Five pet cats have died in Leyland just weeks apart – after being poisoned by car antifreeze.
Now, a Leyland couple are praying their two-year-old cat will survival after he too was taken ill from drinking the deadly liquid.
Lawrence and Louise Clift, from Moss Side Way, Leyland, took Monty to the Pinewood Veterinary Practice on Leyland Lane last week after he started being sick.
Lawrence, a professional photographer, said: “There was another family there whose cat was also sick, and we were all transferred to the Pinewood Vets in Chorley.
“They had Monty on a drip within 10 minutes because they suspected it was antifreeze poisoning straight away. He’s suffered irreversible kidney damage and even if he gets better, his life expectancy is shorter.”
He added: “We’ve spent more than £500 so far for the examination, ultra sound, needle biopsy and tablets.
“Monty was at the vets on a drip for almost a week and he’s still on tablets and having check-ups, so I think it will end up costing us around £700 by the end.
“But the vet says if he relapses, there’s nothing more he can do.
“We just feel gutted. We’re trying to make sure he hangs in there, but he’s not himself.
“He’s normally such a character, but he’s so tired at the moment.”
Although he’s keeping an ‘open mind’ and doesn’t know if the spate of incidents are the result of a deliberate attempt to poison cats, Lawrence admits it is “very suspicious there have been so many cases in the area.”
Dr Jerome Favier, the vet who has been dealing with the cases from the Chorley practice, also thinks the incidents are accidental.
However, after five cats from Leyland lost their lives in the last two months, he is warning members of the public to be aware of the problem.
“Antifreeze poisoning cases are usually seasonal,” he explained. “It depends on when antifreeze in car is changed, but we normally see it at the end of summer.
“Antifreeze may be available for cats when people do not dispose of it properly and leave unsealed containers.
“Unfortunately, antifreeze is sugary and cats are attracted to it. They can drink a fair amount but it causes serious harm.”
Dr Favier says antifreeze forms crystals inside the functional part of the kidney, leading to acute renal failure, which is fatal if not treated.
“Symptoms of antifreeze include loss of appetite, bad breath, lethargy, abdominal pain and dehydration,” he added. “The only efficient treatment is fluid therapy.
“Cats usually improve when they’re on a drip but most of them relapse a few days after the end of the drip.
“I really would urge people to dispose of antifreeze properly to prevent this problem continuing.”