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Can Vet J. 2017 July; 58(7): 728.
PMCID: PMC5479667

Saunders Handbook of Veterinary Drugs: Small and Large Animals, 4th edition

Reviewed by Monica Rosati, BSc, DVM, DVSc, Dip ACVAA

Papich MG. Elsevier, St. Louis, Missouri, USA. 2016. 900 pp. ISBN: 9780-3232-4485-8. $88.44 CDN.

The newest edition of this book has some notable features compared with the previous version. The addition of a few new drugs, more in-depth information on drug mechanism of action, indications and clinical use will please the reader who is looking for more knowledge besides a dosing regimen. Precautionary information, including Adverse Reactions and Side Effects, Contraindications, Precautions and Drug Interactions remains an emphasized section with supplementary information included in most drug categories. The inclusion of human medicines in which veterinary uses may or may not have been identified is also considerably useful, specifically material located in Precautionary Information which emphasizes what the veterinarian needs to look for when owners self-diagnose and medicate. Additional appendices (information for pharmacists) and brand names added to the Listing of Drugs According to Functional and Therapeutic Classification table is definitely a highlight worth noting. Familiar alphabetical organization by drug name and other aspects from the 3rd edition that are carried over into the 4th edition, particularly important conversion information, compatibility charts, and drug and brand name indices are recapped but in this version easier to peruse. I like how the book doesn’t separate into small and large animal specific drugs but rather incorporates the differences in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and dosing variations with respect to certain species captured under one umbrella.

Although the book is compact and easy to navigate, it lacks specific drug dosing references and does not represent a species comprehensive veterinary pharmacology source. As stated in the preface the handbook is geared toward the veterinary student, technician, and busy general mixed animal practitioner, and with that in mind the handbook is a welcome guide. However, after critically evaluating the subtle nuances between the editions, this author’s point of view doesn’t necessitate an immediate purchase if the 3rd edition is sitting on your shelf.

Articles from The Canadian Veterinary Journal are provided here courtesy of Canadian Veterinary Medical Association