Ali'i Veterinary Hospital

75-349 Hualalai Road
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740


Antifreeze/Radiator Coolant

A lot of people use antifreeze as a radiator coolant.  Most brands of antifreeze are very toxic to the kidneys.  Cats and dogs often like the sweet taste of antifreeze, and it only takes a small amount to cause death due to kidney failure. 

The keys to successful treatment of antifreeze poisoning are early detection and aggressive treatment.  Unfortunately, catching it early is not always easy.  There are some symptoms that you can watch for:

1) Wobbliness, walking around acting a bit drunk
2) Drinking a lot of water
3) Vomiting
4) Refusing to eat
5) Not wanting to get up

If there is a chance that your pet got exposed to antifreeze, seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY.

The best treatment is PREVENTION.  At home, make sure that your radiator does not leak and that you store any antifreeze containers out of the reach of your pets.  If you do have a radiator leak, soak up the antifreeze liquid into paper towels and throw the material away or throw cat litter or dirt over the leak, then sweep up the material and dispose of it into a sealed trash can.