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Toxicology for the Veterinary Team: Become a Pro at Managing Poisoning Cases

Camille DeClementi. VMD, ABVT, ABT
Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, DVM, ABVT, ABT, PhD
Tina Wismer, DVM, ABVT, ABT
Erin Freed, AS, CVT
Emily Paulin, AS, CVT
COURSE OPEN: January 18-February 25, 2011
REAL TIME SESSIONS: Tuesdays, January 25, February 1, 8 and 15 2011; 9:30pm-11:30pm ET (USA)

Course RTS Times in Your Area

Practice Sessions: In order to prepare you for a successful experience in your CE course, we request you attend a practice session prior to the first RTS. Times and dates will be listed in your course confirmation email. Expect to spend up to 1 hour at one of the 2-4 practice sessions held prior to the first RTS.

Level and Prerequisites: Participants in this course should have an interest in learning more about managing poisoning cases in general or emergency veterinary practices that treat small animals and exotic pets. The first week of this course is geared toward the entire veterinary team including receptionists, assistants, veterinary technicians and veterinarians. The last three weeks are geared toward veterinarians and higher level and credentialed veterinary technicians.

VIN/VSPN CE Course: Open to veterinarians and veterinary technicians*. This is a team approach course. *Veterinary Technicians can enroll in the full course if they are being sponsored by a veterinarian enrolled in the course. Technicians must include the veterinarian's full name in comment section when registering for the course to match the enrollee with his/her veterinary team.
**Veterinary technicians, assistants, receptionists and other lay staff of enrolled and participating veterinarians are welcome to attend the first real time session at no cost, as it will be directed toward initial contact and triaging of potential poisoning patients, however they will not be eligible for CE credits.
Enrolled veterinarians and veterinary technicians will be eligible for CE Credits for the entire course including Week 1 upon successful completion of the full course.
***Enrolling veterinarians will receive a classroom link the week prior to the first Real Time Session and may give this to their entire staff to participate in the first Real Time Session. Attendees will not have access to the course library or message boards, but can attend this online session for free. Attendees MUST BE members of VSPN ( which is a free community for all non-veterinarian support staff. Contact for more assistance.

Course Description:
Participants will learn how to effectively manage poisoning cases by recording information of a poisoning history, identifying clinical signs and determining diagnostic tests needed for intoxications, differentiating treatments appropriate for an individual patient, and decontaminating poisoning patients,. The initial session is for the entire staff and subsequent sessions will include more in-depth information on poisonings for veterinarians and advanced veterinary technicians. The second and third sessions will cover types of toxicants that are commonly dealt with in small mammal and exotic companion animals, including household hazards, seasonal hazards and pharmaceuticals. The final week will include case-based scenarios to allow participants to put into practice the principles covered in the first three sessions.

This course consists of four (4) 2 hour Real Time Sessions; library materials supplementing the required articles; interactive message board discussions; and multiple choice online quizzes as well as a mandatory end-of-course exam. Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of course-exam is required to be considered for the certificate of completion.

Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.

Required articles: see below

About the Instructors:
Dr. Camille DeClementi is responsible for the management of medical records in the ASPCA Animal Health Services Department which includes the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital and the ASPCA Mobile Clinics. Dr. DeClementi became a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology in 2006 and a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology in 2007. She has spoken on various clinical veterinary toxicology issues and has authored peer-viewed articles for the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant received her DVM from the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University and her PhD in veterinary pathology at Kansas State University. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology and the American Board of Toxicology. Dr. Gwaltney-Brant currently works as a consultant in veterinary toxicology and veterinary forensic toxicology and pathology. She has been a toxicology consultant on VIN since 2000, and she also holds adjunct faculty status at the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Tina Wismer became a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology and the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology in 2003. Dr. Wismer is an adjunct instructor at the University of Illinois, a visiting professor at St. Matthews University (Cayman), a consultant for VIN (Veterinary Information Network)
Erin Freed graduated with an AS in Veterinary Technology in 2005 and has worked at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center since 2006.She has had the privilege of speaking at the ASPCA CE Conference and organizes monthly technician rounds/speakers for continued learning within the ASPCA APCC.
Emily Paulin graduated from the Vet Tech Institute in Tinley Park, IL and in August 2008 began working at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

