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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Marcella D Ridgway, VMD, MS, DACVIM (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: This update of Handbook of Behaviour Problems of the Dog and Cat, 2nd edition (Elsevier, 2003), by the same authors, includes additional authors and expanded topic coverage, such as managing pets in the veterinary setting and creating a positive patient-friendly hospital experience.
Purpose: The intent is to provide veterinary practitioners with a resource to guide them in addressing pet behavior problems and behavior-related owner concerns.
Audience: Although designed specifically for small animal veterinarians in general practice, the book is also suitable as a foundation text for veterinarians and veterinary students who wish to pursue advanced training and practice in small animal behavior. The authors are all veterinarians with extensive practice experience in clinical animal behavior.
Features: This book outlines the "whole hospital" approach to pet behavior and details bringing in all hospital staff members in providing for the behavioral health of small animal patients. The authors include excellent summaries of basic behavior concepts and procedures as a foundation for appropriately addressing behavior problems. Preventive care techniques are also emphasized. The formatting of this book divides content into smaller sections of information, which promotes ease of access and results in a book that is extremely readable in addition to having reference value. It has been very well thought out in regard to providing support for practitioners, including such immensely helpful features as Appendix C of behavior-related hand-outs and online-accessible printable drug dosage tables. Although the book generally comprehensively covers behavior subjects, some bias is evident in the discussion of, for example, the use of electronic collars, which are portrayed as painful shock-delivering devices despite their reported successful (and more appropriate) use otherwise. Also, although it promotes the team approach to managing canine and feline behaviors, the book defines the team narrowly as veterinary hospital employees and pet owners, with apparent reluctance to address the role of trainers or other nonveterinary professionals who become involved in pet behavior issues on an individual and community basis, sustaining the unfortunate dichotomy between veterinarians and other professionals with whom meaningful partnerships would advance the interests of all those serving pets and their families.
Assessment: This highly readable and extremely practical book is a must-have addition to the small animal practice library. Thorough and well organized, the book clearly and carefully guides general practitioners through all facets of clinical small animal behavior.