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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Maureen McMichael, DVM, DACVECC (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: This book provides a thorough overview of cardiac disease in small animal patients. Essential sections on physical exam, ECG, and radiology accompany advanced concept sections on echocardiography, cardiac surgery, and pacemaker therapy. A broad range of cardiovascular topics discussed in depth make this an essential tool for the small animal practitioner. This edition has been "revised, edited, and updated" from the 2001 edition.
Purpose: The purpose is to "eliminate the aura of mystery that surrounds the diagnostic and therapeutic principles of veterinary cardiology." These are worthy objectives as cardiology is one of the most confusing and frustrating topics veterinary students encounter. This book meets the objectives by simplifying many complicated topics.
Audience: The book is written to allow "even the novice to make an intelligent assessment of a cardiac case...but comprehensive enough to serve as a reference for the advanced student." It does simplify complicated cardiovascular concepts and is very useful. The author is a very well known and respected cardiologist and the majority of the contributors are also well known, widely respected cardiologists.
Features: The three sections cover how to diagnose heart disease, an overview of specific disorders, and treatment. In addition, three appendixes that include a comprehensive list of cardiac drugs, dosages, uses, and side effects will be very helpful for practitioners. The best feature of the book is the in-depth treatment of the topics. The history and physical exam chapter is 21 pages, includes several tables with "causes of" titles, multiple key points to deliver information concisely, a section on stethoscopes (very valuable for veterinary students), and several pages on cardiac murmurs and heart sounds. Multiple algorithms and key point boxes throughout the book help boil down the subject matter into concise points. The only shortcoming is that the index does not include some valuable information that is in the book. When searching for arteriothromboembolism (ATE) in cats, the only reference is under "S" for saddle thrombus and one page (10f). However, several sections that cover ATE in cats are not listed in the index.
Assessment: This book is well written and the enthusiasm of the chapter authors for their topics comes through. It takes a complicated subject and makes it understandable and interesting. Even the chapters that would be considered basic (physical exam and history taking) have some interesting points and are well worth reading. This is one of the best cardiac books available and worth getting. It is valuable both for a thorough read through and as a reference.