Antifreeze poisoning suspected as four cats die in Aberdeenshire

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SCOTLAND’S leading animal welfare charity has issued an urgent warning to pet owners following the deaths of a number of cats from antifreeze poisoning in an Aberdeenshire village.

One cat has died in the village of Sandhaven from suspected antifreeze poisoning this year. Two cats died in the village from suspected poisoning last November and another cat died in the village in the winter of 2010.

The Scottish SPCA said today that all four incidents had taken place in the Clinton Place and Forbes Road areas of the village. And they could not rule out the possibility that the pets had been deliberately killed.

A spokeswoman for the charity said: “In the most recent incident, Scotland’s animal welfare charity was contacted by distraught owners when their cat had to be put to sleep after he returned to his home on Clinton Place seriously unwell on Sunday 3 November.

“Sadly, the vet’s advice was that the three year old cat, named Ronnie, had ingested a poisonous substance, likely antifreeze, and would not have survived.”

She continued: “This follows the deaths of two cats from the Aberdeenshire village in November last year and one cat in the winter of 2010, all as a result of suspected antifreeze poisoning. The four incidents have taken place in the Clinton Place and Forbes Road areas.”

Senior Inspector Scott Elphinstone said, “The deaths of four cats from suspected antifreeze poisoning is extremely concerning, particularly as Sandhaven is such a small village and the animals all came from the same two streets.

“Without any other evidence we cannot say whether these poisonings were deliberate or accidental but there is obviously a source somewhere nearby.

“It may be that someone has simply spilled some antifreeze while servicing their car or cleaning out their garage, but we also have to consider that someone could have left this substance out in order to cause animals harm.

“We want people in the area to be aware of the potential danger and we are urging pet owners to be vigilant if they are letting their cats out of the house.”

The SSPCA spokeswoman explained: “Antifreeze (ethylene glycol) is one of the most common causes of cat poisoning, particularly in the winter months. The liquid is usually colourless and odourless and has a sweet taste that appeals to dogs in particular, although cats will also ingest it.

“By the time symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy and, in the latter stages, head shaking and coma occur it is often too late to treat. Renal failure is frequently the cause of death with damage to the kidneys, brain, liver and blood vessels.”