My Dog Drank Antifreeze

If you’ve ever found your pup lapping up antifreeze from under the car, you’re probably wondering why they would do such a thing. After all, antifreeze is toxic to canines and can cause serious health issues. So why are they so attracted to it?

There are several reasons why your furry friend might drink antifreeze. First, it contains ethylene glycol, which has a sweet taste that dogs (and other animals) find appealing. In addition, it is often brightly colored, which can also be attractive to dogs. Finally, antifreeze often leaks from cars onto the ground, which curious pups can easily lap up.

If you think your dog has ingested this liquid, it’s essential to act quickly and take them to the vet immediately. While an antidote is available, it must be administered within a few hours of ingestion to be effective. So if you see your pup drinking antifreeze, don’t wait – take them to the vet right away.

Antifreeze Is Toxic To Dogs

Antifreeze is a liquid used in cars to keep the engine from freezing in cold weather. It contains the chemical ethylene glycol, which of course, is dangerous to dogs. When ingested, ethylene glycol is converted into two other chemicals – glycolaldehyde and oxalic acid – which can cause kidney failure and damage the nervous system.

In severe cases, antifreeze poisoning can be fatal. For this reason, it’s essential to keep dogs away from it and to clean up any spills immediately.

If you suspect your pup has ingested antifreeze, call your vet or the animal poison control center asap.

Symptoms Of Antifreeze Toxicity In Dogs

The symptoms of antifreeze toxicity can vary, depending on how much ethylene glycol your dog has ingested. In general, you may see one or more of the following:

Stage 1

Within 30 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion, you may see your dog acting drunk or uncoordinated, vomiting, and appearing to be in pain. At this stage, the ethylene glycol has not yet been metabolized and is still circulating in their system.

Stage 2

12-24 hours after ingestion, you may see your pup become very thirsty and start urinating frequently. This is because the ethylene glycol is beginning to damage their kidneys.

Stage 3

24-72 hours after ingestion, your dog’s kidneys will start to fail. They may have diarrhea and vomiting and appear lethargic and weak. Without treatment, dogs at this stage generally do not survive.

Treatment For Antifreeze Poisoning

If you think your fur baby has ingested antifreeze, it’s important to act quickly and take them to the vet immediately. There is an antidote available for antifreeze poisoning, but it must be administered shortly after ingestion to be effective.

At the vet, your dog will likely receive IV fluids and be monitored closely for signs of kidney damage. If caught early, the outlook is relatively good. However, if kidney failure has already set in, survival chances are much lower.

What Should You Do If Your Pup Swallows Antifreeze With Ethylene Glycol?

If your dog accidentally ingests antifreeze containing ethylene glycol, it’s essential to act quickly.

  • First, remove your dog from this liquid’s source to prevent further ingestion.
  • Then, try to establish roughly how much was ingested and when. This information will be critical for your veterinarian in determining the best treatment method.
  • After that, contact your dog’s vet or the nearest open clinic and give as much information as possible. Based on what they know, they’ll be able to advise you on what to do next. In most cases, this will involve bringing your dog in for an exam right away.

With quick treatment, many dogs recover fully after ingesting antifreeze. But acting quickly is critical, so don’t hesitate to seek medical help if you’re concerned.

How Much Antifreeze Is Fatal To Your Dog?

So how much antifreeze is actually fatal to a dog? Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer. The amount of antifreeze that is lethal varies depending on the size and weight of the dog, as well as the type of antifreeze ingested.

However, as little as a tablespoon of antifreeze can be deadly for a small dog, so it’s best to err on the side of caution. If you think that your pup has swallowed any amount of antifreeze, it’s important to get medical treatment immediately.

Time is of the essence when it comes to treating antifreeze poisoning in dogs, so don’t hesitate to call your vet or head to the emergency room if you think your dog has been exposed.

What Treatment Will Your Dog Receive From The Vet?

If your pup has ingested antifreeze, it’s vital to seek professional medical treatment immediately. Antifreeze is a highly toxic substance, and even a little amount can be deadly.

Here’s what you can expect from your vet after bringing your dog in for treatment: 

  • The vet will do a physical examination and take a history of the ingestion.
  • They will induce vomiting if the dog ingested the antifreeze within the last two hours.
  • Blood will be taken for clotting tests, electrolyte levels, and organ damage assessment.
  • A urine sample will also be taken to look for any signs of kidney damage.
  • Fluids will be given intravenously to help flush the toxins out and prevent dehydration.
  • The dog will be closely monitored for signs of organ failure.
  • Depending on the severity of the poisoning, the dog may need a hospital stay for a few days.

If treated promptly, most dogs recover from antifreeze poisoning with no long-term effects. However, because it is so toxic, it is always better to seek professional medical treatment immediately if you suspect your dog has ingested this toxic liquid.

Is There An Antidote Available?

Yes, there is an antidote available for antifreeze poisoning in dogs. The antidote, known as fomepizole, works by binding to the toxins in the body and preventing them from being metabolized. This can help to save the dog’s kidneys from further damage and give them a better chance of recovery.

The downside of fomepizole is that it is costly and must be given within a few hours of ingestion to be effective. For this reason, getting your pup to the vet is essential if you think they’ve ingested antifreeze.

The other antidote is ethanol, which can be given intravenously or orally. However, ethanol is also very expensive and must be administered within a few hours of ingestion to be effective.

The bottom line is that prompt medical treatment is critical for dogs who have ingested antifreeze. The quicker you seek help, the better the chances of recovery.

What If You’re Not Sure What Type Of Antifreeze Your Dog Drank?

If you’re not sure your pup drank toxic antifreeze, contact your veterinarian or the nearest open veterinary clinic immediately. It’s always best to be safe than sorry when it comes to antifreeze poisoning.

Your vet will probably want to do a physical examination and take a history of the ingestion. They may also induce vomiting if the dog ingested the liquid within the last two hours.

Blood will be taken for clotting tests and electrolyte levels and to assess for organ damage. A urine sample will also be taken to see if the liver has been damaged.

Are There Any Types Of Antifreeze Not Toxic To Dogs?

Yes, there are types of non-toxic antifreeze available. These products typically use propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol, which is the toxic ingredient in most types of antifreeze.

However, it’s important to note that even propylene glycol can be toxic to dogs in large quantities, so it’s still important to keep these products out of reach for your pets.

Why Is There Ethylene Glycol In My Dog’s Medications?

Some medications, such as phenytoin (Dilantin) and methotrexate, contain small amounts of ethylene glycol. These medications are safe for dogs when used as directed, but it’s important to keep them out of reach of your pets to prevent accidental ingestion.

How Can I Prevent My Furry Friend From Drinking Antifreeze?

The best way to prevent your fur baby from drinking it is to keep it out of reach. Store all products containing antifreeze in sealed containers and keep them in a safe place where your dog cannot access them. Be sure to clean up any spills immediately and dispose of it properly.

You should also check your car regularly for leaks and keep a close eye on your dog when they’re outside to ensure they’re not lapping up any liquid that may have leaked onto the ground.

If you use antifreeze in your car, consider switching to a propylene glycol-based variety, which is less toxic to dogs (and cats). And be sure to store all antifreeze containers out of curious pets’ reach.

By following these simple steps, you can help to keep your furry friend safe from the potentially deadly effects of antifreeze poisoning.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, antifreeze is very toxic to dogs and can cause serious health problems. If your dog has ingested any amount of it, please contact your vet immediately.

There are steps you can take to prevent your dog from drinking antifreeze in the first place, so be sure to keep this information in mind. Thanks for reading!

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