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Anatomy of the horse
  1. Renate Weller

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Color Atlas of Veterinary Anatomy. Vol 2, The Horse, 2nd edn Raymond R. Ashdown. Stanley H. Done. Photography by Susan A. Evans, radiographs provided by Elizabeth A. Baines 350 pages, paperback, £79.99. Mosby Elsevier. 2011. ISBN 978 0 7234 3414 6

MY anatomy professor always told us that ‘Anatomy will never leave you’, and I have to say that he was absolutely right. While anatomy books are an absolute for students, they are also used by practitioners whenever our memory fails us. This book is a must for everybody who needs to know about topographical anatomy. It is invaluable as a dissection guide and widely used for exactly that purpose by our students; however, I would also argue that it will be helpful for any practitioner who wants to know more about topographical anatomy.

The illustrations of surface anatomy are extremely helpful. It is difficult for students (and many clinicians) to visualise the horse ‘naked’, as it were – translating their topographical anatomical knowledge to the live horse. This is done extremely nicely for the bony palpable landmarks; however, I would welcome the same information for soft tissue structures. Since one of the most common reasons for palpation in a clinical case is evaluating the limb for synovial effusion, it would be nice to have joints and tendon sheaths outlined specifically.

I showed this book to students and colleagues and asked them for their opinion. Everybody agreed that it is brilliant as a dissection guide. The students disliked the fact that it does not give the origin and insertions of muscles, or describe the innervation or vascularisation of the different structures, so they felt they would have to buy another book to provide this information. However, the students liked the clinical summaries that are added to each chapter. While I think it is a good idea in principle to point out the clinical importance of anatomical structures, I find the clinical information provided in this book so condensed that it is not helpful to students or clinicians. Some of the clinical information is in need of updating and some clinical terms are used wrongly. The consensus among the reviewer team was that they would rather those pages had been used for anatomical information on insertion, origin, innervations, etc.

The diagnostic imaging section is nicely done. The students would have preferred the radiographs to be with the relevant chapters rather than all together at the end, but really liked it otherwise.

This is a great book for everybody to learn or refresh topographical anatomy and is reasonably priced at £79.99. I would, however, like to know why the ruminant book in the same series is much cheaper and why ‘color’ is spelled the American way!

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