One of the most common toxicities in cats and dogs which by definition has everything to do with the cold season is the extremely dangerous toxicity with vehicle antifreeze. The main toxic agent is Ethylene Glycol (EG). Dogs and cats seem to find the taste of EG irresistible and simply cannot help licking and even ingesting as much as they can when they have access to it.
EG, when ingested, starts getting absorbed very quickly from the mouth and the rest of the digestive tract and reaches the blood stream quickly. This is why it starts causing serious damage to the kidney tissue really fast. The damage could become irreversible within a few hours.
The sooner the owners realize the ingestion and bring the patient to the veterinarian the higher the hope for recovery. Especially, the first three hours after ingestion are of significant importance.
Depending at what stage after ingestion the patient is seen by the veterinarian, the treatment plan will be set and started immediately. However, as said above, the prognosis will vary. The treatment plan usually requires 2- 3 days of hospitalization, monitoring, and intravenous fluids and medication with multiple blood and urine tests. If you suspect any incident of antifreeze ingestion by your pet and need a veterinarian in Markham, call us first and bring your dog/cat to us immediately! If they urinate on your way to us, try to catch a sample of the urine for our initial screening test!
So, please be aware of this significant seasonal threat, and make sure your lovely pet is not exposed to antifreeze solutions! And kindly share this information with others, too!
All the best, and keep warm! It is getting cold out there!!
Dr. Dave Bonab