Protecting our pets this winter!

Is Rock Salt really that dangerous?

The short answer is yes!

Rock salt can be highly toxic to animals such as cats and dogs, and is very easy for them to digest by licking their paws after being out in area which have been spread with grit. Rock salt is used primarily as a de-icing tool to help stop roads from becoming dangerous in the cold temperatures of the winter months. While useful for us, for our pets could become very ill, even resulting in death.


In most cases, the pet becomes extremely thirsty and lethargic. Your pet may also start to vomit. In severe cases, rock salt poisoning can result in kidney damage.

If you suspect your pet may have rock salt poisoning please contact your veterinary practice immediately.


Prevention is always better than cure!

Always wash your pet’s paws when they come back to the house after a walk where they may have come into contact with rock salt. Rock salt can be highly irritating to our animal companions when it gets between their toes, therefore washing their paws with pet friendly shampoo and some warm water is all it takes to prevent this unpleasant sickness.


What about Antifreeze?

Antifreeze is another common cause of poisoning in our pets as Antifreeze contains Ethylene glycol which to our pets is quite sweet tasting but also extremely poisonous - even the smallest amount ingested can lead to a fatality.


Common signs of antifreeze poisoning in dogs and cats can include:

-       wobbly, uncoordinated movement,

-       vomiting

-       seeming depressed/sleep

-       seizures and ‘fitting’

-       difficulty breathing

These symptoms can be displayed 30 minutes after ingestion but it can be up to two/three days before signs of kidney failure are seen. If you suspect your pet has been poisoned by Antifreeze seek help from your vet immediately.


Take the following simple precautions to prevent Antifreeze poisoning:

·         Take care when using antifreeze not to spill. If it is spilled, clean it up immediately and thoroughly, ensuring your pet can not access the area until it is safe.

·         Make sure any empty antifreeze containers, antifreeze and water coolants are disposed of correctly and not left when they might be found by your pet.

·         Keep your antifreeze tightly closed and stored out of reach of your pets in clearly labelled and suitable containers.


 For further advice about rock salt or antifreeze poisoning please contact your veterinary practice.

Protecting our pets this winter!

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