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Antifreeze Poisoning in Dogs & Cats (Ethylene Glycol Poisoning)

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During certain times of the year (such as summer and winter), dogs and cats are more exposed to antifreeze. Untreated, antifreeze poisoning can be fatal to pets. Prompt, immediate treatment is necessary in order to save a dog or cat’s life from poisoning.

Sources of antifreeze:

The primary dangerous source of antifreeze is automotive radiator coolant. This is typically a high concentration of ethylene glycol (EG), and come in 95-100% concentrations. Other sources of antifreeze include windshield deicing agents, brake fluid, motor oil, developing solutions for hobby photographers, wood stains, solvents, and paints. Here in Minnesota, a lot of people put antifreeze into their cabin’s toilet to prevent it from freezing during the winter, and we see a lot of toxicities here at Pet Poison Helpline from dogs running into cabins and drinking out of the toilet. Finally, there are rumors of small amounts of antifreeze in holiday ornaments such as imported snow globes. Recently, some were found to contain antifreeze (ethylene glycol) in the liquid. If a snow globe falls off the table and cracks open, and your dog or cat licks up the contents of the snow globe, there is the risk of antifreeze poisoning.

Mechanism of action:

Ethylene glycol, the primary ingredient in antifreeze, is metabolized by the body to highly poisonous metabolites which lead to severe, acute kidney failure and secondary development of calcium oxalate crystals forming in the kidneys.

Common signs of poisoning:

There are three stages seen with ethylene glycol poisoning:

  • Stage 1: This occurs within 30 minutes to 12 hours, and looks similar to alcohol poisoning. Signs of walking drunk, drooling/hypersalivating, vomiting, seizuring, vomiting, and excessive thirst and urination are seen.
  • Stage 2: This occurs 12-24 hours after a dog or cat has gotten into antifreeze, and signs of “alcohol” poisoning appear to resolve, when underlying severe internal damage is still occurring. Signs of drunkenness seem to improve, but signs of an elevated heart rate, increase breathing effort, and dehydration may start to develop.
  • Stage 3: In cats, this stage occurs 12-24 hours after getting into antifreeze. In dogs, this stage occurs 36-72 hours after getting into antifreeze. During this stage, severe kidney failure is developing secondary to calcium crystals forming in the kidneys. Severe lethargy, coma, depression, vomiting, seizures, drooling, and inappetance may be seen.

Antidote and treatment:

There are only two antidotes for antifreeze poisoning: either ethanol or 4-MP (fomepizole). Cats must be treated within 3 hours of ingesting of antifreeze to be effective, while dogs must be treated within 8-12 hours of ingestion. Delayed treatment often is not effective, and once a dog or cat has developed kidney failure, the prognosis is poor.

Threat:

As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze when ingested by a cat or a tablespoon or two for a dog (depending on their size), can be fatal. If you think your dog or cat has gotten into antifreeze, it is very important that you seek veterinary care immediately for blood testing for antifreeze poisoning (including an ethylene glycol test and venous blood gas test).

Published on February 28, 2011
Categorized under: Pet Safety Tips

 

 

 

http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/2011/02/antifreeze-poisoning-in-dogs-cats-ethylene-glycol-poisoning/

Please Make Note

Please make note that I, Jessica Lynn Hepner the creator of What Every Parent Should Know, is not giving legal advice. I am not a lawyer. I am giving you knowledge via first hand experiences.

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Save A Life by Angie Kassabie

Save A Life by Angie Kassabie
I URGE ALL MY FRIENDS TO READ & SHARE THIS; YOU COULD SAVE A LOVED ONES LIFE BY KNOWING THIS SIMPLE INFORMATION!!! Stroke has a new indicator! They say if you forward this to ten people, you stand a chance of saving one life. Will you send this along? Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue: During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ...she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this. A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough. >>RECOGNIZING A STROKE<< Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions: S *Ask the individual to SMILE. T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. Chicken Soup) R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved. I have done my part. Will you?

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