Vets have issued a warning to pet owners over Antifreeze as the Met Office issues yellow weather alerts for snow and ice. 

Snow started to fall in parts of Suffolk on Tuesday morning.

The warning follows a statement from Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge, who said: “Temperatures will be much, much colder than we would expect at this time of year.

“The pattern will set in for some time. We have got this feed of cold air coming in from a much higher latitude.

This is why you should never feed chocolate to your dogs

“We expect these conditions to remain in place until at least next weekend and possibly longer because sometimes these conditions can be quite stubborn and not easily subject to change.”

Is Antifreeze poisonous to dogs?

VetsNow has now urged owners to be cautious that their dogs and cats don't consume any of one of the "most life-threatening poisonings that vets see"  amid the cold snap.

Head of telehealth at VetsNow said: “Antifreeze is extremely harmful to animals, even a very small amount of it is very toxic to the kidneys and unfortunately is quite often fatal. 

"Just one 5ml teaspoon could be enough to kill a cat and a tablespoon could be fatal for dogs. 

“As temperatures drop, drivers will be reaching for the anti-freeze more than ever, so it’s critical to be aware of the hidden dangers.  

“One of the main ingredients in anti-freeze is ethylene glycol, which is extremely toxic. With a very sweet taste, it makes it very palatable to animals, so it’s really important when using it to minimise spillages as much as possible. Even small amounts in a contaminated puddle of water could be enough to poison a cat. 

“Leaks from screen wash containers or car radiators should be quickly cleaned up and thoroughly washed away with a hose or buckets of water. It’s also worth informing your neighbours as many people won’t be aware it is so toxic. 

“There is some hope as there is a safer alternative to anti-freeze with Ethylene glycol - Propylene glycol anti-freeze. It is more expensive, but safe for pets and other wildlife, so could be worth the extra investment to avoid anti-freeze poisoning.” 

What are the symptoms of Antifreeze poisoning in cats and dogs?

VetsNow has also outlined three stages of Antifreeze poisoning that you should be aware of.

The pet experts have stressed that the length of time it takes for all of these symptoms to appear can vary depending on how much your pet has consumed.

In the early stages, Antifreeze reportedly has similar effects to alcohol.

If treatment is to be effective it needs to be started no later than stage two, according to VetsNow.

Prognosis worsens rapidly with time since exposure, the experts explained.

The three stages are outlined below and the signs that owners should be on the look out for are:

Stage 1 

30 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion.

The first sign you’ll see is likely to be wobbliness or falling over as if drunk.

They may become sleepy and the back and kidney area can also become painful.

Your pet may be vomiting and thirsty and they may also urinate frequently. 

Stage 2

Between 12 and 24 hours after ingestion

Your pet may appear to recover from the immediate symptoms only for them to worsen again as the ethylene glycol works its way through their body. 

Stage 3

24 – 36+ hours

Severe acute kidney failure occurs.

Among the symptoms in the third stage are severe depression, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling, halitosis, seizures and collapse.