Monthly Archives: February 2018

Pets and Antifreeze: A Dangerous Combination

Why Antifreeze is Deadly to Pets

antifreezeEveryone has heard about antifreeze and how dangerous it can be to animals, but do you really know how easily they can get into it? Antifreeze poisoning is the most common form of poisoning for small animals because it generally drips off car radiators and the pet licks it off the ground. They can also get into it when it’s added to toilets to keep the pipes from freezing.

The actual toxin is called ethylene glycol that makes the antifreeze toxic. Less than 3 ounces of antifreeze is sufficient enough to poison a medium-sized dog. Antifreeze poisoning affects the brain, liver, and kidneys. Antifreeze is bright in color and has a sweet taste to it and that’s why pets are drawn to it. It does have a bitter aftertaste but generally, the pet has already consumed too much by the time they taste that.

If you think your pet got into some antifreeze this is some of the signs and symptoms that you might notice

1. Drunken Behavior
2. Wobbly/uncoordinated movements
3. Nausea/vomiting
4. Excessive urination
5. Diarrhea
6. Rapid heart rate
7. Depression
8. Weakness
9. Seizures
10. Fainting/coma

If you are afraid that your pet may have consumed some antifreeze, call your vet right away or even can call poison control at 888-426-4435. They will direct you on what to do next for your pet. It might not always be fatal, but many pets will develop kidney disease.

Yes, this sounds scary, but there are some tips to help prevent your pet from falling victim to antifreeze poisoning.

1. Keep antifreeze closed tightly and stored out of reach of pets
2. Try not to spill and if it does clean it up thoroughly and quickly.
3. Dispose of used containers properly
4. Check radiator regularly and repair leaks
5. Do not allow your pet to wander unattended where this is access (driveways, roads, gutters, and garages)
6. Propylene glycol is safe and is now primarily used for antifreeze – look for this kind instead

February is National Pet Dental Health Month!

Pet Dental Care

Bulldog sitting down and brushing his teeth with a blue toothbrush that has toothpaste bubbles
February is National Pet Dental Health Month!

Does your pet’s breath smell really bad? Are they not interested in playing with their toys anymore? This could be signs that your pet’s teeth are hurting them and they could use a pet dental checkup. Having your pet seen annually by your local animal dentist will help catch some of these problems early. Dental disease can become very painful for your pets.

Signs and Symptoms of Needed Pet Dental Care

  • Bad breath
  • Eating difficulties
  • Problem gums
  • Stained teeth
  • Loose/broken teeth
  • Lethargy, weight loss
  • Excessive salivation
  • Swelling on the face

Almost all animals will suffer from dental disease at some point. The main breeds that have issues are Pugs, Yorkies, Shelties, Chihuahuas, Cavalier King Charles, Greyhounds, Dachshunds, Maltese, Chinese Cresteds, and Poodles. A lot of cats have dental problems as well due to the smaller mouths and having a primarily wet food diet. About 70% of cats and 80% of dogs 3 years and older have oral diseases. If you do not treat the problem it can lead to pain, emaciation, tooth loss, sinus infections, sepsis and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can contribute to or increase the risk of infection of heart/lungs/kidneys, heart failure, cancer, arthritis and spinal disease.

Some good preventatives are to brush your pet’s teeth every day, have regular oral exams/cleanings, feel a quality pet food, and offer safe toys/treats for daily chewing. If you happen to notice any of the above symptoms in your pet, it’s a good idea to call your local veterinarian and set up an animal dentist appointment. Practicing proper pet dental care will increase your pets lifespan and overall quality of life.