Book Reviews: For Your Library

Clinical Canine and Feline Reproduction: Evidence-Based Answers

Reviewed by Noel Thomas, DVM, DABVP, DACT

Clinical Canine and Feline Reproduction: Evidence-Based Answers is a unique book that could be described as a clinical handbook of small animal theriogenology To my knowledge, it is the first and only book of its kind. It is arranged in a “frequently asked questions” format that is based on the many questions the author has been asked over the years as a veterinarian in general practice and as a board-certified theriogenologist. Initially, I did not think this format would be workable to provide medical information; however, finding information on a specific topic is surprisingly easy. The questions and answers (topics) are arranged in basic sections (4 for canine, 4 for feline, and 3 for pediatrics). The 4 canine sections are reproductive techniques, physiology, management, and disease; the 4 feline sections are the same. The 3 pediatric sections are pediatric techniques, physical examination, and disease. Each section lists a series of common questions concerning related topics followed by an answer of 1 or 2 pages in length. There is also an appendix of resources to help identify suppliers of specific reproductive equipment and other items used in reproductive procedures. Practitioners will find these resources particularly useful because many specialized items are not readily available from all veterinary distributors.

Traditionally, small animal theriogenology has not been a subject of great focus in veterinary schools. Consequently, many veterinarians graduate with limited knowledge of small animal reproductive issues. Veterinary students should find this text useful in furthering their knowledge of reproductive techniques and disease management. Although students may find it useful, the book was written with small animal practitioners in mind. In a practice setting, a quick review of a particular reproductive technique frequently would be helpful. Practicing theriogenologists would also find this book useful for reviewing a technique that is performed only occasionally.

This book is a unique contribution to the veterinary literature for practicing veterinarians. The book is a one-of-a-kind, useful clinical handbook. It is well worth the price and should be on the shelf of any veterinarian who does reproductive work.—By Margaret V. Root Kustritz. 316 pages; illustrated. Wiley-Blackwell, 2121 State Ave, Ames, IA 50014. ISBN 978-0-8138-1584-8. 2010. Price $79.99.

Clinical Medicine of the Dog and Cat (2nd edition)

Reviewed by Paul B. Bloom, DVM, DACVD, DABVP

The first step in writing a book is to identify the target audience. The second edition of Clinical Medicine of the Dog and Cat should appeal to a wide range of readers, from veterinary students to new graduates and even to established practitioners.

The organization of this book is excellent. There is succinct but comprehensive coverage of every disease. A disease is first defined; then the etiology pathophysiology, clinical features, and a short, precise list of differential diagnoses are listed. This is followed by information on how to establish the diagnosis and, very importantly, how it is treated. There are excellent clinical photographs for many of the diseases.

The only drawback of the book, which was acknowledged by the editor, is the lack of an oncology chapter. Because cancer is commonly diagnosed in small animal medicine, a chapter on oncology would increase the usefulness of this book. Because many of the diseases discussed in the immunology chapter are also covered in other chapters, perhaps this chapter could be reduced or eliminated and a chapter on oncology added. This book would be an excellent addition to the reference library of any small animal veterinarian.—By Michael Schaer. 792 pages; illustrated. Thieme Publishers, 333 Seventh Ave, New York, NY 10001. ISBN 978-1-84076-111-5. 2010. Price $149.99.

Small Animal Clinical Nutrition (5th edition)

Reviewed by Ana S. Hill, DVM, PhD

The fifth edition of Small Animal Clinical Nutrition is the nutrition book that every small animal practitioner, veterinary student, and nutrition instructor must have in his or her library. The authors provide an up-to-date, information-packed text that is appropriately priced. The book is excellent for both a quick review of concepts and for in-depth study The authors have chosen materials from contributors around the world who are experts in their areas. They approach assessment and planning of nutrition with 2-step iterative process that is used consistently throughout the text.

Beneficial new features in the fifth edition include color-coded sections and headings to help readers find information more quickly, full-color illustrations and pictures (when possible) to enhance understanding of concepts and points, tables with food profiles and key nutrient information for each topic, and inset boxes with critical information for quick reference. Graphs and figures are clear and easy to read. The case studies (neatly indexed in a directory inside the front cover for fast reference) and colorful figures help readers obtain a clear understanding of the concepts and processes discussed in each chapter.

