To view a leaflet sumarising the information below please click here.
The Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) is an internationally renowned poisons information service, advising on the management of poisoned animals.
The service was officially launched in 1992 and has since assisted with over 150,000 cases. We provide 24-hour telephone advice for veterinary professionals on the diagnosis and management of poisoned animals. In addition to operating our telephone advice line we also publish reviews and reports using data collected from poisons enquiries in scientific journals and magazines, perform toxicosurveillance (monitoring trends in poisoning) and teach at various universities and veterinary colleges.
The VPIS is a division of Medical Toxicology and Information Services Ltd (MT&IS Ltd), formerly part of Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust based in London. MT&IS Ltd (formerly known as Guy’s Poisons Unit) was established in 1963.
The VPIS is a subscription based service and does not take enquiries from members of the public or pet owners, who are encouraged to call their local veterinary practice for advice.
Enquiries are answered by a multidisciplinary team of Information Scientists with qualifications that include toxicology, biology, botany, pharmacology and biomedical sciences.
Each VPIS enquiry includes case specific recommendations such as:
- Information on expected clinical effects
- Suggested treatment protocols
- Possible prognosis
Although the majority of enquiries concern dogs and cats, we also answer enquiries regarding livestock and exotics.
Information sources used
To answer each enquiry a wide array of sources are used. Our current arsenal of information includes:
- Over 400 animal specific index sheets (a VPIS composed document summarising information on toxicity, expected clinical effects, treatment guidelines etc).
- Over 3500 animals specific journal articles.
- The VPIS database (the largest animal specific case database in Europe, holding over 150,000 past cases of poisoned or potentially poisoned animals).
- A large library of toxicology text books.
Information collected at the time of each enquiry, and from follow up data (clinical effects, treatment regimens carried out etc) is used to refine and improve VPIS recommendations and advice.
The information collected from case data are also used to produce publications in scientific journals, newsletters, annual reports and magazine articles to raise awareness and increase the scientific literature.
By monitoring trends in poisoning we are able to identify:
• Potentially contaminated medicinal products/pet foods
• New or newly formulated products which may pose a risk to pets
• Previously unidentified poisons
• Geographical trends in poisoning
• Spates of malicious poisoning
We regularly lecture to undergraduate and postgraduates of several UK veterinary colleges and universities. In the past we have provided some CPD (Continued Professional Development) training for veterinarians and veterinary nurses already in practice, and could do so if requested.
We have collaborations with many other veterinary associations and animal welfare groups, and have produced several leaflets and other publications to increase awareness amongst pet owners and veterinarians.