Antifreeze poisoning

ANTIFREEZE is deadly for dogs and cats. It’s sweet tasting and they will often drink it if they find it spilt, or if it drips from a car radiator. If your pet drinks it you need to get to the vet as fast as you can – this is an extreme emergency. Left untreated any pet that has ingested antifreeze WILL die from seizures and/or acute kidney failure, and even with treatment they may well die. It’s absolutely deadly.

For treatment the vet will induce vomiting to bring up any unabsorbed amounts of the antifreeze and will then give a dose of activated charcoal that will stop any that didn’t get vomited up from being absorbed. If your pet is having seizures the vet will have to give drugs to control these.

And here the crazy thing – the next part of the treatment is to give a vodka drip! Seriously, this is the antidote for antifreeze. The alcohol in the vodka stops the chemical in antifreeze (ethylene glycol) from being broken down into the toxic metabolites that in turn cause seizures and acute kidney failure – and death. So if you ever see vodka on your vet’s pharmacy shelf in the practice – that’s why it’s there!!
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