PETS are becoming ill after being posioned by gritter salt and anti-freeze during the current cold snap says Northiam based animal welfare charity the Blue Cross.
And with snow and sub-zero conditions across the Rye and Battle area earlier this week, the charity were urging pet owners to take precautions.
Mark Bossley, Blue Cross chief vet said: “We are braced to see a number of cats over the next few days needing emergency treatment after being poisoned.
Salt can easily get on a cat’s paws or fur and be swallowed when they groom themselves. Strangely, although it is toxic, some cats seem to like the taste of antifreeze and will lick it off a car window.
Be vigilant, if your cat appears to be ill always contact your vet as quickly as possible.”
Signs of poisoning include lethargy, vomiting, appetite loss and drinking excessively. In severe cases cats will collapse, have seizures and find difficulty walking. In large amounts, salt can cause severe dehydration, brain damage and even death.
Blue Cross is offering pet owners further advice to keep pets safe during icy weather.
If left outside cats may seek warmth in dangerous car engines, or get trapped somewhere without access to food and water. Make sure their catflap doesn’t become frozen over and stuck so they can’t get back in. It is a good idea to keep them inside when it gets really cold, make sure they have a litter tray to use indoors.
Make sure pets are not left outdoors for too long, just like us they can develop hypothermia if they remain in the cold for long periods. Small pets like rabbits and guinea pigs are particularly vulnerable and you may want to bring them inside if possible, or make sure they have extra bedding to keep them warm.
Pictured here is Buster Bill, one of the dogs Northiam currently looking for a home. Buster is a four-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier and he’s looking for an adult home where he will be the only pet. Anyone who can help should contact the centre on 0300 777 1510 or visit www.bluecross.org.uk to find out more.