During the winter you must be extra wary about your dog’s safety. This season poses two significant risks for doggies. First rock salt, which is spread out to keep roads safe, and antifreeze used to guard car engines coolant against freezing.
Canines can consume food containing salt, but only in moderation. There’s a common misconception, however. The concern is regarding rock salt’s safety. No, they are not comparable to table salt in terms of harmlessness.
Although rock salt is made up mostly of the same ingredients present in table salt, it also contains harmful chemicals. These include magnesium, which is toxic to dogs.
If your pet has consumed an elaborate amount of rock salt, poisoning will most definitely happen. Symptoms include the following:
- Excessive release of saliva
- Excessive drinking
- Sore and ouchie paws
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
Fortunately there ways for you to safeguard your pet from rock salt. First, you can reduce the amount of fur present between your dog’s toes. Removing this extra fur will minimize snow accumulation in these nooks.
Washing your dog’s feet each time you return indoors is also recommended. To be extra sure, you might even want to thoroughly bath your pup every time you come in from your walks outside.
Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol (EG). If ingested, this chemical turns into oxalic acid, which mixes with calcium in your pup’s bloodstream. This mixture causes the creation of calcium oxalate crystals, which have to pass through the kidney. This action can cause kidney damage.
The primary symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include the following:
- Extreme pain
- Gastric irritation
Antifreeze poisoning manifests in three stages. The first stage happens after an hour of exposure. These symptoms will continue for about 10 hours.
Stage 1 Symptoms show up about 1 hour after the dog eating the antifreeze. They may last 10 hours. Watch out for poor coordination, stupor, excessive thirst and urination, stumbling and convulsions, and low body temperature, among others.
Stage 2 happens from the 12th to the 14th hour of exposure. At this stage, the symptoms typically come and go. Some dogs might even seem relatively “normal” from time to time.
Such could be deceptive, so watch out for symptoms like rapid breathing, dehydration, fast heart rate, and worsening weakness.
If not treated, these symptoms will then progress to stage 3. Dogs Show signs of poisoning at this stage during the 24th and 72nd hours of exposure.
Symptoms, aside from those already mentioned, will include the following:
- Severe pain in the abdominal area due to compromised renal function
- Swelling of the kidneys
- Oliguria or reduced urine production
- Anuria or halted urine production
- Anorexia or refusal to eat
- Ulcers in the mouth
- Mouth pain
- Nystagmus or irregular eye movements
Unfortunately, most vehicles use antifreeze. Come summer or springtime these are flushed outdoors. The best prevention for your pup is to limit their exposure. Keep them from wandering outside on their own.
On your end, keep antifreeze products out of reach. More importantly, dispose of antifreeze responsibly, for the sake of your pet as well as those of your neighbors.