Book Reviews

books for veterinarians

Anatomy & Physiology of Domestic Animals (2nd edition)

R. Michael Akers & D. Michael Denbow

671 pages. 2013. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-118-35638-8. Price $99.99.

The second edition of Anatomy & Physiology of Domestic Animals provides readers with a detailed introduction to the foundations of anatomy and physiology in a wide range of species of domestic animals. The book is very well illustrated in color and provides basic information in key areas for undergraduate students in agricultural and biological sciences to be successful in upper level specialty courses such as nutrition, reproduction, and biotechnology. It may also provide new graduate students with a source for review of basic principles. The fundamental focus of the text is on physiology; however, the authors have endeavored to include sufficient system, organ, tissue, and cellular anatomy for students to better appreciate the integration of anatomy and physiology. This edition is accompanied by a companion website that includes review questions, files of all figures and tables from the book for downloading, a bank of test questions for instructors, and self-study questions for students. The authors have also increased the use of text boxes to highlight and provide clinical examples and to encourage more student interest and inquiry. Although some text boxes may not provide the most relevant clinical information, they stimulate interest in the topic. At the end of each chapter is a very extensive summary of the important points discussed in that chapter, and at the end of the book is an extensive glossary. The cost of the text is reasonable considering the accompanying material on the website.

Reviewed by Howard H. Erickson, DVM, PhD

Kansas State University Manhattan, Kan

Pain Management in Veterinary Practice

Christine M. Egger, Lydia Love, & Tom Doherty

447 pages. 2014. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-8138-1224-3. Price $79.99.

Pain Management in Veterinary Practice is a manual of evidence-based information on pain management and analgesic techniques for veterinary patients. This book provides an up-to-date resource for practicing veterinarians on the latest concepts to recognize and treat pain in a variety of species. It contains a great deal of practical, valuable information presented in a clear and concise format. It is well illustrated with many good-quality photographs, diagrams, and tables.

One of the book's strengths is that it describes the recognition and treatment of pain in a variety of species including dogs, cats, horses, ruminants, birds, camelids, pigs, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. It discusses the treatment of surgical pain as well as chronic pain and cancer pain. The pharmacology of both traditional and non-traditional analgesic drugs and novel methods of drug delivery are described. This book also has an extensive section on the nonpharmacological treatment of pain in a variety of species, a topic not found in many pain management textbooks.

Overall, the text is well written; the chapters are logically organized, and information is easily accessible. The book is reasonably priced and will be an excellent addition to any veterinarian's library and very useful to veterinary students and technicians as well.

Reviewed by Ann B. Weil, DVM, DACVAA

Purdue University West Lafayette, Ind

Atlas of Ear Diseases of the Dog and Cat

Sue Paterson & Karen Tobias

172 pages. 2013. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-9326-9. Price $143.99.

Atlas of Ear Diseases in the Dog and Cat is an 8-chapter book coauthored by a veterinary dermatologist (Paterson) and veterinary surgeon (Tobias). It is designed to be a quick reference for practicing small animal veterinarians who treat patients with otitis both medically and surgically. As expected, this atlas is loaded with numerous outstanding photographs and artwork. The first chapter is an excellent review of the normal anatomy of the ear, which includes clinical and cadaver photographs, artwork, and histologic and CT images. It is a top-notch review of the complex arterial, venous, and nervous networks that make surgery of the ear challenging.

The next chapters follow a logical progression of diagnostic techniques; diseases of the pinnae, ear canal, middle and internal ear canals; and surgical options for the treatment of ear diseases. The text is clearly written, and the subjects are comprehensively discussed with clinical photographs used to elucidate the text.

This book is easy to read and has an excellent index for finding information quickly and easily. It would have been nice if some of the videoscopic photographs were a little sharper. Regardless, this book is reasonably priced and will be an excellent addition for general practitioners' libraries.

Reviewed by Robert Schick, DVM, DACVD

Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners Atlanta, Ga

Canine and Feline Dermatology Drug Handbook

Sandra N. Koch, Sheila M. F. Torres, & Donald C. Plumb

446 pages. 2012. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-9896-7. Price $72.99.

