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29-06-2008 - Anaesthesia of exotic pets

Anaesthesia of exotic pets


Jonathan Cracknell

'ANAESTHESIA of exotic pets' is marketed as a unique and quick reference guide for all those working in veterinary practice with exotic pets. Coming at a time when there are other titles that cover similar material, does this book stand out from the crowd? Well, the quick answer is, yes, it does.Go

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320 pages, paperback, £39.99. London, Saunders Elsevier. 2008. ISBN 978 0 7020 2888 5

Initially, there is a general chapter outlining some basic concepts in exotic anaesthesia, some of which will be familiar to most practitioners, but there is a wealth of information here that takes you beyond rudimentary practices and allows budding anaesthetists a quick, concise reference to anaesthetic theory. The book is recommended for this introductory chapter alone.

The basic layout of the remaining text is easy to use, and is presented in four colour-coded sections entitled 'mammal anaesthesia', 'avian anaesthesia', 'reptile anaesthesia' and finally 'amphibians, fish and invertebrate anaesthesia'. Each section is easily identified by looking at the spine of the book for a quick reference. Each area starts with an introductory chapter for the taxonomic group and continues with species-specific chapters. Each chapter provides useful information on anatomy and physiology techniques applicable to the species being discussed, and ends with anaesthetic induction, maintenance and recovery considerations. Throughout each chapter there are quick reference tables detailing doses for specific agents, each being in a similar format to allow quick comprehension and access when needed during a consultation or before theatre-based procedures. These are all fully referenced and allow the clinician to administer fluid therapy, analgesia and emergency drugs, as well as anaesthetic agents. These are extremely useful for the busy clinician.

The fluid therapy chapter in the mammals section is slightly weak, as volumes are mentioned, but not the details behind recommendations based on weight and hydration status. However, this is more than rectified in the other taxonomic groups, which is a nice addition missing in most other recent texts. Equally, it is a shame that alfaxalone is mentioned only briefly, as there is a wealth of literature on the use of this agent in reptiles. I suspect this is due to the publication date and the recent release of the agent in the UK, and not an oversight by the author.

A lot of thought has gone into the material, layout, and the use of graphics and photographs. The content is of a high standard throughout, and this is a very useful text to have on the shelf of the theatre, next to the BSAVA Formulary and other daily-dipped-into books. I thoroughly recommend 'Anaesthesia of exotic pets' to any clinician who works with, or even potentially will see, exotic pets in their clinic. This will be a standard text that will set the benchmark for other authors in this constantly developing field.

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