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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Karen L Campbell, DVM, MS, DACVIM, DACVD (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: This book provides veterinarians with the information needed to respond to clients' questions or concerns regarding the medical use of herbs.
Purpose: The authors' goals are to contribute to the re-emergence of the art of veterinary herbal medicine. As they note, "people want herbal medicine." Because of this, it is worthwhile for veterinarians to be familiar with the concepts, rationale, and controversies surrounding the use of herbs in animals.
Audience: This book is written for practitioners, but it could also be useful for students. It includes information which is generally applicable for all species on the use of herbs, with one chapter dedicated to the use of herbs in horses and another for use in dairy cattle.
Features: After an introduction to the use of herbs in animals, five chapters provide historical information on the relationship between plants and animals and the medical use of herbs in various cultures. The second section of the book includes three chapters on controversies surrounding the use of herbal medicine. The third and longest section of the book includes nine chapters focused on plants and the industries associated with herbal medicine. Of particular interest are the chapters on the interactions between herbs and drugs and the need to be concerned with plant conservation. The fourth section includes a systems-based approach to herbal medicine and chapters on the use of herbs in horses and dairy cows. Appendixes include a list of providers, herbal terminology, and other useful information and tips on the administration of herbs to animals. It is somewhat surprising to see individual chapters devoted to the use of herbs in horses and in dairy cows, but no chapters on the use of herbs in dogs, cats, birds, or other small animals.
Assessment: The primary competition for this book would be other books by the senior author, including Emerging Therapies: Using Herbs and Nutraceutical Supplements for Small Animals (AAHA Press, 1999) and Manual of Natural Veterinary Medicine: Science and Tradition (Mosby, 2002). These are softcover books which are less expensive, but are also less complete.