Poisoning warning following admission of cats with acute renal failure

Black cat

We are asking our clients to be extra vigilant following recent admissions of cats presenting Acute Renal Failure (ARF).  This condition can have many causes, one of the main ones is ethylene glycol toxicity, which is found in anti-freeze, screen wash, brake fluid, coolants and some kinds of ink.

The ingestion of anti-freeze and following presentation of ARF tend to be something that is more common throughout the winter months when people are using antifreeze in cars.  Due to its sweet taste, pets can drink water containing the chemical, without even realising.  They can even lie in it and accidentally ingest the toxin when grooming themselves.

At the moment, our concern is some patients who have presented with ARF seem to have signs of anti-freeze ingestion. For this reason, we are asking pet owners to ensure animals don’t have access to areas where these products are stored, for example, a garage, and to be aware of the symptoms so immediate veterinary care can be sought if it is thought a pet may have come into contact with it.

Clinical Signs:

Ataxia – walking as if they are drunk

Increased respiratory rate


Drinking lots

Urinating lots or not urinating at all

If you are worried your pet is showing any of the above signs, or you know that they have come into contact with products containing ethylene glycol, please contact our emergency services on 01924 465592. 

Veterinary care is available at our Dewsbury hospital 24/7, 365 days a year.