Ethylene glycol toxicosis is a type of poisoning that occurs after ingestion of antifreeze or other fluids containing the ingredient ethylene glycol.

Ethylene glycol itself is not toxic, but it is metabolized in the animal’s body to several extremely toxic chemicals that are responsible for its lethal effects. Ethylene glycol poisoning results in nervous system abnormalities and severe kidney failure with almost complete cessation of urine output.

Ethylene glycol poisoning can be fatal if not treated soon after ingestion (within 4 to 8 hours). The minimum lethal dose for dogs averages five milliliters per kilogram of body weight. Thus, a little more than three tablespoons (or 45 milliliters) could be lethal for a 22 pound (10 kg) dog.

Definitive treatment should be started as soon as possible after consumption of ethylene glycol (within a few hours). If treated promptly and appropriately, pets that have consumed ethylene glycol will not develop kidney failure and have a good chance of survival.

Signs to watch for include: nausea, vomiting, increased thirst, lethargy and incoordination progressing to coma. Pets may act as if they are intoxicated. These signs develop within 30 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion of ethylene glycol depending on the amount ingested.

This is a true emergency. Get your pet to us asap!