1st Edition

Concise Textbook of Small Animal Handling A Practical Handbook

By C. B. Chastain Copyright 2022
    242 Pages 96 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    242 Pages 96 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    This instructional pocket reference condenses the most important aspects of small animal handling. It provides a portable, durable means of learning 'on the ground', as well as a convenient way to refresh on how to strive for safety and efficacy in animal handling techniques. Spiralbound for practical use at the animal’s side during veterinary placements in a clinic or laboratory, the text covers:

    •  Handler safety 
    • Animal safety 
    • Sanitation
    • Approach and capture 
    • Routine handling and release procedures
    • Handling for medical procedures 
    • Use and supply sources of restraint equipment

    A Companion Website provides additional self-assessment questions and answers to aid learning. Important reading for undergraduate veterinary students as well as practicing technicians, nurses and assistants, the book instructs on safe and humane handling of species encountered in both small animal practice and laboratory settings.

    You can hear the author discuss the topics covered in this book on his weekly podcast ‘Better Animal Handling’: https://www.betteranimalhandling.com/




    Author Biography


    Handling and Animal Welfare

    The More Effective Handler: The Art of Firm Kindness

    Conditions for Handling and Restraint

    Risks of Injury

    Risks of Disease to Handlers and Other Animals

    Ethical Concerns

    Legal Considerations

    Roles of Chemical and Physical Restraint

    Keys to Good Handling of All Animals


    Behavior and Handling

    Predator or Prey Behavior

    Animal Hierarchy: Social Dominance

    Socialization with Humans

    Flight Zone

    Senses and Behavior

    Resistance Behaviors

    Species Differences in Aggression and Avoidance

    Training Methods for Handling Animals

    Health and Behavior

    Stereotypic Behavior and Environmental Enrichment

    Nutraceuticals for Control of Anxiety

    Animal Behavior Specialists

    3. DOGS

    Natural Behavior of Dogs

    Safety First

    Approaching and Catching

    Handling for Routine Care and Management

    Walking Dogs

    Lifting and Carrying Dogs

    Handling for Common Medical Procedures

    Special Equipment

    Transporting Dogs by Automobile or Truck

    4. CATS

    Natural Behavior of Cats

    Safety First

    Approaching and Catching

    Handling for Routine Care and Management

    Handling for Common Medical Procedures

    Special Equipment


    Natural Behavior of Small Mammals

    Safety First





    Guinea Pigs



    Sugar Gliders

    African Pygmy Hedgehogs



    Handling Small Mammals for Common Medical Procedures


    Types of Caged Companion Birds and Birds of Prey

    Natural Behavior of Companion Birds

    Safety First

    Approaching and Catching

    Handling for Routine Care and Management

    Handling for Common Medical Procedures

    Special Equipment and Procedures


    Types of Pet Reptiles

    Natural Behavior of Reptiles

    Safety First

    Turtles and Tortoises (Chelonians)



    Handling of Reptiles for Common Medical Procedures

    Transporting Reptiles




    C.B. Chastain is a professor emeritus and adjunct professor of veterinary medicine and former Section Head of Small Animal Medicine and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Missouri. He also has been on faculty at Iowa State University and Louisiana State University. In addition to being a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, he has authored journal articles, book chapters in veterinary medical and allied publications, and textbooks on clinical endocrinology and animal handling and physical restraint. He was also chief editor of the monthly journal, Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery for 20 years. Prior to entering academic veterinary medicine, he was a horse wrangler for a horseback riding stable and a licensed guide in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado; worked in mixed animal veterinary medical practices in Missouri, Illinois, and New Mexico; and a captain in the U.S. Air Force Veterinary Corps. He has handled, restrained, and trained a variety of animals in differing environments and taught aspects of animal handling for more than 40 years at the undergraduate and professional school levels. Currently, he is a professor and consultant for Veterinary Online Programs at the University of Missouri.

    Safe animal handling is a foundation of training for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and veterinary assistants. With the popularity of various low stress training and certifications for veterinary staff it is always important to stay abreast of the latest in animal restraint. This handbook is an easy to use and practical guide for various species. I particularly found the exotic companion mammal, bird, and reptile sections of great interest. The artwork in the handbook adds to the text's descriptions so readers are not left self-interpreting how the technique should be performed. I appreciate the author's attention to not only human safety but also the welfare of the animals undergoing restraint.

    I think this handbook would serve any veterinary professional or clinic well. I also think it is a great substitute for the larger animal restraint texts available as the conciseness highlights the material readers are often looking for. 

    Stephen Cital RVT, SRA, RLAT, CVPP, VTS-LAM, Stanford University, USA

    This is an excellent textbook - I would even go to say an essential textbook for anyone interested or going into the animal care industry or interested in studying any animal management/welfare course. I have recommended this text to our librarian and undergraduates on the BSc degree course. The book is suitably designed outlining the handling and restraint methods that can be used along with suitable illustrations / photographs of the techniques. Pros and cons as well as considerations for animal and human welfare / safety are nicely described.

    Catheryn Hancock BVetMed MSc DWEL certAVP PGcertEd PGcertVA MRCVS