With the colder weather being very much upon us, we’re all having to clear the ice from our cars already! Please do be aware that if you’re using any de-icing substances, these can be dangerous to your and your neighbour’s pets. Cats are especially prone as they have greater access to puddles by the side of the road.

Lots of car de-icers contain ethylene glycol which is toxic to cats and dogs. Unfortunately de-icer appears to be tasty to animals so they do tend to lick spillages, and ingestion can lead to severe kidney damage which can be fatal.

If you suspect your pet has ingested de-icer or you’re seeing any symptoms such as twitchy muscles, lethargy, vomiting, excessive drinking, panting, seizures, or collapse – get your pet to a vet ASAP. Treatment is more effective the sooner it is given.

Remember to use SPEED if you think an animal has been poisoned:

STOP the animal from ingesting any more poison

PHONE the vets

EMERGENCY appointment

EVIDENCE – bring labels/samples/vomit (safely, if possible)

DON’T delay!

To avoid using de-icer, you can use a scraper instead, cover your windscreen at night, or use lukewarm water on your windscreen to melt the ice.

Anti-freeze which is added to car engine radiators also contains ethylene glycol, so take care if adding this to your car’s coolant system or if draining the car’s radiator to dispose of it safely.

Grit and salt used to thaw ice on roads and paths is mostly composed of chloride combined with sodium, calcium, magnesium or potassium, they may also contain ferrocyanide salts. Unlike table salt, they may contain other contaminants, including heavy metals depending on where they are sourced. If paws are not washed off then dogs can suffer from painful burning and cracked and dried out pads from walking on salt-treated roads and pavements. This can also cause serious irritation and inflammation in the mouth and digestive system by licking their pads. So it’s best to check your pet’s paws when they come inside and wash and dry them if needs be.

If you’re worried about your pet at any point, give us a call on 0115 922 4855.