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Compendium July 2008 (Vol 30, No 7)

Reading Room — Atlas of Small Animal Dermatology

by Lowell Ackerman, DVM, DACVD, MBA, MPA

    Title: Atlas of Small Animal Dermatology

    Author: Lowell Ackerman, DVM, DACVD, MBA, MPA

    Publisher: Editorial Inter-Médica

    Year: 2008

    Pages: 510

    ISBN: 978-950-555-334-1

    Intended as a quick reference for veterinary practitioners, the book is not confined to illustrations alone but also includes information on pathogenesis, diagnosis, and therapy.

    Dr. Ackerman refers to the field of small animal dermatology as "visually striking," and this atlas can be described the same way. Intended as a quick reference for veterinary practitioners, the book is not confined to illustrations alone but also includes information on pathogenesis, diagnosis, and therapy. The atlas begins with a discussion of the basic structure and properties of healthy skin and fur in cats and dogs and proceeds with chapters on bacterial, fungal, parasitic, immunologic, metabolic, neoplastic, and miscellaneous skin disorders. Appendices cover a "pattern approach" to diagnosis, technologies for testing, dermatologic therapies, and recommended reading.

    Each chapter is divided into sections on specific dermatologic conditions. Although a few sections are devoted solely to canine or feline disorders (e.g., German shepherd pyoderma, feline plasma cell pododermatitis), most of the discussions pertain to both dogs and cats, with differences in cause, presentation, diagnosis, and management noted where appropriate. Information on each disease is thorough but succinct, concentrating on the practical and clinical as opposed to a more in-depth, academic approach. This text should help practitioners recognize and diagnose most dermatologic problems in cats and dogs as well as initiate effective treatment.

    The illustrations are, of course, the heart of the book. First and foremost, they cover the spectrum of presentations for each disorder—canine and feline presentations; mild, intermediate, and severe cases; appearances with different coat types; and manifestations at various sites. Microscopic images of causative agents are included as well as photographs of other culprits, such as parasites, insects, and plants. Useful tables and diagrams abound, as in the appendix on pattern diagnosis of lesions. The photography is uniformly clear, allowing comparison of conditions to narrow the differential diagnosis.

    As Dr. Ackerman notes, this atlas draws on a wealth of international contributors, avoiding the regionalism that limits so many works of this type. Given the ease and speed of travel today, hereditary conditions, pathogens, insects, and parasites can no longer be viewed as confined to a particular area. Although Dr. Ackerman points out that some rare disorders may receive little or no coverage in the atlas, practitioners should be able to find information about conditions that are common elsewhere but new to their patient population.

    For the nonspecialist veterinary professional who treats the full range of canine and feline diseases and injuries, this atlas appears to be an excellent office reference. The book is appealing and readable, so many practitioners will doubtless find themselves glancing through the photos and perusing the appendices to increase their overall proficiency in this fascinating field.

    NEXT: Understanding Behavior — Animal Behavior and Animal Welfare