World Book Day: Must-Reads for Veterinarians

April 25, 2017
Kerry Lengyel

World Book Day, celebrated each year on April 23, is an international celebration of reading designated by UNESCO. To honor this worldwide event, we’re offering an eclectic list of newer books written for veterinary professionals and animal lovers — from textbooks to novels to memoirs and all sorts of in-between. Happy reading!

The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow

This “one-of-a-kind” reference book covers the wide range of health problems that chickens of all ages and breeds face. Use it to identify common signs, causes of infection, types of diseases and advice on treatment. This book can help you help your clients keep their chickens happy and healthy.

Reviews: “A must-have book for all chicken lovers.” — Jeff Smith, Cackle Hatchery

“A wonderful reference book filled with practical advice that any new or experienced flock owner will find beneficial.” — Dr. Susan Watkins, Professor of Poultry Science, University of Arkansas

The Education of Will: A Mutual Memoir of a Woman and Her Dog by Patricia B. McConnell

Author and animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell tells the true story of how she was forced to face her dark and troubled past because of her love for a young border collie named Will. The memoir sends the message that “while trauma changes our brains and the past casts a long shadow, healing, for both people and dogs, is possible through hard work, compassion and mutual devotion.”

Reviews: “In addition to information sure to appeal to dog lovers, the author provides a compassionate account of the reclamation of her life from abuse and shame. An uplifting story of hope about how both dogs and humans need ‘a sense that they are not helpless victims.’” — Kirkus

“This powerful memoir twines the lives of an extraordinary dog and an extraordinary woman. Their courageous, compelling story will profoundly deepen your understanding of people and animals, fear and shame, love and listening.” — Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus

Saunders Veterinary Anatomy Coloring Book, 2nd ed by Baljit Singh

Take a much needer breather from your day-to-day routine and relieve some stress with this coloring book while simultaneously mastering veterinary anatomy. Explore 400 easy-to-color pictures with corresponding anatomical descriptions that guide you through the organs and body parts of dogs, cats, horses, pigs, goats, birds and a new section on exotics.

Reviews: “I'm a first year vet student and I absolutely love this coloring book! The drawings are wonderful and very detailed. It's another great way to study for anatomy. I would definitely recommend this to any future vet students.”

“I'm starting vet school in the fall and stumbled across this coloring book. I am so excited to get a jump start on learning anatomy before class begins. The drawings are detailed and labeled and well organized.”

Unlikely Companions: Adventures of an Exotic Animal Doctor by Laurie Hess

Follow a week in the life of exotic animal veterinarian Laurie Hess as she tries to “uncover the source of an unknown ailment killing some of her most vulnerable patients.” Jump to the front lines of the exotic animal field and meet some remarkable pets and their equally eccentric and and sometimes demanding owners.

Reviews: “Dr. Hess takes everyday as it comes and treats whatever enters her office with compassion, and knowledge, and sometimes even humor.” — Martha Stewart

“Perfect for animal lovers of all stripes and scales, fans of dogs to hogs.” ― The Bookworm Sez

Lucky Dog: How Being a Veterinarian Saved My Life by Sarah Boston

Take a look at the human health care system from the perspective of an animal doctor — veterinary surgical oncologist Sarah Boston. After she discoveres a suspicious lump in her neck that she believes to be thyroid cancer, Boston takes readers on a “hysterical and thought-provoking journey” that gives insight into how the human medical world can learn from the animal medical world.

Reviews: “I highly recommend Dr. Boston's book to anyone, whether you are an animal lover or cancer survivor or just a human on this planet. She cleverly and sweetly weaves her story about diagnosing her own thyroid cancer and navigating the Canadian health system with her experiences as a veterinary surgical oncologist.”

“Reading this as a specialist veterinary surgical oncologist (trained by the same ’legend’ as Dr. Boston) and as a cancer patient, I can take a focused perspective on this publication. She nailed it.”

