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Antifreeze Poisoning in Dogs

Prevention and First Aid


Without a doubt, preventing your dog from having access to antifreeze is by far the safest solution to antifreeze poisoning. Keep your antifreeze jugs on a high shelf in your garage where it can't get knocked over, and immediately mop up any spills that happen when your refill your vehicle's reservoir. It takes very little antifreeze to kill a pet. If you suspect your dog has ingested antifreeze, you must get him to a vet immediately.

Signs of Antifreeze Poisoning
    Stage One
    • Staggering
    • Vomiting
    • Confusion/disorientation
    • Listlessness
    • Excessive drinking and urination

    The first stage of antifreeze poisoning starts approximately thirty minutes after ingestion. Your dog will be appear to be drunk, he may vomit, stagger and suffer from confusion and disorientation. This stage of the poisoning may last for several hours.

    Stage Two
    • Diarhea
    • Convulsions
    • Unconsciousness

    Stage two will commence after your dog will have gone through what appears to be a recovery period. He'll seem to be getting better, but shortly (possibly a day or longer) afterwards, the toxins will permanently damage his liver and kidneys as these organs try to metabolize the poison.

Emergency First Aid
Immediate veterinary assistance is the only thing that will save your dog. Inducing vomiting and giving your dog activated charcoal will not cure your dog, but it will lessen the poison that is in his system. Save any of vomited material, and bring it with you to the vet's.

Switching to a propylene-glycol-based antifreeze, a safer, less-toxic alternative to ethylene glycol is one step that many pet owners take to protect their dogs from accidental antifreeze poisoning. Routine vehicle maintenance, and keeping an eye out for evidence of leaks (greenish pools underneath your car), and immediate clean-up of all spills are very important. Dogs that wander the neighborhood unsupervised are more prone to antifreeze poisoning, so keeping your dog under your supervision and leashed is also a step in preventing accidental poisoning, and not just from antifreeze.
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