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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 compilation of concise practical reviews of up-to-date clinical information in canine and feline medicine. This book updates the first edition (1997) by the same editors with an increased number of topics and wider range of contributors, as well as new information on existing topics.
Purpose: It is intended as a comprehensive but concise, quick reference for small animal internal medicine, which provides up-to-date information on a broad range of topics in an easy to use format. The book is suitable as a practical clinical reference or as an outline for quick review.
Audience: This book is written primarily for small animal veterinarians and veterinary students and is also useful to small animal interns and residents.
Features: The book reviews diseases of the dog and cat and is organized into four main sections (presenting problems, laboratory tests, electrocardiography and diseases/clinical syndromes) with topics presented in alphabetical order within the appropriate section. The table of contents lists the topics by system as well. Within sections, two facing pages are dedicated to each topic, allowing the opened book to display the complete review of the subject. An innovative six-column format permits a considerable range of information to be condensed into the two-page summary. This facilitates use, but can be difficult to access or read when bulleted entries are not left-justified. Suggested reading lists follow each review. The book concludes with useful appendixes including endocrine testing protocols, tables of toxins and antidotes, and a drug formulary for dogs and cats. The authors' goal of allowing frequent and rapid updating of the material is meritorious. However, in striving for brevity, many pertinent details have been ignored. Because information regarding pathophysiology and other details pertaining to diseases reviewed in this text are not considered, the book is suitable only for quick review and not as a basic text for veterinary instruction.
Assessment: The number of disease conditions covered is extensive, but the book sacrifices thoroughness for brevity and encourages veterinarians and veterinary students to rely on a quick review of essential facts without more in-depth consideration of the disease process and individualization of appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. It divorces the consideration of pathophysiology from the closely-linked determination of the best care for the patient and promotes a "cookbook" approach to medical problems, despite the authors' protestations to the contrary. The book does fulfill a need not entirely covered by other texts in the number of topics covered and ease of immediate retrieval of key items of information. However, with many other excellent options available, I find this text to be a less attractive choice than references incorporating some consideration of pathophysiology and more detailed, though still concise, coverage of topics and reference using visual summaries in the form of charts and diagrams.