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From The CriticsReviewer: Karen L Campbell, DVM, MS, DACVIM, DACVD (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: Published 15 years after the previous edition, this classic book on the biology and diseases of rabbits and rodents contains extensive updates.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide concise, up-to-date, and relevant information on the health, care, and management of rabbits and rodents. This is excellent resource achieves the authors' objectives.
Audience: The authors have written this book for a varied audience that includes veterinarians, students, technicians, scientists, breeders, and, to a lesser extent, pet owners. The book will be useful for each of these groups. The authors have outstanding credentials and are noted authorities in the areas of lab animal medicine and care.
Features: The book is divided into six large chapters, each with subdivisions for the different species of small mammals. It starts with an introduction to laboratory animals and considerations for their use in research. The biology and husbandry of each species is presented next, followed by chapters on clinical procedures, clinical signs and differential diagnoses, specific diseases and conditions, and ending with a series of case reports and references. There are over 200 black-and-white images and many useful tables. I would have liked more information on diagnostic tests in the chapter on differential diagnoses, but this and my preference for color pictures would be my only suggestions for improving the book.
Assessment: This book is suitable for a much wider audience than books such as the National Research Council's Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 8th edition (The National Academies Press, 2010), although the latter has the advantage of being much less expensive. However, Harkness and Wagner's is much more comprehensive with up-to-date information on newly described diseases and new husbandry guidelines. Therefore, individuals working with rabbits and rodents and desiring a good reference on the biology, health, care, and management of these important species should get the fifth edition.