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Pets in danger from rock salt scattered by gritters in big freeze

Posted on - 18th January, 2013 - 3:07pm | Author - | Posted in - News

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Although Preston has not yet been hit with the worst of the snowfall covering much of the country here is some timely advice for pet owners from the RSPCA.

The winter weather means roads are gritted. Pet owners walk their dogs through all the stuff left by gritters, but  did you know this can be harmful to your dog?

Cats will walk through substances left by car owners trying to de-ice their cars and then licking them off their paws. This can be deadly for your cat.

The RSPCA states that hundreds of pets become seriously ill and in some cases die because of the rock salt and antifreeze being used during the cold snap.

If a dog (or cat) eats rock salt spread by the gritters this can cause dehydration, liver failure and pancreatitis. Antifreeze, used by car owners contains the chemical ethylene glycol, which can be lethal when ingested.

The RSPCA said receives hundreds of calls about cases involving cats and dogs during the winter period. They see many cases where cats have died due to antifreeze poisoning and dogs died after licking rock salt off their paws.

The charity urges all car owners to take extra care when using antifreeze and mop up any spillages and if you own a pet, clean the animals’ paws if they have been outside.

It advises that symptoms of ingesting antifreeze include vomiting, seizures, appearing sleepy and a heightened breathing rate. Symptoms of eating rock salt include burns to the mouth and throat and excessive salivating and drinking.

Seek help from a vet immediately if you suspect your pet may have been in contact with the substances or if they see warning signs or symptoms. The sooner they are treated, the better their chances of surviving.

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