Emergency vodka treatment saves poisoned puss

A cat was saved from certain death by a ‘vodka drip’ after accidentally poisoning herself with car brake fluid.

Princess vodka
Princess had to undergo emergency treatment.

Seven-year-old Princess was discovered soaking wet in the garden shed of her home by her owner who spotted the fallen bottle of fluid and immediately rushed her to Blue Cross animal hospital in Victoria, central London.

Her condition was quickly deteriorating because she had absorbed and licked the deadly chemicals from her fur.

Vets realised they had to act fast and dashed to a nearby off licence for a spirit with a high alcohol percentage to halt the effects of the poison - the unusual treatment will only work if given as soon as possible after the pet has absorbed the toxic chemical.

Vet nurses also washed and shaved her fur to prevent her licking any more of the potentialy fatal chemical. 

Heather Loh, Blue Cross Vet said: “Princess was in a really bad way and it was really touch and go. Household products containing this type of chemical are very dangerous to pets and Princess needed 24 hour intensive care.

"Pets should never be given alcohol but this was the only solution to prevent the poison from taking over and killing her.

"She was a bit worse the wear for several days afterwards but we were relieved blood tests showed the effects of the drip were working and the poison would no longer be fatal.” 

The brake fluid, like antifreeze, contains a type of ethylene glycol which is highly toxic to pets.

While alcohol usually makes pets extremely ill, high strength spirits, such as vodka, act as an antidote to the poison and prevent the body from spreading the toxic chemical.

Princess during a check-up at Blue Cross Victoria after her life-saving treatment

Princess was extremely fortunate to have survived thanks to the dedication of the Blue Cross veterinary team.

We recommend that pet owners check the lids of household products are secure and out of reach of their pets.

Princess’s owner Teresa Correira Maria said: “As soon as I saw Princess was soaking wet and out of sorts I got her to Blue Cross. I was so worried about her but now relieved and happy she is making a full recovery and was well enough to come home.

"The treatment did sound unusual when vets explained what was happening, but I just wanted Princess to survive. I will make sure there is no way she can get into this kind of trouble again.”

Find out more about potential hazards to cats.

— Page last updated 14/03/2023