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Sick puppy poisoned by antifreeze saved by vodka

Dogart_thumb By Ellen | January 15, 2013 | Comments (6)

Chloe was saved from kidney failure by vodka

An American Staffordshire Terrier puppy who licked antifreeze survived the deadly ethylene glycol poisoning by being given vodka.

The 10-week-old puppy named Cleo ingested the killer substance after she licked some spare car parts at a garage in Australia. Unaware Cleo had drunk the poison, her owner Stacey Zammit knew something was wrong when the normally energetic puppy was unable to stand straight. During the night Cleo worsened. She was constantly crying and refused to eat. "She was giving us a bit of a scare because she was really disorientated, she couldn't stand straight, she'd fall over," Stacey told CNN/Network Ten.

Stacey rushed Chloe to the vets where she was told the pup was at serious risk of kidney failure. Stacey was told they would administer a "hair of the dog" treatment. Grabbing a staff member's Christmas present, the sick puppy would be given pure alcohol as an antidote. Stacey told the Herald Sun, "The vet had a bottle of vodka, which was a gift, so they just hooked her up."

Cleo was given the alcohol via a drip as a counter-agent to the antifreeze. The pure vodka flushes out the toxins from ethylene glycol. She was given the vodka through a tube in her nose every six hours for two days. Over the course of the two-day treatment, she drank almost a third of the bottle.

Veterinarian Matt Pascall said, "If we put it in human terms, for me it would be the equivalent of having seven or eight shots every four hours."

"The next time I saw her I asked if she was wasted and the vet was like, 'yeah'," said Stacey. "Cleo had really bloodshot eyes and she was pretty unsteady. She couldn't move around much because she was so wasted."

It is a rare and unusual treatment, but it was effective for treating Cleo. The "hair of the dog" treatment costs more than $2100.

Cleo has recovered from both the poisoning and alcohol. Stacey said, "She slept a lot and she was eating a lot, but she seems really happy now."

Note: Do NOT try this treatment at home or give your dog alcohol of any kind. Alcohol contains ethanol which is a known toxic substance to dogs and is dangerous for them to ingest. This treatment should only be approved and administered by a licensed veterinarian.

 

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Comments on this Article

@Lance Steel, we will check with our vet about 4-MP standard administration. Thanks!
What they don't say is that this is an antiquated treatment with far more adverse side effects than the current accepted standard of 4-MP administration; of course the former is far less expensive and readily available. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3824418
My roommate says that's a hard-core puppy. I'm glad she's doing better. If only someone had known this antidote when my first dog was given antifreeze, she could have been saved.
Hi Susan, This is an excellent point. I have added a warning to the article.
I really wish you had mentioned how deadly liquor can be for dogs in any other circumstance. Thousands of dogs are killed by alcohol poisoning by foolish teens and college kids. This may encourage the stupid ones to give an animal liquor thinking it's okay or even "good for them".
Glad this baby is alright!
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