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From the PublisherAny book that attempts to cover the whole of small animal medicine and surgery in a single volume is, by necessity, almost bound to fail. That said, this book makes a good attempt and contains much useful information.
There are 12 main sections, covering patient management, infectious disease, haematology/oncology, endocrine and metabolic disorders, skin and ear disease, digestive system, urogenital, skeletal, nervous system, ophthalmology, cardiopulmonary and exotic pets. These sections are further subdivided into 178 chapters, a sixteen page formulary and a fifty page index. Navigating the text is simple and the consistent format of two-tone text, clear headings and bullet pointing is user friendly. Diagrams and tables are clear and illustrate the text well, though not comprehensively. The list of authors is impressive, though almost exclusively North American.
Each chapter covers a specific topic logically and mostly anatomically. Aetiology, clinical signs, diagnosis and treatment are then presented in bullet point format, highlighted by tables and algorithms, with key points emphasised by the use of red font.
Although not a small book at 2000 pages, the scope of subject matter inevitably means that each topic is only dealt with very briefly, with little discussion, although the list of references is adequate. Anaesthesia is therefore contained in a mere 11 pages and the whole of stifle diseases in just twelve. This brevity is simultaneously the book's best feature, but frustratingly also its major draw-back. For a clinician in practice, with little time to search texts between cases, it offers a fantastic, easily accessible review and ‘aide memoire'. However, when faced with an unfamiliar case the book will pose as many questions as it answers. Used correctly, therefore, as a revision aid for the busy clinician it deserves a place on every practice book- shelf, though there is the risk of abusing the volume if it is relied upon for short- cut answers for a practitioner in unfamiliar territory.
My one main criticism of the book is its binding: it is not a lightweight volume and presumably the intention is to be leafed through regularly. It therefore deserves a more substantial hard cover over the present flimsy offering, which will rapidly lose its support. At £82 it offers value for money, but would be more valuable and more appreciated at an increased cost and in a stronger format. Buy this book, but use it alongside the excellent range of BSAVA manuals.
Tim Hutchinson BVSc CertSAS. MRCVS (UK)
FECAVA Vol. 16-2 October 2006