Book Reviews


Veterinary Vaccines: Current Innovations and Future Trends

Laurel J. Gershwin, DVM, PhD, DACVM, & Amelia R. Woolums, DVM, PhD

237 pages. 2020. Caister Academic Press.

ISBN 978-1-913652-59-3. Price $250.00.

Veterinary Vaccines: Current Innovations and Future Trends is a concise book that delineates recent scientific innovations with substantial impacts on the development of vaccines for food animals and pets. It describes new technical approaches, such as next-generation sequencing, bioinformatics, protein modeling, and mRNA vaccines, and reviews recent developments in cancer vaccines, bovine mucosal vaccines, and animal vaccine adjuvants. This book also reviews some of the current strategies to enhance vaccine efficacy in neonatal animals and various challenges associated with having vaccines available to control transboundary diseases of livestock.

Although this book is intended for people who are interested in vaccine development in academia, the animal biopharmaceutical industry, and clinical settings, it is also timely reading for anyone who is interested in today's hot topics in biomedical science and animal health. This book provides detailed discussions on the hurdles and progress of the African swine fever (ASF) vaccine, how mRNA vaccines work, and why mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases of animals should be seriously considered. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and outbreaks of ASF in Asia and Europe, it is anticipated that this book will become popular among scientists who are working on veterinary vaccines as well as people who are interested in emerging infectious diseases around the world.

Reviewed by Jishu Shi, DVM, PhD

Kansas State University

Manhattan, Kan

Veterinary Ethics in Practice

James Yeates, PhD, DECAW

139 pages. 2021. CABI.

ISBN 978-1-78924-720-6. Price $40.00.

As a practicing veterinarian and educator on topics in law and ethics, I see the physical and emotional harm veterinarians experience when they lack a solid foundation and clear roadmap for ethical decision-making in clinical settings. Based on the title, I read this book and designed my review with the clinical veterinarian in mind. The title Veterinary Ethics in Practice may be a little misleading because the book provides a broader overview of ethical issues that arise in clinical practice as well as in veterinary research and advocacy.

The author acknowledges that veterinary work is often about making the best out of a bad situation. The process of developing considerations in advance of the concerns being presented and identifying views that could be useful in making decisions is discussed. The book explains how veterinarians can improve their confidence in dealing with ethical conflicts, avoid later remorse and anxiety, and reduce stress levels. For example, a table that lists owners' potential moral concerns over euthanasia is provided and includes concerns, examples, and tailored ethical communications that will aid veterinarians in communicating with owners. These ideas are very well articulated and can help veterinarians assess patient options with the animal's owner, especially for patients that require incremental care.

Legally, animals are the property of the owner (client). A veterinarian has a duty to both the animal patient and client. This legal conundrum can result in ethical dilemmas for clinical veterinarians. Although it is hoped that the law will support ethical decision-making, it can feel at times that these rules and guidelines are in conflict. The author addresses this conflict by recommending that readers consider animal patients more objectively, conceptually, and open-mindedly by imagining that they are new patients owned by new clients in another country where they are unfamiliar with the culture and law. The author writes, “property is a legal concept, but we might think it represents a legitimate ethical basis for owners having some control over what happens to their animals (and perhaps, by extension, human children or slaves).” Despite the author posing the question of whether an owner's control over an animal is ethical, legally the owner does have control and it is a moot point for practical purposes.

Additionally, veterinarians are bound by the law and have to work within the confines of the veterinarian-client-patient relationship and scope of their license. Readers would benefit from an acknowledgement of the ethical toll that the implications of the legal status of animals as property can have on veterinarians in various settings. Proposing some ways to better address this dilemma versus recommending veterinarians try to imagine that it does not exist would provide greater guidance for readers.

Overall, this book is a quick and enjoyable read, offers insight on topics that are increasing contributors to ethical dilemmas, and provides readers with an opportunity to enhance their ethical literacy.

Reviewed by Sarah L. Babcock, DVM, JD

Animal & Veterinary Legal Services PLLC

Grosse Pointe Shore, Mich

Adams & Stashak's Lameness in Horses (7th edition)

Gary M. Baxter, VMD, MS, DACVS

1,204 pages. 2020. Wiley Blackwell.

ISBN 978-1-119-27668-5. Price $199.99.

Some version of Adams & Stashak's Lameness in Horses has been around since the debut of the first edition in 1962, and there is a reason for that. The first edition by O. R. Adams represented a compilation of wisdom and knowledge in a single volume that provided veterinary students and equine practitioners insight into the complexities of equine lameness. The text has grown over the years from the original 311 pages to the current 1,204 pages in the seventh edition.

The current seventh edition provides comprehensive information about lameness in horses. The book is divided into 12 sections and begins with a review of the functional locomotor anatomy of equids, thereby providing readers with a solid foundation for subsequent discussions. Manual and visual assessment of the locomotion of horses as well as diagnostic techniques and specific stress testing techniques for lame horses are described.

This book contains a thorough overview of lameness in horses. The text addresses concerns regarding specific anatomic structures, breeds, and disciplines (eg, dressage vs racing), which makes this book a valuable reference for both veterinary students and equine practitioners. Over the years, sequential editions of this book have included thoughtful additions to stay abreast of innovations in diagnostic testing and imaging technology. The current edition covers concepts and uses of contemporary imaging modalities and provides guidelines for when to seek specialty imaging. From initial evaluation to passive and dynamic assessment of lameness to diagnostic imaging to treatment, this book will be a useful resource for anyone interested in equine locomotion and performance.

The complexity of the text varies, with some sections drawing readers in as they gain a deeper understanding of how issues can occur and how to comprehensively address them. Other sections require more intense focus because the subject matter is, of necessity, complex and abstruse. Readers who take the time to understand each section will be rewarded with a thorough understanding of the topic being discussed. The illustrations and graphics are exceptional, and the photographs are well and appropriately labeled for the subject at hand. In my opinion, this book will be a valuable addition to the library of anyone with an interest in the function and care of horses.

Reviewed by Mark Silverman, DVM, MS

Sporthorse Veterinary Services and the Southern California Equine Podiatry Center

Rancho Santa Fe, Calif