The quote that begins each chapter and the In Memory section at the beginning of the book, which is dedicated to 5 veterinarians who were among the pioneers of small animal veterinary nutrition, add a personal human touch to the wealth of information in this book. This is not just a nutrition text—it is a well-organized, useful tool for practice, classroom instruction, and personal education.—By Michael S. Hand, Craig D. Thatcher, Rebecca L. Remillard, Philip Roudebush, & Bruce J. Novotny. 1,314 pages; illustrated. Mark Morris Institute, PO Box 2097, Topeka, KS 66601. ISBN none. 2010. Price $130.00.

Harkness and Wagner's Biology and Medicine of Rabbits and Rodents (5th edition)

Reviewed by Glen Otto, DVM, DACLAM

The first edition of Harkness and Wagner's Biology and Medicine of Rabbits and Rodents was published in 1977. Since then, this has become a respected textbook that is commonly found on the bookshelves of people whose profession or hobby involves rodents and rabbits. The authors state that the goal for the fifth edition is to continue to serve as a practical reference while providing updated information to reflect advancing knowledge and current areas of interest.

The species covered include rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, and chinchillas. The first 2 chapters provide an introduction to the concepts that are important for providing proper husbandry for these species and a description of their normal biology and reproduction. Unique anatomic or physiologic traits that have practical importance are highlighted. The authors include veterinarians from the United States and Canada; this is reflected by the fact that the tables that summarize regulatory requirements include US requirements (USDA and Institute for Laboratory Animal Research) and comparable expectations from the Canadian Council on Animal Care.

The third chapter discusses sample collection, drug administration, surgery, anesthesia, dentistry, and other diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Included are drug dosage charts and a detailed listing of equipment and supplies needed to provide veterinary care for these species. The remainder of the book covers specific diseases and other abnormal conditions that commonly affect each species. The sections for many disease topics have been revised and reorganized, including some that are increasingly relevant (such as dermatopathies) and some that had not been recognized when the prior edition was published in 1995 (eg, mouse Norovirus infection).

The intended audience includes veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and scientists who use these species in biomedical research as well as individuals who work in companion animal veterinary practice or animal breeding and production. The text cites an AVMA estimate from 2007 that > 8 million rabbits and rodents were kept as pets in the United States, which highlights the need for this type of information. Practitioners that are seeing an increasing number of pocket pets will be especially interested in the case study section, which is a unique section of 47 clinical vignettes comprising case histories, self-examination questions, and corresponding answers provided by the authors.

Previous editions had a relative paucity of figures, many of which were line drawings. However, the most substantial enhancement to the fifth edition is the inclusion of an additional 200 illustrations, most of which are quality black-and-white photographs that specifically depict important points of information. This adds greatly to the value of the book for those who are new to the field and are looking for study materials as well as for experienced teachers and trainers who require visual aids for training purposes.

Despite the fact that it is now an extensively illustrated reference, this comprehensive text remains an affordable paperback that should be of broad interest. The authors acknowledge that this book was written as a project of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) and that proceeds from sales of the book will support the ACLAM Foundation.—By John E. Harkness, Patricia V. Turner, Susan Vande Woude, & Colette L. Wheler. 455 pages; illustrated. Wiley-Blackwell, 2121 State Ave, Ames, IA 50014. ISBN 978-0-8138-1531—2. 2010. Price $79.99.

Simian Virology

Reviewed by Luis L. Rodriguez, DVM, PhD, and Peter W. Krug, PhD

Simian Virology is a well-organized and comprehensive book that should be useful for undergraduate and graduate students, veterinarians, biologists, and other professionals who work with nonhuman primates (NHPs), viruses of NHPs, or NHPs involved in research on human diseases. The comprehensive chapter on NHP classification is useful, and Tables 1.1 to 1.4 provide a good review for readers who lack experience in NHP taxonomy. The introductory virology section is extremely basic and could be skipped by trained virologists. Coverage of the contentious ethical issues surrounding the use of NHPs for biological experimentation is lacking in the section of the book that deals with the use of NHPs for research on human diseases. The authors emphasize those groups of viruses (ie, retroviruses and herpesviruses) on which most research is currently performed and provide less extensive coverage of some important viruses (such as rotaviruses). However, for most of the included virus families, coverage is balanced, including molecular virology and taxonomy, disease epidemiology, and, in some cases, natural history. The summaries of simian viruses included in this book provide insight into virus-natural host interactions that in many cases are not available for human pathogens. The sections on lentiviruses, simian immunodeficiency viruses, and the origins of HIV are particularly well written and comprehensive, which provides very interesting reading. The herpesviruses are also covered appropriately, and the authors provide a good overview of NHP viruses and their human counterparts. The inclusion of a section, albeit brief, on the transmission of human viruses to NHPs is a welcome addition. Students, scientists, and animal handlers should be aware that in addition to the dangers posed by NHP viruses to humans, humans and their viruses can also pose a risk to NHPs. We highly recommend this book as a valuable introduction and reference tool in the field of simian virology.—By Alexander F. Voevodin & Preston A. Marx Jr. 511 pages; illustrated. Wiley-Blackwell, 2121 State Ave, Ames, IA 50014. ISBN 978-0-8138-2432-1. 2009. Price $199.99.

