Poisonous Antifreeze: How to Save Your Pets

toto2810 By toto2810, 27th Feb 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3f_qgq7h/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Tips & Advice

The toxic effects of antifreeze, a substance that takes the lives of thousands of pets each year.

A Quick Antidote

Thousands of beloved dogs and cats each year die from ingesting the toxic yet common substances known as antifreeze. Most antifreeze consist of a chemical named ethylene glycol, which is a type of alcohol. This ethylene glycol has a sweet taste which proves enticing to curious pets. In some rare cases, young children who are vulnerable to the toxic effects of antifreeze have consumed the liquid due to curiosity just as most pets do.

Most pets are exposed to antifreeze that is either improperly stored or some that may have leaked out of a car radiator. There are multiple stages to the toxic compounds effects. In the first stage the poisoning resembles drunkenness. Due to the fact that ethylene glycol is an alcohol, it affects the the central nervous system just as a normal alcoholic beverage would. The second stage occurs once the substances begins to be metabolized. The liver oxidizes the alcohol into glycolic acid, which can enter the bloodstream. This acid can alter the pH of the bloodstream which is very specific in order for certain proteins to function properly.

In minute quantities, buffers in the blood can counter act the acidity of glycolic acid to keep the pH of the blood at its normal pH between 7.36 and 7.42. Unfortunately, in common quantities of consumed antifreeze the amount of glycolic acid is enough to overpower the buffering capabilities of blood. This causes the pH of blood to drop to dangerous levels.

Low blood pH results in a condition called acidosis. Acidosis is when the hemoglobin in blood has a reduced ability to carry oxygen due to its acidic surroundings. Some symptoms of this condition would be the hyperventilation of the specimen in attempts to over compensate for the lack of oxygen in the blood.

Lucky, there is one form of treatment that if administered in time may save your pet. Believe it or not the administration of ethyl alcohol, the alcohol in alcoholic beverages, can save your pets life. Since the two substances are so similar and the liver has a higher affinity for the ethyl alcohol, the toxic ethylene glycol is allowed to pass through the body unmetabolized. The unmetabolized substances can then be excreted in the urine.

Tags

Antifreeze, Cat, Death, Dog, Pet Safe Antifreeze, Pets, Poison, Poisoning

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author avatar toto2810
I write about what i learn in college.

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