ANPH 520 Veterinary Toxicology

(2 cr.) (Didactic)

A vast number of substances potentially toxic to animals exist, including pesticides, household cleaning products, agricultural chemicals, automotive products, human prescription and non-prescription drugs, herbal remedies, and poisonous plants and animals. With such huge numbers of potential toxins, it is impossible for veterinarians to be knowledgeable about all of them. Because some poisonings can cause illness or even death within only minutes to hours after exposure, immediate access to reliable information on diagnosis and treatment is essential. Often intoxications involve new drugs or chemical products for which very little or no published veterinary toxicity data is available.

Standard veterinary medical textbooks usually include information on only the more common toxins. Even texts devoted specifically to toxicology cannot provide information on all toxins in all species. Information gained from product manufacturers or human poison control centers often pertains to human exposures only. Because of wide metabolic and physiological differences between species, it is rarely appropriate to extrapolate toxicity data from humans to other species.

Veterinary toxicologists at veterinary colleges can provide valuable information on many toxicants, but as with many manufacturers, are often available only during routine office hours. Therefore, it is important that veterinarians be aware of the variety of additional toxicological information sources available.