New Weekly Column — Tips from the Pet Poison HELPLINE

We all want to keep our furbabies safe and healthy. Dogster Kristy Sweetland, furmom to Seva and Finlay, will be providing weekly tips and warnings...

Joy  |  Mar 28th 2007


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We all want to keep our furbabies safe and healthy. Dogster Kristy Sweetland, furmom to Seva and Finlay, will be providing weekly tips and warnings from the to make that job easier. As a veterinary technician with the Pet Poison HELPLINE she’s going to help keep us all stay more on top of what’s dangerous for our furry family members.

Ethylene glycol anti-freeze products

Ethylene glycol anti-freeze products taste yummy to dogs and cats. They are also, unfortunately, extremely toxic. Even tiny quantities when ingested can result in serious poisoning. Early symptoms of toxicity may occur within 30 minutes to 12 hours, and are generally manifested by vomiting and diarrhea among other symptoms. As the toxicity progresses, your pet could be facing complete kidney failure in as little as 24 hours with no intervention. Because there is an antidote for this poisoning, it is imperative that you immediately contact a poison control center or veterinary professional if you suspect an exposure, no matter how small. Treatment success or failure is directly related to how quickly we can work to counteract the effects.

To avoid heartache, keep pets far away from garage spills until they can be thoroughly cleaned up. Soak up spills with clay kitty litter, or sand; discard and then clean and dilute with plenty of water and detergent. The next time you purchase anti-freeze, you may wish to choose a product with an active ingredient of propylene glycol as an animal-friendly safer alternative. Keep in mind that even if spills are in a location inaccessible by your pet, wild animals are also vulnerable to the catastrophic effects of ethylene glycol poisoning.

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Dogster member Kristy Sweetland has been a certified veterinary technician for over 18 years. For the past 5 years she has focused 100% on toxicolgy and is currently the Coordinator of Services for the Pet Poison HELPLINE.

The Pet Poison HELPLINE is a nationwide (now also serving Canada) 24-hour service available to pet guardians and veterinary professionals who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet. This Pet Poison Control Center is staffed with veterinary health professionals and clinical toxicologists with more than 28 years of expertise in the medical management of animals exposed to harmful substances.