Antifreeze poisoning (Ethylene glycol)




Although we generally think of small animals such as cats and dogs as being the victims of antifreeze poison, it can occur in ruminants like goats just as well. The sweet taste of this liquid is attractive to most animals. Signs begin to occur an hour or two after ingestion: the animal will appear "drunk" with a staggering gait and show excess thirst, excess urination, rapid pulse and respiration. In an "acute" case, these will lead to coma and death. On the other hand, there may appear to be a brief recovery, which can be followed by gross kidney failure, depression, loss of appetite, gastritis, and then coma and death. In ruminants, emphasis will be on rapid breathing, incoordination and paralysis, bloody urine, recumbancy and then death.
Other diseases to consider:

Difficulty rating:   [bold type applies]

DEFINITELY a matter for your veterinarian
Do these things until you can reach the vet
You may be able to handle it youself; for the moderately experienced
Fairly simple; give it a try!

Treatment options:

If noticed right away one should try to administer some form of activated charcoal and possibly some baking soda. If you have them on hand, IV or SQ fluids can be started. Then it's off to the vet with all haste; NO exceptions! This is a real serious situation.

Some of the newer, "environmental friendly" brands of antifreeze are made from propylene glycol. These are highly recommended where there is any danger of animals coming into contact with spilled or leaking antifreeze. Should you observe accidental ingestion, check with your vet regarding possible problems.
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