Anti-freeze toxicity

One of the most common forms of poisonings found in pets is antifreeze toxicity. Antifreeze or ethylene glycol, is found in car radiators and is also used to winterize pipes and toilets in mobile homes and other vacation homes. Most pets get exposed to antifreeze from leaking car radiators. This substance is lethal and it only takes a small amount to poison your pet. The substance is sweet and less than 3 ounces is enough to poison a medium size dog. For a cat that means even a few licks can be lethal.

Ethylene glycol targets the kidneys and causes acute kidney failure. Some of the symptoms are:

Drunken behavior
Wobbly, uncoordinated movement
Excessive urination
Rapid heart beat
Seizures/Convulsions/Shaking tremors

Unfortunately these signs can be indicative of many other things, so a thorough examination by your veterinarian including blood and urine testing are advised.

Treatment for antifreeze toxicity is supportive. Your veterinarian will place your pet on fluids and give medications to stop the symptoms until the body deals with this toxin.

The best way to treat this toxicity is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.
Here are some ways to prevent antifreeze toxicity:

Keep antifreeze in tightly sealed containers.
Do not spill antifreeze and if you do , clean it up immediately.
Dispose of used containers properly.
Check your vehicle for antifreeze leaks regularly.
Do not allow your dog to wander in areas where antifreeze may be.
Switch to “Pet-friendly” antifreeze that is propylene glycol. Propyl glycol is not toxic to dogs or cats.

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