Winter warning for cat owners amid poisoning risk


With the temperatures dropping and winter approaching, we’re asking cat owners to be vigilant of poisoning risks which are particularly common at this time of year.

The ingestion of anti-freeze can lead to acute renal failure (ARF) in cats, and is more of a risk throughout the winter months when people are using anti-freeze 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.

One of the main causes of ARF is ethylene glycol toxicity, which is found in anti-freeze, screen wash, brake fluid, coolants and some kinds of ink.

We advise 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
  • Seizures
  • 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.