Anti Freeze Kills An Estimated 90,000 Animals A Year!
Each year an estimated 90,000 wildlife and pets die from accidentally ingesting antifreeze.
Most radiator antifreeze/coolant and windshield washer fluids contain ethylene glycol (EG). EG has a sweet smell and taste, which is attractive to many animals. One small lick is enough to cause irreversible kidney damage, leading to coma and death.
The gastrointestinal system readily absorbs EG. Once the metabolism of the EG has reached a certain point, there is no way to stop it. Those caught in the act of drinking it has the best chance of survival if given medical treatment immediately. According to the SPCA, 88% of animal encounters with the toxin will end in fatality.
With the concerns of the danger of EG based antifreeze, a less toxic propylene glycol-based antifreeze was introduced. To meet the demand for a safer alternative, PEAK Performance Products added Sierra’; the first nationally marketed PG-based antifreeze. To further their commitment to the well being of animals, Sierra is a proud sponsor of the American Humane Association and its Be Kind To Animals Week.
Though it is used all year, most people tend to change their antifreeze in late fall and early spring. When changing or adding antifreeze (either EG or PG-based), take extra care not to spill any and clean up all spills quickly and thoroughly, even the smallest amount, store any containers safely away from children and animals.
Though you may have control over what you do, you won’t be able to control what your neighbors do, or what they do intentionally. Many are unaware of the dangers to children and pets, and others don’t care. This is why dogs should NEVER be allowed to roam free, and cats should remain indoors. Any animal that is allowed to roam free is at risk! I lost two cats within a week of each other due to antifreeze poisoning. Of course, I’m to blame, and I was the one that let them go outside. Both cats grew up outdoors, and one became extremely, well, to put it mildly, violent if you kept her in. I tried for some time to make them indoor cats, but I lost the battle. I tell everyone that gets a kitten if you want this cat to spend the next 15-20 years with you, don’t let it out, not once, and it’ll never want to go out. Cats that don’t go outside don’t know. (A little off the subject, I had a woman who wanted a kitten, but it had to stay out because of her dog(???) she lived off of a four-lane highway, enough said.)
So what can you do if you suspect antifreeze poisoning? Act fast! Pets don’t have to consume the product directly, but by merely stepping in it and licking their paws. EG causes central nervous system depression. The signs of poisoning can be any number or combination of the following symptoms: vomiting, weakness; diarrhea, drooling; panting; the appearance of being dizzy or drunk, unconsciousness. Contact your vet or a vet emergency clinic immediately! Symptoms can appear within an hour of ingestion. Every minute counts as the toxin can quickly cause irreversible kidney failure. Sadly, by the time most pet owners notice something is wrong, it’s too late for the pet to be treated.