The cold winter brings many amazing things, such as hot chocolate, pumpkin, and holidays. It can also increase your dog’s risk of exposure to antifreeze, which is a lethal poison. Antifreeze is often found in garage floors and braking fluid. In this article, we will describe what antifreeze poisoning is in dogs, the hazards of antifreeze exposure, antifreeze poisoning symptoms, and prevention.
When consumed by any living thing, ethylene glycol, the primary component in antifreeze, is an extremely deadly toxin. Dogs are mostly exposed to antifreeze through licking fluid that leaks in your garage. As a result, dogs that stay in garages or reside in cold areas are at the greatest risk of being exposed to this harmful toxin.
Antifreeze poisoning is usually lethal if not addressed within hours. Ingestion of antifreeze can cause significant injury to dogs of any size, age, and breed. Even a relatively insignificant quantity of antifreeze licked up by small dogs can kill them.
Within 2 to 3 days of consuming antifreeze, kidney damage and failure can occur in your dog. Unfortunately, a small amount of this chemical is enough to kill any sized dog. Antifreeze has a fatal dosage of less than half teaspoon per pound body weight in dogs; therefore, a dog that weighs 20 pounds may be killed by consuming just under 3 tablespoons of antifreeze.
If you think your dog has consumed antifreeze, act quickly to avoid catastrophic harm or death. Take your pup to a nearby veterinarian, preferably an emergency facility like Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital.
When your dog consumes antifreeze, there are some signs that you would notice. However, some pet owners may not be aware that their dog has consumed the chemical. As a result, it is essential to understand some of the signs of antifreeze poisoning.
Ethylene glycol is the main substance; since it is alcohol, the first indications of consumption in your dog is comparable to what you’d see in a drunk person. Common signs noticed 30 minutes to 12 hours after antifreeze intake include:
After ingestion for about 24 to 72 hours, symptoms of kidney failure emerge, including:
The best thing that pet parents can do is to prevent their dogs from getting into antifreeze in the first place. If you want to use antifreeze products, look for one that has propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol because propylene glycol is less toxic to dogs. Also, check your garage or under the car to ensure there are no leaks.
Ensure all antifreeze containers are securely stored out of reach of your dogs. It’s also best to keep dogs indoors and out of garages, especially in freezing temperatures, as water will freeze over, making a thirsty dog seek out liquid antifreeze.
If your dog ingests antifreeze at home, what would you do to prevent the disastrous outcome? The best thing to do is to take your dog to a vet as quickly as possible. When you take your dog to the vet, they may induce vomiting or use activated charcoal, a chemical that binds with the antifreeze to make it less toxic.
This approach will only work if your dog was newly exposed to the antifreeze, because the body absorbs the toxin extremely quickly. So act fast if you feel your dog may have been exposed and ingested it.
If you’re not sure whether your dog ingested antifreeze, let your vet doctor take a full history and inquire about the places your dog has roamed. A comprehensive examination will be done to look for signs of poisoning, and a particular blood test to look for ethylene glycol will also be performed. In addition, your veterinarian will want to undertake tests to search for evidence of kidney injury.
At Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital & Emergency, we can help you take care of your dog and diagnose and treat any signs of antifreeze poisoning. We serve clients in Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, and areas near Ventura County. Call us now for expert help!