Book Review: A Color Handbook of Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat
The field of infectious diseases in small animal medicine is an enormous and challenging field, with infectious diseases being responsible for a wide range of symptoms and diseases that frequently overlap with non-infectious conditions. A Color Handbook of Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat is both a welcome and valuable addition to the small animal veterinarian’s library for many reasons.
The book is authored by 28 well-recognised veterinary specialists across a range of specialties relevant to the breadth of diseases caused by infectious agents.
The book is organized according to an organ-system approach, rather than a pathogen-based approach. This is one of the book’s most useful features for the practicing clinician, as it simplifies access to information on relevant pathogens based on organ-system involvement, rather than having to navigate many different areas of the reference based on suspected pathogens.
Body system coverage includes respiratory, gastrointestinal, genito-urinary, neurological and skin. For those pathogens that cause clinical signs not easily classified into organ systems, a “multisystem infections” chapter is included.
Each chapter presents information on a wide range of infectious agents relevant to the organ system being discussed, with each agent being presented in a uniform manner under consistent headings (definition, species affected, etiology and pathogenesis, incidence and risk factors, clinical signs, diagnosis, therapy, complications/prognosis, and prevention). This consistency enhances the readability of the text.
The text itself is concise – presenting succinct, clinically-relevant information to the reader, and in this reviewer’s opinion, is targeted extremely well at the practicing clinician, providing just enough information to assist sound clinical decision-making, without becoming too encumbered in small detail. The text is further enhanced by the inclusion of numerous high-quality images, tables and infographics, that add significant information on diagnostic tests, clinical signs, and treatment and prevention protocols. For readers pursuing more detail, a comprehensive reference list is provided at the conclusion to each chapter.
A Color Handbook of Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat is an extremely useful, well-written reference, that belies its small size. It is both accessible and useful to a wide range of clinicians, from general practitioners, through to residents, interns, and those studying for board examinations. Whilst it is not an exhaustive text, it is one of the most user-friendly references on this topic that this reviewer has encountered, and the authors and publishers should be commended on their efforts in creating it.