DVM designs pet poison phone app

June 26, 2019

A veterinarian and practice owner has launched an app for iOS and Android to help pet parents prevent accidental drug and food toxicities in their cats and dogs.

Mari Delaney, DVM, knows that your veterinary clients can get information online about drug toxicities and adverse reactions to food. But do they always know where to go and whom to trust? There's a real chance that the information your clients glean from Dr. Google could be misinformation, potentially resulting in harm to their pet.

Dr. DelaneySo, Dr. Delaney built a $2.99 smartphone app to do the work for them: Bad Human, No! (soon-to-be-renamed VetProtect). Like you, she's intimately familiar with the damage accidental and inadvertent poisoning can do to patients.

“Last December, a client called to say he'd given his rottweiler mix 1,000 mg of Aleve (naproxen) two days in a row. I asked him to bring her right in, and we initiated aggressive IV therapy,” she says. “We were able to counteract the kidney failure, but the massive GI ulceration took over a month to resolve. Angie made it through, but the anguish the owner felt at having accidentally poisoned his girl was awful and, of course, preventable.”

Dr. Delaney, who owns Compassionate Companion Care in Pine City, New York, says the app's biggest advantages over clients' random research on the web are her 25 years of clinical expertise and that she's “exhaustively researched each drug and food in the database.”

“Dr. Google's sources are dubious at best,” she says. “The app also estimates an average vet bill for the toxicity in question. I think that data really help people stop and think before they do something that could hurt their pet and also be quite expensive.”

The app launched in iOS and Android stores in March, with “most OTC medications as well as the top 150 most prescribed medications in the United States” for cats and dogs, according to Dr. Delaney. She says it's updated daily with new drugs and food items.

A Spanish version also exists.

“People love having the data when they're eating dinner and wondering if they can give their cat or dog some of that onion pizza,” she says. “The fact that the information is right there is prompting people to look things up before they give in to those big brown eyes.”