This week's Toxicology Tuesday is an easy one, to get you started.
Toxic or Not?
Answer: Extremely toxic to both dogs and cats.
I would hope no one would get this one wrong. The active ingredient in antifreeze, ethylene glycol, breaks down into chemicals that cause permanent kidney failure by binding to the renal tubules. If detected early enough, there is an antidote, but once the signs of kidney failure are apparent, it is universally fatal.
If you see your pet licking at spilled antifreeze, don’t wait, take it immediately to your veterinarian or the local veterinary emergency service. It only takes ½ tablespoon of antifreeze to kill a 10 lb. cat or 2 to 4 tablespoons for a 20 lb. dog. The same advice holds true even if you only suspect your pet may have ingested this toxin, particularly if it acts “drunk,” since staggering and disorientation are early symptoms, as are increased thirst and increased urination.
Antifreeze has a sweet taste that dogs and children find appealing. Currently in