Ice Melt Toxicity, Canine

By Dr. Karen Burgess

What is ice melt?
There are a variety of products that are available to assist with ice accumulation. These liquid (more commonly used commercially) or pelleted consumer products often contain sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, and calcium salts.

What should I do if my pet has been exposed to ice melt?
With topical exposure the main risk is from local irritation. Bathing your pet to remove the substance from their skin is recommended. If ice melt is ingested, Animal Poison Control or your local veterinarian/emergency hospital should be contacted. Ice melt ingestion can cause life threatening alterations in a pet’s electrolytes requiring hospitalization, fluid therapy, and monitoring. Induction of emesis (vomiting) is not recommended unless directed by your veterinarian; in some cases this may worsen the situation if a pet has been exposed to ice melt.