Why Snowglobes Are Dangerous To Cats

This is a story of Charlie.  We adopted him in May of 2006 during an All Pet Adopt-A-Thon I founded and organized in Jacksonville Florida.  He was about 4 months old and had a beautiful coat, fabulous eyes and a face you couldn’t resist!  I knew he had to be mine.

On Christmas Eve day 2006 my beautiful Ragdoll wannabe Charlie was being himself, into everything. Later in the day I received a call from my husband saying I was not going to be to happy because Charlie had jump on the chest of drawers, knocked over a snow globe and it had broken.

Jim, my husband, had cleaned up the mess and dried Charlie off.  I work retail so I didn’t get home until after 6:00 p.m. that evening and noticed Charlie behaving a little strange.  His big fluffy tail was down and he seemed to be not feeling well. 

I asked Jim how he had been through out the day.  Jim said Charlie had joined him for a nap earlier and was very affectionate rubbing all over him and wouldn’t leave him alone. 

I decided to do some research into what could be in the liquid contents of the snow globe. 

I called poison control and was told most likely it could have salmonella and Charlie had just a little upset stomach. I am never satisfied with an assumption and hit the computer to further my research.  

To my horror, I discovered snow globes contain ethylene glycol (anti-freeze) to prevent freezing during shipping.  Most are imported from China. 

Charlie had anti-freeze poisoning!  Just a small amount left on his fur was enough to do the damage even after my husband had dried him off. The poison was destroying his kidneys. 

I rushed Charlie to our local emergency vet hospital.  By this time 7 hours had passed since the accident and Charlie’s time was running out. 

After what seemed to an eternity, Charlie was tested for anti-freeze poison.  The results were positive and unfortunately, too much time had passed and his kidneys had started to crystallize. 

I was devastated and asked they treat him with the slightest possibility he could be saved.  In nine hours the damage is irreversible. 

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