Windshield Wiper Fluid

Windshield Wiper Fluid

garage items

Alternate names

Methanol, antifreeze

Toxicity to pets

Windshield wiper fluid most often contains methanol (commonly 20-30%) and may have other antifreeze ingredients added as well (e.g., ethylene glycol, propylene glycol). Methanol can also be found in model airplane fuel (also called “glow fuel”), gas line antifreeze solutions, paint removers, varnish, and many solvents. When ingested by dogs and cats, methanol causes similar signs to ethanol (e.g., alcohol) poisoning, including lethargy, incoordination, disorientation, tremors, vomiting, and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). In severe cases, low blood pressure, respiratory failure, and seizures can occur. While blindness can be seen with methanol poisoning in humans and primates, this typically does not occur in dogs and cats. Methanol poisoning is not treated with fomepizole (the antidote for antifreeze) or ethanol.

Common signs to watch for:

  • Depression or lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Incoordination
  • Disorientation
  • Tremors
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)


Windshield Wiper Fluid

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The content of this page is not veterinary advice. A number of factors (amount of substance ingested, size of the animal, allergies, etc.) determine what is toxic to a particular pet. If you think your pet has eaten something potentially toxic, call Pet Poison Helpline or seek immediate veterinary treatment.