Saunders Solutions in Veterinary Practice: Small Animal Neurology - by Susan N. Fitzmaurice


  • Professor Jacques Penderis

Saunders Solutions in Veterinary Practice: Small Animal Neurology, Susan N. Fitzmaurice, Published by Saunders Elsevier, 2010, paperback, 352 pages, £45.99, ISBN-13: 978–0702029110

As Susan Fitzmaurice states in her Author's Note: “The vast proportion of a diagnosis comes from the history and clinical examination, so buy this book instead of an MRI machine”. I couldn't agree more, this book is a refreshing change from the typical format and content of small animal neurology texts: buy this book. This book is well suited to the vet in small animal practice who wants the confidence to deal appropriately with neurology patients, and for those of use with a more detailed understanding of neurology, but who want a refresher in specific patterns of presentation.

The logical and case-based approach to the small animal neurology patient, as it is presented within this book is long overdue. And the author provides a good representative sample of the common neurological conditions that are likely to be encountered in practice. In particular the discussion about the individual investigation, management and outcome in different cases is particularly useful. The book starts with a brief recap on neuroanatomy and neuro-localisation. But main body of the book is the reason to buy it: the text is divided into different sections on the basis of the typical manner in which most neurology patients present and these sections are well thought out and reflect the considerable clinical experience of the author. Some of the examples of these sections include seizures, paralysis, spinal pain and lameness. In particular I liked the sections detailing the common cranial nerve presentations and the section on lameness. The final part of the book provides a succinct discussion of some of the common neurology tests and procedures.

The book is well written and is easy to read, which is in marked contrast to so many veterinary texts! There are good illustrations in colour throughout, with colour line drawings clearly explaining the concept that the Author is trying to convey. Having worked for a considerable period of time in the UK in veterinary neurology, the author is well qualified to write this book and she provides a good representation of the clinical cases that you are likely to encounter within small animal practice.

Would I recommend buying this book? Definitely. The clarity of the case presentations means that it is useful for those wanting a review of clinical neurology. But the book's real value is the ease of layout and logical case approach that makes it such a pleasure to dip in and out of, whether as an aid to help you with the approach to those more challenging clinical neurology cases, or (dare I say it) even as an enjoyable afternoon of neurology home CPD study.


Professor Jacques Penderis

Jacques is professor comparative neurology and head of the clinical neurology and neurosurgery service at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow. Jacques is also President of the European College of Veterinary Neurology and a RCVS and European Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Neurology.