and layperson books on same topics
This article is brief reviews of some veterinary books (written by vets for the profession) and lay langage books on the same topics.
contents : (to help you skip to sections of immediate interest to you)
short reviews by Pam Green, © 2009
Here are some short notes as to some important veterinary textbooks intended for professional use and books on equivalent topic areas written for dog owners. These are all books I have in my own library, except as noted.
- on the partership between vets and clients, communitcations between vets and clients.
- "The Art of Veterinary Practice, a guide to client communication" by Dr Myrna Milani, DVM
This is an absolutly great book written as a professional book for vets by one of the all time great writers on dog and cat topics. Dr Milani's great strength is analyzing alternatives for various situations. Her approach is always thoughtful and sensitive.
This book is absolutely a MUST READ for every veterinarian and an ideal gift for anyone about to enter vet school. Of great value for clients as well. MDs should read this book to improve their people skills and avoid malpractice suits due to poor patient handling.
- "Speaking for Spot" by Dr Nancy Kay DVM. is the pet owner's equivalent book . See my review of this book. It's a MUST READ for every pet owner.
Teaches pet owners to be a medical advocate for their pet and teaches them how to work in partnership with their vet. It teaches owners how to find and recognize a good vet and
how to ask their vet questions and understand answers and to be prepared to answer the questions the vet needs to ask. It also covers the most common symptoms of concern and the most important illnesses and injuries they are likely to encounter. Although the book is written for dogs, at least 90% is applicable to cats. Clearly and cleverly written, enjoyable to read. I consider this a MUST READ for all dog caretakers (and almost as valuable for cat caretakers) and a valuable read for all vets. Vets may want to keep a copy or copies in their waiting room and/or lending library. Many readers report it has helped them to cope with their own MDs and the user-unfriendly human medical system.
- "Connecting With Clients", by Laurel Langoni, MS and Dana Durrance, MA
This is a nice pamphlet giving "practical communication techniques for 15 common situations". Intended for vets, but also of value for clients. There is space left for the reader to make her own notes, thus making this a "workbook" for vets. My own copy is heavily annotated.
- "Clients, Pets, and Vets, communiction and management" by Carl Gorman, BVSc, MRCVS.
This is the UK version of advice to vets. Written in informal manner, enjoyable and useful reading for vets and for clients.
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- home care (part of client's role as partner to the vet)
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- getting calm and cooperative pet behavior at the vet's
- Low Stress Handling, Restraint, and Behavior Modification of Dogs and Cats by Sophia Yin, DVM, MS. The subtitle is Techiniques for Developing Patients Who Love Their Visits.
This book is a MUST READ for vets and even more so for vet techs. It is a HIGH VALUE book for owners of pets who are at all "difficult" to handle at home or at the vet clinic, and worth-while for those whose pets are currently well behaved (to keep them that way)..
This book and DVD are worth their weight in bites avoided for vets and even more so for vet techs. It's also of great value for every owner whose pets are either afraid or hard to handle in veterinary situations or for treatments and exams at home. The first sections deal very well with topics of canine and feline learning via classical and operant conditioning and with canine and feline fear body language and the human body language that creates or allays fear in dogs and cats and aspects of the clinic that can create or decrease stress on the patient. The middle sections show vets and techs a huge variety of techniques for all the various animal handling procedures that are part of practice. The final section is about how owners can raise their pets to be confident and trusting about every aspect of handling and treatment, thus making them safe and easy to work with in home care and at the vets. Remember that pets who are hard or dangerous to handle are unlikely to get as good quality of care or have as good a response to care as pets who are calm and cooperative. This book will save pets; lives as well as spare vets, techs, and owners from getting scratched or bitten.. The book is profusely illustrated, showing every step of every sequence, and the accompanying DVD is full of video clips of the most important processes and concepts. There are also some added resources available to book owners on Dr Yin's web site (available by entering a code that is in the book.)
