Ethylene glycol

calendar icon 3 December 2018
clock icon 2 minute read

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.

Diagnosis

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.

Emily Houghton

Editor, The Pig Site

Emily Houghton is a Zoology graduate from Cardiff University and was the editor of The Pig Site from October 2017 to May 2020. Emily has worked in livestock husbandry, and has written, conducted and assisted with research projects regarding the synthesis of welfare and productivity of free-range food species.

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