A vet nurse has warned of the dangers of pets being poisoned by antifreeze after her own cat died from it.
Jody Blyth-Tancock, a nurse at the Animal Health Trust in Kentford, returned to her Mildenhall home to find her eight-year-old Bengal-cross cat, Marshal, acting strangely.
She suspected he had a sprain due to a fall but when he did not improve over 24 hours, she took him to the AHT’s Small Animal Centre where tests revealed his kidneys were starting to fail. In spite of treatment, he had to be put down.
Jody said: “The last thing I would have suspected was antifreeze poisoning, particularly as the cold weather was yet to hit. It was heart-breaking to watch him deteriorate so rapidly, and highlights how quickly you have to act when poisoning is suspected.
“I just hope that Marshal’s death will not be in vain and his story will help to avoid other animals suffering the same fate, and save other pet owners from suffering the heartbreak of losing their beloved pet.”
The main toxin in antifreeze is ethylene glycol which has a sweet taste, tempting animals to lick it if it is on their paws or drink when they find an open container.
The trust says just a few spilt drops can cause serious harm to cats and dogs and urges owners to learn the Key signs of antifreeze poisoning. They include vomiting, seizures (fits), increased urination and excessive drinking.
A trust spokeswoman added: “If you suspect your pet has ingested a poisonous substance contact your vet as quickly as possible.
“To ensure you’re not responsible for antifreeze poisoning in animals, please keep your car checked regularly for leaks, and keep antifreeze bottles out of the reach of pets.”
For further advice and an antifreeze warning poster, featuring Marshal. visit www.aht.org.uk/antifreeze