While some of the food rewarded training recommended might not be feasible with the emergency patient who will shortly be put under anesthesia, the need to use the very most unfrightening body language and the most secure and non-struggle provoking restraint holds would be even more crucial in those situations.
Personal note : I can really appreciate Dr Yin's thesis that forceful frightening high stress handling will make the pet worse and worse on each succeeding visit. I had one foster dog who would be the poster child for this. (Granted he had some other temperament problems).
A very sad note : Dr Yin is now deceased, greatly mourned and missed by all who knew her.
- Layperson equivalents : There really is no layperson's equivalent to this book, although Dr Yin's earlier book "How to Behave so Your Your Dog Behaves" has a somewhat less formal version of the material on how dogs learn, ie how to use classical and operant conditioning, as well as step by step procedures for teaching the most important basic behaviors that every dog must learn and discussions of common problem behaviors. Patricia McConnell's "The Other End of the Leash" has basic material on dog body language and the effect of human body language on creating trust or fear in dogs. There is no book that goes into the details of handling and veterinary procedures in the way that Dr Yin's Low Stress book does. (I've suggested to her publishers that such a layperson's book could be extracted from the Low Stress book, which does include some advice on "homework" clients could and should do.)
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- general overview of illnesses
- The 5 Minute Veterinary Consult, canine and feline, by Tilley and Smith
This could be considered a kind of Cliff's Notes for vets. One section deals with symptoms and another section deals with particular diseases or injuries. For each there is a one to two page summary of all the key points in regard to that topic. There's also a section on diagnostic tests. I would guess that newly graduated vets find this book a reassuring checklist to be sure they haven't overlooked something that they learned about in vet school but might not have in the front of their mind when confronted with a patient and a distressed client. For established practitioners, it would be useful for situations not commonly encountered in their practice. Gets updated every few years and can come with a companion CD. Less useful for pet owners, because you have to already know the things the summary is reminding you about.
- The UC Davis Book of Dogs, by various faculty of the UC Davis Vet School.
This is a good introduction for laypersons to the organ systems of the dog , how they should function, and the most common ailments and injuries. This book is now getting along in years (published 1995) so don't count on it for up to date cutting edge treatments or latest diagnostic technology. A good general book for dog owners, as it helps you understand how the dog's body functions when well and helps you understand common illnesses , birth defects, injuries. (Note : the cat equivalent is the Cornell Book of Cats. The horse equivalent is the UC Davis Book of Horses.) There are other good general vet guides for owners, and you may want to have more than one. Also have at least one first aid book.<
- Taking Care of Your Dog, by Sheldon Gerstenfeld , VMD . see review
Although extremely old (published 1979) , this book is still valuable to dog owners because of the excellent flow charts to guide your decision making as to whether your dog's symptoms call for an emergency trip to the vet, a vet visit within 24 hours, a vet visit that could be later than 24 hours from now, a phone call for advice, or some home treatment. While you won't find this book in print, try Amazon. Note : there is a slightly newer (1989) revised edition entitled "The Dog Care Book" ; still very out of date as to diagnostics and treatments, but still very useful for the decision making charts. Very useful for those who are new to dog keeping and unsure how to know when dog needs to go to the vet.
- Pet First Aid, by Dr Bobbie Mammoto, DVM, MPH, American Red Cross and Humane Society of United States. (book on first aid for dogs and cats.). There are other good books on pet first aid ; you need at least one such book.
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- medications : see Two Books on Veterinary Medications
- Veterinary Drug Handbook , by Donald Plumb, PharmD , Iowa State University Press
Reference textbook for veterinarians. Updated from time to time. This is the vet's equivalent to the MD's vital textbook Physician's Desk Reference. Available in pocket edition (small print), full size edition, and on CD-ROM. a MUST HAVE for all vets of course, and quite valuable to pet owners. You might ask your vet if you could have her old copy when she buys a later version. And don't hesitate to ask your vet to photocopy for you to take home the pages on any medication she is prescribing.
