Characterization of Animal Exposure Calls Captured by the National Poison Data System, 2000–2010
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Characterization of Animal Exposure Calls Captured by the National Poison Data System, 2000–2010

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  • Alternative Title:
    J Clin Toxicol
  • Description:

    Our objective was to characterize the data captured in all animal exposure calls reported to the National Poison Data System (NPDS), a national poison center reporting database, from 1 January 2000 through 31 December 2010 and identify Poison Center usage and needs in animal exposure calls.


    We calculated descriptive statistics characterizing animal type, exposure substance, medical outcome, year and month of call, caller location, and specific state for all animal exposure call data in NPDS from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2010. SAS version 9.2 was used for the analysis.


    There were 1,371,095 animal exposure calls out of 28,925,496 (4.7%) total human and animal exposure calls in NPDS during the study period. The majority involved companion animal exposures with 88.0% canine exposures and 10.4% feline exposures. Pesticides were the most common exposure substance (n=360,375; 26.3%), followed by prescription drugs (n=261,543; 18.6%). The most common outcome reported was ‘Not followed, judged as nontoxic exposure or minimal clinical effects possible’ (n=803,491; 58.6%), followed by ‘Not followed, judged potentially toxic exposure’ (n=263,153; 19.2%). There were 5,388 deaths reported. Pesticide exposures were responsible for the greatest number of deaths (n=1,643; 30.4%).

    Conclusions and clinical relevance

    Approximately 1 in 20 calls to PCs are regarding potentially toxic exposures to animals, suggesting a need for veterinary expertise and resources at PCs. Pesticides are one of the greatest toxic exposure threats to animals, both in numbers of exposures and severity of clinical outcomes, and is an important area for education, prevention, and treatment.

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