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Volume 26(4), Winter 2016
Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Canine and Feline
This book is like an extended practical dictionary on 846 essential, common and less common, cat and dog diseases. It is arranged alphabetically. Each disease is presented in average on one to two pages with six subdivisions.
Each ‘fact sheet’ includes a quick definition or overview, aetiology and short pathophysiology as well as clinical signs. Under diagnosis you find the methods to work out the disease in regard to its differential diagnosis. The treatment section offers a 360-degree approach to the case. Whereas medication concentrates on the drugs to use, follow-up gives you general information including prognosis. ‘Miscellaneous’ contains suggested reading, abbreviation and other minor but good-to-know information.
Didactically brilliant for his bullet points, listings and shortness it is especially valuable for the busy practitioner. It offers a quick overview on the most essential information for a first follow-up of a clinical case, allowing fast clinical decisions in line with the actual state-of-the-art of feline and canine veterinary medicine.
Compared to the previous edition, there are only minor changes. Chapters have been added on specific drug intoxications. Some reclassifications have occurred (e.g. on behaviour) as well as renamings (e.g. cobalamin deficiency vs cobalamin malabsorption, reflecting new research outcomes). Sun-induced dermatoses, fibre-responsive large bowel diarrhoea and meticillin-resistant pyoderma now each have their own chapters.
All chapters have been reviewed and updated especially in view of new treatment options and (e.g. new treatments for ectoparasites). The layout of the single disorders has been improved, giving an even better overview.
However, do not expect too much from the companion website. Its 354 customizable client-education hand-outs to download are much too extensive for users with no scientific background. They would need shortening and editing before providing the information needed in an individual case. They are very flexible and adaptable, which means you need to spend some time on it. The images do not add much value and there are only 5 video clips. The drug administration list gives a good overview, but is not well adapted to the European situation.
Having said that, I found it the most comprehensive quick-reference book on canine and feline medicine. A must-have for every companion animal practitioner! Above all for those who prefer a book in their hands instead of an often distracting online research.
Katia di Nicolo, DVM (Luxemburg/Italy)
Practical Guide to Canine and Feline Neurology
The third edition of the Practical Guide to Canine and Feline Neurology is an updated edition of the previous book.
The layout of the book such that can be used as a quick reference but also for comprehensive in-depth documentation about certain neurology subject.
The first chapter begins with a review on history taking and establishing a differential diagnosis. This chapter also includes a helpful table on breed-associated neurologic abnormalities.
The 2nd chapter provides an in-depth description of neuroanatomy. The 3rd and 4th chapters review neurologic examination and neurodiagnostics and are highly practical, with many diagrams.
The next 20 chapters cover various topics ranging from the management of head trauma, cerebellar diseases and tremor syndromes to disorders of hearing and balance, seizures, narcolepsy and spinal trauma management. Each chapter on a specific disorder includes sections on clinical signs, pathophysiology, diagnostics, treatment and prognosis.
Finally, chapters on nursing care, neurotoxic syndromes and alternative therapy are also included as well as a colour atlas of the canine brain.
New in this edition, and a welcome addition, are the chapters on differential diagnosis, movement disorders and magnetic resonance imaging. This third edition follows the same format as previous ones in terms of providing detailed neurology information in a logically organized, accessible format. It continues to be rich in breed predisposition, signalment and history, spinal disorders, and has an extended coverage of pain management and diagnostic imaging compared to the previous edition. There is also more information provided in tables, graphics and many high quality images that improves highly visual learning and easy to use reading.
Very useful is the companion website that offers video clips of specific neurological disorders and a how-to video guide on performing the neurology examination.
All-in-all, the third updated edition of Practical Guide to Canine and Feline Neurology is a very useful and powerful veterinary reference, providing a great support on managing neurology cases in small animal practice. It is an easy and simple reference for readers who need to look something up quickly, so it should be a nice tool for clinical neurologists, residents and practitioners dealing with neurology cases. The text is written in a style that is easy to read and to search, but also very comprehensive for residents studying for the exam and specialists.
This book is a must-have for those dealing with neurology on a daily basis.
Zoran Loncar DVM (Serbia)
Current Therapy in Exotic Pet Practice
Over the past years, an increasing number of books dealing with avian and exotic animal medicine have been released. Current Therapy in Exotic Pet Practice is one of the most recent additions, containing the latest information available in the field. Although being the first of its kind, this book can, in essence, be regarded as a follow-up of the previously released Manual of Exotic Pet Practice by the same two editors. However, unlike this earlier version, Current Therapy in Exotic Pet Practice is organized by organ system rather than by species. The end-result is a book consisting of 11 chapters of which 10 are attributed to the main organ systems that can be distinguished in animals. This may take readers some time to get used to, but also provides several advantages as repetition of information can be minimized.
Within each of the organ-centred chapters, relevant information regarding the anatomy and physiology, as well as the most important disease conditions affecting the organ system are discussed for the different classes of animals (i.e. invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals – the latter often being further subdivided into different species).
In addition, each chapter covers the diagnostic procedures and therapeutics relevant to the different species. Consequently, the chapters provide a comprehensive yet concise overview of topics relevant for exotic pet practitioners, preparing them to treat a variety of different exotic animal species. Within each chapter, information is provided in a consistent and structured manner (i.e. per subject and then per animal class) so that information can easily be retrieved.
Among chapters, uniformity is less obvious, with some variability noticeable in the order in which the information is presented. In part this is due to the fact that this book comprises a multi-authored text, but for some chapters, practical reasons may also have played a role in the editors’ decision to diverge from the fixed structure. For example, in the Endocrinology chapter the information is conveniently organized per endocrine organ rather than per subject (i.e. anatomy, diseases, diagnostic testing and treatment).
Each chapter furthermore contains a wealth of high-quality colour photographs and illustrations that complement the text and aid in the comprehension of the anatomy as well as the clinical abnormalities to be encountered with the various diseases. Aside from these images, most chapters also contain convenient flow diagrams, tables and/or forms in which information with regard to clinical and diagnostic work-up, differential diagnoses and drug dosages is presented in a clear and well-organized manner.
Considering the length of this book (564 pages), in combination of the high number of species and topics covered, it is not surprising that certain topics are conspicuously absent from the text. For example, topics such as (clinical) pathology, anaesthesia, surgery, critical care, behaviour and nutrition are limited to a brief discussion or not addressed at all.
Similarly, the reader may notice that the book does not cover the immune, haemopoietic and peripheral nervous systems. Moreover, discussion of the different topics is generally limited to the most essential information, as in-depth discussion is simply not feasible within the parameters of the text.
Nevertheless, the amount of information and level of detail provided is formidable. For those practitioners seeking more extensive information, the authors furthermore provide an extensive list of references in each chapter that provide excellent resources for further reading.
Yvonne van Zeeland, DVM, MVR, PhD, Dip. ECZM (Avian, Small mammal), the Netherlands