Pet Poison Helpline, MN

Description of Elective Experience: 

Pet Poison Helpline (PPH) is a 24-hour animal poison control service available throughout North America for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet.

We have an organized externship which allows veterinary students (4th year students in their clinical year) to spend 2 weeks learning about different aspects of running an animal poison control service. Specific learning objectives include management of toxicology calls, communication skills, decontamination, antidote therapy, and medical treatment of the poisoned patient.

Institutional and Educational Resources - staffing, equipment, etc.: 

We have the ability to help every pet/species, with all types of poisonings, 24 hours a day. PPH is staffed with the following trained veterinary health experts:

  • board-certified veterinary toxicologists (DABVT)
  • board-certified internal medicine specialists (DACVIM)
  • board-certified emergency critical care specialists (DACVECC)
  • veterinarians
  • certified veterinary technicians (including American Veterinary Emergency Critical Care Technicians - AVECCT)
  • clinical toxicologists
  • pharmacists (PharmD)
Student Responsibilities - what is expected of students in terms of hours, days of the week, shadowing or actual support?: 

Externs will shadow veterinarians, certified veterinary technicians, or other poison control staff and observe phone call management (simultaneously listening to the call). There is no direct "hands-on" work with animals as we are a poison control center. This is a 2-week rotating externship, Monday - Friday. Shifts are typically 8 hours and start and end times may vary depending upon dates requested and staffing. Night and weekend shifts are not required, though participating in some evening shifts is highly recommended for the opportunity to hear more cases from emergency hospitals. The student will also have independent study time for reading assigned articles, viewing pertinent webinars, and working on a small project. Results of the project may be utilized on the PPH website as a blog entry, used to contribute to treatment guidelines, etc. depending upon the topic, findings, and quality of the work.

Amanda Poldoski, DVM
3600 American Blvd W
Suite 725
Bloomington, MN 55431
United States
Practice or Institution Type: 
Is student housing available?: 
Hours of supervision by a licensed veterinarian per week: