Hi G. Cindy, I would really appreciate it if you could place a book on the wish list for me. It is called: The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health : The Complete Pet Health Resource for Your Dog, Cat, Horse or other Pets by Merck Publishing and Merial ISBN-13: 9780911910995 Pub. Date: October 2007 Synopsis: The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health delivers animal health expertise in everyday language that all pet owners can understand. This in-depth new resource, authored by over 200 veterinary experts, covers the full spectrum of today's pets, from dogs, cats and horses to birds, reptiles, fish and other exotic pets. No other book provides as much health information on as many types of animals. The one resource for a lifetime of pets. I think this book needs to be done in-house as it has some graphs and/or diagrams. This is the reason I am not scanning it. Here is a cute article from the New York Times regarding this book. Thanks! Maithe maithe007@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Pet Ferret Hit by an Arrow? Here's a Book for You By ERICA GOODE Published: December 18, 2007 Does your gerbil seem depressed? Is its coat rough, its appetite flagging, its posture hunched? Does its exercise wheel stand sadly silent? If so, it might be suffering from Tyzzer's disease, a bacterial infection commonly seen in gerbils, especially when stressed. Then again, the little rodent might just have a bad case of pinworms. Not knowing which diagnosis applies - or more likely, never having heard of either ailment - is often frustrating for pet owners, who are unsure how serious their animal's illness is or what to do about it. The new Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health: Home Edition (Merck & Company, $22.95), an exhaustive guide to the illnesses and care of many of the species that humans, sensibly or not, have turned to for companionship, aims to help out. Merck's manual for humans has long been a resource for doctors, a bible for worried mothers and a draw for hypochondriacs, who can spend hours matching their symptoms to the diseases it describes. In the 1,345 pages of the pet version, readers can find, among other things, the anatomy of a turtle; six signs of hyperparathyroidism in a dog; a list of 27 houseplants poisonous to pets; a description of lockjaw (an infection that leads baby birds to starve to death); instructions for what to do if your pet is shot with an arrow (don't pull it out); seven causes of liver injuries in horses; the necessary components of a pet travel kit; 161 diseases that can be passed to humans from animals; and yes, a proper diagnosis for a sick gerbil. Those new to pet ownership will discover basic information about choosing pets and how to provide them with a good home. In some cases, they may decide to forgo the pleasure: a sugar glider, for example, while extremely cute, spends its nights barking and chirping and, the book notes, requires at least two hours of human contact per day, lest it develop behavioral problems - like cannibalism. The bulk of the manual, a popular translation of the handbook for veterinarians published by Merck since 1955, is devoted to the three most common household animals: dogs, cats and horses. But the guide also includes chapters on birds and so-called exotic pets, like fish, reptiles, amphibians, chinchillas, ferrets, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats, rabbits, prairie dogs, pot-bellied pigs and sugar gliders, as well as sections on emergency care, poisoning, cancer and other subjects. The sheer number of creatures found between the book's covers is likely to distinguish it from other pet health guides, most of which focus on a single species or even a single breed. And the manual, written by 200 veterinarians, is likely to find an eager readership in an animal-crazed nation, where 68.7 million households include at least one pet and $24.5 billion a year is spent on veterinary care, according to a survey released this month by the American Veterinary Medical Association. "We felt there was a need for a comprehensive book," said Dr. Scott Line, the manual's associate editor and an animal behaviorist at Merial, a veterinary drug company co-owned by Merck and Sanofi-Aventis. "People have multiple pets," Dr. Line said. "Eighty or 85 percent of horse owners also own a dog; half of dog owners have a cat. If you have one book that covers all different species it will make it easier for people." Still, like The Merck Manual for human health, the pet version often sacrifices depth for breadth. It describes hundreds of diseases, some that readers will find familiar, like diabetes and epilepsy, and many others they are unlikely to recognize, like guttural pouch mycosis (which affects horses) and proliferative enteropathy (recently weaned rabbits). "My feeling is there was a little bit of information on everything and not a lot of information on any one thing," said Dr. Susan Hackner, head of the department of critical care and emergency medicine at the Animal Medical Center in New York. "It's like other Merck manuals in that it addresses very briefly and concisely a very comprehensive list of diseases. I think that it's more of a coffee-table book." Dr. Hackner noted that some things in the manual were very helpful - for example, the basics of emergency care and the list of household poisons (especially when read before an animal ingests one). There are specific instructions for nursing a sick bird, a discussion of when to euthanize a desperately ill pet and useful descriptions of a variety of medical tests and treatments. Dr. Hackner praised the glossary and the dozens of graphics in the book, singling out a schematic drawing of a cat's kidney that she said was "really interesting." But she added that equal space in the manual seemed to be given to very common illnesses - for instance, immune mediated hemolytic anemia, which she said was common in dogs and that the hospital sees a few times a week in summer - and to disorders like hepatozoonosis, a parasitic disease affecting dogs and cats, which the hospital sees rarely, if at all. Some readers may find missing from the guide any mention of commonly used alternative medical treatments, like acupuncture. And those who own exotic animals will almost certainly be better served buying a book dedicated wholly to their species. These lapses, however, are unlikely to deter most pet owners, who can be as obsessive about their animal's health as they are about their own. And it can't hurt to know that that strong musty smell is coming from your unneutered ferret, that a chunk of avocado could kill your cockatiel and that you should never, ever pick up a gerbil by its tail.