Be vigilant and responsible when using deicer or coolant.
Now that the weather is cool and crisp, it becomes that time where you tackle every morning to remove the pesky ice which forms on (and hopefully not in) your car! As you may be aware, ethylene glycol is the substance most commonly found in de-icing and coolant products. Although it is a life saver for us, it definitely isn’t for our beloved pets…
Anti-freeze/deicer contains the substance ethylene glycol which is toxic to cats and dogs. Typically we see more cats affected by it because cats are more drawn to the sweet, palatable taste this chemical has. Furthermore, cats are more susceptible to toxicity due to the difference in how ethylene glycol is metabolised within their body.
When it is ingested, ethylene glycol effects the kidneys causing rapid kidney failure and not uncommonly, death. The effect from this kidney failure results in long-term kidney injury which is unable to be reversed. For this reason, it needs to be treated as quickly as possible to have a higher chance of preventing this damage to the kidneys.
The symptoms for ethylene glycol poisoning can include vomiting, weakness, ataxia (wobbly & unsteady on legs), lethargy and even seizures. If you are concerned about your pet ingesting ethylene glycol, contact your local veterinary surgery immediately. Even if they have licked their paws or fur, they still may have ingested the substance. The sooner ethylene glycol poisoning is diagnosed and treated, the better the survival rate.
We advise to anyone the uses these dangerous products, to handle it and use it appropriately. If split please clear up any spillages and make sure bottles are labelled correctly, stored away safely and out of reach of any animals. Please also do not add any to water-features or ponds to stop them freezing, as this then effects wildlife as well as our own family.