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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Wanda M. Haschek-Hock, BVSc, PhD (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: This second edition on the laboratory rat is a product of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) and comes more than 26 years after the first edition. Old chapters are extensively updated and revised and new chapters cover new areas and those of increasing importance. All chapters have been peer reviewed.
Purpose: The purpose is to serve as a resource for those using rats in research and those charged with the care of laboratory rats. This book is greatly needed and meets the college's objectives.
Audience: The stated targeted audience is veterinarians and investigators engaged in studies of the rat. This book should be useful for laboratory animal veterinarians and residents as well as biomedical scientists and their students.
Features: The book covers standard topics such as stocks and strains, morphology, clinical pathology, diseases and nutrition, as well as timely topics including ethics, transgenics, and assisted reproductive technologies. The book is comprehensive and extensively referenced and the indexing is well done. The illustrations are black and white; printing is often of poor quality. While most topics are extensively covered, the normal biology/physiology of the rat could have been more comprehensively covered and discussed in the context of humans and other species used in research, and better illustrated. The toxicology chapter is disappointing.
Assessment: This book is an important resource for biomedical researchers and those involved in the care of the laboratory rat. While other books are available in this area, the strengths of this one are its broad and contemporary coverage, strong referencing and excellent index. This second edition has been eagerly awaited because of major developments in the field since the first edition 26 years ago.