Vet issues warning about ‘extremely toxic’ antifreeze ingredient that's life-threatening to dogs

A senior veterinarian has warned of an “extremely toxic” substance that dog owners must be vigilant of this winter.

Antifreeze is a liquid added to the cooling system of an automobile engine to lower the freezing point and prevent frozen water from damaging the radiator in cold weather.

This common product is available in concentrated or pre-mixed form and often contains ethylene glycol – an ingredient that is life-threatening to dogs, even in small amounts.

Our sister website Team dogs talked to vet and Noochy Poochy Founder Dr. Lucy McKinna to learn more about it.

Lucy spoke about the “extremely toxic” substance Team dogs : “Although it is odorless, it has a very sweet taste and many animals willingly lick it up on spilled or leaked antifreeze from garage floors or driveways.

“It is extremely toxic – only a very small amount ingested can lead to poisoning and death from acute kidney damage.”

Depending on the size, even a few drops can be fatal for dogs, although the survival rate is low if the kidneys are badly damaged.

Symptoms to look out for include lethargy, vomiting, incoordination, excessive urination, excessive thirst, low body temperature, seizures, and even coma.

These can appear within the first 30 minutes to 12 hours of ingestion with jiggling or what appears to be “drunkenness,” which is one of the first signs your dog has antifreeze poisoning.

In the second phase of symptoms they seem to subside – however, Lucy warned that this change should “lure pet owners into a false sense of security”.

She explained it Team dogs : “12 to 24 hours after ingestion, some of the symptoms seem to improve dramatically, but irreversible damage has already been done.

“It is imperative that dogs are treated with the antidote (fomepizole) within 8-12 hours of ingesting ethylene glycol, as they can die without immediate treatment.

“If you know or even suspect that your dog has consumed ethylene glycol, it is important that you see a veterinarian immediately as the antidote will only work for a short time.”

After 36 hours there is severe acute kidney failure with symptoms such as loss of appetite, salivation, bad breath, seizures, diarrhea and collapse.

Fortunately, this “antidote”, sometimes known as “4-MP”, is generally effective when administered within the required 8 to 12 hour window of time.

However, prevention is the best course of action when it comes to the toxic substance.

Dog owners should be careful to keep an eye on their car’s radiator, wipe up any spills, and keep their antifreeze in a safe place if it contains ethylene glycol.

In addition, animal parents can also choose alternative variants that contain propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol.

Although more expensive, this ingredient is not toxic to dogs or other animals.

Dr. Lucy McKinna is the founder of McKinna Plant Labs, an exciting UK start-up specializing in ethical dog nutrition.

Noochy Poochy adult is the brand’s flagship and is available now.

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