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  • Antifreeze poisoning

    Posted on by Abii Dowdy

    With the weather getting colder and the constant need to de-ice our cars, we want to alert everyone to the danger Ethylene glycol (antifreeze) poses for our pets.

    Animal poisoning by antifreeze is worryingly common in the winter months as antifreeze is often accessible to pets and it tastes so 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 quickly after the poison has been eaten, causing 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. If you have any suspicions that your animal has ingested some antifreeze you need to contact us as soon as possible.


    Some common signs of antifreeze poisoning include:

    • 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 check wherever you store your antifreeze for any puddles from a leaking container.

    If you have any questions or you are worried about your pet please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01327 350239 (Towcester), 01327 344999 (Weedon) or 01327 366307 (Paulerspury).