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Life Science


Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


The Cat: Its Behavior, Nutrition & Health by Linda P. Case (Iowa State Press: Blackwell Publishing Professional) Textbook offers comprehensive coverage of the cat including domestication, breeding, genetics, behavior, health care and disease prevention, and nutrition throughout the animal's life cycle. Includes halftone, hand-drawn illustrations. For students, practitioners, and technicians.

Today, approximately 34 percent of households in the United States own at least one cat, comprising more than 75 million house-cats. The number of homes with cats has steadily increased over the past 15 years, and today, more and more people share their lives with two or more cats. The strong bonds that guardians develop with their cats and the many health benefits that are afforded by this bond have been the topic of numerous research studies in the last 25 years. The cat as a cherished companion and family member is here to stay, and many owners, students, and companion animal professionals are eager to learn more about man's "other" best friend, Felis catus.

The Cat: Its Behavior, Nutrition & Health is a comprehensive study of the domestic cat. This book is written for readers who are either pursuing or are currently engaged in a profession or avocation that involves cats. Shelter professionals and humane educators, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, cat breeders, and other companion animal processionals will find this book to be an indispensable resource. In addition, The Cat: Its Behavior, Nutrition & Health is an essential text for college students who are studying the physiology, care, behavior, and nutrition of companion animals. The book is divided into four topical sections. Part 1, "Knowing the Cat within the Companion," examines the origin of the relationship between humans and cats and follows the development of the cat from domestication through present day. This section also contains information about the cat's structure, special senses, reproduction, and genetics. The many ways in which cats are integrated into human society, problems of overpopulation, and the importance of responsible guardianship are discussed in the final chapter of this section. Part 2, "Behavior: Understanding the Domestic Cat," examines the develop-mental behavior of the cat from birth to adulthood. Developmental behavior is examined in detail, followed by a discussion of species-specific behavior patterns. Learning process and principles of training are the topic of Chapter 9. The final chapter in this section identifies several common behavior problems and their solutions. Part 3, "Health and Disease: Keeping Cats Healthy and Happy," concerns health maintenance and the prevention and treatment of disease. Infectious diseases and common internal and external parasitic diseases are included. Types of vaccines, procedures for their use, and vaccination schedules are also discussed. The final chapter in the section reviews emergency care and first aid procedures that are essential skills for all pet care professionals and cat caretakers. Part 4, "Nutrition: Feeding Cats for Health and Longevity," provides an overview of the cat's unique nutrient requirements and examines available pet foods and methods of feeding. Detailed instructions for feeding throughout the cat's life cycle and criteria for the selection of optimal foods are included. The final chapter of the book reviews several common medical disorders that can be treated or managed through diet. Each of the four sections is followed by a complete list of relevant and up-to-date books and journal articles for further reading.

The Cat: Its Behavior, Nutrition & Health offers the reader extensive information and technical depth in a readable and user-friendly format. The book is intended not only as a helpful resource but also as an enjoyable and interesting exploration of the domestic cat, our relationship with this marvelous nonhuman companion, and the best methods of caring for cats. The knowledge gained can only strengthen the well-established and enduring bond that exists between cats and their human caretakers in our culture today.

Skin Diseases of the Cat by Sue Paterson (Iowa State Press: Blackwell Publishing Professional) Provides specialized information on all common skin disease of the cat. Quick-reference handbook, in outline format, for clinicians and students. Color photographs include common and rare diseases.

Shin Diseases of the Cat provides the veterinary, practitioner with one of the few specialized works dealing with all common skin diseases of the cat. Previous texts have aimed to group the cat and dog together dermatologically. However, fungal, viral and bacterial pathogens affect the feline skin in a different way to the canine counterpart.

This quick reference handbook is for use by busy veterinary clinicians and veterinary students. It contains many color photographs of common and rare skin conditions. Each chapter looks at a different type of skin disease with descriptions of clinical presentations and a guide for diagnostic tests for each. Particular emphasis is placed on those techniques available to the veterinary surgeon within a practice environment.

This book is an invaluable tool for dermatological casework.

Feline skin disease forms an integral and important part of feline medicine. The cat is now recognised as a distinct and unique species; it responds in many different ways to a whole range of pathogens. Previous texts have aimed to group the cat and dog together dermatologically. However fungal, viral and bacterial pathogens affect the feline skin in a different way to the canine counterpart. A common misconception is that alopecia in the cat is often endocrine in origin: we now know that most alopecia in this species is usually traumatic and rarely due to systemic disease. Despite the differences in the disease presentations feline skin shares many structural and functional similarities with the dog.

Basic functions include:

  • Prevents loss of water, electrolytes and macromolecules.

  • Mechanical protection.

  • Provides elasticity to allow movement.

  • Nerve sensors allow perception of heat, cold, pressure, pain and itching.

  • Temperature regulation.

  • Storage of vitamins, electrolytes, water, fat, carbohydrates and protein.

  • Immune regulation to prevent development of infection and neoplasia.

  • Antibacterial and antifungal activity.

  • Vitamin D production.

  • Pigment production to protect against solar damage.

Feline Clinical Parasitology by Dwight D. Bowman, Charles M. Hendrix, David S.Lindsay, Stephen C. Barr (Iowa State Press: Blackwell Professional) Offers an in-depth examination of feline parasites. Topics discussed include parasite identification, history, geographic distribution, pathogenesis, epizootiology, zoonosis if applicable, diagnosis, treatment, control, and prevention. Illustrated and referenced.

