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Ethylene glycol antifreeze is a cat-killer in winter
Why my friend's cat died - ethylene glycol poisoning
My friend Naomi, aka Blue Crow, has just had to deal with a truly heart-breaking situation. Naomi has had to say goodbye to her dearly-beloved cat Mischief who has been poisoned and has been hanging on to life at the vets ever since she was rushed there.
Unfortunately the poison Mischief swallowed has destroyed her kidneys, and whilst she has been able to eat again whilst on a drip, without it she is sure to die and it is obviously impossible to keep her hooked up this way.
The deadly toxin that the poor animal has lost her life to is a very common one and it has a sweet taste which adds to its danger. This is a very real threat to the lives of our very dear animal companions.
Mischief the cat
Antifreeze danger poll
Did you know that antifreeze can kill cats and dogs?
Sweet tasting but lethal
The antifreeze Ethylene glycol claims the lives of millions of cats and dogs that innocently lick the stuff up.
Ethylene glycol poisoning symptoms include increased thirst and urination, lack of coordination, weakness, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing and heart rate, convulsions, diarrhea, and paralysis. The longer the animal has been without veterinary treatment for the condition the less chance there is of recovery. Sadly by the time the most caring pet-owner has found out that their companion animal is very sick it is often too late and the damage has been done.
The problem is that Ethylene glycol is processed by the animal's body into oxalic acid which then damages the kidneys. If the damage is great enough then there is no way the cat or dog can recover or live without functioning kidneys.
Cats and dogs may find spilled antifreeze on the ground and lick it up not realising the extreme danger they are in. Even if they merely walk through the stuff and get it on their fur they are at great risk because if they try to clean it off their paws they will ingest the poison.
It is not just dogs and cats that do not know about the dangers of the very commonly used chemical product because many people do not know what it can do. Ethylene glycol must always be stored safely and never spilled on the floor or thrown away carelessly where domestic animals and wildlife can come into contact with it. Ethylene glycol may keep your car running in winter but it can kill your best friend!
© 2009 Steve Andrews