When you’re planning on backpacking across several Southeast Asian countries, you want to make sure you pack as light as possible. This was an incredibly difficult task for me because I have the propensity to stuff my entire wardrobe into my luggage. Through the various stages of unpacking and repacking, I slowly whittled away at my overstuffed luggage. Anything carrying too much weight would be left behind with one exception; my Merck Veterinary Manual.
A small but substantial book, the Merck Veterinary Manual was considered an essential travel item for our overseas veterinary volunteer work. We would be working with veterinarians who spoke very little English and would not have access to the internet. We would not be able to utilize the basic necessities we generally use for clinical references. Therefore, this little book became our number one resource when encountering challenging cases.
I can’t tell you how many times my MVM came in handy. We found ourselves constantly referring to the book. Being in Southeast Asia, we came across diseases that are not common in Canada. Erlichiosis was a disease we saw again and again that we had very little experience dealing with. Luckily, with our MVM, we were able to identify animals that were clinically infected and begin treatment. The book came handy multiple times when addressing mange, myiasis, distemper, parvovirus, etc. We were even able to use the book to offer prudent treatment options to shelters overrun with sick animals. We used it to teach shelters workers how to prevent the spread of common diseases and how to identify signs of these illnesses.
During the course of our trip the Merck Veterinary Manual was a life saver time and time again. Not only for us but also for the patients we were treating. This book became our bible and was absolutely worth the extra weight.
You can purchase the latest edition of the Merck Veterinary Manual here.