Robin's Reviews > Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon

Tell Me Where It Hurts by Nick Trout
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Oct 01, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction
Read from September 27 to October 01, 2011

Having spent hours in veterinary hospitals with various pets over the years, I am always curious about the lives on the other side of the table - the veterinarians. Their diagnoses are made often solely on observation, because their patients obviously can't communicate verbally about their distress (hence the ironic title.) And so Tell Me Where It Hurts revolves loosely on several different cases Trout, an orthopedic surgical specialist, sees in the course of a day.

Unlike many works of nonfiction by those for whom writing is not a primary profession, Trout is actually a talented writer. I enjoyed his wry sense of humor, both in his quirkly observations (a dog peeing in the snow is "a yellow tribute to Jackson Pollack on a frozen canvas") and his stories (a couple's discovery of infidelity when a vet reveals the source of an abdominal obstruction - a black fishnet stocking that most certainly did not belong to the female partner.)

Trout weaves his insight and perspective into the various issues vets must face (such as performing euthanasia, the rising costs of veterinary medicine, the difficult task of introducing poor prognoses to loving owners) in with anecdotes about his life growing up, his work as a student vet, and the case load. Some readers have complained that the effect is disjointed, but it read much like a real vet going through an actual day, where multi-tasking several animals throughout their treatments and recoveries is a must. That, interspersed with rounds and other conversations, is simply how vets work.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Anyone who has loved an animal will relate to the cases in the book, and may need a tissue or two!
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