Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Antifreeze smells and tastes deliciously sweet to pets

As the temperature continues to drop, we begin to take precautions to prepare. Throw on more layers, turn up the thermostat, salt the driveway and add antifreeze to your car’s radiator. Although these all may seem like smart safety precautions, one is far from safe…for your pet that is.

Antifreeze is a highly toxic substance that smells and tastes deliciously sweet to pets, but just a few licks can be fatal for both cats and dogs. Symptoms of antifreeze ingestion can include staggering, loss of balance, excessive water consumption, depression, abdominal sensitivity and seizures. Dr. Denise Petryk, on-staff veterinarian at Trupanion pet medical insurance, provides the following tips for keeping your pet out of harm’s way this winter season:

--Keep both new and use antifreeze containers out of reach from pets. Make sure there are no leaks and wipe any excess from the bottle.

--If you accidentally spill antifreeze or find it leaking from your car radiator, clean it up thoroughly and immediately.

--Be aware that antifreeze is also used in a number of other household items such as paint, snow globes, solar water heaters and bases of free standing basketball hoops. Keep an eye on wandering and curious pets.

--If your pet has consumed antifreeze, rapid treatment is vital for survival. An antidote needs to be started within a few hours of ingestion, so give your vet a call immediately.

--Along with antifreeze, there are numerous other household items to keep out of your pet’s reach. Advil, rat poison, Acetaminophen and Xylitol (common in chewing gum) to name a few.

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