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Book review: Fowler's zoo and wild animal medicine (volume 8)

January 1, 2014

In the eighth volume of Fowler's Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine, the editors have returned to the original, comprehensive, taxa-based format last used in the fifth volume that was released in 2003. The book consists of 82 chapters, divided into taxonomic classes that include amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, and a general topics section. The editors deliberately selected new senior authors who are expert veterinary advisors for the various taxa. This international assemblage of authors is impressive, although the book would have benefited from a greater diversity of disciplinary expertise. Synthesis of the large and expanding body of knowledge about zoo and wild animal medicine is a Sisyphean task, but one that the editors have accomplished well. The chapters were well written and are beautifully illustrated with high-quality images and generally well referenced. Much of the information is summarized in tabular format, which I found both a blessing and a curse. Tabulation of hematologic variables and anesthetic doses is helpful; however, tabulation of information regarding infectious and parasitic diseases results in a loss of detail. For example, methods of diagnosis for some diseases are omitted from some tables. The need for succinctness results in trade-offs, and statements such as “Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis … is one of the most well described pathogens of anurans” with no further information leaves readers unsated. In addition, the book does not have any chapters on fish or invertebrates, which are notable omissions given the importance of these species. Those quibbles aside, this is a must-have book for all zoo and wild animal medicine students and practitioners. However, perhaps it is time to recognize that, during the 36 years since the first volume was published, this discipline has become too large to be contained in 1 book. This is largely because of the success of this book series, and it is a nice problem to have.

Review info:  Fowler's Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine (Volume 8). By R. Eric Miller & Murray E. Fowler, 2015. ISBN 978-1455773978, 773 pp. 

Publication Year 2014
Title Book review: Fowler's zoo and wild animal medicine (volume 8)
DOI 10.2460/javma.245.12.1348
Authors Jonathan M. Sleeman
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Index ID 70127402
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Wildlife Health Center