Cats poisoned by anti-freeze in village

Two Mintlaw neighbours have been left devastated having lost their family cats after they ingested a poisonous solution.

Carol Greig and Debbie Nicol, both of Birch Grove, had to say a tearful goodbye to their beloved pets recently after it was thought that the felines had consumed anti-freeze in the neighbourhood.

Both are now appealing to members of public to use the chemical safely in these wintry months.

Carol’s two cats, 3 year old Jo-Lisa and 9 month old Busby were rushed to the vet after they were both extremely ill, but by the time the vets had realised the cause it was too late to save them.

Carol explained: “Both cats had been sick, and it was on the Thursday I noticed they weren’t eating or drinking, and they had become lethargic. We took them to the vet on Friday and after an hour I received a phonecall to tell me it was bad news.”

Both Jo-Lisa and Busby had been poisoned by anti-freeze, a solution which has a sweet taste which cats are attracted to. Carol was told that there was nothing the vet could do to help the cats who were by now in severe pain, and she had no choice but to have the cats put to sleep.

“The vet said to me while I was there that the levels of anti-freeze in their blood was the highest they had recorded,” said Carol.

“I’m angry now that perhaps this could have been prevented had it been used safely and correctly.”

Carol’s neighbour, Debbie, didn’t get the chance to put her beloved 9 year old Rocky to sleep and was forced to watch him suffer on the Friday night.

“Rocky wasn’t really sick before he passed away - in the morning he made a noise but it was just as if he had a hairball,” said Debbie.

“On Friday evening he just lay down and became really dazed. I was saying his name but there was no response. I slept on the sofa near him just to keep an eye on him and then at about 12.45am he stretched and gave out a wailing noise. I was with my son at the time and we thought that was him gone, but he just gave out a short whimper before he passed away.

“I keep replaying it over and over in my mind, watching him suffer was awful. We took him to the vet first thing and they carried out a post mortem, and they said his kidneys were twice the size they should have been.”

Both women have three children, who have all been left heartbroken. Carol continued: “They’re such a big part of the family, they all had their routines and their favourite spots in the house but that’s stopped now.”

A spokesperson from Mintlaw Vets said: “At this time of year, we all make sure to top our screenwash up with anti-freeze to make sure we can see out of our windscreens – and it can be easily spilled.

“Anti-freeze contains a chemical called ethylene glycol – this is sweet tasting and, when broken down in the body, makes a product which is extremely poisonous to the kidneys, resulting in acute kidney failure. This can cause irreversible changes within hours of consumption.

“At this time of year, often the only puddles of water available for drinking from by cats, dogs, or wildlife, are those containing anti-freeze – the rest tend to be frozen solid. So, as it’s available, and tastes sweet, animals will consume it with no idea of the risks.

“In almost all cases, by the time we are presented with a case, it is too late to save the kidneys, and the animal will be euthanased. This is extremely distressing to the pet and their owner.

“So, please be extremely careful with anti-freeze – avoid spillages, or wipe them up with absorbable towel, and make sure that bottles are properly sealed, and stored correctly to avoid them being knocked over and cracked.”