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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2813
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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Suspect cat consumed antifreez - what should be done?

Customer Question

suspect cat consumed antifreez - what should be done?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.


I'm Dr. Jo. Time is of the essence. It takes only a small amount of antifreeze to cause lethal poisoning, and if you wait until your cat is having problems, it is too late for treatment. The most important thing to do is to get her to emergency care as quickly as possible. If it will take more than an hour to get her to the ER, you can attempt to induce vomiting at home first, but this is not a very good plan as it can be harmful, too, but more often doesn't work.

I'll explain more, but I wanted to get this information in your hands as quickly as possible. ANTIFREEZE INGESTION IS AN EMERGENCY!

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

It's important to stress that it only takes a tiny amount of antifreeze to be lethal, and that the only chance for successful treatment is if you see the ingestion (or suspected ingestion) occur and are able to take immediate action to make her throw up and start aggressive treatment with charcoal and IV fluids right away.

This is a poison that works very quickly.

When a dog or cat with antifreeze ingestion comes in to the ER already collapsed and vomiting, the typical recommendation at that time is for euthanasia. Once they're showing signs it's too late.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

While this article is written about dogs, the information all applies to cats as well. I'm sorry this is such a scary and dangerous situation, but I want to be sure you have the information you need.

Please do take a moment when you have the chance to let me know how things turn out. I'll be thinking about you.

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Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.


Just checking in to ask how things have been going with your cat. I've been very worried because antifreeze is such a severe toxin.

Thank you,

Dr. Jo