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Picks by Cory Feldman and Michael Stabile

Animal ER
By the Tufts University School of Medicine/Vicki Croke, EP Dutton Press, $23.95

Animal ER Animal ER is what happens when you breed Chicago Hope and When Animals Attack. This litter of true stories, out of Tufts' veterinary ER, surveys pets in crisis and the dogged determination of emergency vets to save them.

Sure, they belly scratch and baby talk, but these ER vets have a surprising edge. Like Nicolas Cage's character in Bringing Out the Dead, Dr. Gretchen describes the addictive nature of emergency pet care: "Some of it is intellectual ... some of it's the high, the adrenaline rush. I'm a junkie for that." From enema to euthanasia, Animal ER covers every infection, accident and infestation a pet can get. While this isn't exactly edge-of-your-seat suspense, these troubling "tails" of terror are educational. Whether you want to learn about felines who need CAT scans or simply wax veterinary at a party, this is the purrfect manual. Some of my new favorite slang includes "ataxic in the hind" (uncoordinated movement of the rear legs); to get fluids into an animal fast you "bolus" or inject it; and "I just killed her" really means "I just euthanized that cat." Perhaps too disturbing fur pet lovers, Animal ER is the wrong book to bring to lunch. (CF)

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook
By Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht, Chronicle Books, $14.95

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook The Poseidon Adventure forever scarred me. It's not only the strong who survive, it's the ingenious and the inventive. With the impending apocalypse, it's more important than ever to have a guide to escaping avalanches, killer bees and mountain lions. Mike Davis' Ecology of Fear warned us of the increasing dangers nature is presenting us, and The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook offers tips on finding water in the desert, delivering babies in taxi cabs, fending off sharks and landing a plane. The situations may seem far-fetched now, but on the occasion that you do need to wrestle an alligator or escape from quicksand, you'll be happy you've got a clue. (MS)

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From the November 22, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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