This is the time of year that we start to think about readying our cars for Winter. Adding fresh anti-freeze is a critical step in protecting your car. It helps keep your from freezing in cold temperatures and keeps it from overheating on hot days.
Unfortunately, antifreeze also tastes sweet to pets. According to PetMD.com antifreeze poisoning is one of the most common forms of poisoning in small animals.
The toxin in antifreeze that makes it so lethal is ethylene glycol. When ingested, it affects the brain, kidneys, and liver. Less than 3 ounces is enough to poison a medium-sized dog.
If your pet has ingested antifreeze they may exhibit drunken behavior with weakness and uncoordinated behavior. They may also have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid heart beat. Symptoms can even include seizures, tremors, and coma. Death is possible. Contact your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately if you suspect antifreeze poisoning.
Keep your pet safe with a few simple precautions:
- Keep antifreeze containers tightly closed and stored away from the reach of pets.
- Thoroughly clean up any spills immediately.
- Dispose of used antifreeze containers properly.
- Check your car radiator regularly for leaks.
- Don’t allow your dog or cat to wander unattended by driveways, parking lots, or in garages where there may be antifreeze spills.
- Switch to antifreeze that uses the safer ingredient, propylene glycol.