Just saw the first Ask a Vet video with Shari from Aspenwood Animal Hospital and WOW! It’s great and I am excited to see them each month. Is anti-freeze really as bad for pets as I have heard? What, if any, ice melting products are safe to use on walks?
Anti-freeze is extremely dangerous to pets. It will cause severe kidney damage. After ingestion clinical signs progress quickly and, unfortunately, often lead to the death of the patient.
Sidewalk de-icers generally are calcium carbonate, calcium magnesium acetate or chloride salts of potassium, magnesium, and sodium. Of this group, calcium salts pose the most hazard if ingested or allowed to stay on the skin, as they can be severe irritants. There are also urea-based de-icers–many of these are labeled ‘pet safe” because from a toxicity standpoint, they cause less gastrointestinal or skin irritation than the others. However, if ingested, you can see gastrointestinal upset. In rare instances, sufficient salt may be ingested to cause severe gastrointestinal and electrolyte abnormalities.
Hope this helps!
Kelly McCarty, DVM