Sep 12 2014


Now that the heat of summer is upon us, so is the likelihood of overheated cars…often resulting in an overflow of fluid from under the hood…the greenish-yellow florescent fluid that helps keep your engine from freezing in the winter – but has deadly consequences for your pets. This is antifreeze.
Our cars are not the only source for our pets. Sometimes in the winter months people will add antifreeze to their toilets to help keep the pipes from freezing – and we all know that pets will sometimes drink from a toilet…you need to keep this in mind when visiting colder climates.
ETHYLENE GLYCOL is a sweet-tasting alcohol that is found in most types of antifreeze. The sweetness is what makes it especially attractive to both cats and dogs. Often, within a very short time after ingestion, so much damage is done that it may be impossible to save your pet. Acting quickly if you suspect your pet has ingested antifreeze is a matter of life and death…without question!
Within 30 minutes after ingestion the alcohol is metabolized by the liver forming highly acidic chemicals within the body. As the fluid moves through the liver it goes through several chemical changes – eventually forming oxalate crystals as it moves from the blood into the urine. This alcohol can usually be detected in the urine within about six hours – Without immediate intervention – and sometimes despite it, acute kidney failure often follows.
It only takes about a teaspoon to kill a cat…a little more for a larger dog…but no matter the amount, the consequences will be dire.
Some symptoms associated with antifreeze poisoning are vomiting, increased thirst and urination, racing heart, a stumbling and wobbly movement and abdominal pain. Depending on your pet, he/she may have seizures, and may stop urinating altogether. Basically, ingesting this sweet fluid causes kidney failure – the effects are rapid and require IMMEDIATE medical attention.
Call Crossroads and let them know you suspect your pet has ingested antifreeze…if it is after hours take your pet immediately to the nearest Emergency Veterinarian. THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE. Once there, the veterinarian will run several tests, such as administering activated charcoal to keep the toxin from being further absorbed…TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE…this is NOT a wait-until-tomorrow scenario.
The best thing to do is to keep spills cleaned up immediately…for the safety of your pets as well as those of your neighbors. Keep any antifreeze containers safely stored…and dispose of empty bottles properly.
PURCHASE ‘SAFE’ ANTIFREEZE – When purchasing antifreeze, look for the ones that have PROPYLENE GLYCOL as the main ingredient. One very popular brand is SIERRA, which is available almost everywhere. There may be other brands, but this one has been around for years, and is readily available. Of course, you still want to clean up any drips or spills quickly.

drkclark | Uncategorized

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