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Is RV Antifreeze Toxic to Animals
If you love exploring new adventures in your RV and carry an insatiable love for pets then you must be wondering, Is RV Antifreeze Toxic to Animals…
Being an RV owner, you must be knowing how painstaking it is to maintain every part of an RV properly. From the many challenges in maintaining your RV is the worry of protecting the plumbing, especially during winters. For this purpose, RV owners subsequently go for the idea of using a standard antifreeze. But, while addressing this primary issue, RV owners often ignore the chances of adverse effects that an anti-freeze could have on their animals.
However, not all animals are affected by antifreeze, and not every antifreeze could affect all kinds of animals. Therefore, it is essential to know the details before taking the precautionary measures into account;
What is RV Antifreeze?
Before we get into the debate of choosing the right antifreeze for your RV and what implications could it have on the animals’ health, let’s first understand the purpose and importance of it…
During the winter season, due to a major drop in Fahrenheit, water expands dramatically, thus, causing the pipes to burst. And, we all know that a water-system burst comes with a lot of damages, consequently costing you heavy amounts of money in repairs.
To avoid such misery from happening, people tend to use suitable antifreeze agents for their RVs. This can prevent their water systems from bursting and can offer them the safety for a temperature drop to as low as -50 °F. This essential substance ensures that your RV water system remains intact even during harsh winter days.
How to Choose RV Antifreeze
There are hundreds of varieties and brands to choose from when it comes to an RV antifreeze. However, there’re a few principle features to consider while opting for the correct RV antifreeze.
An antifreeze that offers water-system burst protection at temperatures as low as -50°F mark must be preferred.
Today, when our planet is already facing a grave environmental crisis in terms of global warming, deforestation, and all sorts of pollutants, it is vital to show responsibility and use chemicals that are environmentally safe. Therefore, it is crucial that the antifreeze agent we choose should be safe for our kids, animals, and the ecosystem.
Is RV Antifreeze Toxic to Animals – Let’s Find Out!
A typical RV antifreeze constitutes of the following chemical substances;
- Ethyl Alcohol or Ethanol
- Propylene Glycol or
- A Blend of Ethanol and Propylene
In order to know whether the antifreeze you are using in your RV has the element of toxicity in it, you must be aware of the properties of these substances.
Ethyl alcohol (or Ethanol), is commonly found in several modern-day consumer products such as solvents, disinfectants, and even fuels. Although the risk factor involved in ingestion is scarce the probability of poisoning due to skin contact or inhalation of ethyl alcohol in vapor form cannot be neglected. Therefore, it is crucial to figure out the risks from its inhalation and know the appropriate symptoms and first aid measures in the situation of an emergency.
The most common signs of toxicity caused by ethanol in animals are vomiting, ataxia, and recumbency.
The primary reason for this is that alcohol can directly cause inflammation in the stomach, resulting in vomiting. Also, if the animal is exposed to ethanol for a longer period of time, then it could stimulate emesis. Moreover, high concentrations of ethyl alcohol can cause a slow muscle response that can further paralyze the animal if not treated timely.
If you’re an RV owner, you might have heard about the substance propylene glycol, popularly known as a ‘pet-friendly antifreeze’. But, recent incidents of animal intoxication have surfaced in which propylene glycol was the primary substance. However, many pet specialists still declare propylene glycol as least reactive for pets, and that the harmful properties of propylene glycol may vary from one animal to another.
The common symptoms that animals exhibit if intoxicated with propylene glycol are; sedation, walking drunk (ataxia), lethargy, panting, or even severe seizures.
Veterinary experts say that among the other animals, cats are most sensitive to propylene glycol, and therefore, in most countries, it is also prohibited to use propylene glycol in cats’ foods.
In dogs, propylene glycol can cause nervous system depression or lactic acidosis if exposed for a longer duration of time. However, a small routine amount of propylene glycol is not harmful to dogs and is allowed to be used in dogs’ foods.
Is Propylene Glycol RV Antifreeze Toxic to Animals?
The use of propylene glycol is although debated widely by many veterinary experts, however, it is a mutually agreed research that propylene glycol can only harm animals if ingested or inhaled in large quantities. A worst-case scenario here could be, ‘your pet drank an antifreeze agent.’
Therefore, it is highly recommended to keep your animals away while draining out the antifreeze agents of your RV.
Because keep in mind that propylene glycol if consumed in large amounts, can lead to dangerous poisoning and further health complications, especially for cats.
To know is RV antifreeze toxic to animals, as a rule of thumb, you can remember, the smaller the pet, the higher the chances of poisoning from an antifreeze. However, we might not be aware, but certainly bigger species can also be sensitive to it as the research on propylene glycol reaction on various animals is limited.
Emergency First Aid
If, at any instance you find your pet suffering from the symptoms of antifreeze toxicity, seek immediate veterinary assistance.
