By Jo Marshall, CVT, NREMT
Senior Veterinary Information Specialist
Recently, our boss sent out our Pet Poison Helpline Mission Statement to all employees with a request for feedback in the event that this needed to be updated to reflect our current goals. It is a very simple mission statement, but it really says it all and tells us why we are here doing what we do, 24/7. It simply states, “To save pets’ lives and make the world safer for animals.” We achieve this by providing quality care and reassurance to our customers and their pets through immediate, 24/7 access to clear and trusted health, safety and medical information. In addition, we provide education to veterinarians and pet owners to enhance and promote long-term pet health and safety.
That is a very impressive statement that I think needs more explanation. Of course, the obvious is that we are here by telephone for every pet owner and veterinarian to call for assistance, treatment recommendations and assurance. But there is a heck of a lot more that goes into this statement of making the world safer for pets!
I know from many years of experience in working in emergency medicine that the knowledge of toxicology can be limited and the availability of product safety reports and a database that contains that type of information is non-existent, especially in the middle of the night!
Here are some of the opportunities that Pet Poison Helpline have made available to assist pet owners in poison prevention and keeping their pets healthy.
- We have this blog, which is written by members of our staff veterinarians and technicians.
- We also have an awesome website: www.petpoisonhelpline.com, which contains reliable educational materials also authored by our veterinary staff.
- We have great, one minute videos that will give you a better handle on some of our most common pet dangers. These are available at https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/basics/paws-on-safety-one-minute-pet-clinic-videos/ and cover topics such as:
- People foods that are harmful to pets
- Lily toxicity in Cats
- Human medications that can result in toxicity to pets
- Xylitol Toxicity
- And our favorite, chocolate toxicity (not really our favorite but after just finishing a Holiday Shift, it was the most prevalent call!)
- Here is a link to how to create a Pet Poisoning First Aid Kit: https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/basics/pet-poison-first-aid-kit/
- Our website also includes information on the Top 10 Medication Toxicities, Plant toxicities and Poison Proofing Your Home, just to name a few.
- Another great option on our website is a list of recalls. These are pet food and pet product recalls including veterinary products and drugs.
Stop in and take a look at our website and learn from a reliable source on preventing poisonings in your pets. This should be your first source of reliable, veterinary authored information on the web! No need to doubt what you read on this site!
We also provide a plethora of educational opportunities for veterinarians! Let’s start with our Webinars!
- We provide several continuing educational opportunities for clinics and staff through timely toxicity webinars. Beyond earning CE credit, they are a great opportunity to gain first hand, common sense knowledge from the trenches and by the best in the business! Our new and upcoming webinar schedule for 2017 id:
- Thursday, January 26, 2017 Session 2: Neural-Integration and the Reversal of Poor Wellbeing in Veterinary Medicine 12:00-1:00pm CST Co-Sponsored with the AVMA.
- Tuesday, January 31, 2017 A Toxicologist and ER Vet Walk Into a Bar – Lively Case Discussion Ensues 12:00pm – 1:00pm Co-Sponsored by Vitusvet
- Tuesday, February 14, 2017 Avoiding Heartbreak; Valentine Danger’s Poisonous to Pets
- Tuesday, April 11, 2017 Decontamination of the Poisoned Patient; What, Why, When and How.
- Tuesday, June 13, 2017 Outdoor Toxins: Don’t Let These Poisonous Plants Ruin Your Summertime Fun.
- Tuesday, September 19, 2017 Pot and Pets; Updates on Marijuana Intoxicants in Dogs and Cats.
- Tuesday, November 14, 2017 Clear Eyes, Dry Nose, No Problem? Wrong! Intoxications Due to Eye Drops and Nasal Sprays.
- Our webinars are also archived and can be watched at any time. Just visit our website to register for any of our Webinars or to view any of our past Webinars.
- We have the newest publication in toxicology called the 5 Minute Veterinary Consult Small Animal Toxicology, written and edited by our staff. This is the second edition of this book and it truly is the latest and greatest version.
There is so much more that we provide to support this wonderful mission to make the world a safer for pets, but I think that the best part of our mission is our call center and the consultations that we provide. I am part of the call center staff and I can tell you that I work with the greatest veterinarians and technicians around! They are the most knowledgeable and compassionate group of people. We are all very dedicated to helping pet owners and putting your mind at ease in the most stressful of times. With our call center being the heart of what we do, we are so fortunate to have the best management and support-staff. They provide us with the tools, support, and daily continuing education to enable us as the veterinary professionals, the ability to provide the very best to our callers, both pet owners and veterinarians in need of assistance.
We know that having to call us means that you are not having the best day. But I promise that we will do everything that we can for you and your pet!