This Popular Booze Just Might Save Your Pet's Life

By Sarah Jeanne Terry

If the thought of giving your pet alcohol makes you cringe, then you might be surprised that it could actually save a pet's life. ABC reported that a cat in Australia, dubbed "Tipsy" by his circumstances, was saved from poisoning by none other than vodka. Yeah, we were shocked to hear that, too.

Apparently, Tipsy swallowed antifreeze and had to be rushed to the vet.

A photo of Tipsy.
credit: ABC

Tipsy was found by local police, and when he got to the RSPCA Animal Hospital, Tipsy couldn't breathe and he had acute renal failure.

Antifreeze might be one of the most dangerous chemicals found in your home.

Antifreeze smells and tastes good to both cat and dogs, but the chemical is VERY poisonous. In fact, the vet who treated Tipsy, Dr. Sarah Kanther, was surprised the sick litle pet survived at all. "Because it's such a fast-acting toxin, they're normally dead by the time we get to treat them," said Dr. Kanther.

Acting quickly, Dr. Kanther administered an IV drip, which was connected to a bottle of diluted vodka. How exactly is that supposed to work? Dr. Kanther explained, "Basically once you put the alcohol into his blood it metabolizes that instead, and gives the antifreeze time to pass in a less toxic form."

But seriously, vodka as a cure for poison?

This treatment sounded almost too good to be true, so we HAD to get a second opinion. But according to Dr. Sabrina Castro, one of the veterinarians at Vetted PetCare in Los Angeles, vets do use alcohol to treat antifreeze toxicity.

And, according to Dr. Castro, "It is just as effective in dogs as it is in cats."

However, before you go preparing your emergency vodka stash, Dr. Castro warns that only a vet can properly administer alcohol as a treatment for antifreeze poisoning. She explained, "This therapy would only be effective if administered by a veterinarian in a hospital environment." So we can definitely not file this in the home remedy category.

fluid therapy in cat
credit: rarinlee/iStock/GettyImages

Dr. Castro explained that the alcohol treatment is a pretty delicate process. She said, "It is given intravenously at a controlled rate, and is typically buffered and diluted with other solutions to be given at the same time." Okay, so it's not like vets are giving our cats shots to throw back to cure their ills. But still, we're impressed that such a potent drink has such positive results.

Though still a bit shocking, it sounds like vodka was the perfect solution in Tipsy's case. We're glad to hear that he will make a full recovery. Although, we hope he hasn't gotten too much of a taste for the good stuff.

Are you interested in learning more about what you're reading? Then scroll through this article about 10 dog breeds with the most expensive veterinary bills. Also, like us on Facebook and join our newsletter to learn more about your pet's behavior.