Applied Veterinary Clinical Nutrition, Edited by Andrea J. Fascetti and Sean J. Delaney, Published by Wiley-Blackwell, 2012, hardback, 400 pages, Price £64.99, ISBN: 978–0813806570
I have been eagerly looking forward to seeing this book since it was proposed a several years ago, and it has not disappointed. The editors and several authors have advanced training in nutrition from University of California- Davis, considered by many as the mothership of small animal nutrition. They have also recruited a star studded line up of authors who have researched and published widely in the areas of the chapters they have written.
The book starts with a discussion of how nutrition fits into clinical practice, including practical notes on the financial aspect of incorporating nutritional recommendations into daily practice. In the next chapters the basics of nutrition and feeding are covered, including a quick summary of essential nutrients, followed by a more detailed chapter on determining energy requirements. Feeding for performance discusses types of exercise or work performed by dogs, and the very different nutritional needs of the dogs doing different work. The use of nutraceutical is covered from a (USA) legal standpoint, as well as providing guidelines for evaluation of these products. Using pet food labels and product guides is discussed, including the (USA) regulations. The basics of feeding healthy animals is covered, although appropriately not as in depth as in some books, since this book focusses more on nutritional aspects of disorders and diseases. There is a discussion of feeding commercial and home-prepared diets, including the always controversial BARF diet. The Association for American Feed Control (AAFCO) definitions for foods are discussed.
Chapters 9 through 19 provide in-depth cover on nutrition related management of body weight, and on disorders of orthopaedic, skin, gastrointestinal, exocrine pancreas, liver and biliary tract, kidneys, lower urinary tract, endocrine, cardiovascular and oncological origin. The final two chapters cover provision of enteral and parenteral nutrition. The combination of discussions of pathophysiology with nutritional recommendations and practical tips means the text perfectly fits the title of Applied Veterinary Clinical Nutrition. The information provided is accessible and understandable enough for veterinary students, practical enough for a busy practitioner, and in depth and well referenced enough for board certified small animal veterinary nutritionists.
A drawback to the book for readers from countries not in North America is that the legal information and the information on pet food labelling is not necessarily applicable. European pet food companies may or may not follow AAFCO guidelines, and even definitions can vary, for example a claim for a food to be organic has different requirements in the USA and in the UK. Comments regarding the commercial diets, for example liquid diets for enteral feeding, include diets which are frustratingly not available in the United Kingdom. However, doses and formulae are given using kilograms and other SI units.
In summary, as a reference for the basics of nutrition and for nutritional therapy of disorders this book is highly recommended for any practitioner working with small animals. Further, it will be an invaluable tool for furthering the education of veterinary students and residents and I hope this is the first of many future editions as research in veterinary nutrition expands.
M. L. Chandler