Collection or Contortion?: Exposing the Misconceptions and Exploring the Truths of Horse Positioning and Bend by Gerd Heuschmann

Enjoy this critical examination of two different concepts: flexion and bend. Author Gerd Heuschmann says these two concepts are “necessary to understand in absolute terms when the goal is to achieve collection on horseback.” Learn in-depth about the movements used, their effects and the rider’s rold when on horseback.

Reviews: “Using photographs and superbly rendered anatomical illustrations, Heuschmann explains the differences between correct and incorrect flexion and bend vis-à-vis shoulder-in, travers, half-pass, and other movements.“ — Jennifer O. Bryant, USDF Connection

“Another fantastic book from this author! Great for every rider and equine therapist to better understand biomechanics and how we can help our horses vs. hindering and hurting them with our training methods. I hope many people read this book so more horses can be helped.”

Once Bitten: The Adventures and Misadventures of a Young Veterinary Surgeon by Nick Marsh

The first few months of a veterinarian’s career in practice can change their lives forever, and this novel explores the tough beginning all veterinarians go through. The main character, Alan Reece, had a plan to save the world, one animal at a time, but this plan quickly falls apart as he faces “vicious pets, difficult owners, surly farmers and children from hell” not to mention “long hours, life and death decisions, tragic cases” and even an unsuspected love triangle.

Reviews: “This story is nothing short of delightful. Alan's adventures (and misadventures) during his first year as a veterinarian are engaging, often humorous, and endearing. I fell in love with the character and rooted for him the whole way through the book.”

“Humorous, witty, emotional, and realistic. As a student embarking on a journey through vet school, I recommend this read to any of my fellow colleagues. As a person who just enjoys a great book, I recommend this to anyone.”

Sacred Gifts of a Short Life: Uncovering the Wisdom of Our Pets End of Life Journeys by Liz Fernandez, DVM

This book provides support for those going through the difficult event of the death of a loved one — whether human or non-human. Every person is faced with the death of a loved one at some point in their lives, and this book hopes to offer a “comforting perspective on mortality that embraces the profound devastation felt.”

Reviews: “I have had Dr. Liz Fernandez as my vet for many years. I am ecstatic about the release of her book for, over the years, she has guided me through several deaths of my furry children. It has been an amazing experience for both my animals and myself.”

“I love this book. I consider this a must read for any veterinary student thinking of going into small animal practice. It is a much needed reference for every veterinary clinic and anyone who has struggled or is struggling with losing a pet.”

Doc, Did I Wake You Up? by William H. Green, DVM

If you’re unaware of what the life of a rural veterinarian is like, this book will give you a front row seat in the life of one. Enjoy heartwarming stories, humorous tales and unbelieveable true stories about the numerous animals Dr. Green has encountered over his many years as a rural veterinarian. Enjoy a glimpse into his busy, everyday life where sleep was scarce and nights were long.

Reviews: “A heartwarming, funny, enticing collection of adventures told in the most delightful manner. The writer shows such a gentle and humble spirit as he shares his wonderful stories. I have tremendous respect and admiration for the author of this book.”

“If you own animals in the rural south, you will identify with the characters in this book and develop a new appreciation for the life of a country vet. This book is filled with kindhearted humor and colorful descriptions of true incidents in the life of the author - and most often, the people are far more colorful than the animals!”

The Business Side of Veterinary Medicine: What Veterinary Schools Don’t Teach You by M. Duffy Jones, DVM, and Tom Harbin, MD, MBA

You have to wait a little bit longer for the release of this book — it comes out on May 2 — but it should be on your bookshelves if you own or are thinking about buying a veterinary practice. “It offers practical advice on crossing that bridge, including key ways to establish good citizenship in your new environment and guidance for building your own practice.” Earn a masters-level education on the business side of things and become well-versed in corporate finance, business law, operations management, business communication, organizational behavior, strategy and much more.