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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David Sisson, DVM (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: This is a revised edition of Manual of Small Animal Cardiology, which was first published in 1985. It presents the basics of veterinary cardiology in outline format, divided into three sections describing diagnostic methods, selected acquired and congenital cardiac disorders, and therapy of heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias.
Purpose: The purposes are to provide useful and practical information about canine and feline heart disease and to present this information in outline format to conserve reading time. Unfortunately, this results in rather superficial treatment of many subject areas, which may result in misinterpretation of certain disease processes. Also, important areas of controversy are simply ignored in the apparent interest of simplifying therapy.
Audience: The book is intended for the practicing veterinarian and veterinary student. It may be useful to the busy, practicing veterinarian, but students wishing to supplement lectures and class notes would be better served by a more thorough and better referenced textbook. This is a multiauthor textbook and the editors could have done a better job at avoiding redundancy, thereby substantially reducing the length of this 500+ page manual. For example, the treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy is described by four different authors or groups of authors in chapter 7, chapter 14, chapter 18, and in appendix 1.
Features: The quality and number of illustrations is adequate to communicate the essential information presented in the text. Unfortunately, much of what is written in this manual is not referenced. At the end of each chapter, each author provides a list of suggested readings. The references supplied in many chapters are too few and often provide a biased view of the available literature. The authors of some chapters primarily refer to their own prior publications, largely ignoring the contributions of others. Few references after 1992 are cited in this 1995 manual.
Assessment: I am not overly fond of books that present information in outline format. This manual is a testament to the lack of detail and consistency that results from this format, particularly when the outline is generated by multiple authors. Due in large part to the redundant presentation of basic concepts, this manual is much longer than necessary, detracting from its value as a quick reference.