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The Travelling Vet by Jonathan Cranston - Book Review

'The Travelling Vet: from pets to pandas, my life in animals' by Jonathan Cranston is a collection of charming tales from the life of a young vet, whose clients range from guinea pigs to giraffes and anything in-between!

Jonathan Cranston is no ordinary vet. In addition to his day job in the Oxfordshire countryside treating cows, dogs, pigs and cats, he's also worked with an astonishing range of species around the world, including crocodiles, rhinos and pandas. In this tell-all book he introduces us to some of his favourite patients, ranging from beloved family pets through to magnificent creatures of the wild.

Whether microchipping armadillos, anaesthetising giraffes or advising the makers of the Jurassic World series on exactly how to operate on a velociraptor, Jonathan's love for his work and the entire animal kingdom is infectious. From the preposterous (castrating a sugar glider or attending to a stoned ferret) to the poignant (encountering victims of rhino poaching), the stories in The Travelling Vet will delight and enthrall every animal lover.

Our Verdict

You may think that you need to be a vet or studying to become one to enjoy this book but you'd be totally wrong! Reflecting on his 12-year career as a vet and some (not so) memorable moments, Jonathan Cranston writes in a heartfelt and often very funny tone whilst technical jargon is kept to a minimum which makes this book accessible to all.

The book is not told in a chronological order and each chapter is independent of the others so you could just pick one at random based on what animal takes your fancy like the Maned Wolf or the Snow Leopard but if you need a good laugh, find out what really happened when "the chicken crossed the road!".

Across the twenty chapters, there is a good balance of stories covering domestic animals commonly seen in general practice but the book also broadens your understanding of wild animals and has serious messages about conservation.

A successful humane dehorning - a procedure which takes only twenty minutes and could save a rhino's life
Each chapter concludes with Fast Facts covering a lot of background information about each species and you'll learn a lot for your next trivia quiz! Who knew that a group of giant pandas was an embarrassment?

This is our top pick of the Dog Lovers Book Club - Christmas Special as it made for a wonderful break at the end of day. If you're offering this book to a young animal lover, you are bound to inspire new vocations!

Hardcover, 368 pages
Category: Biography and True Stories
ISBN: 9781760633196
Publisher: Allen & Unwin UK, 1st December 2018

RRP: $35.00 from all good book stores and Booktopia online.

About the Author

Jonathan Cranston sits next to a Blue wildebeest
Jonathan Cranston is a veterinary surgeon based in the Cotswolds who has treated over a hundred different species across five continents including giant pandas in China and all variety of wildlife in South Africa. 

He is also the veterinary advisor for Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, the fifth instalment of the Jurassic Park franchise, which is due for release in June 2018.

Jonathan, who lives with his two dogs, two cats, chickens and quail, has a real desire to educate future generations on the importance of conservation.

Disclaimer: a copy of "The Travelling Vet" was provided to us by Allen & Unwin Australia in order to complete this review.

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