Canine and Feline Dermatology Drug Handbook is the first pharmacology handbook intended to be a practical guide for prescribing products to treat skin diseases of dogs and cats. A book such as this is long overdue considering that dermatologic diseases are among the most common problems encountered by veterinarians. The authors' goal is to improve patient care by providing information on treatments for dermatologic diseases in a single reference. The book is divided into 4 sections. Section 1 provides detailed information on systemic drugs used in veterinary patients with dermatologic conditions; drugs are listed alphabetically by their generic names, followed by the corresponding trade names used in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe. For each drug, indications are provided for use in dogs and cats along with contraindications, mechanisms of action, doses for both dogs and cats, formulations available (veterinary and human), adverse effects, drug interactions, and recommendations for monitoring. The information provided is succinct and practical. Section 2 provides comprehensive information on topical treatments along with the indications, mechanism of action, suggested uses, and precautions for each drug and charts of available veterinary and human products for use as antipruritic agents, anti-inflammatories, antimicrobials, antiseborrheic agents, immunomodulators, retinoids, antiparasitic agents, and otic preparations. The otic preparations are subdivided into ceruminolytics, cleaning and drying agents, antiseptic agents, potentiating-antimicrobial agents, corticosteroid preparations, antibacterial agents, antiparasitic agents, combination products, and compounded antimicrobial preparations (with recipes for compounding those preparations). Section 3 provides useful information on allergen-specific immunotherapy and includes discussions of traditional SC injections, rush immunotherapy, and oral or sublingual immunotherapy. Section 4 is a primer with brief discussions of specific skin diseases and lists of appropriate treatment options for each disease. Following section 4, there is a reference section that includes a list of general references, a list of some of the most pertinent references for specific systemic and topical agents, and a list of references on allergen-specific immunotherapy. The book concludes with a comprehensive index that includes the dermatologic diseases and the brand names and generic names of the drugs discussed. This index helps readers easily find information about specific diseases, drugs, and treatments. Although new drugs have been introduced to the market since this book was published, it is a practical reference that will be useful for veterinarians in general practice as well as veterinary students, residents, and veterinary dermatologists.

Reviewed by Karen L. Campbell, DVM, MS, DACVIM, DACVD

University of Illinois Urbana, Ill

Radiography of the Dog and Cat: Guide to Making and Interpreting Radiographs

M. C. Muhlbauer & S. K. Kneller

497 pages. 2013. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-118-54747-2. Price $99.99.

Radiography of the Dog and Cat: Guide to Making and Interpreting Radiographs is a concise, easy-to-read, quick reference for small animal veterinary clinics and will be a useful supplementary text for veterinary students. The authors' goal is to provide both a quick, streamlined reference as well as a source of key information for specific diseases, disorders, and radiographic findings. The authors accomplished their goal, and the result is a book written in an outline format that is fairly priced.

The book is organized into 6 chapters. The first chapter is an introduction to radiographic interpretation with a discussion of methods for thoroughly identifying and describing radiographic abnormalities. The second chapter provides a concise, easy-to-understand overview on the physics of film-screen and digital radiography, radiographic artifacts, and procedures for appropriate radiographic positioning. The third chapter consists of a discussion of a large number of contrast radiographic procedures complete with indications, contraindications, step-by-step instructions, pitfalls, and tips for radiographic interpretation for each procedure. Chapters 4 through 6 provide details about the musculoskeletal system and thoracic and abdominal cavities. Each of those chapters is divided into 3 sections, which include normal radiographic anatomy, diseases and disorders, and lists of differential diagnoses. Following the sixth chapter is an extensive glossary. The companion website provides useful downloadable materials including quiz questions and answers, positioning posters, additional figures, and the glossary from the text.

The format of the book is easy to follow. Practical tips and common pitfalls are provided in easy-to-find text boxes throughout the book. There is a nice mix of conceptual line drawings, radiographic images, and hybrid radiographic images in which line drawings have been incorporated into radiographs to illustrate abnormalities. The book includes descriptions of the radiographic findings for diseases commonly encountered in small animal practice as well as for some of the more uncommon conditions that are frequently not discussed in other texts. Although references are not provided throughout the text, there is a short bibliography at the end of the book. This book is probably best used as a quick reference for small animal practitioners.

Reviewed by Erin Brinkman-Ferguson, DVM, DACVR

Mississippi State University Mississippi State, Miss

Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery

Eric Monnet

849 pages. 2013. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-8138-0782-9. Price $184.99.

