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Beware of Glycol, it's toxic to cats

Glycol, or ethylene glycol as it is actually called, is found in coolants and flushing fluids, among other things. It is odourless but has a sweet taste and can therefore be tempting for cats to lick it. It is very dangerous for a cat to ingest glycol and even a very small amount can unfortunately be fatal for a cat, often leading to such severe poisoning that the cat can die.

Glycol is converted in the body into substances that cause kidney damage in cats and also affect the cat's nervous system and heart. If the cat ingests glycol, it can cause acute symptoms such as wobbliness, vomiting, weakness and cramps. Increased thirst and urination is another symptom of the kidney damage that occurs. The general condition of a cat can change relatively quickly and they can sometimes give the impression that they are cold or intoxicated during the poisoning. After the first initial stage of poisoning, it is sometimes possible to see an improvement in their cats, but this often only lasts for a short period before things take a turn for the worse and the cat may have an increased heart rate and difficulty breathing. Within a few days of ingestion, the effects of the poisoning may be so severe that the cat is unable to cope.

As with many other poisonings in cats, glycol poisoning is similar to other poisonings in that the symptoms are similar. Therefore, if glycol poisoning is suspected, you should always go straight to the vet for an examination and possible diagnosis. Glycol is absorbed very quickly by the body, so prompt treatment including IV fluids in cats is crucial for a possible recovery.

We recommend that you always place liquids containing glycol in a place in your home that your cat cannot access! Also be careful to wash away any spillage of glycol liquid.

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