Mayfield vets look at favourite books just for animal lovers

All animal lovers enjoy reading about the pets they own or the creatures they admire. Mayfield vet Samantha Coe is no exception. Here she posts details of some of her favourite books but they are more than her favourites - in each case they tell us something about animals, the way animals behave and even the way they think. Ideal for a rainy winter night by the fire? See what you think.

The BSAVA Manual of Exotic Pets is indispensable for vets working in general practice.

Sam says: “I refer to it a great deal when faced with the more unusual animals which are presented to me for treatment. Many pet owners will also find it useful and interesting to read. I find that many owners of exotic pets are very keen to learn as much about them as possible. If you want good, reliable information about these animals and you would be happy with a book which is aimed primarily at vets then this would be a useful addition to your library.”

She also enjoyed David Attenborough’s book Life in the Undergrowth. Small creatures which we rarely even think about can be fascinating and they are part of our great natural heritage. This is a good book to dip in and out of when you have a spare moment.

The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris is not a veterinary book, but looks at the human species as if we were being studied by a biologist. It is really interesting and does have some information about our interactions with other animals.

Through Our Eyes Only by Marian Stamp Dawkins is a book which examines animal consciousness.

Although the vast majority of pet owners would find it absurd, many scientists debate the issue of whether animals think and are conscious. It is difficult to prove that any living creature is conscious i.e. aware of its own existence, but most people who come into regular contact with animals would find it difficult to believe that they are not aware of their situation and the very fact that they exist.

Sam said: “I am a firm believer that animals do possess this awareness of themselves, but I found it a fascinating read. It is accessible to those with little prior knowledge of the issues under discussion.”