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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Marcella D Ridgway, VMD, MS, DACVIM (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: This is a clinical reference for small animal medicine and surgery. This flex-bound book updates the first edition published in 1994 by the same editors.
Purpose: The principal purpose is to provide a thorough but concise and convenient single volume source of medical and surgical information for the small animal veterinarian in a format to allow quick access to the essentials. The book is also suitable for veterinary students, interns, and residents as a quick and practical clinical reference or as a review text.
Audience: This book is written primarily for veterinarians in small animal practice and is also suitable for veterinary students and small animal interns and residents.
Features: The entire presentation is geared toward usefulness. The binding features a flexible spine, which allows the book to remain open on flat surfaces for hands-free reference. The text condenses a vast amount of information into an efficient and extensively cross-referenced resource that encompasses both medical and surgical aspects of small animal practice. The book principally addresses diseases of dogs and cats, but provides some material on avian and other pets as well. Information is organized generally by systems into nine sections, with additional sections covering general patient management, infectious diseases, and diseases of avian and exotic pets. Supplemental reading lists are provided for each topic area (chapter) and a section on drug dosage guidelines for dogs and cats is included. An outline format is used to present the body of the text and paragraph headings, and Key Points are highlighted in different color print to facilitate ease and speed of locating pertinent information. The book is generously illustrated with excellent diagrams demonstrating the concepts presented and abundant summary tables. These features, along with extensive cross-referencing between chapters, make pertinent material very easy to access and understand and enhances the book's practical usefulness. Particularly useful are the practical tips for client communication and realistic perspectives on expected outcomes and potential complications, often not addressed by other books of this nature. The major shortcoming of the book is the unfortunate choice of an unpleasant glaring red print color for highlighting topics and Key Points, which makes the text uncomfortable to read.
Assessment: This book is peerless in the organization, clarity, and accessibility of content and is superior to other texts of this type in content and format. However, with many excellent options available in this genre, the selection of a comprehensive, single-volume, quick reference for small animal medicine becomes largely a consideration of personal preference as to which textbook is most pleasant to use. This book offers several advantages over most publications of this type in the convenient format and coverage of surgical and medical topics with commendable detail. However, the overly bright red print, though a very minor shortcoming, may nonetheless limit its usefulness to veterinarians who, like myself, find the book unpleasant to read as a result.