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Ice Melt Toxicity In Pets: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment And Recovery

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While ice melt is necessary for our protection, it can cause health problems for your pets. Ingestion of ice melt salt, either while outside or after a stroll when pets clean their paws, is a health risk for pets. Walking on small salt rocks can also cause paw irritation, particularly if the paws are dry and cracked from the cold winter air. The pets are at risk because of ice melters available in the market; even homemade ice melter solutions are not safe for pets.

What Is Toxicity From Ice Melt? 

Ice-melting products include a toxic mix of various chemicals. Sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, and calcium chloride are some common examples. Even homemade ice melter with table salt or kosher salt is equally harmful to pets.

When a pet eats ice melt, the chemicals produce an electrolyte imbalance in the body. Many pets will develop gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhea, and vomiting even if only a tiny amount of ice melt is swallowed. Dehydration, weakness, increased heart rate, confusion, staggering, tremors, and seizures are other symptoms of ice melt toxicity. Ice melt can cause discomfort, burning, and dryness when it comes into touch with a pet’s nose, skin, or paws.

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Treatment And Recovery

If you suspect your pet has swallowed ice melts, you should contact a veterinarian right away. If possible, bring a list of ingredients in the ice melts to your veterinary facility. 

Some tests like a complete blood count, urine, and biochemistry panel will be conducted. The function of the kidneys will also be assessed and constantly monitored.

Depending on the condition of your pet medications like anticonvulsant drugs for stopping seizures or topical ointments for skin irritation can be prescribed.

Intravenous fluids, nutritional assistance, anti-seizure, anti-nausea, and anti-diarrhea drugs are all possible treatments for ice melts toxicity. 

If the poisons are remaining in your pet’s stomach, activated charcoal may help. It absorbs toxins and safely flushes them from your pet’s system.

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While your pet is healing from ice melts poisoning, ensure that they have enough fresh, clean water. Following ice melt toxicity, your pet will need to rest and recover. Your pet may suffer long-term complications such as kidney damage if the toxin level is high enough.

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How To Avoid Ice Melt Toxicity

  • Use a salt-free, natural ice melt that is free from toxic elements.
  • Proper supervision and awareness are two of the most crucial components in avoiding pet poisoning. 
  • Avoid letting your pet stick its snout in the snow or slush, as well as eating or drinking snow/ice melt from puddles and ditches. 
  • When coming from the outside, gently wipe your pet’s feet, legs, and paws with a warm, damp washcloth. 

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As winter arrives, we start stocking our supply of ice melt for concrete without paying much attention to its ingredients. Any chloride ice melt has the potential to cause injury. The most common adverse effects of ice melt exposure include gastrointestinal discomfort and local skin irritation. But there is the possibility of more significant, life-threatening side effects. 

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