Warning to Sandhaven pet owners

Ronnie, who died following suspected antifreeze poisoning.
Ronnie, who died following suspected antifreeze poisoning.

The Scottish SPCA is urging pet owners in Sandhaven to be vigilant following the deaths of several cats from suspected antifreeze poisoning.

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 ill on Sunday November 3.

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.

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.”

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.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is being urged to contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.