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From The CriticsReviewer: Jonathan Hale Foreman, DVM, MS (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: This is intended as a comprehensive reference on equine and canine physiotherapy and rehabilitation. Diagnostic sections cover behavior, nutrition, biomechanics, exercise physiology, lameness, and neurological conditions. Therapy sections include assessment, manual therapy, electrotherapy, hydrotherapy, and acupuncture. The book concludes with separate sections on canine and equine treatment and rehabilitation.
Purpose: According to the senior editor, "the aim of this book is to provide physiotherapists and interested others with a broad base of information on aspects of animal physiotherapy," who notes the book "is based on the teachings in the physiotherapy programmes in Australia and the U.K."
Audience: Animal physiotherapists, veterinarians, and "others who work with animals" are the intended audience. For veterinarians and scientists who want more detail and science behind the various therapies, the book does cover the science behind animal or veterinary physiotherapy much better than earlier books limited to equine physiotherapy. The 14 chapters are written by 21 different authors.
Features: The use of a three-tiered numbering system for the book, combined with the use of bulleted points, is occasionally distracting but mainly helpful in outlining the salient points. The use of graphs and line drawings to emphasize scientific points made in the text is useful and educational. The black-and-white illustrations throughout the book are helpful. For example, numerous valuable photographs of horses being stretched manually are used to illustrate the chapters on assessment and manual therapy. The next-to-last chapter on canine physiotherapy is particularly complete and well written. The last chapter on equine treatment and physiotherapy is disappointing given the minimum of 20 years that trainers and riders of elite equine athletes have been using physiotherapy for peak performance. Other books dedicated strictly to equine physiotherapy have done a better job in this area, such as Bromiley's Equine Injury and Therapy, 3rd edition (Blackwell Publishing, 2007).
Assessment: This book is unique in that it covers both canine and equine therapy. The science and art of these therapies are common to the care of both species, so their inclusion here is elucidating and valuable. The chapter on equine therapy is disappointing, but less so when seen in the context of the entire book which relies heavily elsewhere on examples of equine therapy to illustrate the earlier chapters.