So You Want to Be a Veterinarian: What Every Aspiring DVM Should Know

Reviewed by Laura E. Hardin, DVM, PhD

So You Want to Be a Veterinarian: What Every Aspiring DVM Should Know provides a general overview of the veterinary profession and how students can prepare for acceptance into veterinary professional programs. There is a section listing common vaccinations and diseases associated with various species commonly seen by veterinary practitioners. The book also describes the variety of professional careers within veterinary medicine.

The author relies on experience as a practitioner and veterinary school dean to describe the profession and some of the changes that have occurred in the profession during the past 20 years. Some of this information is based on experience rather than on data. For instance, the increase in the percentage of females in the profession is attributed to recognition of women's capability as veterinarians as well as the trend toward group practice and an increase in the pet population. The discussion of the need for food animal veterinarians also lacks factual references.

Although the advice given for preparation from a young age through an undergraduate college education is sound, it is also extremely broad. It is difficult to identify information that could be of specific help to young people or advisors. The advice given for the application process is also very generic. Although general information is needed because of variations among requirements for the veterinary schools, there is a lack of specific advice regarding preparation of a good application and essay as well as a lack of information to help prepare for an interview.—By Robert F. Kahrs. 173 pages; not illustrated. Infinity Publishing, 1094 New DeHaven St, West Conshohocken, PA 19428. ISBN 978-0-7414-5623-0. 2009. Price $19.95.

Anesthesia for Veterinary Technicians

Reviewed by Ann Weil, DVM, DACVA

Anesthesia for Veterinary Technicians is a manual of anesthetic techniques targeted toward veterinary technicians. Most of the authors are members of the Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists, and the book provides an up-to-date resource for technicians who want to learn a more sophisticated degree of anesthetic management or are studying for the specialty examination. It contains a great deal of practical, valuable information in a clear and concise format. It is well illustrated with many good-quality photographs, diagrams, and tables.

Major areas of interest to anesthetists are covered, including physiology, pharmacology, anesthetic monitoring, anesthesia equipment, and particular concerns for special disease circumstances. Pain management techniques are covered in several chapters, and additional information is distributed throughout the book. The book focuses primarily on small animals (dogs and cats) but includes information on anesthetic practices for equids, ruminants, and small exotic mammals. It also includes a helpful chapter on drug dose and constant rate infusion calculations.

Overall, the text is clearly written and reasonably priced. The chapters are logically organized, and information is easily accessible. It will be an excellent addition to the library of any veterinary technician and will be useful for students in veterinary technician programs.—Edited by Susan Bryant. 402 pages; illustrated. Wiley-Blackwell, 2121 State Ave, Ames, IA 50014. ISBN 978-0-8138-0586-3. 2010. Price $69.99.

Exotic Small Mammal Care and Husbandry

Reviewed by Cathy A. Johnson-Delaney, DVM, DABVP

Exotic Small Mammal Care and Husbandry is described as a practical reference for assessing, handling, and treating small exotic animals in veterinary clinics, including information on housing, nutrition, enrichment, clinical techniques, and diseases. It suggests that it is primarily for veterinary technicians, with the first 2 chapters devoted to the role of veterinary technicians in small mammal practice and information on enrichment, husbandry, and behaviors. Chapter 3 is a good review of zoonotic diseases of all pet mammal species, including dogs and cats. Proceeds from this book are being donated to the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine Foundation. Unfortunately, errors and omissions of information, including surgical monitoring and technical illustrations of procedures such as intubation, catheter placement, and venipuncture, that would be of greatest use to veterinary technicians in small animal practice or laboratory animal practice are commonplace, and the text in its current format may not provide material appropriate to the level needed by veterinary technicians. I would not recommend adding it to your bookshelf.—By Ron E. Banks, Julie M. Sharp, Sonia D. Doss, & Deborah A. Vanderford. 180 pages; illustrated. Wiley-Blackwell, 2121 State Ave, Ames, IA 50014. ISBN 978-0-8138-1022-5. 2010. Price $49.99.