Description: The book contains well over 200 color images of 165 cytology cases from four domestic species. The author poses specific questions about each case and answers those questions on the next page. The answers are designed to instruct veterinary practitioners about important cytological features present in the image, additional cytological features that are not pictured, differential diagnoses, typical case outcome, and treatment of the most likely differential. In addition, the book contains a section titled "frequently asked questions" that primarily focuses on sample collection and handling.
Purpose: The author's main purpose is to provide readers a way to test their knowledge of veterinary cytology, including cases from dogs, cats, horses, and cattle. This is a worthy goal since only a few veterinary cytology textbooks are available and most do not include examples from both large and small animals. To accomplish her goal, the author includes one to four images of each case, which she pairs with questions. The questions are designed to make readers concentrate on the image, describe the cytological features of the case, diagnose the disease or formulate a list of differential diagnoses, decide which additional tests are needed to make a definitive diagnosis, and think about how to treat the patient. For the most part, the answers the author gives to the questions are complete and factual. In most cases, the diagnosis is clear from the images. However several cases are not well presented; poor image quality is the predominant problem, but there are also a few case answers that contain questionable information.
Audience: The author states in the preface that the book is for "anyone interested in veterinary cytology." Apart from the section on "frequently asked questions" (which is useful for both technicians and veterinarians), the book is best suited for veterinarians who have already had basic cytology training. Due to the random arrangement of cases in the book, it cannot easily be used to aid a veterinarian trying to diagnose a cytology case. However, veterinarians interested in cytology are likely to find the book interesting and the case presentations helpful review information. The author is a board certified veterinary clinical pathologist.
Features: This book is designed to challenge readers to look critically at a cytological sample. However, the random order of the cases makes it difficult to visually compare cytology differentials that the author discusses in the case answers. There is no table of contents, but in the front of the book, cases are placed into a few general categories, which is somewhat helpful. Unfortunately, the classification page does not group the cases by specific lesion type (for example, round cell tumor) or by species. A list of the cases that illustrate a specific lesion type can be found in the index, but the species information is not included. The section of "frequently asked questions" at the end of the book contains useful information for practitioners who are not experienced in collecting samples for cytology. The most attractive aspect of the book is the inclusion of patient history and often a photograph of the gross lesion along with one or more images of the cytology for each case.
Assessment: This is a fun, quick review of cytology cases that includes good discussions about additional diagnostics that can be used to complement the cytological findings and reach a definitive diagnosis on a case. In a few cases, the image of the cytology is not clear enough to arrive at the diagnosis suggested in the case answers. In rare cases, the answers contain information that is incomplete or questionable. The book also includes a list of additional texts that readers can refer to for information about veterinary clinical pathology.