My Patients and Other Animals: A Veterinarian's Stories of Love, Loss, and Hope
Suzanne Fincham-Gray. Random/Spiegel & Grau, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8129-9818-4
Veterinarian Fincham-Gray explores in her candid debut the intricacies of her profession from inside the medical exam room, where she has worked for 26 years, diagnosing some of the most inscrutable animal illnesses. She describes the shock of encountering her first canine gunshot victim as an intern at an animal hospital in Philadelphia and recounts the frantic efforts to save a young dachshund suffering from pancreatitis after eating a hot dog. When a pit bull arrives in her office desperately needing a blood transfusion, Fincham-Gray makes the difficult decision to draw blood from her own dog to save its life. She recounts sleepless nights worrying about her charges (and how she will deal with her own pets’ inevitable mortality) and the challenge of balancing an animal’s needs with what its owners can afford. Fincham-Gray explains the diagnostic practices, the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and the history of rabies, and outlines genetic disorders of purebred dogs (without sermonizing), all in accessible language. The medical aspects of the narrative will likely draw future veterinarians to the book, but it’s the tales of Fincham-Gray’s patients that will keep general readers hooked. (Apr.)
This review has been updated to reflect the book's new title.
Reviewed on: 01/29/2018