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Antifreeze: A Household Danger


Antifreeze is used in cars to help protect its cooling system to prevent freezing. As you can tell, the use of antifreeze is more popular in the states that are colder. But regardless of that, everyone should be careful of what they do with their antifreeze because if it is left out unsafe, even a little bit could harm or kill your beloved pet.

All it takes to is just a small amount to be fatal. For a cat, all it takes is just one lick and it can cause death. For a medium-sized dog, it can be about five tablespoons to cause death. Antifreeze can be appealing to animals because it has a sweet smell and taste. Although, antifreeze is not sweet at all for your pet! It contains ethylene glycol, which is toxic.

Some symptoms of antifreeze poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, depression and worst case scenario: death. Symptoms vary depending on the time of digestion. Antifreeze can poison the brain, liver, and kidneys.

If you think that your pet has consume some antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately!

Ways to Prevent Accidental Antifreeze Poisoning:

  • Keep all antifreeze containers out of reach from pets. They need to be closed securely and make sure you wipe excess leakage on the bottle.
  • If you accidentally spill antifreeze, make sure you clean it up as soon as possible and clean it thoroughly.
  • When you dispose antifreeze containers, make sure all the paper towels contaminated with antifreeze are in the sealed container and for extra protection put in a plastic bag before disposal.
  • Make sure you regularly check your car for antifreeze leakage.
  • Keep an eye out on pets who wander, especially if they wander off to a neighbor’s garage or driveway.

*Photo courtesy Nearly Dr. Ferox

*Reference PetMD

One Response to Antifreeze: A Household Danger

  1. Dr. Cary says:

    It’s important to stress — TINY amounts can cause serious problems (at levels much lower than what could cause death) — kidney damage can leave your pet living a life of misery.
    Many veterinarians do not have the necessary test for antifreeze poisoning — so call first. They may refer to a specialty or emergency practice in the area.
    Hours after consumption, some pets appear “drunk” — but this passes. A couple days later, the now untreatable kidney damage begins to show…
    I urge pet owners to use pet-safe antifreeze in their own cars, and tell them to advise the same for their neighbors.

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