- The Pill Book Guide to Medications for Your Dog and Cat ( Bantam books in paperback )
This book is a laypersons guide to medications and it is quite good. Highly recommended to keep as a reference. This is a MUST HAVE for all pet owners unless they have a professional book like Plumb.
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- "Cancer in Dogs and Cats, medical and surgical management" by Wallace B Morrison, DVM, and "Small Animal Clincal Oncology" by Stephen Withrow DVM and Gregory McEwan DVM.
These two textbooks are written by distinguished veterinary oncologists and are intended for veterinary oncologists and general practice vets. Both books have been through several editions. Both give the details of each of the recognized forms of cancer occurring in dogs and cats, with details of presentation , diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. Each has some areas of strength as compared to the other. Both would be MUST HAVE books for an oncologist . Probably a MUST HAVE for any emergency vet , because so many emergency intakes have an underlying cancer as cause of the emergency (Morrison has a chapter on oncology emergencies). Any other specialist or general practice vet would find one or the other to be a MUST HAVE reference book. Should also be of interest to MDs because almost all pet cancers have human equivalents and often the same treatments that work in dogs or cats also work in humans, and vice versa (Withrow has specific comments on the human comparisons). While most dog owners would find these books to be very serious reading, they are worth the effort.
There is a third big cancer text by Gregory Olgivie DVM that would be an alternate choice ; I have not got that one, just glanced at first chapters and table of contents. It should be excellent. Olgivie is especially noted for his emphasis on care being compassionate towards the pet and towards the client , as well as his concern for the vet and vet staff being able to maintain their own morale in this emotionally difficult specialty..
- "Pets Living With Cancer, a pet owner's resource" by Dr Robin Downing DVM , see my review of this book .
This is an excellent layperson's guide to the basics of cancer. She covers the big 3 traditional treatment modes (surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation), but doesn't say much about the new approaches that were just beginning when this book was written in 2000. It does not go into specific forms of cancer. This book is an excellent introduction to cancer treatment that takes a lot of the fear out of the topic. Recommended reading for all pet owners. (note : Dr Downing is also a leader in the emerging field of Pain Management.)
- Heal, the vital role of dogs in the search for cancer cures, by Arlene Weintraub. I should write a full review of this one. published in 2015, a good view of the state of clinical trials research as of a bit earlier. Some of the projects described have turned out to yield useful treatments, but some have not panned out to yield anything useful. Note : one of my dogs participated inn a trial that did result in a useful drug.
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- behavior medicine
- "Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals" by Karen Overall,VMD, PhD.
A very comprehensive textbook on canine and feline behavior medicine by the head of the Behavior services at University of Pennsylvania. Particularly valuable to the general practitioner because of its coverage of psychotropic drugs and its very detailed behavior modification protocols.
- Fairly new book out by Hart, Hart, and Bain. I haven't had chance to read this one yet, just a quick glance through it at the bookstore.
- Layperson books : everything by Nicholas Dodman MRCVS, everything by Patricia McConnell PhD. These authors are delightful writers as well as being experts in the field.
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- physical therapy, physical rehabilitation
- Canine Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy, by Millis, Levine, and Taylor
The first comprehensive textbook on veterinary physical therapy for dogs. A MUST READ for any vet who has clients who want the best post-injury or post-surgery recovery for their dog. Valuable for those dog owners who participate in sports with higher risks of injuries.
- There really is no equivalent book for pet owners, although there are some books and videos on massage for pets, books and videos on TTouch, and a booklet on at home therapies by Clothier.