Course Outline:

Week 1: (Real Time Session January 25): Poisoning Basics: History Collection, Patient Stabilization and Decontamination
Required reading (prior to January 25 Real Time Session):
Poison Prevention and Management Primer, Toxicology Brief, Veterinary Technician, March 2002.
Content: In this session attendees will learn how to collect a poisoning history from a client from the initial phone call to the clinic through presentation of the patient. Initial stabilization of a poisoning patient and decontamination will also be covered. Additional topics include: what products are needed in a clinic to be prepared for a poisoning emergency and some ideas on discussing poison prevention with owners. *Audio will be used Question and Answer portion of this session only.

Week 2: (Real Time Session February 1): Common Winter Household Toxins
Required reading (prior to February 1 Real Time Session):
1. Anticoagulant rodenticides: Deadly For Pests, Dangerous For Pets
2. Bromethalin: The Other Rodenticide
3. Cholecalciferol Poisoning
4. Chocolate Intoxication
5. New Findings on the Effects of Xylitol Ingestion in Dogs
Content: We will discuss presentation, clinical signs and treatment for the following toxicants: winter plants, ant and roach traps, rodenticides, antifreeze, chocolate, xylitol, Christmas tree preservatives, ice melts, liquid potpourri, batteries, bread dough, grapes and raisins, onions and garlic, fire logs, and alcoholic drinks. *Audio will be used for both the Lecture and Question and Answer portions of this session.

Week 3: (Real Time Session February 8): Common Pet Exposures to Medications
Required reading (prior to February 8 Real Time Session):
1. Acute Thyroid Hormone Supplement Overdosage
2. Antidepressant Drug Overdoses in Dogs
3. Baclofen Overdose in Dogs
4. Management of Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen Toxicoses in Dogs and Cats, Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, July - September, 2000.
Content: We will discuss presentation, clinical signs and treatment for the following toxicants: birth control products, statins, proton pump inhibitors, antacids, thyroid supplements, cold and flu medications, decongestants, NSAIDs and other pain medications, and medications affecting the central nervous system. *Audio will be used for both the Lecture and Question and Answer portions of this session.

Week 4: (Real Time Session February 15): Case Presentations in Toxicology
Required reading (prior to February 15 Real Time Session): None
Content: Cases will be presented on topics covered in the previous sessions. This will be a very interactive session. *Audio will be used for both the Lecture and Question and Answer portions of this session.


Tuition: VIN and VSPN Member price: $120 ($108 early bird special if enrolled by January 04, 2011).
Non-Member veterinarians $253 ($228 early bird special if enrolled by January 04, 2011). Non-Member veterinarian staff members must register for VSPN membership at in order to take advantage of this course.
* Veterinary Technician Students currently enrolled in and taking at least 2 classes or 5 units at an AVMA accredited or CAAHT approved Veterinary Technician Program may be eligible to receive a 50% discount off the regular rate for this course (upon verification of student status).

**For more on how online CE works see the Participant's Resource Center:

Note: "This course has been submitted for approval for 8 continuing education credits in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE approval; however participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education." Call VSPN/VIN CE at 1-800-700-4636 for further information. (Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for information regarding recognition by their board).

Course withdrawal and refund policy: Withdrawal prior to the listed start date of a course entitles the registrant to a complete refund or a credit toward a future VIN CE course, whichever is preferred. Withdrawal within 1 week after the listed start date (i.e. including no more than one real-time session) entitles the registrant to a credit toward any future VIN CE course. (This policy does not apply to courses with only one real-time session.) After the first real-time session, a registrant may withdraw due to special circumstances and receive prorated credit towards a future VIN course. These requests will be handled on an individual basis. The amount of the prorated credit will be determined based on 65% of the time remaining in the course at the time of withdrawal. It is not possible to withdraw retroactively.
Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN/VSPN office at 1-800-700-INFO (4636).

*For More Information on VIN's Upcoming CE Courses check the Course Catalog at

Katherine James, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)
VIN Education Coordinator

VIN CE Services:
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881 or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01452226154
Andrea Pomposo (; ext 126
Debbie Friedler (; ext 756
Heather Schoffstall (; ext 116
Jennifer Boyle (; ext 169


800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
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