Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book Review —The Cat: Clinical Medicine and Management

This book, which is a completely revised version of the edition last published in the mid-1990s, is a welcome addition the library for any veterinary office that cares for cats.

Comprehensive in scope and exclusively devoted to feline medical care, Dr. Susan Little's The Cat: Clinical Medicine and Management is an essential resource for anyone who provides complete, state-of-the-art care to cats.

In one convenient volume, you'll find authoritative, clinically-focused information enhanced by full-color illustrations, tables, boxes, algorithms, key points, and much more - all in a format designed for quick access. Dr. Little and her expert contributors address the unique concerns and challenges facing the feline practitioner, including the latest advances in feline medical diagnosis and management and their clinical applications to everyday practice.

I'm proud to say that I was asked to help contribute to the section on feline endocrinology, coauthoring the chapters on pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal gland disorders. These chapters included a wide range of different disorders including acromegaly, diabetes insipidus and other causes of polyuria and polydipsia, hyper- and hypothyroidism, Cushing's syndrome, Addison's disease, and hyperaldosteronism.

Below you can read the first official review of this book, which was given "5 Stars"in this VIN Book Review. Believe me, it's a book worth having if you have an interest in caring for cats.

The Cat: Clinical Medicine and Management

Susan E. Little, DVM, DABVP (feline)

Review by Kathy Lyon Star

The book is intended to enhance the everyday (and out-of-the-ordinary) cases presented to the clinician, utilizing the expertise of a number of contributors, each representing state-of-the-art therapy and practice. There is an E-volume mentioned, but there is no link mentioned in the book, so it may be available independently from the paper book and not associated with the hard-copy purchase.

The information is organized by body system, and an attempt has been made to keep it concise and readable. It is not a cookbook for students, as some extensive knowledge of feline diseases is required to navigate the Table of Contents and Index.
Facing the preface is a short excerpt from a 1960 paper on The Initial Exam, which serves to point up the advances made since that presentation. In contrast, this book contains a full section with updated information and techniques for the current examination protocol.
In the text, some techniques are laid out in a road map format to facilitate the learning process and to suggest innovative techniques.
The opening section is a must-read. This covers the peculiarities of cats and their owners, and their unique requirements and beliefs (sort of reminds you of MAC owners). The differences between cats and dogs is addressed from the perspective of the cat, the cat owner, and the handling of the cat in the veterinary situation. Cat communications are illustrated in body and facial language, although some of the intentions are not clear. Included is a list of causes of various behaviors in the clinic—probably something that the support staff needs to review.
The full exam/history process is described with some illustrations. Only a few restraints were shown, most likely the result of the success of the recommended techniques. A good chapter on creating a cat-friendly practice makes several innovative suggestions.
The section on fluid therapy is useful in accessing the need and subsequent administration of fluids. Analgesia are discussed both in assessing need and in interpreting degree of discomfort through body language (photos). Other important sections include Anesthetics, Preventive Health Care, including a good vaccination guide). Kitten Development, Behavior Problems, Behavior Therapies, Nutritional Management, Cardiovascular Diseases (including relevant EKG's and color Doppler views), Dental Issues (with numerous photos), including an excellent illustrated section of mandibular injuries and repairs.The section on Dermatology is likewise well illustrated.
The disease sections follow the body systems: Digestive system, Abdominal, Reproductive (including Pediatrics), Respiratory, Skeletal, Urinary, Ophthalmic, followed by various disease processes: Oncology, Endocrinology, Hematology, Neurology, Toxicology.
Concurrent Disease Management and Chronic Disease Management are well described. Also, this may very well be the first book on general cat medicine that covers feral cat population management.
All in all, this looks like THE book to have if you see cats. It is interesting reading as well as useful in the veterinary clinic. Leave it out in the break room for associates and support staff to peruse during slack time (if such a thing  exists). The results could be beneficial.

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