What Veterinarians Are Saying

Photo by Sumner FowlerPhoto by Sumner Fowler
“From vaccinations and pet insurance to second opinions and end of life decisions, dog lovers often feel overwhelmed trying to make the best choice for their pup, pocket book, and peace-of-mind. Thanks to Speaking for Spot, we finally have a book that makes sense of it all! With experience, warmth, wit, and candor, Dr. Nancy Kay provides an authentic, user friendly guide for making all types of health care choices for your dog.”

"If a dog owner could have only 1 book for health information, this is it. The author explains that owners are the best observers and advocates for their dogs. This is not a do-it-yourself medical text; rather, it explains how to find the right veterinarian and become a partner in the decision-making process. Veterinarians who schedule 10-minute office visits and do not enjoy answering questions might not like this book. The rest will welcome clients who are good observers; provide a succinct, relevant history and ask questions to understand what has been said. Somewhat humorous examples of histories are provided by hypothetical owners: Ms. Succinct, Ms. Talkative, and Mr. Wanderer. Chapters on billing, second opinions, cancer, and euthanasia will help owners know what to expect in these situations.

A unique problem-based approach to 43 common clinical signs helps owners know what to look for and what information a veterinarian needs. For example, for seizures, the veterinarian will ask when it occurred, if consciousness was lost, duration and description of what happened, and any behavior changes or recent environmental exposures. The next chapter provides short explanations on > 200 diseases, with questions an owner might ask. Both of these chapters are up to date and clearly written.

The issue of texts and Internet searches includes a caution to find reputable ones (ie, those ending in .com, .org, or .edu). A list of recommended references and Web sites is provided.

I searched hard to find problems or errors in this book. In my opinion, a bit too much emphasis on adverse effects of vaccinations may frighten owners who might overlook the comment that benefits of vaccination outweigh risks, assuming proper vaccines and intervals are used. The author recommends owners and veterinarians determine optimal individualized vaccination protocols. One small error is confusion between grading (histologic degree of malignancy) and staging (extent of spread) of malignancies. Overall, this is an excellent book at a reasonable price. I highly recommend it."


“In previewing Speaking for Spot I found myself wishing that Dr. Kay’s book had been available when I was in practice, and read by the clients who chose me to be their pet’s veterinarian. I have to admit, as well, that I, too, could have benefited from this book - as could some of my colleagues in practice today. If you think your veterinarian might be in that category, you might want to share this book with her. Working together, you and your veterinarian will ensure that your pet gets the very best care possible.”

"Get this book. I would give this book six stars if I could. It is a valuable tool for pet lovers and veterinarians alike. Dr. Kay offers a wealth of information that is easy to read, memorable and even humorous at times. The appendices of symptoms and diseases are packed with information and could really be their own book. They are cross-referenced to the main book for additional questions to ask your veterinarian, and when applicable, information on veterinary anesthesia and surgery."

“It is easy to write overly sentimental ‘fluff’ about dogs. It is much harder to write consistent, strong, useful information that is actually helpful. Dr. Kay’s insightful Speaking for Spot is a comprehensive, long-needed work. I know of no other book of its kind for the American public that tackles the topic in such detail. Speaking for Spot is of tremendous practical value to dog lovers and should be mandatory reading for veterinarians.”

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