It’s that time of year again when the temperatures drop and it becomes icy, meaning antifreeze poisoning is unfortunately commonly seen in practice.

Ethylene glycol toxicity is a potentially fatal condition that results from the ingestion of substances containing ethylene glycol, a compound commonly seen in antifreeze.

Accidental poisonings from antifreeze spills/leaks happen every year after pets ingest the sweet tasting toxic substance.

Take extra care storing, using and disposing of antifreeze and water coolant – most accidental deaths are avoidable:

• Always keep antifreeze in clearly labelled, robust, sealed containers, away from pets and their environment.

• Clean up spills immediately, no matter how small.

Ensure pets cannot access the area until it’s clean and safe.

• Always dispose of antifreeze and water coolant safely and responsibly.

If you suspect your pet’s come into contact with antifreeze, leaked water coolant or if showing any of these symptoms get them to a vet immediately:

• Vomiting

• Seeming depressed/sleepy

• Appearing drunk and uncoordinated

• Seizures (fits)

• Difficulty breathing

Signs of antifreeze poisoning can show 30 minutes after ingestion. It can be two/three days before signs of kidney failure are seen. The sooner your pet receives veterinary treatment, the better their chances of survival.

If left untreated, antifreeze poisoning can cause pain, suffering and distress and ultimately death.