In 1998 the number of cats in the United States was estimated to be approximately 70.9 million; cats were found in 34 percent of the 100 million U.S. households. This figure now surpasses the number of dogs in the United States, approximately 57.6 million in 38.1 percent of households (www.petfoodinstitute.org, Pet Food Institute, Washington, D.C.). For 1985 in Canada, the number of cats was approximately 4,134,200 and also surpassed the number of dogs, 3,028,100. Nearly 23 percent of households in the United Kingdom have at least one cat, and in Australia about 35 percent of the households each have one cat or more. This love for the cat, however, is not restricted to predominantly English-speaking countries. Between 1980 and 1990, the cat populations of almost all European nations increased—in some cases dramatically—to the extent that cat populations are currently level with those of the dog. Among Europeans, the Swiss are dedicated cat lovers, preferring to own cats rather than dogs. The French and the Belgians are well-known for their love of both cats and dogs. Among nations surveyed regarding the presence of cats in households, the Japanese have the least number, with a little over 5 percent with cats in 1990. However, there are more and more households with cats all the time in Southeast Asia, especially in countries such as Taiwan and Malaysia. Regardless of national boundary, with the ever-increasing limitations of time, money, and space, the cat is rap-idly becoming the cosmopolitan pet of the twenty-first century.

Awareness of cats as something other than "small dogs" has also emerged among cat owners and veterinarians as is evidenced by the increasing number of established specialized feline veterinary practices in the United States and Europe. For 1999, the number of members in the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the Academy of Medicine was 1,550, of which 33.5 percent (520) dealt exclusively with cats (Kristi Kruse Thomson, American Association of Feline Practitioners, Nashville, Tennessee). One way in which cats differ from dogs is in their parasitic infections and infestations. Although dogs and cats do share a few parasites, the vast majority of the parasites of these pets are actually specific to either dogs or cats, not to both. Also, even those parasites that are shared between cats and dogs will often cause different host responses when parasitizing the cat and often require different treatment regimens.

The purpose of this book is to offer an in-depth examination of feline parasites. Topics discussed include parasite identification, history, geographic distribution, pathogenesis, epizootiology, zoonosis if applicable, diagnosis, treatment, control, and prevention. The authors have attempted to produce a book that is international in scope due to the immense worldwide popularity of cats and due to the amount of travel undertaken by cats and their owners. Also, it was felt that this text would prove useful to veterinarians in other countries.

It is hoped that this book will be useful to both the veterinarian and the veterinary parasitologist. It includes concise and in-depth knowledge that is useful to both groups. Overall, the ultimate goal of this book is to improve the health of cats around the world by providing a ready reference text that can be used to assist (1) in diagnosing parasitic infections or infestations and (2) in treating cats and kittens that host these parasites.

The parasites of the cats fall into four major groups: the common cosmopolitan parasites, the parasites that are important in only certain geographic areas, those that are rare and show up in rather large numbers in certain countries or certain foci, and those that tend to be rare or incidental findings where cats are serving as atypical hosts of some adult form that is usually found in the local wildlife. We have tried to include all these parasites in the text with the hope that it would help practitioners develop a better understanding of the scope of parasites around the world. Thus, there are a lot of species in the text that have appeared only once in cats or only in very limited geographical areas. Also, we are aware that we are also dealing with a number of parasites with which we do not actually have first-hand knowledge. We do believe, however, that the book will serve to stimulate. 

BSAVA Manual Of Canine & Feline Neurology, 3rd Edition by Simon Platt (Blackwell Publishers) This 3rd edition has been completely rewritten and restyled since the last edition was published in 1995. The changes reflect the rapid and extensive additions to this field of veterinary medicine that have taken place over the last 10 years.

The basic organization of the earlier editions is retained in this Manual. The first section of the Manual discusses the essential requirements for making a neurological diagnosis and includes: neurological examination; lesion localization and differential diagnosis; clinical pathology; electrophysiology; and neuroradiology. The neuroradiology chapter represents the greatest change, with more detail on the advanced imaging techniques, while retaining thorough descriptions of radiographic techniques. A new chapter on tissue biopsy is also included in this section.

The second section of the Manual focuses on different presenting problems. A number of chapters, including coma, stupor and behavioural change, neck and back pain, and tail, anal and bladder dysfunction, have been added since the previous edition due to the overwhelming increase in information now available on both new and previously described diseases. Each chapter in this section presents the diseases in a similar way, detailing clinical presentation, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.

The final section of the Manual contains completely new chapters devoted to therapeutics. The chapters include: emergency presentations (detailing spinal trauma, head injury and status epilepticus); anaesthesia, analgesia and supportive care; clinical pharmacology; radiotherapy; neurosurgery (indications and complications); and rehabilitation of the neurological patient.

The chapters throughout the Manual are accompanied by stunning specially commissioned full-color illustrations.

CONTENTS: The neurological examination; Lesion localization and differential diagnosis; Clinical pathology; Electrophysiology; Neuroradiology; Tissue biopsy; Seizures; Coma, stupor and behavioural change; Disorders of eyes and vision; Head tilt and nystagmus; Neurological abnormalities of the head and face; Tremor and involuntary movements; Neck and back pain; Tetraparesis; Paraparesis; Monoparesis; Exercise intolerance, collapse and paroxysmal disorders; Tail, anal and bladder dysfunction; Neurological emergencies; Anaesthesia, analgesia and supportive care; Principles of neurosurgery; Drug therapy for diseases of the central nervous system; Radiation therapy of the nervous system; Nursing and rehabilitation of the neurological patient; Appendices; Index.

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