Pet Tips

Tip 59 – Dog drank antifreeze cat drank antifreeze – antifreeze poisoning in cats and dogs

Antifreeze is a coolant used in cars that is deadly to cats and dogs even in small doses. Dogs especially like the taste of antifreeze because it is somewhat sweet. Almost all commercially made antifreeze contains the ethylene glycol (EG) that is so toxic to cats and dogs. Just 1 teaspoon can kill a small cat and 1 ounce can kill a 15 pound dog.

If you suspect your cat or dog has ingested antifreeze then you are looking at an immediate veterinary emergency. The best results show that your pet should be brought to a vet for emergency treatment within 2-3 hours after antifreeze ingestion. This way it has the least amount of time to harm your pet’s insides, especially the central nervous system and kidneys. Typical symptoms which may occur within 1 – 6 hours after ingestion can include excessive thirst and urination, incoordination, vomiting, rapid heart rate and a respiratory rate leading to a coma and death. Pet owners often say their pet looks drunk when describing their symptoms.

Due to the high number of cat and dog deaths that result each year from this type of poisoning, the following simple yet crucial warnings apply:

- NEVER leave an open bucket or bottle of new or used antifreeze around the house, garage, or car.

- Make SURE your car’s cooling system is regularly inspected and free of leaks.

- If you are working on your car and dealing with antifreeze, keep your pets away and remember to hose off the areas near your car, the road or driveway where some antifreeze may have spilled. Remember cats and dogs LIKE the taste of this poison!

The risk cannot be ethylene glycol (EG) antifreeze poisoning cannot be exaggerated – Here is a recent case of dog antifreeze poisoning from our bulletin board.

-There is on the market, a lesser known type of antifreeze made from propylene glycol (PG) instead of ethylene glycol (EG). It is generally regarded as safer for pets, kids and the environment. Try using this product instead. It is made by several companies including Prestone.

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