For Dr Alan Rossiter at Blacklion Pet Hospital, it’s been several years since he diagnosed a cat with antifreeze poisoning.
There’s an active ingredient in antifreeze – called ethylene glycol – that cats like the taste of, and all it takes is a spill on the ground after coolant or windscreen washer fluid is used on a car.
Which may explain why Dr Rossiter has seen three case of antifreeze poisoning in cats in the last two weeks. Citing hs as “extremely unusual”, the good doctor went on to state that he has “no idea if it’s malicious”, but three cases together – after not having diagnosed such a case for several years – was, he said, “odd”.
Dogs are also vulnerable to drinking such spills, but they are less likely to drink it in toxic amounts.
Pointing out that the survival rate is less than 5%, the good news is, Dr Rossiter was able to save one of the three poisoned cats. Which was a first for the doctor.
With no similar cases reported in the city, according to the Dublin Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals have nonetheless warned of the dangers of antifreeze. “If it’s frosty,” said a spokesperson, “please think of animals and the environment. Don’t use antifreeze on your car windows. Instead, spend a few minutes letting the car defrost with the heaters on, and use warm air to defrost”.
Dr Rossiter finished by stating that when this type of poisoning is caught within three hours of the antifreeze being ingested, vets can administer an antidote, via a drip, that can sometimes be effective.
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