Top 15 Veterinary Websites: Surfing Lessons
Finally! A compilation of veterinary resources on the web.
What’s that? Compilations already exist? True — Cornell keeps a decent list and VIN even has a “Website of the Week” . But if you’re like me, you find these interesting yet overwhelming, with too many impractical sites.
Here’s a list you can you use in everyday practice (in no particular order): 1. VIN www.vin.com | Davis, CA | Cost: Some free, Membership rate varies depending on role
Guilty as charged: the Veterinary Information Network is probably not new to you. But most people only know VIN for its specialist-guided message boards. If you have a membership, look a little deeper and you will realize that there’s no better online community for veterinarians and it’s been that way for over 20 years.
Sure, at times it can be cumbersome to explore but once you start digging, a word of caution: VIN is a rabbit hole of info that many a veterinarian have gotten lost in for hours.
Think you know everything about VIN? Do you know about Veterinary Partner? This is VIN’s free site with trustworthy handouts for clients. What about access to many books such as the most recent Plumb’s Drug Handbook Online or Associate — an online book with unique searchability and a wealth of clinical information?
Look alive nurses and support staff: Do you know about VSPN — VIN’s free site built for you!
Some of the other lesser known VIN resources (yes, there’s more!) include a library of forms, useful clinical calculators (chocolate toxicity calculator is my favorite), conference proceedings, topic rounds (the relatively new VECCS-VIN Rounds are outstanding), a procedure and techniques library, the free VIN News Service (up-to-date veterinary news and alerts), a drug and food recall center, and much more.
While most of us have to pay for access, it remains free for those in veterinary school, employed by a veterinary school, and those in their internship, residency, or other advanced training program. 2. Pet Poison Helpline www.petpoisonhelpline.com | Bloomington, MN | Cost: Free
Overseen by the knowledgeable Dr. Justine Lee, this is quickly becoming the authority for pet poisons and poison articles. They also offer great webinars if you are into that sort of thing (hint: you should be — more on this in later posts).
Now when you get a call about your brother’s girlfriend’s Aunt’s dog ingesting a cicada, you can tell her what’s up.
BONUS: Also in the field of toxicology, do not miss the excellent ASPCA Poisonous Plant Guide. 3. IVIS www.ivis.org | Ithaca, NY | Cost: Free
The International Veterinary Information Service, a non-profit information site headquartered in Ithaca, NY, has more of an international feel with contributions from veterinarians across the globe. Claiming to be “the largest veterinary library on the internet,” it is free and packed with books, proceedings, and online courses. The folks at IVIS also put out a convenient email newsletter and host the digital version of the free Veterinary Focus journal published by Royal Canin (IVIS hosts other journals too).
Like VIN, it can be a little hard to get around the site. Set up an account and explore. 4. DVM Insight Library www.dvminsight.com | Westbrook, ME | Cost: Free
Ever wished you could show an owner an example of a radiograph? Ever have a possible lung lobe torsion in the middle of the night and want to compare to known lung lobe torsion radiographs? This resource, now owned by IDEXX, could help on the fly.
I’m not sure how frequently it’s updated but it has a good searchable library of radiographs of various disease processes. 5. On the Floor @ Dove www.atdove.org | Portland, OR | Cost: Some free, Full hospital access $349/year
Maybe I’m a biased ER vet to include this but the folks at DoveLewis in Oregon do it right. Dove’s practical and high-quality online training videos and articles are useful for a hospital of any type or size. Their site is relatively new but it is excellent and ever growing. You could design a hospital training program for your staff with little more than a paid subscription to this website.
Even if you don’t pay for access, get yourself on their email list for their top-notch free publication “VetWrap“. 6. U of Cambridge’s Canine Inherited Diseases Database www.vet.cam.ac.uk/idid | Cambridge, UK | Cost: Free
The next time an owner of an Affenpinscher show champion tells you their pet can’t have diphenhydramine because of the breed’s inherited “allergy” to it (yup, I’ve had this happen), you can call their bluff.
What it is: a searchable database on conditions documented in purebred dogs. Search by breed to see reported diseases or search by disease to see the reported breeds. Complete with references and links to more info.
