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From The CriticsReviewer: Julie K Byron, DVM, MS, DACVIM (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: This is a book of differential diagnosis lists for the most common clinical signs and laboratory abnormalities encountered in small animal clinical practice. Historical, clinical, and laboratory findings for many of these diseases are also included in a separate section.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a quick and easy-to-access reference for small animal practitioners, particularly when time does not allow for more in-depth searching of the literature and textbooks. While this objective is both worthy and useful, it must be remembered that differential lists are not the same for every patient with a single clinical finding, and no book replaces the practitioner's critical analysis.
Audience: This book is written primarily for veterinary students and new graduates, although experienced small animal practitioners will find it useful for refreshing the memory when they encounter an unusual case. As a boarded veterinary practitioner, the author presents the material from this point of view.
Features: The first of the book's three sections provides a list of differential diagnoses for over 80 different clinical signs in the dog and cat. The second part lists clinical findings and associated disorders for common diseases by body system. Part three provides an extensive list of laboratory abnormalities and their causes. This book presents the differential lists in a clear and concise manner with the objective of a quick reference in mind. The presentation of differentials by clinical finding, body system, and laboratory test provides for flexibility of its use by practitioners at many stages of the diagnostic work-up. The lists are neither exhaustive nor complete, but they do cover the most common (and many uncommon) differentials. The book is intended as a guide to practitioners, not a replacement for more complete texts.
Assessment: This is a useful tool in busy practice settings, particularly for new graduates. It does not replace a thorough evaluation of the patient, and the information it provides must be applied in context of the individual case. However, it will help to guide practitioners confronted with difficult and unusual cases and refresh the memory on less common differential diagnoses for clinical problems.