Systematic account of animal poisonings in Germany, 2012-2015.
A systematic retrospective study on animal poisonings in Germany (wildlife excluded) between January 2012 and December 2015 was conducted. Data were collected on animal exposure calls to German poison centres, poisoning cases presenting to the University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover Small Animal and Equine Clinics, cases involving off-label use of veterinary medicinal products reported to the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety and toxicological submissions to the Institute of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Pharmacy, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich. Descriptive statistics were used to characterise animal type, exposure reason, type and substance, year/month of exposure, case severity and outcome. An evaluation of the data and data sources was also carried out. Variation in poisoning patterns was seen. However, dogs and cats were the most frequently reported species and medicinal products, pesticides and plants were consistently implicated as top causes of poisoning. Advantages and disadvantages were associated with each data source; bias was found to be an important consideration when evaluating poisoning data. This study provided useful information on animal poisonings in Germany and highlights the need for standardised approaches for the collection, evaluation and integration of poisoning data from multiple sources.