Book Reviews: For Your Client's Library

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Expert Companion Bird Care Series: Volume 1

Reviewed by Kelly M. Phillips, MS, DVM

Expert Companion Bird Care Series: Volume 1 is a video compilation of narrated pertinent topics relating to companion parrot ownership. Six board-certified avian veterinarians address subjects ranging from the identification of common parrots in the pet trade to the selection of an avian veterinarian. The video is designed to be a basic guide for bird owners, and in that respect it is successful. Despite the lengthy narrator introductions and rare text misspellings, the video provides new or uneducated bird owners with appropriate information regarding the selection and proper care of a parrot. Excellent yet brief information is provided regarding housing, nutrition, and household hazards. Thoughtful questions to ask when choosing an avian veterinarian are discussed as well as what to expect during an avian wellness examination. The importance of home monitoring for early detection of illness in birds is also stressed. The education of owners of exotic pets has an importance that cannot be understated, and this video is another educational tool for avian veterinarians.

Therefore, Expert Companion Bird Care Series: Volume 1 would be a good selection for clients who are new to or who are considering bird ownership. It is not as detailed as some of the books available on bird care, nor does it delve into species differences, but it does open the door to additional conversations between clients and veterinarians. The education it provides is certainly worth the recommended sales price.—By M. Scott Echols & Brian L. Speer. 1 DVD; illustrated. Avian Studios, PO Box 540248, Salt Lake City, UT 84054. ISBN none. 2010. Price $24.95.

Donkeys: Miniature, Standard, and Mammoth—A Veterinary Guide for Owners and Breeders

Reviewed by Amanda C. Ragon, DVM, DACT

Donkeys: Miniature, Standard, and Mammoth—A Veterinary Guide for Owners and Breeders provides an excellent review of basic husbandry and medical care of these animals. Although this book is written for the lay public, many equine practitioners will find this text to be a valuable addition to their practice libraries. The book consists of 9 chapters and 3 appendices that cover nutrition, herd health, infectious diseases, the digestive and musculoskeletal systems, and reproductive management. Readers will appreciate the author's straightforward style of prose and the use of numerous photographs and illustrations. The bulleted summaries at the end of each chapter and suggested reading lists are informative additions.

The author provides an excellent review of the genetic, anatomic, and behavioral differences between horses and donkeys, which horse owners and veterinarians should find extremely helpful. The chapters on nutrition and herd health are essential for new donkey owners and stress the differences in dietary needs between horses and donkeys. The author includes a detailed and well-illustrated review of the life cycles of internal parasites, providing a great refresher course in equine parasitology. The chapters covering reproduction and pregnancy, neonatology, and lactation are especially well-illustrated, supplying step-by-step photographic descriptions of semen collection and parturition. The author covers the distinct reproductive behavior of donkeys and various methods of breeding, from field breeding to artificial insemination. Both novice and experienced donkey breeders will find this text to be a valuable and affordably priced guide.—By Stephen R. Purdy. 160 pages; illustrated. Trafalgar Square, PO Box 257, Howe Hill Rd, North Pomfret, VT 05053. ISBN 978-1-57076-418-9. 2010. Price $26.95.