With the increasing advancements in veterinary surgery, an updated, thorough, and detailed textbook dedicated to the field of soft tissue surgery such as Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery is a welcomed addition. At first glance, the length of the chapters for each topic appears appropriate, the figures are clear and well labeled, and the diagrams and tables are easy to follow. The book is well organized by body systems and focuses on conditions most commonly encountered in practice. The book has a companion DVD, which contains intraoperative videos and figures that illustrate certain surgical techniques for the gastrointestinal tract, hepatobiliary tract, urinary and reproductive tracts, thoracic wall, heart, respiratory system, and ear. The videos are not meant as instructional videos, but rather real-time illustrations to augment the text. Images of a DVD placed in the margins of the text indicate that there is DVD content related to the text and facilitates cross-referencing between the book and DVD.

The level of discussion about surgical anatomy, technique, and pathophysiology is appropriate for board-certified surgeons, surgeons-in-training, and general practitioners with an interest in soft tissue surgery and a desire to improve their surgical knowledge. Although the surgical illustrations are clear and detailed, this book is not intended to be a quick reference guide or step-by-step technique manual that can be consulted while in the operating suite.

Although all sections of the book are well organized and referenced, the sections on portosystemic shunts, ureteral ectopia, laryngeal paralysis, and thoracic wall tumors are outstanding. However, readers should be aware that this book does not contain a section on integumentary and reconstructive surgery. Overall, the authors have provided a strong foundation for future editions of the book.

Reviewed by Jay B. Erne, DVM, DACVS

Affiliated Veterinary Specialists Jacksonville, Fla

Piermattei's Atlas of Surgical Approaches to the Bones and Joints of the Dog and Cat (5th edition)

Kenneth A. Johnson

470 pages. 2014. Elsevier. ISBN 978-1-4377-1634-4. Price $128.00.

The fifth edition of Piermattei's Atlas of Surgical Approaches to the Bones and Joints of the Dog and Cat is a superb text. It retains all of the approaches and excellent figures included in the previous editions. New to this edition are descriptions and figures for 8 new approaches that were not included in the fourth edition. These approaches are as follows: the approach to the lumbosacral intervertebral disk and foramen through a lateral transilial osteotomy, the approach to the medial region of the shoulder joint, a minimally invasive approach to the shaft of the humerus, the approach to the lateral aspect of the humeral condyle and epicondyle in cats, the approach to the craniodorsal aspect of the hip joint through a craniolateral incision in cats, the approach to the shaft of the femur in cats, a minimally invasive approach to the shaft of the femur, and a minimally invasive approach to the shaft of the tibia. The descriptions of these approaches are beneficial and reflect development of new orthopedic and neurosurgical techniques. In brief, this edition continues to build upon the excellent work of the previous editions, and any veterinarian who performs orthopedic surgery should own this book.

Reviewed by Samuel P. Franklin, DVM, PhD, DACVS, DACVSMR

University of Georgia Athens, Ga

Advances in Small Animal Total Joint Replacement (Advances in Veterinary Surgery Series)

Jeffrey N. Peck & Denis J. Marcellin-Little

251 pages. 2013. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-470-95961-9. Price $128.99.

Advances in Small Animal Total Joint Replacement consists of 14 chapters and is a valuable addition to the Advances in Veterinary Surgery specialty book series published by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons Foundation in partnership with Wiley-Blackwell. The editors have assembled an excellent group of contributors for this book, which provides information on joint replacement surgery for the hip, stifle, and elbow joints. Chapters on implant materials, implant fixation, custom total joint arthroplasty, and emerging arthroplasties complement the more clinically orientated chapters and provide a very useful overview of this evolving field.

A strength of this book is that the chapters contain up-to-date information from authors who are experts in the field. Review of the first chapter on the history of veterinary joint replacement surgery highlights the reality that its clinical application for joints other than the hip joint is relatively new. Review of the chapter reference lists also emphasizes the emerging nature of some procedures and the need for additional peer-reviewed studies, particularly with regard to the clinical outcomes of those procedures. The stated goal of this book is to summarize current knowledge for small animal veterinary surgeons interested in joint replacement surgery and provide a foundation for education and research in the field. The authors should be commended on preparing a well-written, accessible, and concise text. This book should be of interest to veterinarians who perform joint replacement surgery or have a specific interest in this topic as well as practitioners who manage small animal patients with advanced joint disease.

