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Molly Varga, Rachel Lumbis and Lucy GottPublished by the BSAVA, 2012, paperback, 312 pages, Price £69.00 (BSAVA members £45.00), ISBN-13 978-1-905319-35-0

The content of this book is a thorough and comprehensive guide to exotic and wildlife nursing. It will appeal to the entire veterinary team from nursing assistants through to veterinary surgeons with specialist interest in the field, but it will be particularly useful to veterinary nurses caring for these patients or offering advice to clients and the public.

The chapter divisions make good sense and ensure it is easy to navigate as a reference book. As a study book it provides clear indication at the beginning of each chapter of the topics to be covered, and at the end of each chapter extremely helpful self assessment questions. These questions are good for students (nursing or veterinary) reading the information for the first time but are also very helpful as a revision tool prior to exams or for staff wanting to brush up on their skill and knowledge base.

Of particular note is the good use of colour to differentiate between certain text. Pink ‘warning’ boxes highlight where the less experienced can inadvertently cause harm or offer less than optimum care. Yellow boxes draw attention to key points that the chapter author wishes to highlight. Green boxes give step by step guidance to carrying out practical procedures. Tables are in blue enabling easier reference where there are lists that need clarification or to enhance understanding of numerical information.

This text is an enjoyable and easy read, good quality photographs are used throughout to enhance understanding and visual recognition, and the annotated diagrams are excellent.

This book complements the other BSAVA Manuals available in this subject area, particularly on the practical side of managing these very varied and challenging patients. It would be of great advantage to also purchase or refer to the BSAVA Manual of Exotic Pets 5th edition and the BSAVA Manual of Wildlife Casualties. These three publications together would provide a good baseline set of reference books for this subject area in any practice.

As with the whole range of BSAVA books the binding is reasonably robust and should manage to survive the rigors of frequent referencing and being forced to lie open on a practice bench top! It is sure to be a popular addition to the practice library and personal text book collection for many nurses and veterinary practitioners.

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Although in my present role I only occasionally deal with this group of patients, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and using this text whilst preparing this review – it is highly recommended.

Sharon Chandler DipAVN (Surgical) DipAVN (Medical) RVN.

Senior Nurse Queens’ Veterinary School Hospital Inpatient Wing, Cambridge

Sharon's special interests are medical nursing and post operative surgical nursing, with an emphasis on the highest possible levels of inpatient care. She is also engaged in teaching veterinary and veterinary nursing students core practical and observation skills to facilitate and enhance their nursing and assessment of patients in the hospital.