Antifreeze: A Threat to Your Pets

antifreeze and dogs photo credit
With its pleasant aroma and sweet flavor, Antifreeze is an enticing but fatal poison for dogs. Antifreeze, also known as coolant, is the colored fluid found in your car’s radiator. Ethylene Glycol is the toxic component found in antifreeze, which is also an ingredient in brake fluid, liquid rust inhibitors and hydraulic fluids. Dogs usually come into contact with antifreeze when it leaks from a car’s engine onto the ground, when it is spilled onto the ground while being added to a car’s engine, or when the container is left uncapped. Intake of even a small amount of antifreeze can be fatal to your dog since it could badly affect their key organs such as brain, kidneys and liver.

How to Identify Antifreeze Poisoning and Help Your Pet
If the dog is exposed to antifreeze, you need to detect the exposure and act fast. Since ethylene glycol is an alcohol, the early signs of poisoning resemble drunkenness, euphoria and/or delirium, nausea as evidenced by excessive salivation, lip smacking, dry heaving, and vomiting. If you come across any of these significant symptoms, rush your dog tothe nearby veterinarian. Explain the situation quicklyso that they can run appropriate tests and act appropriately before kidney failure occurs.

How to keep your dog away from Antifreeze
As they say, prevention is always better than a cure! So how do you keep your pooch away from poisonous antifreeze?
• Keep antifreeze sealed and away from pets.
• Switch to a brand of antifreeze that contains propylene glycol instead of toxic ethylene glycol.
• Keep other products that contain ethylene glycol – like paint or cosmetics – away from your pet’s reach.
With these important things taken care of, your home is a safer place for your pets to live in.

About the Author:
KG Rogers is a blogger on various websites. He also manages the digital marketing campaign for – a leader in online pet supplies.

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2 Responses

  1. 1 Eloise Bright
    2014 Jan 30

    Very interesting post. I have been a Vet for 7 years, and have never seen a case of ethylene glycol poisoning. I’m not even sure if anti-freeze is used in cars in Australia. I think the interesting part is that it tastes sweet, which is similar to lead. We occasionally see dogs who have ingested lead-based paint flakes for their sweet taste. In fact we had a case last night, which I suspect was lead, just waiting for some results to confirm. There are still many pre-1970’s houses that have old flaking paint somewhere. It seems silly to think they would bother eating paint off the ground, no matter the taste but it certainly does happen. Goes to show how adventurous dogs can be in terms of what they will eat!

  2. 2 doglover
    2014 Mar 25

    It seems to be a common problem in the US for dogs that get into anti freeze. They also sometimes step in it and then lick their paws. Anti freeze is used in the winter in the northern states.