Reviewed by Peter Muir, BVSc, MVetClinStud, PhD, DACVS

University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, Wis

Equine Genomics

Bhanu P. Chowdhary

324 pages. 2013. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-8138-1563-3. Price $169.95.

Equine Genomics is an excellent text that compiles historical accomplishments in equine genetics and molecular biology, describes state-of-the-art approaches to understanding the equine genome, and provides glimpses of where the field may go in the future. In the preface of the book, the editor suggests that, “Despite its scientifically inclined tone, all horse enthusiasts will find something that they can relate to, understand, and use.” I believe that he has accomplished the task. The book is laid out well, and the chapters are mostly succinct and thorough. It opens with basic chapters written by experts in the field that describe the ingredients needed to discover the genetic basis of traits and disorders in horses (ie, the nuclear and mitochondrial genome, genetic linkage maps, physical and comparative maps, the Y-chromosome, and the equine major histocompatibility complex). The following chapter is on genomic tools such as single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mapping arrays that enable geneticists and clinicians to identify marker loci associated with particular traits and disorders. The stage is then set for a subsequent chapter about how coat-color genetics is a perfect tool to study how several genes interact and modify a basic pattern to produce an easily observed complex trait or phenotype. The remaining chapters summarize equine disease genomics of skin, muscle, skeleton, reproduction and fertility, the nervous system, and laminitis. One chapter is devoted to karyotyping and the 10 mutation tests that are currently available for identifying genomic traits and diseases. In my opinion, because that list will expand rapidly it is important to continuously update it and make it available in a central online repository. The chapter on athletic performance genes provides current state-of-the-art information on the use of breeding values for many equine traits and disorders that are genetically determined and inherited; this information will be valuable to equine breeders, trainers, and geneticists. Because each chapter was written by a different expert in the field, some information is repeated in multiple chapters, but this helps to reinforce the concepts and knowledge that the authors believe are important. Given the information provided in this book, you could not design a mapping experiment but you would know what questions to ask should you choose to do so. As the cost of whole genome and transcriptome sequencing technologies decrease and software is developed for those of us who are not computer programmers or well-versed in bioinformatics, rapid advances will follow. Genomic tools continue to outpace the ability of geneticists and clinicians to accumulate the DNA and tissue required to elucidate the genetic architecture of known equine diseases and those not yet identified. It is our responsibility to try to keep up, and I believe this book will help us do that.

Reviewed by Rory James Todhunter, BVSc, PhD

Cornell University Ithaca, NY

Color Atlas of Equine Pathology

Claus D. Buergelt & Fabio Del Piero

538 pages. 2014. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-470-96284-8. Price $149.99.

The Color Atlas of Equine Pathology is a reference text that is long overdue. The editors are experts in the field of equine pathology. They have compiled a set of images from their extensive experience and have also solicited material from colleagues. The text begins with an informative chapter that describes and illustrates the technical aspects of an equine necropsy. This is followed by a very useful section on diseases of foals and juvenile horses. The remaining chapters are organized into body systems. The inclusion of fact-sheet boxes at the end of many sections, in which the information is summarized in a bulleted format, is extremely useful and serves to focus the reader on the information at hand. Three appendices provide useful lists of equine diseases that have no associated pathological findings, equine neoplasms, and equine infectious diseases not found in North America.

The color images are of adequate to excellent quality. A few images would benefit from additional color balancing. Images are mostly of gross pathological findings within organ systems, with a small number of associated histopathologic images that provide some depth to the information provided. Some of the photomicrographs would benefit from arrows to point out the characteristic findings. The book also contains a small number of clinical images that add breadth and will appeal to practitioners. This is an atlas, so the text associated with the images is minimal, although it is sufficient to provide a basic understanding of the images. However, readers wanting additional in-depth details will need to refer to textbooks on pathology, lameness, and internal medicine as well as to the selected references provided at the end of each chapter. The authors have relied on their backgrounds to compile the information in this atlas, and opinions on some of the material will likely vary. That does not detract from the basic value of this atlas, which is well worth the price and will be of value to pathologists, pathology residents, and clinicians involved in equine disease investigations as well as to anyone performing postmortem examinations of horses.

