ROCK SALT AND THE DANGERS TO PETS

cat and dog in the snow

Rock salt is a mixture of salt and grit and is widely used to de-ice paths and roads during cold weather. Anti-freeze is commonly used by road users to de-ice vehicles before driving. Both can be deadly to animals if ingested, causing dehydration, muscle tremors, kidney and liver problems and, if not treated, death.

Even just a small amount can be very bad for your pet and spotting the symptoms early is very important.

The most common way for rock salt to be ingested is by pets licking lodged salt from their paws and fur whilst grooming. Paws and fur can be cleaned with warm water, a mild pet shampoo and a soft brush, and you should keep your shoes away from pets so they don’t lick any clinging salt from them.

Early signs of ingestion include excessive salivation after grooming and excessive drinking. Other signs include lethargy and strange/unusual noises from your pet, as this may indicate they are in pain. As these pet behaviours may be similar to other illnesses, ingestion can only be confirmed via blood tests to show abnormal blood sodium concentration, so immediate veterinary attention should be sought. Never attempt to induce vomiting in your pet as a ‘cure’, this should only be done by a Vet.

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