I already discussed this with Karlin and she said that it was okay to post. I don't actually know if it should be here or not but have seen some discussions lately that lead me to think that this book might be helpful to a lot of us. I have already found it useful and a good resource.
On National Public Radio the author of a book titled Speaking for Spot was interviewed. She is a vet, as is her husband, but she is also a pet owner and has faced many of the difficult decisions we all face when trying to care for our sick dogs. The subtitle of the book is "Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life." While this book does not mention SM, many life threatening diseases and situations are discussed in a very kind and helpful way. I should tell you that the book is hard to get but the author said that she can send copies to anyone who requests them and will even sign and return copies that people already own.
There is a website for the book: www.speakingforspot.com. You can find out more about the book at that site. The author's name is Dr Nancy Kay. She is a specialist, an internist. The book discusses MANY important things that we all encounter when living with our dogs, even decisions about whether or not special and expensive therapies are warranted in particular cases, and also how to decide if it is time to euthanize a dog. It also has a list of very helpful guidelines for interacting with vets so that you get the information you need and are sure that you are communicating what you want to communicate. Rather delicate topics like getting a second opinion and having differing ideas about treatment from those of your vet are discussed. I got this book quite a while after I first started needing it but I still find the information and guidelines discussed in the book to be VERY helpful. I would say that it is an indispensable book for ANY pet owner, not just dog owners. It is, however, written specifically for dog owners and many of the diseases, conditions and treatments apply only to dogs. It is very useful when trying to decide about quality of life issues and also discusses money issues when deciding about medical treatment for dogs.
This is really a GREAT book. If I only had to have one book about pet illnesses, this is the one I would choose! It is FAR more useful than even the Merck Veterinary Manual.