Antifreeze Poisoning in Pets

By January 21, 2020 Uncategorized

What are some products around my home that contain Ethylene Glycol?  

Antifreeze and other liquids containing ethylene glycol can be very dangerous for your pet and even deadly if not treated in time.  Ethylene glycol is also found in windshield washer fluids…which we use a lot in Northern Ontario during the winter! 

Why is it so dangerous?

Dogs need to ingest only about a tablespoon of ethylene glycol before it can result in severe acute kidney failure and cats can die after only a teaspoon.  Your pet needs emergency treatment from a veterinarian immediately as it can affect the kidneys quite quickly. 

Why do pets drink it? 

Antifreeze is actually quite sweet and tastes good to a pet!  Some children have also ingested antifreeze thinking it is pop.  

What are the stages of antifreeze poisoning?

According to the Pet Poison Helpline

Three stages of poisoning can be seen with ethylene glycol:

Stage 1: This occurs within 30 minutes to 12 hours, and looks similar to alcohol poisoning. Signs of incoordination, drooling, vomiting, seizures, and excessive thirst and urination may be seen.

Stage 2: This occurs within 12-24 hours post-exposure, and clinical signs seen to “resolve” when in fact more severe internal injury is still occurring.

Stage 3: In cats, this stage occurs 12-24 hours after ethylene glycol exposure. In dogs, this stage occurs 36-72 hours post-ingestion. During this stage, severe acute kidney failure is occurring. Signs of inappetance, lethargy, drooling, vomiting, seizures, and coma may be seen.

What do I do if my pet ingests ethylene glycol?

You need to call your veterinarian immediately!  He or she can give an antidote but it must be administered shortly after consumption. 

How can I prevent poisoning from happening?

Make sure to wipe up all spills after pouring antifreeze or windshield wiper fluid in your car.  Be sure to check underneath the car to see if any has leaked onto the floor or pavement.  Store all bottles in a place not accessible to pets or children, preferable behind closed doors. 


Author lockerby

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