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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary A. Iwamoto, PhD (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: This book provides a guide to the dissection of the dog. There are also sections on palpation and surface anatomy. It also serves as a very basic textbook by which students learn some aspects of the significance of structures.
Purpose: This book is designed to facilitate a thorough dissection of the dog and provide emphasis on those features emphasized in the veterinary curriculum. These are worthy objectives. The book very definitely is needed. It is difficult to improve on a classic. The book met the authors' objectives and has for many years.
Audience: This book is written for the beginning student. However, most who purchase the book also retain it for future use as a reference book or at least as a place to get started when looking for material. This book is directed at the appropriate audience according to just about everyone's judgment. As noted, its impact is far beyond the audience for which it was originally intended. The authors are perhaps the benchmarks when it comes to credible authorities in this area.
Features: Like all dissectors, it is often criticized for not having enough or appropriate pictures. However, the illustrations are very appropriate and constitute a useful minimum. It should be recognized that top anatomical figures are notoriously hard to produce and require unique talents. Their value is perhaps enhanced by the fact that there are so few atlases of veterinary anatomy that are affordable for students. The palpation or surface anatomy sections are also of value. The presentation of anatomy never seems to change very much. However, there have been some recent additions to the illustrations to provide additional clarity or in some instances emphasize structures for which there is new clinical relevance as surgical techniques and treatment procedures are changed over the years. Because it is retained for such a long service life, the use of the cloth binding is still the most appropriate.
Assessment: This book in all of its editions has been a mainstay of veterinary curricula worldwide. As with the classics of literature, it is difficult to compare a classic textbook intelligently with anything else. It is certainly comparable to the best dissectors found in the human anatomy literature (Shearer's or Grant's dissectors) and perhaps better because one has to do a minimum of looking at a separate atlas. The often-heard student criticism about "not enough pictures" is not fully justified with this book compared with other dissectors for this reason. As with its companion text, Miller's Anatomy of the Dog, the authors and the veterinary field in general can be justly proud of this contribution, which places veterinary anatomy on an equal footing with that found associated with the teaching of basic clinical human anatomy. One can only hope that this book will continue to reflect new information and changes in emphasis in the coming years.