Course Overview

Nibbling on plants, good tasting chemicals, toxic foods - they say that animals know what is, and is not, safe to ingest. But ask any pet owner who has dealt with an animal who ate what they should not and they will likely disagree with that theory. Besides ingested poisons, there are times when the insult is dermal, or ocular.

Poisonings are an emergency and time is of the essence in many cases. It is vital for veterinary practice teams to be well trained in poisoning protocols, from the receptionist to the veterinarian. As with other types of emergencies, the medical team must be prepared to quickly evaluate the situation and begin treatment.

Advanced Concepts in Companion Animal Toxicology is a 6-week course that will help veterinarians and credentialed veterinary technicians deepen their understanding of toxicology principles. With a strong grounding in the topic, they can build effective poisoning protocols to help ensure the best possible outcome for every poisoning case.


Continuing Education Credits

Course meets the requirements for 15 RACE hours of continuing education credit for veterinary technicians and veterinarians in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval. However, participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery.


Veterinary Technician Specialty Academy Acceptance

The Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice (AVTCP)

The Advanced Concepts in Companion Animal Toxicology course
is accepted by the Academy towards continuing education requirements.


Participation Access Parameters

Participants may enroll in this course after it has begun, up to the enrollment deadline date. Participants who enroll after the start date do not miss out on any components of the course.

There are no real time sessions. 

The design of this course allows each participant to proceed based on individual schedule, as long as all assignments are submitted by the assignment submission deadline.


Course Content

Advanced Concepts in Companion Animal Toxicology is an advanced, 6-week course, that addresses the diagnostic indicators and clinically advanced treatment protocols for dogs and cats experiencing the ingestion of toxic substances.

Participants begin the course by examining the initial approach that should be taken regarding stabilization of the poisoned patient, followed with the appropriate decontamination measures that should be taken with a variety of poisons. Establishing a minimum database and interpretation of results is discussed at length, along with providing supportive care for clinical symptoms that may rise due to toxicities. A variety of poisonous foods and plants are covered, detailing clinical signs, treatments, prognosis and a differential diagnosis of each.


Course Focus and Learning Objectives

Advanced Concepts of Companion Animal Toxicology is designed for veterinarians. It is also beneficial for veterinary technicians seeking to further their training in toxicology.

Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  • Identify the ABC’s of critical patient care
  • Assess metabolic status
  • Establish a minimum database
  • Implement supportive care of the poisoned patient
  • Evaluate appropriate decontamination procedures for the ingested poison, including emesis, gastric lavage, enterogastric lavage and binding materials
  • Evaluate appropriate decontamination procedures for ocular and dermal toxic exposures
  • Compare and contrast effective antidotes
  • Recognize the constraints associated with laboratory confirmation of poisonous substances
  • Describe the toxokinetics, clinical signs and minimum database required for methylxanthines, onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, ethanol, salt and xylitol toxicities
  • Describe the toxokinetics, clinical signs and minimum database required for lily, household, garden and Christmastime plant ingestion



...As always, I love the case studies. As a practicing veterinarian, these provide a sense of real time practice and relevance.


Required Materials

Small Animal Toxicology; 3rd ed by Michael Peterson, DVM, MS

Important Text Information:

It is mandatory that each participant has access to this textbook as the content of the book is not reproduced within the course. It is up to each person to determine the best way to acquire the text. Some will already have the text in their library and, therefore, will not need to purchase another copy. The text is available as a print publication and as an eBook. Where to purchase and in what format is totally up to the participant. The text is not included in the fee for this course.

USA residents: Elsevier texts, both print and eBook, are available via the VetMedTeam Elsevier Text Portal at discounts off regular retail of 25 - 35 %. If you would like to visit the portal to take advantage of the discount please use this link:

VetMedTeam's Elsevier Text Portal

Important: Regardless of which option the participant chooses, access to a copy of the textbook is mandatory. Without the text, the student will not be able to complete the assignments, case studies and examinations. If enrolling close to or beyond the course start date, it is recommended that the text be purchased as an eBook to prevent text acquisition related delays. VetMedTeam has no control over shipping delays and other related problems.


Course Completion Requirements

Completed students are awarded a certificate of completion. Completion requirements include:

  • Instructor Graded Interactive Module Assignments: Designed to help the participant reinforce newly learned material

  • Instructor Graded Interactive Case Study Assignments: Designed to help the participant apply the newly learned skills and knowledge though patient and practice based scenarios

  • Examinations: All examinations must be submitted with a score of 80% or better

  • Course survey


Course Instructor

Donna Mensching, DVM, MS, DABVT, DABTDonna Mensching, DVM, MS, DABVT, DABT

Dr. Mensching obtained her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. After 9 years of regular and emergency small animal practice on the east coast, she returned to academia for a residency in veterinary toxicology at the University of Illinois and ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

She earned a Master’s degree researching the role of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in the development of feline hyperthyroidism and became certified by the American Boards of Veterinary Toxicology (ABVT) and Toxicology (ABT). She stayed on as a senior toxicologist with the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center then returned to emergency practice briefly before leaving the cornfields of Illinois for the beautiful mountain and sea views of the Pacific Northwest.

She is currently the Veterinary Medical Director of the Veterinary Poison Emergency Treatment Services (VET PETS) at the Washington Poison Center, an adjunct professor at WSU CVM, and an active member of the WSVMA. She lives in Seattle with her sweet Lab mix, Kashmir, and cool cats Peri and Dagger.


Upcoming Sessions



Price: $209.00



VetMedTeam 2014