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  • Its getting cold outside! Beware of the potential pet poison…….

    Posted on by Kat Mozdzynski

    As our thoughts turn to colder days and preparing our cars for winter, we want to alert everyone to the danger Ethylene glycol (antifreeze) poses for our pets. Did you know that antifreeze is poisonous to cats, dogs and other animals? Not only that but they think it tastes pretty good too, so it is a big danger to our pets.
    Ethylene glycol toxicities are a type of poisoning that occurs after ingestion of antifreeze or other fluids containing the ingredient ethylene glycol. Antifreeze is the most common source of ethylene glycol.

    Animal poisoning by antifreeze is worryingly common in the cold winter months as antifreeze is often accessible to pets and animals and it tastes sweet. Ethylene glycol poisoning can be fatal if not treated within a few hours of ingestion.
    The main effect of the poisoning is overwhelming kidney failure. Crystals form within the kidneys very rapidly after the poison has been eaten and this causes the kidneys to stop working completely. Death usually occurs within a few days, even if aggressive treatment to support the kidneys is started. There is an antidote for ethylene glycol but this needs to be given extremely soon after the poison has been eaten to stand any chance of working. So if you have even the slightest suspicion that your animal has got hold of any antifreeze you need to contact us as soon as possible.
    Some common signs of antifreeze poisoning in our pets include:
    • Drunken behaviour
    • Euphoria/Delirium
    • Wobbly, uncoordinated movement
    • Nausea/Vomiting
    • Excessive urination
    • Diarrhoea
    • Rapid heart beat
    • Depression
    • Weakness
    • Seizures/Convulsions/Shaking tremors
    • Fainting
    • Coma
    There have been reports of people using antifreeze in garden water features to prevent them from freezing – we would obviously advise against this! Also it is important to check your garage,( if you use antifreeze in your car windscreen wash), for any puddles that may be present from a leaking antifreeze container. Clean up any spills immediately – it could just save a life!

    If you have any questions or you are worried about your pet please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01327 350239 (Towcester) or 01327 344999 (Weedon)

    Kat Mozdzynski
    Kat has been nursing for 12 years and joined the team at Towcester Vets back in 2013. She enjoys all aspects of nursing and specialises in clinical work and acupuncture.
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