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Public Works

Animal Control Division

Helpful Tips 

Antifreeze Dangers

For a medium sized dog, ingestion of about 2 ounces (3-4 tablespoons ) is toxic. For cats, as little as 1/4 of an ounce (1-2 teaspoons) can be lethal.

With the approach of winter most car owners will change out or add to the antifreeze in their vehicle's radiator, or use an antifreeze in their RV/camper drains or septic tank. The main ingredient in antifreeze is ethylene glycol, an extremely toxic poison that causes kidney failure which is often fatal in just a few days. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that dogs and cats like and if they find antifreeze they will drink it. Even a small amount of antifreeze can be fatal. If a cat walks through a puddle of antifreeze and then licks its paws, it can ingest enough antifreeze to cause death. About 3-4 tablespoons can kill a medium sized dog. If you see or suspect your dog has ingested antifreeze contact a veterinarian immediately, or rush your pet to an emergency vet clinic. In order to prevent the ethylene glycol from being absorbed into the liver your veterinarian will administer an IV of ethanol which counters the affect of the deadly ethylene glycol. The earlier treatment is started the greater the chance of survival. Once kidney failure develops, most pets will die.


The symptoms of antifreeze poisoning depend upon the time after ingestion. Symptoms can begin as soon as 30 minutes after the antifreeze has been ingested and may last about 12 hours.

The first symptoms are:

  • depressed behavior (laying still or the pet has no interest in what is happening around it) vomiting staggering, wobbling, appearing drunk tremors or seizures increased thirst requent urination.

After the first stage the pet may appear to feel better but in a day or two get much worse as the kidneys begin to fail. The amount of urine passed will often decrease to a very small amount. At this point, the liver will have broken down the ethylene glycol, the active ingredient in antifreeze, changing it into more toxic substances. Further symptoms may not be noticeable for days and irreparable damage may be occurring. Vomiting may reoccur, as well as loss of appetite, dehydration, inability to urinate, salivation, seizures, mouth ulcers, coma and death.The diagnosis of antifreeze poisoning is made by blood and urine tests although some of these tests become negative by the time kidney failure develops.


Pets who suffer kidney failure due to antifreeze poisoning can occasionally be saved with aggressive treatment. Some specialty veterinary practices offer dialysis which can be used to remove waste products that are not being removed by the diseased kidneys in an effort to keep the pet alive in hopes of giving the kidneys a chance to repair. Whether the kidneys will repair themselves or not depends on how severely they are injured. Unfortunately the kidney damage caused by antifreeze is usually very severe and irreversible. Kidney transplants have been performed in dogs and cats but not all are good candidates for this type of surgery, and lack of donor organs may prevent those that are good candidates from having the surgery. This is an extreme measure and the expense is usually above what the average pet owner usually can afford.


When purchasing and using antifreeze, always keep the welfare and health of your pet in mind.

Prevention Tips

Keep both new and used antifreeze in a sealed container, out of reach of pets. Wipe any drips from the sides of the container before you store it. Properly dispose of all empty antifreeze containers and any rags used for wiping. Immediately clean up any spills of antifreeze on driveways and other hard surfaces. Antifreeze should never be drained onto the ground where it can leave a puddle. Another source of antifreeze are the decorative "snow globes" glassware. The liquid in the the globes contain 2% antifreeze and is very toxic. There are several types of antifreeze on the market now that are propylene glycol based. Propylene glycol, although not entirely nontoxic, is considerably less toxic than the ethylene glycol based antifreezes.

There are several nationally available propylene glycol antifreezes on the market, including:

  • Sierra (Safe Brands Corp., 1-800-289-7234) Sta-Clean (Sta-Clean Products, 1-800-825-3464
  • Prestone LowTox® Antifreeze/Coolant-available at most automotive stores and department
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Dangerous & Unhealthy Dog Food Treats

Rawhides and dog treats- Hooves and other treats are generally NOT recommended. Most rawhides have chemical that cause cancer .But if you do still want to use them from time to time as a treat it is important that if you do give them that they are of the highest grade and US manufactured. Therefore make sure you buy ones made in the USA and are UNBLEACHED. Do not buy the white ones as they are full of chemicals. Good quality rawhide should only get gooey and gum up when chewed, never chip off. If they chip -the chips can get lodged in the little dip in their esophagus and they can choke on that. As many as 40% of all dogs are allergic to cow skin rawhide chews.

NEVER give Cow Hooves! They splinter and sharp pieces have killed many dogs. Better alternatives are pig ears, nylabones, and American made bully sticks - however ALWAYS be with your pet when they are eating these as there is always a danger of a piece breaking off and splitting. Nylarbones are not detectable on an x-ray. Also when giving Pigs/Cows ears it's best to give basted or natural - NOT SMOKED. That puts a carcinogenic coating on it. Unbleach/natural lambs ears are another better choice. Always supervise your pet when chewing these types of things.

Greenies - are the latest popular treat to become deadly. It is found that they can be slippery and if a piece slides down the throat the dog can die. Also some animals are having problems digesting. For now we recommend you avoid them till further changes are made. Also supervise any chew treats! Also read labels. Many commercial dog treats contain: BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin & propylene glycol– and corn syrups/sugars that cause cancer. Do NOT use treats with ANY OF THESE THINGS!

Safe Alternatives -  Kong Toys - the 3 hole Kong Goodie Ships and other Stuffable Hard Rubber Toys. Fill them with frozen meat, cheese, and peanut butter for a long lasting safe treat. Also give your dog frozen carrots to naturally clean teeth. Organic carrots are best, if not scrub and wash well and then freeze.

Very bad but not 'dangerous foods and treats include anything with Corn Syrup** and Sugar. Honey & Molasses is ok in small doses.  Read more on food on this site dogfoodproject. Most treats and food sold in supermarkets are what are making our animals die young and get cancer and diabetes. READ the LABLES!

Corn Syrup**
When a dog becomes hypoglycemic it's okay to use corn syrup for emergencies - especially for diabetic dogs.

When in doubt check the web and research before giving any food or just avoid it!


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Contact Us

Bossier City Animal Control
3217 Old Shed Rd
P.O. Box 5337
Bossier City, LA 71171-5337
Phone: 318.741.8499
Fax: 318.741.8494

Kay LaBorde, Supervisor

Office Hours M - F: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Adoption Hours M - F: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

After hours emergencies call Bossier City Police Dept. (318)-741-8610