That, along with its immersive, dynamic approach to teaching medical terminology, makes this book an excellent choice for veterinary education.

Reviewed by Christine M. Fletcher, DVM

Portland Community College, Portland, Ore