Articles  General

Poison Prevention Top Tips



Here at the Veterinary Pathology Group (VPG) we want to ensure that you have the information needed in cases of suspected poisoning in animals.

VPG offer a full spectrum of toxicology tests to veterinary practices throughout the UK and Ireland and in this blog, you will find top tips and information on what is needed in practice when it comes to toxicology cases as well as more general information.

When dealing with cases of suspected poisoning, there are some important tips to remember. VPG Leeds has these top tips:

Suspected Poisoning: Top Tips

  • Remember your ABCD: Airway, Breathing, Circulation and Drugs
  • Keep everything! Including any suspect material, vomit/gastric lavage, blood, urine or liver/kidney/stomach contents)
  • Ensure you have secure SOPs in place and treat poison cases/suspected poison cases with care and security. The following steps should be followed; label and date all samples, complete chain of evidence form (witness), and submit by secure tracked means and inform the laboratory of the incoming sample.

VPG’s unique toxicology service provides affordable, flexible, rapid testing for toxins and toxic compounds using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). These techniques allow us to test for more than 30,000 substances with results often available in 3-5 working days with the option of an expedited service.

What is Toxicology?

  • Toxicology is the detection and identification of toxins and poisons
  • We have the ability to search for 1000’s of compounds using a single sample
  • We have variable methods for detection of possible toxins and poisons
  • We have the potential to combine multiple sample types to optimise detection

Why Test for Toxins?

  • Exclude toxin presence
  • Identification of toxins involved
  • Optimise therapeutic management
  • Determine prognosis
  • Assist in cases of sudden death
  • Suspected toxic material identification

What’s Needed in Practice?

  • Informational resources 
  • Staff training
  • Access to specialist support
  • Drugs/ToxBox/Antidotes
  • Diagnostic testing

Further information can be found in the recording of our webinar ‘Top Tips for Handling Potential Poisoning Cases’. Click here to watch.