Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures: Canine & Feline
Edited by: Shelly L. Vaden, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; Joyce S. Knoll, VMD, PhD, DACVIM; Francis W.K. Smith Jr., DVM, DACVIM; Larry P. Tilley, DVM, DACVIM

VSPN Review by Brandy Sprunger, CVT, RVT Star
(Click on stars for an explanation)
You may purchase this book on

The purpose of this text is to provide a quick, but detailed reference for all imaginable laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures. For those familiar with Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Canine & Feline Topics, the text and its format will not let you down. In keeping with the layout of the other texts in the Blackwell series, this text narrows each procedure and laboratory test down into manageable and easy to find bits of information.

To start, the Table of Contents lists content by topics (specific test) and by subject (lab tests and diagnostic procedures) in alphabetical order. This makes cross referencing without the use of the extensive index easy. The Preface specifically mentions that technicians could get much use from this text, and while reviewing it, I found that this would be an excellent resource for staff in any type of veterinary facility, including those whose focus is on internal medicine, radiology, dentistry, reproduction, ophthalmology, dermatology and neurology. There is a long list of contributors, and this is the only area in which this book disappointed me; only three technicians were listed as contributors with two being VTS in their specialty. For a book based on laboratory and diagnostic testing, I would have expected a few more technicians to have participated in authoring this text since technicians are the ones who frequently perform these tests.

The first few chapters are on the general principles of different laboratory tests and diagnostics, offering several ideas and guidelines for Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). It also makes note that all of the fancy, expensive equipment is not useful if the staff is not trained to use it properly. Of note, the first chapter specifically discusses many things to be considered when choosing a reference lab, including cost, the laboratories credentials and staff, and sample turnaround time. These are great guidelines for a new clinic, or for one who is considering changing reference labs.

For each of the Diagnostic Procedures listed, the layout is the same. Each starts with the Basics (explanation of the procedure, indications, complications, etc.), then Procedure (supplies, techniques, positioning, etc.), then the Interpretation (normal, abnormal, interfering factors, etc.), and finally Miscellaneous (ancillary tests, internet resources, abbreviations, etc.). For the laboratory tests listed, the format is pretty much the same with the Basics (specimen type, indications, client education, etc.), the Sample (quantity, preparation and handling, etc.), then the Interpretation (normal, abnormal, interfering factors, etc.) and ending with Miscellaneous (ancillary tests, internet resources, suggested reading, etc.). Within all of these sections there is much information on each test. For example, within diagnostic procedures, the sections get very specific and detailed on how to perform the task. The commonality between how each section and topic is listed and compiled makes locating small bits of information very easy to find; for example, what type of blood tube do you need? The layout of this textbook (and all Blackwell’s texts) is what makes it stand out as a spectacular reference!

This is also a great resource for someone who is new to ultrasound imaging and needs a detailed way of locating landmarks, or for someone new to laboratory tests in general. The techniques are very detailed and would be extremely helpful for someone who has never seen or assisted with a particular test or procedure. In reviewing this text, I learned TONS about procedures that I never even knew existed; I will probably never see aqueocentesis or osmotic fragility- to name just two! In every listing, it cross references other Blackwell’s texts, specifically the Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Canine & Feline Topics, as well as multiple websites for further information hence a source within a source! There is a multitude of photos of radiographs, ultrasound studies, charts, graphs and line drawings as well as an Appendix in the back that provides a wealth of information for reference values, drugs for therapeutic monitoring and an extensive list of reference laboratories and their contact information.

I feel very lucky to have been given this book to review. I have always enjoyed the other Blackwell’s Five-Minute consults, and this one did not disappoint. It remains another easy to use, very informative reference text that technicians and veterinarians alike should have in their library. I will definitely be using it on a daily basis!

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (2009).

ISBN 10: 0-8318-1748-X;

ISBN 13:978-0-8138-1748-4


Table of Contents
Book Reviews
Click here for an explanation of the star rating system.

Click here to view recent reviews.
Alternative Medicine
Animal Welfare
Client Education
Cytology / Hematology / Histology
Emergency Med
Food Animals/Livestock
Handling & Restraint
Human-Animal Bond
Imaging & Radiology
Infectious Diseases
Internal Medicine
Laboratory Medicine
* BSAVA Canine Feline Haematology
* Handbook Urinalysis (VSPN Review)
* Lab. Vet. Tech. 5th Ed. (VSPN Review)
* Pathogenesis Bacterial Infection 3rd Ed.
* Vet. Forensics
Animal Abuse: Forensic
Antimicrobial Resistance in Animals and Public Health (VSPN)
You are hereBlackwell Lab. Tests (VSPN Review)
Clinical Pathology
Clinical Pathology & Laboratory Techniques for Veterinary Technicians (VSPN)
Clinical Pathology for the Veterinary Team
Duncan & Prasse's Veterinary Laboratory Medicine Clinical Pathology, 5th ed
Equine Clinical Medicine, Surgery and Reproduction
Equine Clinical Pathology (VSPN)
Fundamental Clin. Path. 2nd Ed.
General Pathology Nurses (VSPN Review)
Intro. Vet. Comp. Forensic
Intro. Vet. Pathology 3rd Ed.
Kirkbride’s Diagnosis of Abortion and Neonatal Loss in Animals 4th (VSPN)
Lab. Urinalysis Hematology
Path. Rod. Rabbit 3rd Ed.
Pathologic Basis of Veterinary Disease, 5th Ed.
Pathological Basis of Veterinary Disease, 5th Ed. (VSPN Review)
Pathology of Pet and Aviary Birds (VSPN)
Small Animal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2nd Ed.
Small Animal Pathology for Veterinary Technicians (VSPN)
Vet. Clin. Path. Intro.
* Lab. Profile SA 3rd Ed.
* Mechanisms of Disease 3rd Ed.
* Path. Rod. Rabbit 2nd Ed.
* Pathologic Basis 4th Ed. (VSPN Review)
* Pathology Pet Aviary
Practice Management
Rabbits, Rodents & Ferrets
Shelter Medicine
Veterinary Education
Wildlife-Zoo Animals

Date Published: May 13, 2010

Address (URL): /AppUtil/Misc/BOOKREVIEW/Default.aspx?id=15766&pid=22&catid=&said=1