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TECH100-0305: FUNdamentals of Toxicology

Katrina McKnight, CVT, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Urbana, Illinois.

Assistants in Real Time Sessions and Message boards:
Sharon M. Gwaltney-Brant, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Poison Information Specialist, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Urbana, Illinois.
Eric Dunayer, VMD, Veterinary Poison Information Specialist, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Urbana, Illinois.
Margaret Moorman, CVT, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Urbana, IL
Michael Knight, DVM, ABVT, ABT, Consulting Veterinary Toxicologist, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
Elizabeth Van Winkle, CVT, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Urbana, IL

March 17 - April 8, 2005
Real Time Sessions: Tuesday evenings March 22 and 29; 9:30pm - 11:30pm ET (USA)

FUNdamentals of Toxicology will cover "General Management of Poisonings" and "Common Household Hazards." This interactive course has an emphasis on visual aids and case reports. The two sessions will include lecture notes and will be supported by a series of web-based case problems.

This course is designed and course work will be geared specifically for the veterinary support personnel in practice (i.e. veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants, receptionists, etc.)

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

Course Outline:

WEEK 1: General Management of Poisonings (Small Animals and Exotics)
This session will emphasize the important elements in triage and history taking for poisoning cases and suspected poisoning cases, including how to ask all the right questions when clients call about exposures.
We will highlight the five basic steps in managing an emergency poisoning case: assessing the situation (quickly obtaining pertinent information such as the product, clinical signs, vitals), stabilizing the animal (checklist of what items are necessary to begin treating the patient), preventing absorption, monitoring the animal (what to look for, what to be ready for), and initiating ancillary measures.
Medications, supplies, and procedures commonly used in toxicology will be discussed, including a presentation on setting up and performing gastric lavage.
Also included will be a discussion of what types of samples are needed for specific poisoning cases so your practice is prepared to submit the appropriate diagnostic samples.

WEEK 2 - Common Household Hazards
This session will focus on common types of toxicants found in the home - including , rodenticides, chocolate, lilies, grapes and raisins, xylitol, and paintballs.
Specifically included will be how to identify the active ingredients, specific clinical signs (including what a client or staff person sees in vomitus, stools, etc), and tips/techniques to rule out what a substance might or might not be.
This session will also cover how to calculate the dose of toxin that has been ingested.

Library materials will be made available prior to the topic week so participants will have plenty of time to prepare for the real time sessions and discussion.

Message board discussions regarding the topic presented will begin on the day the course opens and continue for one week following the last real time session. These discussions will be held in the VSPN CE course area.


$FREE thanks to the sponsorship of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals - Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA-APCC)
NOTE: Registrations WILL BE CLOSED on March 17 OR when we reach 300 participants, whichever comes first; Register immediately to assure your spot.


  1. Each person must individually be a registered member of VSPN ( Membership in VSPN is free.
  2. Each person must be able to receive emails from and addresses. This is our major form of communication with participants. It is highly recommended that course participants use their own, personal emails rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. VIN Member veterinarians SHOULD NOT register for their staff. Please have the staff member register through VSPN. Please email if you have questions.
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Note: "This course has been approved for 4 hours of continuing education credits in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's 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 VIN/VSPN 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. (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 withdrawal retroactively. Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN office at 1-800-700-INFO.
Nanette R. Walker Smith, RVT, CVT
VSPN Content Director or


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