Ethylene glycol

This is a substance commonly used in antifreeze liquids in engine coolants. Ethylene glycol is very toxic and only 4-5ml per kg body weight are required to produce signs.

Clinical signs

In acute poisoning pigs vomit, become depressed, lose locomotor function, develop kidney failure and die. Death may occur within 12 to 24 hours and is often the only sign observed.

The tissues throughout the body become acid. In less acute cases pigs suffer depression, gastro-enteritis, abdominal distension, difficult breathing and nervous symptoms.


This is based on history of access to antifreeze, clinical signs and post-mortem lesions.

Treatment and control

  • There is no treatment although some success has been reported using 5% sodium bicarbonate intravenously to reduce the acid state of the blood. Seek veterinary advice.