Poisoning with agents containing ethylene glycol (EG) (antifreeze; aircraft de-icer;
solvents; hydraulic brake fluids; windshield washer fluids; agents in condensers, heat exchangers, and home solar units).1,2 EG is also used in portable basketball goal post bases and toilets of recreational vehicles/ homes in colder climes.
Systems. Gastrointestinal tract, CNS, cardiopulmonary, and renal. Vomiting usually within the first few hours; CNS depression, ataxia, weakness, tachypnea, polyuria/polydipsia occur within 1 to 6 hours. By 18 to 36 hours, acute renal failure develops.3,5
Relative Species Sensitivity
Most Sensitive: cat, rabbit, human
Moderately Sensitive: dog, cattle, pig, rodent
Least Sensitive: fish, poultry
Toxic Doses. Toxic dose has not been established. Lethal dose of undiluted antifreeze (95-97%) by volume is 4.4 to 6.6 ml/kg (dogs) and 1.4 ml/kg (cats).2,5 Most acute toxicity data based on doses causing early death (acidosis/intoxication) do not account for animals surviving initial stages that later succumb to kidney failure. Thus, any suspected exposure should be considered potential toxicosis, with steps to determine extent. When in doubt, treat as toxic.
- Exposure/possible exposure
- Roaming or unsupervised animal
- Evidence of exposure (radiator leaks, chewed container)
- Vomiting, lethargy, ataxia
- Fluorescence under Wood's lamp of urine, stomach contents, paws/muzzle