Although winter is all but behind us, there are some holdover safety issues for our pets that may slip our minds now that the cold weather is gone. With spring storms upon us, pet parents may choose to shelter an outdoor pet in a garage or other area where potential dangers are stored. One of these — antifreeze, a substance used often to protect vehicles and plumbing systems — poses a deadly risk to your pets.
Most types of antifreeze contain an ingredient called ethylene glycol, which is toxic to animals. Ingesting this substance can lead to kidney failure and death.
Animals don’t realize that antifreeze is bad for them–in fact, it gives off an inviting scent and tastes very sweet. It’s up to pet parents to protect their precious pals from accidental poisoning.
Follow these antifreeze safety tips to keep your pet out of harm’s way:
– Store antifreeze in tightly sealed containers and in a safe spot, out of reach from your pet.
– Fix leaks and clean up spills immediately and thoroughly. Antifreeze is deadly even in small doses.
– Don’t allow your pet to wander unattended on roads and driveways or in garages where antifreeze might be present.
– Watch your pet for signs of antifreeze poisoning. Seek veterinary care immediately if you notice any symptoms.
If a pet does ingest antifreeze, early treatment is crucial. Once kidney failure occurs, it’s likely the animal will not survive.
Antifreeze poisoning symptoms include:
– Grogginess, disorientation or “walking drunk”
– Excessive drooling, thirst and urination
Any unusual symptoms in your pet are reasons to bring him or her in for an appointment, but the signs of antifreeze poisoning require emergency care. Don’t hesitate to call us if you suspect your pet has come into contact with antifreeze.
A last word of warning: Some antifreeze products use different ingredients and may be labeled as “pet safe.” While these products certainly are safer than antifreeze that contains ethylene glycol, they can still cause illness in your pet. Maintain the same precautions with these materials as you would with regular antifreeze. It’s better to be safe than sorry!