Antifreeze poisoning - it's so common

2nd January 2017

With the coming weeks likely to be a bit colder, we wanted to remind everyone about the risks from antifreeze.

Antifreeze is extremly dangerous to dogs, cats, rabbits and most wildlife

It contains ethylene glycol and is used to prevent freezing of water in car radiator coolant, windshield deicing agents, motor oils and hydraulic brake fluid. As little as a 5mls (one teaspoon) can result in acute kidney failure in cats, and is often fatal.

If your dog or cat eats or drinks antifreeze, immediate treatment is essential.

Signs of antifreeze poisoning

  • Wobbly drunken appearance - drooling from the mouth may also be apparent.
  • Fitting – seizures happen in the early stages.
  • Excessive drinking – from taps, bowls and puddles.
  • Excessive urination – constant visits to the litter tray.
  • Vomiting – food or just bile and fluid.
  • Panting – mouth breathing in cats is not normal.
  • Bad breath – an obvious unpleasant smell often resembling stale urine.
  • Lethargy or sedation – you might find it difficult to rouse your pet.
  • Death – this will happen if a poisoning isn’t treated.

At Bollington Veterinary Centre we are used to treating pets poisoned with antifreeze. You may also have recently seen a case on the TV series Supervet.

In cats, an antidote must be given within hours of the poisoning to be effective as after this time, the damage caused by the ethylene glycol poisoning is almost 100% fatal.

Aggressive therapy is always necessary for a patient to survive

Never delay - If you suspect your pet has had access to antifreeze and has drunk some, call us on 01625 573375 immediately and let us help.

Read about antifreeze