Antifreeze, rock salt and grit can be very dangerous to your pet and can cause serious damage. Since temperatures are reaching as low as -13°C these methods of ice removal are unavoidable, so instead we must be cautious when using these products around our pets. So here is our guide to pet safety around de-icing substances.
Stages of Poisoning:
Stage 1 poisoning happens within 30 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion and symptoms are similar to those seen in alcohol poisoning, including difficulty walking (staggering or “walking drunk”), euphoria or delirium, vomiting, seizures, and excessive thirst and urination.
Stage 2 occurs within 12 to 24 hours after ingestion. Clinical signs can at this point appear to resolve, but actually severe internal damage is underway.
Stage 3 poisoning occurs in cats within 12 to 24 hours after ingestion, and in dogs, within 36 to 72 hours. During this stage, severe acute kidney failure is taking place, and symptoms can include loss of appetite, lethargy, weakness, drooling, foul breath (which is from kidney failure), vomiting, diarrhoea, a rapid heart rate, depression, seizures, fainting, and coma.
What to do if ingested:
If you think your pet has ingested Antifreeze and/or shows the symptoms below then go straight to an Emergency Vets. If an animal is seen by a vet within the first few hours of ingestion, vomiting is induced and charcoal is given to bind any antifreeze that has travelled into the intestines.
Antifreeze becomes even more toxic as the liver breaks it down to other components. If an animal is taken to the vet soon after ingestion, a drug is given to inhibit the liver from converting the antifreeze to more noxious compounds, allowing the unprocessed antifreeze to pass into the pet’s urine.
Treatment for antifreeze poisoning must be started as soon as possible after ingestion to be effective. The quicker you get your dog or cat to the veterinarian, the better his or her chances for survival.
Rock salt, or sodium chloride, ingestion can cause high blood sodium levels with symptoms including excessive thirst, diarrhoea, vomiting and lethargy and, in severe cases, convulsions and kidney damage.
To protect your pet from the grit, we advise you to wipe your pet’s paws and belly after every outing to remove any ice or salt, and to regularly check for cracks in paw-pads or for redness between the toes.
If you are concerned your pet might have ingested a toxic substance, you should consult your local vet immediately to prevent damage from occurring.