Reviewed by Beth A. Valentine, DVM, PhD, DACVP

Oregon State University Corvallis, Ore

Equine Emergencies: Treatment and Procedures (4th edition)

James A. Orsini & Thomas J. Divers

898 pages. 2014. Elsevier. ISBN 978-1-4557-0892-5. Price $120.00.

The fourth edition of Equine Emergencies: Treatment and Procedures is an updated version of a book that has long served as a comprehensive and well-written guide to emergency medicine in equine practice. First published in 1998, this book has been regularly updated in an effort to provide equine practitioners with a resource on the latest procedures and developments in the treatment of equine emergencies. This edition is no different and provides essential and clear guidance to many new treatment approaches and procedures used in equine emergency situations. It is very comprehensive and contains well-written and concise chapters on the most up-to-date treatments. Chapters on diseases and conditions have been updated so as to be current with our evolving understanding and recognition of important emerging topics. The book also contains chapters on well-recognized disorders complete with descriptions of proven treatments and procedures as well as new approaches for the management of those disorders. Given the breadth of topics discussed and extensive nature of that discussion, this book is a relatively large volume. Some topics included in this edition might not be considered commonly encountered emergency situations. Because the focus of this book is on treatment and procedures, it does not include substantial descriptions of the pathophysiologic features of the various diseases and conditions discussed. Although the size of the book might prohibit its use as a convenient and quick reference during emergency situations, its value to practitioners who treat equine emergencies is obvious.

Reviewed by Bradford G. Bentz, VMD, MS

Equine Medicine and Surgery Bossier City, La

Equine Sports Medicine & Surgery (2nd edition)

Kenneth W. Hinchcliff, Andris J. Kaneps, & Raymond J. Geor

1,299 pages. 2014. Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-7020-4771-8. Price $279.00.

The second edition of Equine Sports Medicine & Surgery is a comprehensive book with contributions from the leading authorities in the topic. This edition expands on the previous one with new chapters on the musculoskeletal system, exercise-induced hemorrhage, and veterinary management of the equine athlete. Additionally, this edition has a completely new section on physical therapy and rehabilitation of equine athletes that consists of the following 3 chapters: Manual therapy and exercise for athletic horses, Equine rehabilitation: chiropractic treatment for athletic horses, and Physical treatment of the equine athlete. Throughout these chapters, the authors describe the current understanding and pitfalls of these rehabilitation techniques.

This book is well written and organized into body systems, which makes finding information very easy. Although the surgery sections are excellent, the primary focus of this book is how the different equine body systems respond to exercise. The in-depth review of physiology and response of those body systems to exercise will appeal to readers of all skill and experience levels. This book is easy to read and will quickly become the authoritative source for equine sports medicine and rehabilitation.

Reviewed by Timothy Lynch, DVM, DACVS, DACVSMR

Peterson and Smith Equine Hospital Ocala, Fla

Turner and McIlwraith's Techniques in Large Animal Surgery (4th edition)

Dean A. Hendrickson & A. N. Baird

331 pages. 2013. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-118-27323-4. Price $109.99.

The fourth edition of Turner and McIlwraith's Techniques in Large Animal Surgery is an update to one of the premier surgical texts for veterinary students and large animal practitioners. The first edition, published in 1982, set the standard for subsequent large animal surgery texts by being the first to provide readers with a brief synopsis of the indications for each surgical procedure, a step-by-step description complete with clear and concise line drawings of the procedure, and the postoperative care and potential complications associated with each procedure. This edition has the same format, and some of the older, outdated procedures have been removed and new ones added. The text is organized in chapters, each of which has a short updated list of references. The initial chapters of the book cover basic principles including presurgical considerations and an excellent review of anesthesia and fluid therapy and contain photographs of surgical instruments, suture materials, and needles as well as concise illustrations of suture patterns along with recommendations for their use. The remaining chapters are arranged by species and body systems and cover a wide array of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the equine, bovine, caprine, ovine, porcine, and camelid species. For each procedure, there is a brief description of the relevant anatomy, indications for the procedure, anesthesia, instrumentation required, surgical technique, postoperative management, and potential complications. This book is well written and illustrated, concise, and full of relevant practical information. I highly recommend this book to veterinary students during their clinical training and large animal practitioners who wish to review procedures they do infrequently. Priced at just over $100, this book represents an investment you will not regret.

