Vets in Stanley, County Durham have issued a warning to pet owners after three cats in the area died of suspected antifreeze poisoning.

Louise and Dianne
Vet Louise Hallmark with Tyrion’s owner Dianne Cunningham.

The warning comes after owner Dianne Cunningham needed to have her cat Tyrion euthanised after the two-year-old tabby suffered kidney failure.

Ms Cunningham took Tyrion to Value Vets in Stanley, where vet Louise Allmark immediately suspected he had ingested deadly antifreeze, but it was too late to save him.

Recent cases

Two other cats have recently suffered the same fate. A cat belonging to Ms Cunningham’s neighbour was killed, while a tabby and white female called Boo also had to be euthanised after suspected antifreeze poisoning.

Ms Cunningham said: “He came in last Monday and wasn’t very well. Later that night he started crying like a baby, jumped on to the bed next to me and slept all night. He could hardly walk the next morning, was drinking constantly and looked as though he was in horrendous pain.

“I took Tyrion to Value Vets, where Louise put him on a drip. He was then taken to its main veterinary hospital in Newcastle, but nothing could be done to save him. His kidneys were so badly damaged.

“It has devastated us as a family and the house is so quiet without him. I don’t want anybody else to go through this and would urge anyone who has antifreeze to be cautious. Please wipe up if you spill any and keep it out of reach of pets.”

Serious symptoms

Early symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include:

  • increased drinking and urination
  • nausea and vomiting
  • mild to severe depression
  • wobbly and uncoordinated movement
  • seizures

Dr Allmark said: “Antifreeze is sweet tasting, but causes tremendous suffering if ingested, so we would urge people to be extremely cautious.

“By the time symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, unsteadiness and coma occur, it is often too late to treat cats. People who have antifreeze in their garage or shed should ensure cats do not have access to it and immediately clean up any spillages.

“Anyone who believes their cat may have swallowed poison should seek veterinary attention without delay. If we can treat pets quickly after ingestion, the better the chance of survival.”

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