Exposing Antifreeze

By Connie Orcutt • Published: November 1st, 2012
Category: Animal Airwaves

Ethylene [ETH-ill-ene] glycol [GLĪ-call] is a stealthy killer, sneaking into homes in ordinary antifreeze. Dogs and cats find antifreeze quite tasty, but even small amounts can kill them.

Leaky car radiators and winterized toilets are common sources. Dogs and cats readily lap up antifreeze puddles or lick wet paws. Within a few hours, signs of poisoning emerge, including depression, unsteadiness, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea or excessive drinking and urinating. The knockout punch comes in one to two days when the kidneys fail. Then there is usually no turning back.

If you suspect antifreeze ingestion, take your pet to the veterinarian for immediate evaluation and treatment. Prevention is a sure thing, so wipe up spills, keep antifreeze in a sealed container, repair radiator leaks and try using a product containing nontoxic propylene [PRO-pill-ene] glycol instead.