Tell Me Where It Hurts

A Day of Humor, Healing and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon
by Dr. Nick Trout

Finally, a book that I\’d love to shelve alongside James Herriot. Tell Me Where It Hurts gives readers an intimate look at what goes on behind the scenes in a modern animal hospital. The author, Dr. Trout -a veterinary surgeon trained in England and practicing in the US- describes many patients and incidents in his work, all compacted into the scene of one busy day. To add to the confusion of juggling numerous appointments, phone calls and consults with owners and colleagues, he often flashes back to other events earlier in his career that relate to the present case- jumping back into the current thread near the end of a chapter with a suddenness that often threw me for a moment. I had to flip back a few pages more than once to remember which dog with what problem he was talking about. He can be a little wordy, sometimes the jokes felt forced, and I never really like it when an author tosses around brand names to illustrate someone\’s wealth (or lack of) (probably just because I don\’t recognize them so they don\’t ring up the intended images). But aside from all those things, this was a great read.

So many things are discussed in depth. The relationship of the vet with pet owners, both good and bad. The skill of surgery and the beauty he sees in it. The frustrations of working with animals who can\’t tell you what they\’re feeling, having to deduce so many things. The heart-rending decisions, when owners must decide if their pets\’ life is worth the cost of the tests it takes to find out what\’s wrong, and the intensive care. Although dogs and cats are the mainstay of Trout\’s work, he also mentions working with livestock during his training, and peering over the shoulder of an exotics specialist to observe surgery on turtle. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and the appreciation it gave me for the hard work veterinarians do.

I borrowed this book from the public library.

Rating: 4/5 …….. 286 pages, 2008

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12 Responses

  1. I've heard about this book somewhere before…either from another blogger or EW or something. And it immediately caught my eye because my daughter has wanted to be a vet since she was very small. She has never wavered from that goal. I think I need to read this to see if I think she could read it, and if not, talk to her about the realities of it all. Great review!

  2. I love books that tell about what it's like to have different jobs (that I will never have). It's so interesting to read about the day-to-day stuff.

  3. This sounds like a terrific book. I'll have to add it to my wishlist. Thanks so much for your kind words about our Spooky, Jeane. I'll say a prayer for your sick kitty.

  4. Thanks for the link. This was one of my favorite books for 2009! I have bookmarked your site for future reference. :)Kristi

  5. The cover of this is so cute. I've seen this book around, and although it looks like a good book, I'm not sure if it's a book for me. It looks good, but I'm not sure if it's for me. Good review, thanks for sharing.

  6. Considering how much time I seem to spend at the vet's office, I think this might be a good one for me! Not just that though as I've always been interested in learning more about what goes on behind the scenes at a veterinary hospital. Thanks for your great review.

  7. Bermudaonion- it seems to me like one of the most difficult thingsEva- I do hope I've encouraged you to read it soon!Sandy Nawrot- It would be a good eye-opener. Not all the stories end happily, and the descriptions of surgery can be quite graphic- just so you know!Jenny- I do too. Bookfool- You're welcome. Is she doing a little better? Ours is worsening, but the vet is closed on weekends…Kristi- You're welcome. I hope you visit again.Jules- Well, everyone has their taste, of course. It is a cute cover, isn't it?Literary Feline- I think it helps to see the veterinarian's side of things, too.

  8. Thanks for your review on this one. I used to work with the author, Nick Trout, when he worked in Liverpool, and have always wanted to read his book to see what he had to say.

  9. Very nice review, this is going onto my list of books I must someday eventually read (right along with Herriots' All Creatures Great and Small.) Being an animal lover makes me really appreciate and respect the work and care that vets give. But I am a little nervous about reading this type of non-fiction, I sob whenever I read about hurt/sick animals.

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