COMPTES RENDUS DE LIVRES
Altman RB, Clubb SL, Dorrestein GM, Queensberry K.
Avian Medicine and Surgery. WB Saunders Company,
Toronto, 1997. 1070 pp. ISBN 0-7216-5446-0. $138.00.
This text is a welcome literary addition to the field of
avian medicine, more specifically to pet bird medicine.
The emphasis is on psittacines, which is usually the
major portion of clinical practice, but there are also
sections on the common problems of other families,
such as passerines, columbiformes, and raptors.
The text is divided into 9 sections. The 1st section
deals with "The Normal Bird." Chapters cover a variety
of topics from nutrition to pediatric husbandry and
medicine. The chapter on "Laws and Regulations
Affecting Aviculture and the Pet Bird Industry" is par-
ticularly useful for those just getting involved in avian
Section 2 deals with diagnostics, hospital techniques,
and supportive care. Here the day-to-day procedures in
clinical practice are discussed. Section 3 deals with
infectious diseases. Section 4, on noninfectious dis-
eases, uses a systems approach, which will be familiar
to many Ontario Veterinary College graduates. For
example, the chapter on the gastrointestinal tract is
split into anatomy, physiology, and then diseases.
Section 5 covers pharmacology and therapeutics,
and includes a formulary. Because most drugs used
in avian medicine are "off-label," it is helpful to have
dosages for a large number of drugs. As more drugs are
used in different species, it is becoming apparent that
metabolism of drugs can vary, and clinicians should
use caution when treating uncommon species of birds.
The surgical section has 2 particularly good chapters
on beak repair. The last 3 sections cover emergency
medicine, specific species, and the human-avian bond.
The appendices cover hematology and biochemical
reference ranges, adult bird weights, and scientific
names of common species. As this is an American text,
the reference ranges are in conventional units, as opposed
to SI units. To their credit, the authors have included an
appendix for conversions to SI units, but if this is meant
to be an "international" text, I feel it would have been
worth the extra few pages to print the reference values
in both units.
Overall, this is a very informative text, and I would
recommend it to anyone interested in avian medicine.
Reviewed by Robin Roscoe, DVM, DipL ABVP (Avian),
Lynwood Animal Hospital, Nepean, Ontario K2H 6L2.
Marder A. The Complete Dog Owner's Manual: How
to Raise a Happy, Healthy Dog. Broadway Books,
New York, 1997. 224pp.ISBN 0-7679-0001-4. $25.00 US.
ritten by a veterinarian for present and prospective
dog owners, this book is a comprehensive, highly
informative, and superbly illustrated guide to all aspects
of owning and loving a dog. Information ranges from
choosing the right dog to feeding tips to health care
and training, and gives lots of good, practical advice. The
book also includes a detailed guide to more than 100 pop-
ular dog breeds. The table of contents divides the book
into its 5 logical components, choosing your dog, health
care, training, breeding and showing, and guide to
breeds. In addition, there is a glossary of "dog world"
terms, a well-organized and comprehensive index, and
a directory of information. The latter includes street
addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses for
kennel clubs, humane societies, and veterinary associ-
ations for North America, Great Britain, and Australia.
In the first section, the author recognizes the reward-
ing experience that can result from the relationship
between a person and a dog. To give this relationship the
best chance of success, a pet must be chosen carefully,
considering the person's lifestyle, home environment, and
family needs. Whether to choose a puppy or a mature dog
is covered in considerable detail and emphasizes the
importance of selecting a healthy animal.
Health is described in easily understood terms that are
applied to the dog's visible parts from the nose to the tip
of the tail. Sound advice is provided on preparing for the
arrival of the new dog. The basic accessories are dis-
cussed from the perspective of an appropriate bed, food
and water bowls, collars, leashes, and identification
tags. Because puppies and dogs can get themselves
into a lot of trouble, methods of dog-proofing the home
are dealt with in a logical and practical manner. Because
the author is a veterinarian, the information given on
nutrition and feeding, exercising, grooming, and whether
or not to neuter is accurate and credible. The section on
health care emphasizes the importance of having your
dog checked by a veterinarian, while providing the dog
owner with the tools to detect illness in his or her pet. The
signs of good health are compared with symptoms of the
common canine ailments ranging from obstructed anal
glands to flea infestations to serious illnesses, such as
acute gastric torsion. Prevention of disease and illness
is stressed and first aid techniques are recommended for
the common emergencies, such as heatstroke, chok-
ing, suspected poisoning, and other types of accidents.
The book deals with training, breeding, and showing
of dogs in a well illustrated step-by-step guide. How dogs
Can Vet J Volume 39, October 1998