Poisoning Advice

Antifreeze & Rock salt Poisoning

Antifreeze and petsEven the smallest amount of antifreeze can be fatal to your pets!  It can cause kidney failure and death if not treated at the vets.

Avoid accidental spills when topping up your vehicles with antifreeze, even the smallest amount spilt can be ingested and can make your pets unnecessarily ill.  Clear up any spills with plenty of soap and hot water and wipe down the antifreeze bottle if there are drips, then carefully dispose of the cloth in a bin.

The signs of antifreeze poisoning include:

Signs can show within 30 minutes of your pet ingesting antifreeze with kidney problems showing after around two or three days.  If you are in any doubt that your pet may have ingested antifreeze, you should immediately take your pet to the vets.  Antifreeze poisoning affects the brain, liver and kidneys, ingesting the smallest amount can cause kidney failure and death, especially in cats!

You can read more about antifreeze poisoning on the PetMD website here.

Rock Salt Poisoning

Rock salt is a mixture of salt (sodium chloride) and grit, and is used to help de-ice roads in winter. Rock salt can be a danger to pets such as dogs and cats, if they lick it from their paws or fur. It is difficult to say how much needs to be eaten for signs of toxicity to be seen. Even a small amount of pure salt can be very dangerous to pets. Ingestion can result in a high blood sodium concentration which can cause thirst, vomiting and lethargy, and in severe cases there is a risk of convulsions and kidney damage. Most cases involve animals that have walked through gritted snow and then lick or chew it off their paws as they can find it irritating. It is therefore important to thoroughly wipe your pet’s feet and the fur on his/her legs and tummy after a walk or time outside. If he/she is showing any signs of discomfort after possible exposure to rock salt, use a mild, pet-safe shampoo and warm water to wash the affected areas, and dry your pet’s fur completely with a towel after washing. Any animal suspected of ingestion of rock salt must be assessed by a vet immediately. This is important as signs can be non-specific and a blood test will be required to check the blood sodium concentration. Immediate veterinary treatment will be needed to rehydrate the animal and stabilise their sodium levels. The exact treatment will depend on the blood sodium concentration and the animal’s clinical condition. Owners should never attempt to induce vomiting; only a vet should do this.

Please make sure your pets stay healthy!


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