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Thread: Warning - antifreeze poisoning

  1. #1
    Member 3CBRS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Fairbanks, Alaska

    Default Warning - antifreeze poisoning

    Please your dogs safe & away from antifreeze!! Local retriever club member Shelly just lost their Lab, Tucker, to antifreeze poisoning & doesn't want anyone else to have to go through this. They live in the Peede Road/Nordale Road area & this was the third dog death in their neighborhood in the past 2 months. Her message follows this excerpt.

    Karen Wilson

    From "Antifreeze Poisoning" by Holly Nash, DVM (
    Ethylene glycol
    Toxicity: Ethylene glycol is the ingredient found in most antifreeze products, most commonly at a concentration of 95-97%. It is an extremely dangerous toxin, being approximately 3 times as toxic as propylene glycol. The lethal dose for dogs is 2-3 ml/lb, and for cats it is 0.64 ml/lb. There are 15 ml in a tablespoon, so 2 tablespoons (30 ml) could be lethal for a 15-pound dog, and less than one-half of a tablespoon is lethal to a 10-pound cat. Smaller quantities can still make an animal critically ill. Antifreeze containing ethylene glycol has a sweet taste that animals and children like.
    Ethylene glycol is metabolized by the liver. The metabolites that are produced cause damage to organs and subsequent symptoms. The metabolites (in the form of oxalates) are most toxic to the kidneys. Ethylene glycol causes severe damage to the kidney, termed "acute renal tubular necrosis." Ethylene glycol also changes the pH of the blood to be more acidic (metabolic acidosis). Many brands of antifreeze also contain phosphorus rust inhibitors, which may increase the phosphorus levels in the bloodstream.
    Signs of poisoning: There are three stages of ethylene glycol poisoning:
    ·Stage 1: 0-12 hours after ingestion, nervous system signs develop including mild depression, ataxia, knuckling, seizures, hyperexcitability, stupor, rarely coma, and death. These signs are similar to acute alcohol intoxication and resemble drunkenness. Other symptoms may include lack of appetite, vomiting, drop in body temperature, and an increase in drinking and urination.
    ·Stage 2: 12-24 hours after ingestion, cardiovascular system signs including increased heart rate and an increased respiratory rate can be seen.
    ·Stage 3: 12-72 hours after ingestion, kidneys are affected. Symptoms include severe depression, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, kidney failure, and death.
    Diagnosis: A test kit for dogs is available which detects ethylene glycol, but not its metabolites, in dogs. It is useful within 30 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion. Before or after that time period, a false negative test result may occur because either the ethylene glycol has not yet entered the bloodstream, or it has already been broken down into its metabolites. Peak levels of ethylene glycol in the blood generally occur 1-4 hours after ingestion. To perform the test, various chemicals are added to a blood sample, and if ethylene glycol is present, a color change occurs. This test is not sensitive enough for use in cats. Some human hospitals, or large veterinary hospitals or emergency clinics have more sensitive tests that can be used for cats. Treatment should be started for any dog with an ethylene glycol level higher than 22.7 mg/lb or any cat that has a detectable level.
    A veterinarian may conduct other laboratory tests to assess kidney function (BUN, creatinine), pH of the blood (blood gases), and look for the presence of oxalate crystals in the urine (urinalysis).
    Treatment:If ingestion of ethylene glycol is suspected in a pet, induce vomiting and seek veterinary attention immediately. The veterinarian may continue the induction of vomiting, perform gastric lavage, and administer activated charcoal.
    Supportive treatment will be given and may include correcting hydration and the acid-base balance by administering IV fluids and sodium bicarbonate. Oxygen is given as needed. Peritoneal dialysis helps remove the ethylene glycol from the body, if used early.
    Fomepizole (Antizol-VetŪ, 4-methylpyrazole) is the treatment of choice for ethylene glycol poisoning in dogs. It is given intravenously for 36 hours, and stops the metabolism of ethylene glycol into its damaging metabolites. Ethanol is the treatment of choice for cats and is administered for up to 64 hours. With Fomepizole or Ethanol treatment, starting treatment early before permanent kidney damage occurs, usually within 8 hours of ingestion, is essential. Supportive care may need to be given for weeks. Some veterinarians may refer the pet to a specialized veterinary center for treatment.

    -------- Original Message --------

    Hi Karen,
    I was wondering if you could put a warning out to the club members. Tucker, my chocolate lab died yesterday from antifreeze poisoning. It is the third dog death in our neighborhood in the past 2 months. The other neighbor and I am not sure whether it is accidental or deliberate poisoning. We live in the area of Peede and Nordale Roads off of Badger Road in North Pole. It is in the area of the new Greer subdivision-where the gravel pit use to be. Needless to say I am very upset and grief stricken-he was the best dog I have ever owned-only 2 years old. I certainly do not want anything like this to happen to others. I think it would be a good thing to remind club members also what some of the sign and symptoms of antifreeze poisoning look like. We were able to get Tucker to the vet within 3 hours after the ingestion-obviously it was still too late. Thanks for your consideration in informing others.

  2. #2
    Member Huntress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Somewhere between here and there.....


    Oh how horrible, Two years ago we lost our bullmastiff female Tera, to the same thing. When they opened up her tummy for the necropsy they said she had ingested about 3 cups of antifreeze/dog food mixture. These dogs were protected behind a 6ft privacy fence with another fence that they were confined in when they had to do their business on a 3rd of an acre, Otherwise they were never out of our sight.
    Someone had decided to take our little girls life, way to early. Its sad that some people are like that.

    Lisa Murkowski was trying to push to have companies to put a bittering agent in their antifreeze but it has yet to pass. They claim it would make it too expensive.... We received an actual condolence card from her, explaining that she had heard about our situation and what she plans on doing about it, That was a touching moment for my husband and I...

    "In the interest of protecting my privacy I will no longer be accepting Private Messages generated from this site and if you email me, it better be good!"


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