Reviewed by Mike Livesey, BVM&S, MSc, DACVS

University of Wisconsin Madison, Wis

Noordsy's Food Animal Surgery (5th edition)

N. Kent Ames

300 pages. 2014. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-118-35260-1. Price $99.99.

The fifth edition Noordsy's Food Animal Surgery, originally authored by Dr. John Noordsy, continues to provide useful, practical information about many surgical procedures performed in food animal species. This text will be useful for students as well as practitioners and surgeons.

The book has been updated in appearance with an improved binding and attractive print. The page thickness has been reduced, which may make the book a little less robust for carrying in a truck or use in field settings. The original diagrams have been retained and continue to provide clear instruction of various procedures. Color photographs have been added, which improves the overall appearance of the book.

The general format of the text is unchanged, with chapters reviewing presurgical preparation; perioperative care and restraint; local, regional, and epidural anesthesia; and surgical procedures of the major body systems. The general anesthesia section has been extensively updated with many new drug doses for IV anesthesia, which provide good options for anesthetizing animals in the field. A new section about postoperative pain management has also been added. The instructions for procedures are easy to follow, and the style of the book is easy to read. Throughout the text, there are notes within the margins that highlight important tidbits of information or precautions. A companion website is also available, which allows readers to view and download figures from the text and contains the questions from the end of each chapter along with the answers to those questions.

Overall, this book continues to be a first-rate resource for anyone performing food animal surgery, whether daily or once a year. It will make an excellent addition to the library of any practitioner who treats food animal species.

Reviewed by Jennifer M. Ewoldt, DVM, MS, DACVS

Scott County Animal Hospital Eldridge, Iowa

Small Ruminant Embryo Transfer Training

David Matsas

1 DVD. 2013. American Embryo Transfer Association. Available for purchase at: www.aeta.org/edu-training-video.asp?autotry=true&ULnotkn=true. Price $125.00.

An increased demand for embryo transfer services in small ruminants has created a need to provide educational material for veterinarians who want to begin offering these services. The American Embryo Transfer Association, with support from the SVF Foundation, contracted Dr. David Matsas to produce a video entitled Small Ruminant Embryo Transfer Training to address this need. The result is a video resource that is valuable to both the novice as well as the experienced embryo transfer practitioner who wishes to learn a new technique.

The video is divided into 6 sections. The first section describes donor management and super ovulation regimens. The second section describes preoperative and general anesthesia of sheep and goats. The third section describes laparoscopy-assisted exposure of the uterus followed by the actual recovery of embryos. This leads to a brief discussion of embryo evaluation and finally recipient management and surgical transfer of the embryo. This video will be particularly useful to experienced embryo transfer practitioners, but it lacks emphasis on embryo handling and evaluation necessary for veterinarians without laboratory training. A recommendation to review the manual and the embryo evaluation video offered by the International Embryo Transfer Society attempts to address this need.

Dr. Matsas was a great choice as the instructor for this video. He has a very relaxed and concise manner. While watching this video, viewers will feel like they are sitting in Dr. Matsas' lab, watching the procedures over his shoulder. I highly recommend this video, particularly for practitioners experienced with bovine embryo transfer. It will also be valuable for the less experienced practitioners, provided they realize the limitations in embryo handling and evaluation training.

Reviewed by James K. West, DVM, MS

Iowa State University Ames, Iowa

Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine

The Committee to Assess the Current and Future Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine of the National Research Council

310 pages. 2013. National Academies Press. ISBN 978-0-309-25744-2. Price $60.00.

The National Research Council report entitled Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine was published in 2013. The authors, a very scholarly group of individuals, were charged “to study the broad scope of issues related to the veterinary workforce in the United States….”

This report is organized into chapters on the basis of various facets identified as being part of veterinary medicine. Most chapters start with a historical perspective of a particular sector of veterinary medicine, then describe its current economic state, and conclude with a prediction of future workforce needs. Included is a chapter with an analysis of the economic rate of return of a veterinary medical education given the issue of increasing student debt. The report has an extensive reference list and many informative appendices that not only explain how the council gathered information but also offer support for the council's conclusions. Summaries at both the beginning and end of the report state the council's conclusions and recommendations, which are calls to action directed at organizations the council believes are in the best position to move the profession forward in a positive direction.