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- shelter medicine
- "Shelter Medicine for Veterinarians and Staff" by Miller and Zawistowski
A ground-breaking textbook that covers the current (2004) scientific and other evidence-based knowledge of various aspects of keeping animals as healthy as possible under shelter conditions. Includes chapters on pet population dynamics, administrative and legal issues for shelters, general husbandry (building design, sanitation, nutrition, general care of dogs cats rabbits birds reptiles wildlife and horses, disease prevention and management (including vaccination, monitoring and record keeping, outbreak management(m community programs (including feral cats, spay/neuter clinics, behavior issues, foster care for shelter animals, euthanasia, disaster situations), and animal cruelty and dog fighting. This book is an absolute MUST READ for all shelter vets and all shelter managers. There is a crying need for a Cliff's Notes version aimed at City Council members, County Board of Supervisors members, and other legislative budgetary authorities. Of great value for those running boarding kennels or rescue opperations where larger numbers of animals may be housed in proximity. Of value to anyone in animal rescue, as you need to understand the shelter situation from which you are rescuing animals and you need to manage your own smaller populations in foster care. Of value to general practice vets, as some of your new patients are recently adopted from shelters.
- "In fectious Disease Management in Animal Shelters" by Miller and Hurley.
Hot off the presses in 2009, this textbook gives state of the art evidence based knowledge of the canine and feline diseases and parisites of concern in animal shelters. Could have been titled or sub-titled "Shelter Medicine, the Next Generation". Kate Hurley DVM is head of the world's first Shelter Medicine program at UC Davis and was an Animal Control officer prior to attending vet school. This book is a true marriage of the best in scientific veterinary medicine and the nitty gritty practicalities of work in the trenches of the shelters. Cost and practicality are considered throughout and strategies suggested for the better funded shelters and for the less funded ones. This book is a MUST READ for all shelter vets and shelter managers. There is a crying need for a Cliff's Notes version aimed at City Council members, County Board of Supervisors members, and other legislative budgetary authorities. Of great value to those running boarding kennels or larger animal rescue facilities. Of considerable value to anyone in Rescue, as you will want to use some of the preventive strategies and other strategies. Of value to general practice vets, as aome new patients are recent shelter adoptees.
- There are no equivalent books for laypersons.
For both books there is a crying need for a Cliff's Notes version aimed at City Council members, County Board of Supervisors members, and other legislative budgetary authorities, because in many cases every dollar spent now on prevention of shelter intakes (community education in responsible ownership, spay/neuter subsidy, low cost basic training classes) and prevention of illness in new intakes (vaccination immediately on intake, community low cost vaccination clinics) and in policies that speed and encourage adoptions will actually save several to many dollars that will otherwise be spent sooner or later on treatment for illnesses, longer shelter stays , reduced adoptability and increased euthanasia , as well as many dollars that would be spent in the outside community on consequences of untrained and unconfined dogs, unaltered pets having litters, zoonotic diseases in humans , bite consequences, and other distant costs and consequences. In many cases doing what is right for the dogs and cats is actually less costly than not doing it..
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- death, grieving
(note : these books are also very much about the vet - client relationship and communication. The people skills of communication, empathy, and kindness will never be more severely tested than during terminal illnesses and euthanasia.)
- "The Human-Animal Bond and Grief" , by Lagoni, Butler, and Hetts.
This is a great classic textbook, written for veterinarians and for anyone doing grief counseling. A MUST READ for vets , psychotherapists , and grief counselors. Highly recommended for anyone else who finds themselved doing grief counseling, as often happens for people doing pet rescue work.
- "Companion Animal Death" by Mary Stewart, DVM, MRCVS
By a Brittish vet addressed to her fellow vets. Written for vets but in language and style appropriate for lay audience. A good read for vets and for pet owners.
- "Preparing for the Loss of Your Pet" by Myrna Milani DVM. see my review.
Written for pet owners by one of the truely great pet writers. Dr Milani emphasizes a philosophy of mental preparedness, of anticipating problems and thinking through possible alternatives before you find yourself engulfed in a crisis. This book is not only about dealing with an inevitable loss, but it is also about some strategies for preventing preventable losses. I consider this a MUST READ for all dog and cat owners.
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