Antifreeze Poisoning in Pets

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Antifreeze poisoning is very common in dogs and cats. Why is antifreeze so fatal? Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, making it one of the most toxic common household items for pets. Less than three ounces of antifreeze could be fatal to your pet and immediately affects the brain, liver and kidneys. Ethylene glycol may also be found in engine coolant and hydraulic brake fluid.

Common Symptoms of Antifreeze Poisoning in Pets

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Uncoordinated movement
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive urination
  • Weakness

These symptoms appear in three stages.

The first stage can occur within 30 minutes to 12 hours. In the first stage, your pet may appear dazed. He may also experience vomiting, seizures, diarrhea, and/or excessive drooling. In stage two, which occurs within 12-24 hours, your pet may experience organ failure. The third stage is 36-72 hours following ingestion, severe kidney failure will begin. Symptoms found in the third stage include lethargy, coma, vomiting and/or seizures. This is why immediately following ingestion, you must seek treatment.

If you suspect your dog may have ingested antifreeze, you should consult with your veterinarian immediately. Your doctor may instruct you to induce vomiting immediately by providing your dog with one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide per five pounds of body weight. He may also instruct you to take your dog to an emergency clinic immediately. Your veterinarian will likely draw blood and collect a urine sample to ensure your dog’s body is safe from harm.

How to Prevent Antifreeze Poisoning

  • Clean up spilled antifreeze promptly
  • Ensure you dispose of antifreeze containers immediately
  • Do not allow your dog or cat in any area where antifreeze may be left

Consider Investing in Pet Insurance 

Looking for more ways to keep your pets happy and healthy? Consider investing in a pet insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance.1  We offer dog insurance and cat insurance policies for pet parents and their furry family members.  Get your free quote today. 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.