BONUS: HSVMA Guide to Heritable Disorders and UPEI’s Canine Inherited Disorders Database are other great resources to know about. They are thorough, but harder to navigate. 7. Ohio State’s Indoor Pet Initiative indoorpet.osu.edu | Columbus, OH | Cost: Free
The go-to website for owners of pets with conditions that are related to animal “mental health”. The true gem here is the Indoor Cat Initiative and I readily give this info to owners of cats with FLUTD or other stress-related feline diseases. 8. VASG vasg.org | New York, NY | Cost: Free
The Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia Support Group website is loaded. If you haven’t checked it out yet, they have great anesthesia and emergency drug calculators, a thorough guide to anesthesia, dose charts, and tons of other resources. 9. BayerDVM www.bayerdvm.com | Shawnee Mission, KS | Cost: Free
Most useful here is the link to an online version of the popular Target Antimicrobial Reference. 10. Veterinary Ophthalmology Surgery Videos www.gelattonline.com | Philadelphia, PA | Cost: Free
For whatever reason, surgery of the eye is difficult to do after only reading about a procedure. Enter this site published by Elsevier. 11. Cornell’s eClinPath Online Textbook ahdc.vet.cornell.edu/clinpath | Ithaca, NY | Cost: Free
A free resource for hematology, chemistry, and urinalysis interpretation, complete with an atlas of photos. I keep this as a link on my mobile device (more on this in future posts). 12. Ohio State’s Nutritional Support Service vet.osu.edu/nssvet | Columbus, OH | Cost: Free
A pet owner spouting internet nonsense regarding pet food? Never happens. But if it ever does, consider yourself armed and dangerous! Evidence-based and myth busting, this is a great spot from a university nutrition service covering all things veterinary nutrition, including homemade diets and consultation for your patients.
Complete with calculators and a guide to the diets currently on the market. 13. AVMA’s Resource Page www.avma.org/KB/Resources | Schaumburg, IL | Cost: Free
With the slogan “We Are Veterinary Medicine,” how could you go wrong? Their website has several pages to explore but the Resources section of the website deserves special mention. Here you will find a collection of (random) information on select topics that may (or may not) help you in practice.
To keep your head from spinning right off C1, I recommend focusing on three sections of the AVMA Resources Website: Backgrounders, FAQs, and Reference Guides. Here lies pages on a range of haphazard topics.
Brace yourself; there is a lot here and it feels a tad disorganized. Then again, how would you organize official statements the likes of “Pets and Bed Bugs,” “The Effects of Mortgage Foreclosure on Pets” and “Dogs Traveling in Truck Beds”?
The topic list is extensive and random. Did I mention this website is random? Think everything from “Rabies” to “Canine Influenza” to “Microchipping” to “Dog Bite Prevention” to “Antimicrobial Resistance” to “Parvovirus Type 2c” to “Prescribing Drug FAQs” to “Soring in Horses” to “Money Tips for Caring for Pets” to “Raw Diets” to a “Wildlife Decision Tree” for your clinic.
Interesting? Sure. Applicable to everyday practice? Not sure. 14. USDA’s Guide to Animal Traveling
www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/animals | Silver Spring, MD | Cost: Free
Writing a health certificate? Have a client traveling with pets? This is your spot. A resource Art Vandelay would be proud of, this website is a guide to all things interstate and international animal importing and exporting.
BONUS: Need to look up a microchip on a lost pet? AAHA’s Microchip Lookup is simple and easy. 15. UPenn Vet’s Computer Aided Learning research.vet.upenn.edu | Philadelphia, PA | Cost: Free
I don’t find it to be the most beautiful website but it’s loaded with great resources for students and vets needing a refresher on everything from the basics (anatomy, cardiology, histology, parasitology) to references for most animal specialties (such as a complete orthopedic textbook, EKG tutorials, skin tumor guides, etc).
Large animal vets can rejoice over the extensive resources for them too.
Built with the veterinary student in mind, it is an evolving resource for veterinary medical knowledge.
About the Author
Dr. Caleb Frankel is an ER veterinarian, author, speaker, and entrepreneur. He currently divides his time between two roles: emergency veterinarian at VSEC, a 70-doctor referral hospital in Greater Philadelphia, PA (USA) and the founder of Instinct Science, a new animal health company helping the world’s state-of-the-art veterinary practices streamline their care through medically-driven invoicing and thoughtful automation.
He served as Director of New Product Development at Brief Media for 4 years where he lead the development and launch of products such as Plumb's Veterinary Drugs and New York Vet. Follow Dr. Frankel on Twitter @VMDtechnology.