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Saving Pets from Accidental Antifreeze Exposure

LouiseChoosing the right antifreeze for your vehicle may be an important choice, but choosing the right one to fit your lifestyle is equally significant. If you have pets, you must be cautious when handling antifreeze/coolant. Accidental ingestion can have serious consequences, says Roberta Facinelli.

"Even a small amount of antifreeze can be deadly to animals. Yet often the symptoms of antifreeze poisoning - which include a drunken appearance, staggering, lack of coordination and disorientation - don't show up until hours later. That's why prevention is the best course of action."

Dr. David Staudacher is a veterinarian with Veterinary Medical Associates in Canton, Connecticut. He says, "Handling antifreeze properly is crucial to your pet's health. Maintain your cooling system to eliminate leaks, clean up any spills immediately, store unused antifreeze away from the reach of animals and children, and use a lower toxicity propylene glycol-based antifreeze. A product like Prestone LowTox Antifreeze/Coolant provides an added margin of safety in the event of accidental ingestion."

Dr. Staudacher says, if you even suspect your pet has ingested antifreeze, you must get it to a veterinarian immediately. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline can also give you information.
The number is 888-426-4435