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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Victor E. Valli, DVM, MSc, PhD (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: This is the second edition of a book that covers diseases of the mouse, rat, hamster, gerbil, guinea pig, and rabbit. Since the first edition was published in 1993, this book has gained 100 pages and a number of new sections, particularly on the mouse (behavioral and genital urinary disorders). Also, gene knockout and transgenic animals are given much more attention. The book is printed on glossy paper and is profusely illustrated with high quality black-and-white photographs illustrating both gross and microscopic lesions.
Purpose: The authors state that this book is designed "to serve as a general reference text for veterinary pathologists, laboratory animal veterinarians, students and others who may require information on key diagnostic features, differential diagnoses and the significance of diseases that effect commonly-used laboratory animals." The authors indicate that emphasis is given to infectious diseases of laboratory animals because of the lack of information on these diseases from a diagnostic perspective available elsewhere. With animal purchase and containment constituting the major cost of many biomedical studies, it is essential that the health of those animals be protected for both ethical and legislative reasons and for the research to be maximally productive.
Audience: Although replete with detail, this book is easy to read. Also, while of maximum value to veterinarians of a variety of specialties, this book is easily comprehended by nonmedical professionals, particularly those who are most interested in aspects of infectious diseases. Both authors are well qualified for this task as board certified veterinary pathologists with expertise in laboratory animal pathology and credible researchers with extensive bibliographies in their areas.
Features: Specific diseases of each species are handled in a consistent manner that greatly adds to the utility of the work. Infectious agents are first described in a general sense, including the classification of the infectious agent and the general characteristics of the types of diseases with which it is associated. This is followed by epizootiology and pathogenesis specific to the species of animals discussed in each chapter. Subsequent sections include pathology, with the description of lesions at both the growth and microscopic level, and concludes with a differential diagnoses and a final section of significance, placing the disease entity in context on a national and global basis. In a welcome departure from previous texts on laboratory animal diseases, the neoplastic lesions are discussed using terminology consistent with WHO classifications and references to earlier terminology. The bibliographies are grouped at the end of each chapter under subheadings for general classes of infectious agents and parasitisms or infectious diseases and body systems for neoplasms.
Assessment: This is an excellent addition to the literature on laboratory animal diseases. The consistency of material on both rodents and rabbits is comparable to that found in the older series, Benirschke's The Mouse and Biomedical Research and Pathology of Laboratory Animals or Fox's Laboratory Animal Medicine. The only other book with which it reasonably compares is the first edition.