The Animal Health Trust (AHT) is urging pet owners to familiarise themselves with the signs of anti-freeze poisoning in their pets to avoid unnecessary deaths.
As winter approaches, more people will be topping up the anti-freeze coolant levels in their vehicles, and just a few spilt drops can cause serious harm to cats and dogs. Key signs for owners to watch out for include vomiting; seizures (fits); increased urination and excessive drinking.
The dangerous toxin found commonly in anti-freeze – ethylene glycol – has a sweet taste tempting animals to ingest the substance, should they find it on their paws or in an easily accessible place and poisoning can quickly lead to the death of a pet if treatment isn’t accessed quickly.
The warning comes following the news that an AHT staff member’s cat, which had ingested the substance, has sadly died. Veterinary nurse, Jody Blyth-Tancock said: “Poor Marshal’s passing came as such a shock for so many reasons. The last thing I would have suspected was anti-freeze poisoning, particularly as the cold weather was yet to hit. It was heart-breaking to watch him deteriorate so rapidly, and highlights how quickly you have to act when poisoning is suspected.”
The AHT encourages car owners to use propylene glycol anti-freeze where possible as it less harmful, check cars regularly for leaks and keep anti-freeze bottles out of the reach of pets.