Antifreeze + Pets = Slow, Painful Death
Antifreeze (Ethylene Glycol)
This is actually a winter and
summer potential problem. Cats and dogs are attracted to the sweet smell
and taste of antifreeze, and will often sample some if left out in a
container or spilled on the garage floor. A cat or small dog can walk through a small puddle of it, lick their feet, and ingest enough to kill them.
Antifreeze is highly toxic
- it is rapidly absorbed (initial signs appear approximately one
hour post-ingestion), and there is a high mortality rate. Other
sources of this deadly chemical are: heat exchange fluids (sometimes
used in solar collectors), some brake and transmissions fluids as well
as diethylene glycol used in color film processing.
12 hours of ingestion) often present as if the animal was
intoxicated with alcohol: stumbling, vomiting and depression are common
kidneys are most severely affected, and even if the animal seems
to improve initially with treatment, they may succumb shortly after to
kidney failure. The kidneys shut down, and the animal is unable to
produce urine. This type of kidney failure usually happens 12-24 hours
after ingestion in cats, and 36-72 hours post ingestion in dogs. Success
of treatment is dependent upon quick treatment. If you suspect that
your animal has come
into contact with antifreeze, contact your veterinarian
A safer alternative
to Ethylene Glycol antifreeze is available, it is called propylene glycol, and it does cost a small amount more than 'regular' antifreeze. It is still, however, toxic to cats, and can be toxic to dogs in larger amounts.
To be safe, keep all antifreeze liquids out of reach of all pets and children. If it is accidentally spilled on the ground or in the garage, clean it up immediately, and do a thorough job of it.