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Student Research Paper Receives Recognition from American Board of Veterinary Toxicology

sick brown and white dog

Alisha Worth, a fourth-year DVM student in North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, received a second place honor in competition sponsored by the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology for her research paper, “Diphenhydramine exposure in dogs: 621 cases (2008-2013).”

Worth’s paper focused on the accidental poisonings of dogs with human over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Canine OTC drug poisoning remains an ongoing clinical problem for the veterinary community.  According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), OTC products account for nearly 15% of calls to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

One of the most common classes of these drugs include antihistamines and other OTC products that contain diphenhydramine.  Worth became interested in the subject as the published literature on diphenhydramine is limited and predominantly relates to several case reports involving high dose exposures.

Worth developed the case series using the Animal Poison Control Center toxicology database.  Her effort provides important new information concerning the dose-response relationship for diphenhydramine.  The manuscript also highlights that the veterinary poison center call experience with OTC medications is similar to that seen by human poison call centers.

The annual American Board of Veterinary Toxicology student paper competition is co-sponsored by the ASPCA and is open to students at all colleges of veterinary medicine. Research papers are reviewed on the basis of content, originality, importance of the research to the field of toxicology, and overall presentation with supporting materials.

Each student is required to by sponsored by a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology and Worth was sponsored by David Dorman, a professor of toxicology in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences.