About the VPIS | BSAVA Library

About the VPIS

The Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) is a specialist 24-hour emergency telephone service available only to veterinary professionals and animal welfare organizations, providing information and case-specific advice on the optimum management of poisoned or potentially poisoned animals.

VPIS was officially launched in 1992 and since then has assisted veterinary professionals with over 250,000 poisoning cases.

VPIS also runs Animal PoisonLine, a service for owners, giving triage advice and ensuring pets that require treatment are referred promptly to their veterinary practice.

Enquiries are answered by a multidisciplinary team of vets, vet nurses, toxicologists and scientists. All members of the VPIS team have training in toxicology, some with many years of experience in providing poisons information. Enquiries requiring specialist clinical expertise may be referred to a veterinary consultant.

For each enquiry, VPIS provides case-specific recommendations such as:

  • Information on expected clinical effects
  • Suggested treatment and management protocols
  • Prognosis.

Although the majority of enquiries concern dogs and cats, enquiries regarding livestock and exotics are also answered. A wide range of resources is used to answer enquiries, including over 500 animal-specific VPIS compiled index sheets, an in-house database of thousands of past cases, and an extensive library of animal-specific journal articles and toxicology textbooks.

Information collected at the time of each enquiry and from follow-up data is used to refine and improve future recommendations and advice. Case data are also used to produce publications to raise awareness and expand the level of relevant reference scientific literature.

The VPIS team regularly lectures to undergraduates and postgraduates at several UK veterinary colleges and universities. They also collaborate with many veterinary associations and animal welfare groups, producing several leaflets and website articles to promote awareness of potentially poisonous substances among pet owners and veterinary surgeons.

VPIS also offers both class-based CPD courses and online CPD modules aimed at keeping veterinary professionals up-to-date in toxicology.

An active annual membership is required to use VPIS. For more information please visit the VPIS website or contact [email protected].

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