How do you make antifreeze? |

How do you make antifreeze?

I’m sure you have probably heard this joke, but when we were cleaning out the garage I happened upon an old bottle of antifreeze. I asked my husband if he knew how to make antifreeze. He looked puzzled and said, “How?” I replied, “You take away her blanket.” Okay, that’s a lame joke, but antifreeze is actually a very dangerous substance for dogs and cats to ingest.

The active ingredient of antifreeze is ethylene glycol, which is an alcohol. But unlike ethanol (grain alcohol), it breaks down in the body to form toxic by-products. Antifreeze is the most common cause of serious accidental poisoning of cats and dogs.

If your pet should drink a substantial amount of ethylene glycol, you have a 3 to 8 hour window when antidotes will help. After that, irreversible damage to the kidneys will happen. Unfortunately, antifreeze poisoning mimics symptoms of other conditions, so your vet may not diagnose the problem right away.

Important clues will help your vet solve the problem. Vomiting and pain around the kidney area may alert her, as well as Maltese-cross-shaped crystals of calcium oxalate in the urine. Other conditions that indicate antifreeze poisoning include ethylene glycol poisoning in the blood or if an ultraviolet lamp passed over urine causes it to glow.

Treatments for antifreeze poisoning include intravenous fluids administrated to increase urination, peritoneal dialysis to flush out the ethylene glycol and anti-seizure medications. Pets who receive proper treatment within 8 hours of exposure have a chance of recovery.

The best treatment is to avoid antifreeze poisoning in the first place. Some tips to keep your pet safe are avoiding any liquid that has a greenish-yellow or red color (especially in parking lots), soaking up spills with kitty litter and washing the area with detergent, never storing antifreeze in a container that was used for something else and providing clean drinking water for your pet. Remember that your pet is as curious as your baby. Be sure to monitor him as diligently as you would your child. The only freeze you ever want your pet to experience is winter, snow and ice cream.


Shannon at Maggie’s Playhouse is the queen of doggie day care. She has made it her life’s work to socialize and help all dogs learn manners. We are so grateful to her for helping our guests become comfortable with other dogs, people and new situations. Watson absolutely loves Shannon and he was the sunshine of doggie daycare when he lived at CAPS. Our community is so lucky to have Maggie’s Playhouse and we appreciate her commitment to CAPS. A big PAWS UP to Shannon and Maggie’s Playhouse.


Tiger is a 12-year-old domestic long-hair silver gray tabby. He is very sweet and great with people. Tiger is looking for a home where he can be an only kitty. He would love to snuggle up in your lap and be your BFF (best furry friend). Come out and meet Tiger; he is just beautiful!


CAPS will be at Walmart tomorrow along with Ki at our Kissin’ Booth. Please come by and give our boy a big hug and kiss. We have caps, short-sleeved t-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts so please check them out before or after greeting our canine volunteers. You can also pre-order the 2017 Happy Endings Calendar.

CAPS is still in need of dog food. We have been writing letters, applying for grants and making calls. It seems our organization is too small to garner support from many of the dog food suppliers. We will not give up! Until we find a supplier, we are kindly asking for donations. As I have mentioned before, we need food that has no artificial coloring. Some examples include Iams, Purina Pro-Plan, Taste of the Wild, and Nature’s Recipe.

Flower Tree Nursery is again raffling a 15-gallon tree of your choice. The raffle tickets are available at Flower Tree, and they are $1 for one ticket and $5 for six tickets. Be sure to get your tickets soon. The drawing date will be Sept. 6, and the winner doesn’t have to be present to win.

CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, NV 89406. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. CAPS’ email address is Please visit the CAPS website ( and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society).

Do you have questions, comments or a great story? Contact me

Kathleen Williams-Miller, a CAPS volunteer, contributed this week’s column.