To understand some confusing conclusions, some sections of the report need to be studied rather than simply read. For example, in the chapter on companion animals, there is a statement that it is possible by 2016 to have either a surplus or a shortage of full-time–equivalent veterinarians. The report also makes distinctions between a workforce shortage and an unmet need in a sector. In other chapters, the council examines the ways veterinarians are contributing to a particular segment of society and the ways they should be contributing given their unique understanding of science, animals, and society interactions.

The issue of the feminization of the veterinary profession was discussed in a few chapters. Unfortunately, conclusions were made on the basis of data from 2002 and earlier, which may or may not be relevant given that the profession's gender shift has progressed rapidly since then.

This report should be used as a comprehensive resource for faculty working with both undergraduate students and those already in a professional veterinary program who wish to explore alternatives to private practice. Many chapters suggest externship opportunities to explore alternative careers as well as additional training avenues needed for advancement in certain fields. Because several, but not all, chapters make an attempt to predict future workforce needs, it will be useful for students to explore job opportunities.

I found this book very interesting and enjoyed learning about all the possible career options available for veterinarians. I recommend that all veterinarians read and understand the council's perspective regardless of whether they agree or disagree with the conclusions and recommendations.

Reviewed by Donna L. Harris, DVM, MBA

Veterinary Special Services Holland, Mich

books for veterinary technicians

Veterinary Instruments and Equipment: A Pocket Guide (3rd edition)

Teresa F. Sonsthagen

784 pages. 2014. Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-323-26313-9. Price $51.95.

The third edition of Veterinary Instruments and Equipment: a Pocket Guide is a must-have resource for veterinary and veterinary technician students alike. The author has done a marvelous job of presenting veterinary medical instruments in a concise, user-friendly format that students will find very appealing.

Divided into 2 sections, this pocket guide covers instruments pertaining to both large and small animals. Section 1, which addresses general medical instruments and restraint equipment, is subdivided into 13 chapters. These chapters are quite inclusive and cover a broad range of instruments related to administration of medications, diagnostic testing, identification, catheterization, and castration of all common animal species. Section 2 addresses instruments and equipment associated with surgical procedures. This section consists of 10 chapters that provide excellent descriptions of hemostats, forceps, needle holders, scissors, retractors, and dental, orthopedic, and ophthalmic instruments.

The guide's greatest assets are the crisp, clear, full-color photographs, which are presented along with each instrument's name and defining characteristics. Photographs are of excellent quality, and students will find the selected enlargement of instrument tips especially helpful. The spiral binding is another outstanding feature because it allows readers to separate the photographs of the instruments from the corresponding name and description. Students will find this feature especially helpful when studying or self-quizzing. Students will also appreciate the in-depth index when needing to confirm the appearance of a specific instrument. On a final note, I recommend incorporating this book into the curriculum early; students will find the restraint and medication administration chapters useful long before they are engaged in surgical courses.

Reviewed by Jody Rockett, DVM

College of Southern Idaho Twin Falls, Idaho

Veterinary Technician's Handbook of Laboratory Procedures

Brianne Bellwood & Melissa Andrasik-Catton

182 pages. 2014. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-118-34193-3. Price $49.99.

The Veterinary Technician's Handbook of Laboratory Procedures was written by instructors of animal health and veterinary technology for students in those fields. It is a soft-cover book that consists of chapters on laboratory instrumentation, blood analysis, urinalysis, parasitology, and cytology along with more than 200 images, mostly in color. The chapter on laboratory instrumentation provides a fairly thorough explanation of the use and care of microscopes, refractometers, and centrifuges and contains a brief overview of automated instruments and quality assurance. The chapter on blood analysis describes sample collection and handling, manual hematology methods including determination of differential cell counts and PCV, and blood film and reticulocyte staining and evaluation as well as a brief overview of clinical biochemistry and coagulation. Some of the blood cell images are too small to adequately distinguish cellular characteristics. The chapters on urinalysis and parasitology thoroughly cover sample collection, preservation, and evaluation including gross and microscopic examination. Some of the urine sediment images are small and lack contrast; however, the images of parasites are generally good and include ova as well as ectoparasites such as ticks, mites and lice. The chapter on cytology includes a description of several sample collection and film preparation techniques and the microscopic evaluation of many commonly obtained samples with a focus on reproductive cytology. The smaller images are better viewed on the companion website that includes additional images and study tools. The table of contents and index are organized and thorough, although citations are lacking. Overall, this is a moderately priced and useful quick reference book.

