Dead Ducks and Drinking Water

January 28, 2014 by
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Dayton 014If Sadie doesn’t feel won’t be from drinking Elk River Water!


I grew up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania. We were allowed to have any animal we wanted and over the years we had everything from a “Watch Goose” to a goat who ate the top off my MG Midget.  We even had two ducks that we found dead in the barn one morning. I remember how regretful my Dad was because he’d changed antifreeze in the truck and left the old antifreeze in a pan on the barn floor. The ducks drank it and we had two dead ducks.

The main ingredient in antifreeze is ethylene glycol. Ethylene glycol has been shown to be toxic to humans and is also toxic to domestic pets such as cats and dogs. Propylene glycol is a clear, colorless liquid. In general, glycols are non-corrosive, have very low volatility and very low toxicity (however, ethylene glycol is toxic to humans and many animals). Any amount of ethylene glycol is dangerous. Three tablespoons can kill a small dog of 22 pounds. My dog drinks a lot of water and I’d hate to think even a drop of ethylene glycol was in it.

Still want to drink the water here in Kanawha County? Think again and please if it’s not good for you, it’s not good for your pets. Why did I go on and on about glycols? Because now the chemical spill in the Elk River may have also come from two other tanks and those tanks were labeled GLYCOL. Should we just assume it was the non-toxic glycol? It’s not a risk I’d take myself and I’m certainly not going to take it with my dog Sadie or my cockatiel Henry.

I am aware that our State Veterinarian, Jewell Plumley said it was “ok” to give the water to your pets. She cited no reasons or studies for this affirmation nor did she respond to my request for an interview before writing my blog. I would think as a state employee part of her duties are to answer the public’s questions…maybe not. Then again, are we getting any good answers from anyone in this debacle?

I am charged with the care and well-being of my wonderful dog Sadie and little Henry who just wants a hug every day and to be in the sunlight. Are you a Pet Parent? Think before you fill your pet’s water bowl. If you won’t drink it yourself, why give it to your pet?


Would you pour this in your pet's water bowl?

Would you pour this in your pet’s water bowl?


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