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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Julia K Whittington, DVM (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: This book's 32 chapters are divided into two parts — domestic mammals and wildlife, zoo, and marine mammals. One editor and 34 authors have contributed to this book, which is rich with tables, pictures, and figures to augment the text.
Purpose: This is designed as a guide for animal care professionals working with neonates of a variety of mammalian species. Although the information can be found elsewhere, the book serves as a comprehensive source. This has been accomplished well by the author as she has targeted readers who are gaining further experience in this field. Experienced animal care providers will also benefit from the information presented on species they are less familiar with.
Audience: The author states, and I concur, that the intended audience of this book is composed of veterinary practitioners, technicians, wildlife rehabilitators, and zoo personnel. This book represents a practical guide for these professionals, not a definitive reference. As such it is not targeted towards experienced specialists already versed with a given species' care. Although all the contributors have extensive experience in their field, some lack scientific training to give depth and credibility to their information.
Features: The book addresses the nutritional, husbandry related, and developmental issues an animal care provide must consider when handling the neonatal care of various mammals. An inherent strength of this book is the number of contributors to the text and the variety of experiences they bring. Author preferences and success pertaining to past trial and error experiences are the backbone of the contents. This provides a wealth of knowledge, but it also represents a potential weakness of the book — the anecdotal nature of some recommendations.
Assessment: This will serve as a useful tool for animal care providers responsible for raising orphaned animals. The convenience offered by bringing this information together in one source is invaluable and the author has done a good job in coordinating the efforts and topics of a variety of contributors.