Reviewed by Linda M. Vap, DVM, DACVP

Colorado State University Fort Collins, Colo

Veterinary Technician's Large Animal Daily Reference Guide

Amy D'Andrea & Jessica Sjogren

443 pages. 2014. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-8138-1621-0. Price $64.99.

In the preface, the authors describe Veterinary Technician's Large Animal Daily Reference Guide as a comprehensive resource designed for educational settings as well as large animal veterinary facilities. They have accomplished this by presenting an extensive array of information in a series of tables. The information in the tables is formatted as short data points, values, phrases, sentences, or sometimes detailed paragraphs. The overall format is ideal for a technician or clinician who is seeking information quickly. Because of the extensive use of tables, the entire book is laid out in a landscape orientation. At first this format seems awkward, but it is easy to get used to. This book is intended to be used as a reference and users will not typically sit down to read it in a page-by-page manner.

The book is organized into 11 chapters, with 177 tables, 24 skill boxes, and 194 images. It also has 8 beautiful color-plate pages with 29 photomicrographs of slides for differential blood counts and evaluation of urine sediment. Each separate section of each chapter has its own bibliography.

Chapter 1 is dedicated to anatomy and describes all of the body systems in a single table. This chapter also contains anatomic diagrams of horses, cattle, goats, and pigs that illustrate various body areas, major landmarks, superficial muscles, and equine conformation. These diagrams are labeled with the proper anatomic terms as well as colloquial terms, which will help technicians converse with clients.

Chapter 2 is on preventative health care and addresses many topics including physical examination, injection techniques for vaccines, diseases for which animals are commonly immunized, equine hoof care, and more. A nice feature is that for each disease for which animals are commonly immunized, there is a detailed discussion about the clinical signs, diagnosis and treatment for that disease. The chapter on internal medicine provides similar detail on the entire range of diseases that can affect farm animals, and the tables in that chapter are organized by body system. The internal medicine aspects of the genital system are included in the chapter on reproduction.

Chapter 3 is on nutrition of farm animals. The first 3 tables do a good job summarizing the vitamin and minerals required in the diets of livestock, nutritional deficiencies, and other nutrition-related diseases. One disappointment in this book is apparent errors in the data and improper labeling of the tables that summarize the nutritional requirements for the various species. Tables 3.4 through 3.7 should not be used to make recommendations for the feeding of large animal patients. I am sure this will be corrected in a subsequent printing.

This book also has chapters dedicated to reproduction, nursing care, clinical pathology, radiography of horses, emergency care, and pharmacology. These chapters address a broad array of veterinary knowledge and procedures, which technicians are expected to perform, and contain text boxes that provide readers with detailed, step-by-step instructions for important procedures. There is also a chapter dedicated to holistic medicine for horses which contains information about massage, hydrotherapy, chiropractic care, herbology, and acupuncture.

Overall, this book is a very good reference that will help technicians quickly review and perform many required tasks. Given its extensive bibliography, it also provides a starting point for additional study with cross-references to standard textbooks and scientific articles.

Reviewed by Patrick Hemming, DVM

Animal Reproductive Technologies Greeley, Colo

books for clients

Decoding Your Dog

Debra F. Horwitz, John Ciribassi, & Steve Dale

360 pages. 2014. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-547-73891-8. Price $21.60.

Decoding Your Dog is compilation of essays written by veterinary behaviorists that spans a variety of topics to help owners select a pet that will be a good match for their home and provides many important insights into the causes and possible treatments of the more common problems dog owners encounter. It includes a comprehensive explanation for basic learning theory and discusses additional basic training problems such as leash pulling and more complicated issues such as canine cognitive dysfunction. Also included in this book is a nice discussion of normal behaviors, such as jumping on people, that many owners might consider problems. Several of the chapters emphasize the need for owners, trainers, and veterinarians to forego the dominance-based training methods in favor of positive reinforcement–based options. An important aspect that is discussed in many chapters is that a dog's behavior should not be anthropomorphized, especially with regard to children and aggression. Although this book has a scientific basis, it was written in a manner that is easily understandable for laypersons. This book will be a valuable addition to the library of any small animal practitioner or dog owner.

Reviewed by Angela Bockelman, DVM

Grafton Animal Hospital Yorktown, Va

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