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Your Sick Dog; A dog owner's guide to understanding and managing breeding, illness and injury By Nico Maritz BVSc, MRCVS

I needed a reference book on all-things-veterinary and the editor was kind enough to send this book my way for review. Your Sick Dog is an up-to-date work published in the UK in 2004. Nico Maritz is a practicing veterinary surgeon living in Lingfield, Surrey.

The book is quite unlike any I have ever seen. Instead of being written with sections for each disease, it is written with sections on typical symptoms. For instance, there is a chapter titled "My Dog is Coughing." Unlike a book listing diseases, this book might be useful before you visit to the vet.

Each chapter stands alone. In fact, you may encounter the same information in multiple chapters - as the disease may span multiple symptoms. Each chapter has (where appropriate) a numbered flow-chart which will assist you in preliminary diagnosis. The numbers refer to detail in the chapter.

The book is not intended to replace a visit to the vet, but rather is intended to help the dog owner in understanding the conditions that are typically encountered in veterinary medicine. Most notably, the mention of specific medicines and dosages are missing in many places. Besides the fact that a vet would have to prescribe these anyway, this was probably necessary in order to keep the book from being obsolete before the ink dried.

"This book is intended to empower the dog owner by helping them to understand every aspect of the veterinary care of their pet and to demystify the visit to the vet. The intention is that the vet and the dog owner should meet on more equal terms and be able to discuss the care of the dog more fully."

The book also has an excellent chapter on breeding and pregnancy in dogs.

Illustrations in the book are just wonderful. They make skimming through the book rather interesting. However, the book is more likely to be useful when something comes up. And as all dogs owners know, something will come up. So its a good reference to have on hand.

Copies of this book are available from:
Spaniel Journal Bookstore

Your Sick Dog
A dog owner's guide to understanding and managing breeding, illness and injury

by Nico Maritz BVSc, MRCVS
Swan Hill Press
Shrewsbury, England
ISBN 1 904057 36 5

Bill Fawcett resides in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with his wife, Cindy, and his springer, Jenna. He is a hunter, field trialer and member of the M-AHSC. He also maintains a public FB ESS pedigree database at

In his other life, he is an electronics manager for the Commonwealth of Virginia and has been active in the field of radio communications for over thirty years. He is anxiously awaiting retirement so that he can play with dogs full time and leave those stupid radios behind.

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