This is one of the most common types of poisoning in dogs. The reason is because antifreeze is found in most households, and it drips from cars onto surfaces where a dog may find it and lick up the liquid.
Dogs may even sometimes find antifreeze used in the toilet, which is done in some areas to keep the pipes from freezing in winter. And we all know dogs love to drink out of the toilet.
What is Antifreeze?
Antifreeze is a liquid that’s used in cars as an engine coolant and as a way to keep the engine from freezing in the winter months. It’s also found in windshield wiper de-icing products, motor oils, and other liquids used in cars. Antifreeze chemicals are also used in photography, in paints and more.
The chemical in antifreeze that makes it so poisonous is ethylene glycol. It’s so poisonous that it can kill dogs and other animals. It only takes about a tablespoon of the liquid to cause kidney failure in dogs, and 5 tablespoons to kill a medium sized dog.
If you believe your fur baby has ingested antifreeze or you’ve seen him drink it, then call the vet immediately. This is a medical emergency.
Symptoms of Antifreeze Poisoning in Dogs
You may see these symptoms in your dog if he’s ingested antifreeze:
- Euphoria or delirium
- Wobbly, uncoordinated movements
- Drunken behavior
- Excessive urination
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shaking tremors
It’s important to not induce vomiting, unless your vet tells you to do so.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Antifreeze Poisoning in Dogs
The vet will ask you questions regarding when your dog drank the antifreeze and will ask what symptoms your dog has shown. Then they will perform a complete physical exam and order tests such as blood tests, a chemical analysis, and a urinalysis.
If it’s only been a short time since your fur baby ingested the poison, the vet may induce vomiting. They may also give your dog activated charcoal to keep the substance from being absorbed in the intestines. Another treatment that’s may be given is a drug that keeps the liver from converting the antifreeze into toxic substances, which then allows the chemical to pass through your fur baby’s urine.
If your dog receives quick treatment, then there’s a good chance he’ll be OK. So, if there’s even a suspicion for canine companion could have ingested antifreeze, do call the vet immediately and seek treatment as soon as possible.