An instant activated charcoal dose to your pet could absorb frequently the toxicity of the antifreeze within its system. Also, it is recommended to induce vomiting to your pet to flush out the toxic liquid and reduce poisoning. Make sure you take a specimen of the liquid to the vet so that it could assist the veterinary to find the most suitable antidote promptly.
Keep the animals secluded away from the place of contact, because inhalation can also cause poisoning and other complications.
You can call the ASPCA only if you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic. the ASPCA’s national poison control number is (888) 426-4435
If your pet is showing any of the signs below, get them to the Vet or animal hospital quickly as possible.
- Foaming at the mouth
- Vomiting, especially vomiting blood
- Coughing, or coughing blood
- Bloody diarrhea accompanied by any of these other symptoms
- Excessive drooling
- Weakness, lethargy, collapse, disorientation
In addition to using activated charcoal and inducing vomiting, a veterinary will use a catheter to initiate intravenous fluids. Further treatment will depend on the levels of toxicity left within the system of the animal.
Animal-Friendly Non-toxic Antifreeze?
It is recommended to avoid ethylene glycol antifreeze and go for safer alternatives such as propylene glycol, which is also less attractive for the animals in terms of taste and smell.
However, until today we don’t have an entirely nontoxic antifreeze, but Propylene glycol can be a good replacement due to its considerably less toxic properties than ethyl alcohol. Unlike Ethyl alcohol, propylene is found only to affect the central nervous system (if ingested in high quantity) but not kidneys.
Moreover, with its anti-corrosive properties, propylene is also biodegradable and is considered a much better choice when it comes to environment and pets friendly antifreeze agents. Also, propylene offers good burst protection for the vehicle and can sustain for a longer period of time.
Deciding Between RV Antifreeze Brands
Camco RV Antifreeze
According to reviews, Camco RV antifreeze is not just suitable for RVs but it can also help you protect homes and pools during rough winters. This feature of Camco RV antifreeze allows the costumers to get the most out of their spending in antifreeze.
Camco RV antifreeze is also known for its non-toxic properties… This means that being an RV owner, you wouldn’t need to worry much about the dangers of the antifreeze being near to your children or pets – definitely, a source of great relief.
Also, Camco RV antifreeze comes in a biodegradable form that means you need not stress if a spill takes place in your garden or any other soil. Although this feature might not appeal to most, those who have prevalent spilling issues in their RV would definitely know the importance of it.
Camco RV antifreeze has been approved by many to stand in the top tier antifreeze agents as it provides burst-resistance at temperate as low as -50 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Zecol RV Antifreeze
Zecol antifreeze is another popular result proven antifreeze brand in the RV industry. Zecol RV antifreeze is a non-toxic chemicals based agent that could provide a burst-protection in temperatures reaching -50 degree Fahrenheit.
Zecol is also backed up heavily by customer loyalties and very rarely someone has reported a frozen system with Zecol antifreeze in it.
Moreover, Zecol antifreeze is a corrosion inhibitor that can help in controlling the corrosion of metal parts of your RV. These additional aspects mean that your RV system will enjoy an enhanced efficiency with Zecol.
An RV owner would know how expensive the entire re-installation of pipes could cost. However, if someone is using a good antifreeze with corrosion inhibitor properties than he can rest-assured with the longevity of his RV plumbing system.
Century Chemical TF-1 Heat Transfer Fluid
An interesting aspect of TF-1 is that it also has a high boiling point in order to ensure that your RV system is not affected at hotter temperatures as well. This makes it an antifreeze that provides stability at a range of temperatures, especially reducing the risk of a fire hazard to a significant extent.
Also, the product doesn’t show any level of corrosive behavior, which means that it offers adequate protection to the metal body as well.
Regular Antifreeze Vs RV Antifreeze
One of the most common mistakes that people generally commit is considering a common antifreeze as an RV antifreeze. However, this assumption is usually incorrect as there are some major features and formula differences between the two.
Usually, the formula of a regular antifreeze constitutes of toxic substances and is only meant to be used in closed-loop systems. But, when it comes to RV type, the antifreeze should be non-toxic in properties and offer protection for RV systems at temperatures as low as -50 degrees.
Another important factor is that in an RV, the antifreeze often gets pumped or flushed-out of the pipes. In comparison, a conventional antifreeze remains in the system at all times. Therefore, it is essential always to have the correct understanding between a conventional and RV antifreeze to avoid any potential risk.
After getting to know all the crucial aspects of an RV antifreeze, you should now have no doubts about deciding the most suitable antifreeze for your RV. With this research-based information, it would be easier for you to choose the perfect antifreeze option for your RV rather quickly and efficiently.
Once you have settled on the right combination, freezing pipes should no longer be something to encounter in the future. The right RV antifreeze ensures that your RV system survives through the harshest of winters without harming the ecosystem or any living creatures with its chemical properties.
However, if you still face any problems while finding the perfect non-toxic antifreeze for your RV, please feel free to join the discussion in the comments section. We will try our level best to help you with the right solution, instantly and effectively. Our aim is to make your RV adventure ready for the next season. 😉