As the weather gets colder, there is a hazard which many pet owners are unaware of. Anti-freeze. Essential for your car, but very dangerous to your pets!
Unfortunately, cats and dogs think that Anti-freeze is quite tasty, but a shockingly small amount can be fatal. For example if your cat walks over some spilled anti-freeze on the drive or road, and then your cat licks this off, just that small amount can be enough to cause death. Likewise with dogs, as little as 5 tablespoon’s of antifreeze can be fatal to a medium sized dog.
Just a few days after ingesting Anti-freeze, it can cause kidney failure leading to death. The signs you may notice for Anti-freeze poisoning differ depending on the length of time since ingestion. You may notice that your pet has become depressed, wobbly or is even having seizures. They may be drinking a much larger volume of water, and urinating a lot more. It is possible that your pet may seem to improve after a little while, however after a few more days, the kidneys could fail completely, leading to death.
This can be diagnosed at your vets by running urine and blood tests. As with most health problems, the sooner your pet is seen at the vets the greater chance your pet has of survival.
If your pet is brought straight in for treatment then vomiting can be induced and charcoal administered. The charcoal will travel through your pets system binding to the poison, which prevents any further damage. Also a drug can be administered which prevents the liver from breaking the Anti-freeze down into the harmful components. This allows the Anti-freeze to pass through and out of the body without causing any damage. However, this treatment is only effective if given soon after the ingestion of poison.
Kidney damage is irreversible; therefore if your pet is presented at the vets with Kidney failure in many occasions the prognosis is poor. However in some cases and with specialised equipment your vet may be able to successfully treat your pet.
When your pet is suffering it causes enough distress to you, the last thing that you want to worry about is where you are going to find the money to pay for the treatment. This is where pet insurance can give you some peace of mind for these unexpected vet bills.