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Equine January/February 2009 (Vol 4, No 1)

Reading Room — Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue

    Title: Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue

    Authors: Rebecca Gimenez, PhD, Tomas Gimenez, MVZ, DMV, and Kimberly A. May, DVM, MS, DACVS

    Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

    Year: 2008

    Pages: 409

    ISBN: 978-0-8138-1998-3/2008

    At some point in our careers, large animal veterinarians face a challenge unique to our profession—rescuing large animals from an acute, physical crisis. It may be an older horse that has slipped on ice and needs assistance to stand, a horse that has fallen into a swimming pool, an overturned livestock trailer on a highway, or a national disaster such as Hurricane Katrina, involving thousands of displaced people and animals.

    Our large animal patients present a unique challenge due to their size and the nature of their fight-or-flight response. In addition to emergencies in rural settings, there are many large animals in suburban and urban settings, necessitating knowledgeable first responders who can provide aid quickly in less-than-ideal environments.

    The textbook titled Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue provides answers to pertinent questions large animal veterinarians would ask when faced with this challenge. Through 22 chapters and many excellent pictures, this book offers a framework on which to base logistics regarding rescuing one animal or many animals. The large animal rescue scenarios described in this text involve equine, bovine, caprine, swine, and camelid animals. Each chapter describes a technical large animal emergency rescue (TLAER) method in depth, including "Incident Prevention and Evacuation Planning," "Understanding Large Animal Behavior in TLAER Incidents," "Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue Scene Management," "Loose Large Animals," and "Learning from Actual Incident Scenarios." There is also an excellent chapter titled "Barn and Wildfires," which includes sections on barn construction considerations and sprinkler systems to prevent fires from destroying barns. "Large Animal Field Emergency Medicine" is an important chapter that I hope will be expanded in future editions. The four appendices focus on communication options, TLAER equipment, equipment vendors, and TLAER training recommendations for student competency goals. The references section is comprehensive and includes many timely sources for additional reading.

    To quote the Boy Scout motto, "Be prepared!" Readers of Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue will gain tremendous understanding of how to handle many common and unusual large animal rescue scenarios. This text is a must-have for large animal veterinarians, whether they practice ambulatory medicine, work in public service, or are interested in animal rescue and disaster medicine. This book is also a useful training tool for veterinary technicians and veterinary students. The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina on both human and animal levels underscores the immediate need for us to plan for future disasters in our communities and nation, and this text will be an invaluable tool for many people. On a personal note, I wish this textbook had been available when I graduated from veterinary school in 1997. It would have been well-worn in my time as an ambulatory veterinarian!

    Reviewed by:
    Amy I. Bentz, VMD, DACVIM
    Veterinary Learning Systems
    Yardley, Pennsylvania

    NEXT: The Editor's Desk — The New World Disorder and the New Year


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