Pets at Home is warning cat owners about the deadly dangers of ethylene glycol toxicity for cats this winter, a chemical found in antifreeze.
The team at Pets at Home have devised and produced some key points we hope will offer the best advice to cat owners and the wider public to avoid lethal poisoning:
· Ideally avoid using antifreeze products that contain ethylene glycol (there a number of UK antifreeze suppliers that use non-toxic propylene glycol alternative).
· Ensure all antifreeze products are clearly labelled and securely stored in sealed containers.
· Store any products containing ethylene glycol safely away from animals (and children).
· Dispose of any antifreeze products safely and responsibly, contact your local authority for guidelines relevant the area where you live.
· In the event of a spillage, ensure the spilled contents are cleaned up immediately and cats (and other pets) cannot access the area until it is safe and dry.
· Ensure all members of the household are familiar with the symptoms of antifreeze poisoning: sickness and the cat may appear ‘drunk’ (unsteady, wobbly gait).
· Other symptoms include weakness; tiredness; increased drinking and urination; seizures and collapse.
· Similarly, make sure the whole household are aware of your cat’s normal health and behaviour – this will ensure you notice signs of illness and seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible, which could save a cat’s life
· An effective way to determine if antifreeze has been ingested is for the veterinarian to shine a UV light on the muzzle, paws, and under the tail, if present, the antifreeze residue will cause the hair to glow.
· Seek immediate veterinary attention if you suspect a cat may have ingested antifreeze
Dr Maeve Moorcroft, veterinary advisor for Pets at Home, said: “It is so sad that at a time full of festive cheer, we hear about so many families devastated by the loss of a family pet as a result of antifreeze poisoning.
“We want to ensure we communicate the dangers of antifreeze products as well as provide advice for how to avoid another sad statistic this winter. There are many alternative products that do not contain ethylene glycol available and in alerting the public to this deadly issue, we hope we can help save some lives this Christmas.”