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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128

J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. vol.81 n.4 Pretoria Dec. 2010




Vetdiagnostix Laboratory Manual (2nd edition)



R D Last; J M Hill; J H Vorster; S J Bosch; C Griffiths (contributors)



Vetdiagnostix Veterinary Pathology Services, Pietermaritzburg, pp. 412, loose-leaf, lever arch, vinyl cover. Price: R850-00 (plus postage R100-00). ISBN 978-0-409-07639-4. Order online at:

The 2nd edition of the Vetdiagnostix Laboratory Manual has just been released. Weighing in at 3 kg, this 412-page comprehensive diagnostic laboratory guide is lavishly illustrated with in excess of 1500 full-colour images. Species covered include canine, feline, bovine, small ruminant, porcine, equine and exotic avians. The title is somewhat misleading, as the manual is not restricted to laboratory techniques, but takes a systematic, practical, step-bystep approach to collecting suitable specimens and interpreting results. It also contains much synoptic information on various diseases.

The manual comprises 9 chapters: organ pathology; haematology; clinical chemistry; disease diagnostics; microbiology; reproduction; parasitology; toxicology; and reference ranges.

The first chapter, on organ pathology, gives a detailed, step-by-step account of conducting a systematic, thorough post mortem examination and collecting specimens for further investigation. The chapters on haematology and clinical chemistry spell out which tubes are to be used for specific investigations. Concise information is also given on the significance of enzyme levels in various disease conditions.

The chapter on disease diagnostics comprehensively covers the species mentioned above. Each subsection is concluded with a table listing the various diseases, together with a synopsis of the pathology and required specimens. Reproductive disorders warrant a separate chapter.

The last chapter consists of tables of reference ranges for haematology and clinical chemistry specimens from the various species.

The manual is printed on heavy, glossy paper. The lever arch configuration means that the opened manual will always lie flat, a great boon in the work place. The heavy-duty vinyl cover can be cleaned easily.

The various chapters are clearly marked by red tabs. Adding specific page numbers to the subsections of chapters in the table of contents will make the manual even more user-friendly.

It goes without saying that this manual will be indispensable in every diagnostic laboratory. As the manual has broad application in general veterinary practice, having this wealth of information available at one's fingertips will be great boon to any hardworking clinician.


B L Penzhorn
Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases
Faculty of Veterinary Science
University of Pretoria

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