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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Victoria Woshner, MS, DVM (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: This is a concise guide for the small animal practitioner for the identification and treatment of toxicoses in dogs and cats.
Purpose: It is designed to allow practitioners to rapidly access information, advise clients, and initiate therapy. It is divided into three sections that include lists toxic of chemicals, in alphabetical order, and toxic plants. The major strength of this text is its outstanding organization. The index is composed of terms referring to toxicants, treatments, and clinical signs, and does not contain excessive or extraneous entries. Entries under various toxicant headings in the text are similarly well organized and brief.
Audience: The book is written for the small animal practitioner and focuses on dogs and cats. The authors are both practitioners (one specializing in emergency care) and not toxicologists, which may contribute to their focus on emergency treatment, with little emphasis on mode of action of either toxicant or treatment.
Features: Features include lists of tables and cross-references, equally well organized and easy to use. The table of contents is an exception. It appears to include terms arbitrarily and thus would be of very limited use. For example, listings under "Section Two: Toxic Drugs and Chemicals," include coral snakes and tricyclic antidepressants but not antifreeze. Other features of limited use are the treatment symbols following toxicant headings, which are intended to allow rapid institution of therapy but which are too cryptic to be useful unless this book would be used on a daily basis. The physical design of the book, small with a durable cover, is appropriate, although it should have been covered with a bright binding such as orange or yellow so that it would stand out visually on a bookshelf.
Assessment: This book is not intended to be a toxicology text and does not serve as such. It contains minor errors and has a definite limited focus. Consequently, it would not be a very useful addition to an academic library, but would be a useful handbook for small animal practitioners. While not addressing toxicoses in depth, it fulfills its stated purpose of aiding in the diagnosis and treatment of poisonings in cats and dogs.