Cat Saved from Antifreeze Poisoning with Vodka

PetMD Editorial
Updated: September 11, 2017
Published: July 21, 2017
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Cheers to this: Veterinarians from the RSPCA Animal Emergency Hospital at Wacol in Australia saved a cat's life by giving 

According to the RSPCA's Facebook page, the cat was rushed to their facility on July 17 after ingesting antifreeze, which can be lethal. In fact, the staff estimated that the cat had less than an hour to live from the poisoning. Antifreeze poisoning in cats can be fatal with even as little as a teaspoon ingested. 

The urgent matter required quick thinking, and Dr. Sarah Kanther had a brilliant, albeit unconventional, idea.

Kanther and her team administered a drip of diluted vodka to the cat, who they aptly named Tipsy, "to pass through [his] system in a less toxic form." 

As reported by the Australian Broadcasting Company, Tipsy was in acute renal failure and "vodka worked because the enzyme in the cat's body that metabolized the antifreeze, also metabolized the alcohol." 

Kanther further explained that, "Once you put the alcohol into his blood it metabolizes that instead, and gives the antifreeze time to pass in a less toxic form." 

Frighteningly, it is not known whether Tipsy was "baited" with the poisonous antifreeze, and anyone with information on possible animal cruelty should come forward. Tipsy, who was not microchipped, is currently recovering (hopefully, hangover-free) and will be put up for adoption if an owner does not claim him. 

If you suspect your cat has ingested antifreeze, take him to the veterinarian immediately for treatment. 

Editor's note: Vodka and alcohol are toxic to pets and animals and should NEVER be given to a dog or a cat at home as a form a treatment. The cat in this story was under close veterinary medical supervision. 

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Image via RSPCA Animal Emergency Hospital 

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