Antifreeze is a common freeze-preventative used in car engines. Unfortunately, it’s sweet scent and taste is attractive to cats and dogs, who will drink it if left unattended. Trupanion, the fastest growing pet health insurance company in the United States, has seen 29 cases of antifreeze poisoning since October 1st 2010, generating over $20,000 in claims. Antifreeze is extremely toxic and even a small amount can lead to kidney failure and death in just a few days. The initial signs of ingestion might include depression, staggering, vomiting, seizures, extreme thirst and abdominal sensitivity.
"It’s important for all pet owners to be aware of dangers to their pets that can be found in their own homes," said Darryl Rawlings, Chief Executive Officer at Trupanion. "Antifreeze is a common household item that can be detrimental to the health of a pet."
To help guard against poisoning instances, Trupanion recommends that pet owners keep all antifreeze in tightly sealed containers, and to clean up any spills on driveways and other spills immediately. They also recommend keeping pets confined when working with antifreeze. If pet owners witness their pet drinking antifreeze or think their pet might have been exposed to it, the company says the pet should be immediately rushed to their veterinarian. Treatment for this condition is dependent on how early the pet is seen after ingestion, but may include inducing vomiting, inserting charcoal in the stomach to bind antifreeze in the intestine, kidney dialysis, and even kidney transplantation.