With the dropping temperatures, our mud to ice to mud pattern and a layer of snow, watch out for the following items near your pets. These compounds can become deadly to our pets in a hurry and may seem harmless on the outside to most.
To start, let’s discuss the classic killer, Ethylene Glycol. Ethylene glycol is the deadly compound found most often in antifreeze that can lead to death of your pet. Ethylene glycol is absorbed very quickly, within the first one to four hours, after ingestion and treatment needs to be started within the first twelve hours. Bittering agents are commonly added to antifreeze products to deter consumption, especially by children, but that may not stop our dogs and cats. Affected animals can appear drowsy and stagger when walking. They experience rapid kidney failure and metabolic disturbances.
Next are de-icing agents. De-icers come in many confusing chemical forms and some with larger hazards than others. Sodium Chloride based salts are very common and very effective but ingesting small amounts can lead to vomiting and/or diarrhea and large amounts can cause very dangerous salt overdoses. Potassium and magnesium-based salts are also very good at their job and can also lead to vomiting and/or diarrhea (maybe bloody) in pets who eat them. Calcium based salts also fall in the category of causing vomiting and/or diarrhea but can cause chemical burns on skin, especially their feet. Pet safe products are typically made from urea and are significantly safer than then those listed above but can still lead to significant illness when pets eat large amount of them. Beware, urea-based ice melts could be very dangerous for livestock such as cattle, sheep, and goats.
With this week’s frigid temperatures, watch out for your pets’ well-being, avoid chemical exposure, keep their water warm and plentiful and beware of frostbite!