Objective – To determine the safety and efficacy of high-dose fomepizole compared with ethanol (EtOH) in cats with ethylene glycol (EG) toxicosis.
Design – Prospective study.
Setting – University veterinary research laboratory.
Animals – Thirteen cats.
Interventions – Two cats received injections of high-dose fomepizole (Study 1). Three cats received lethal doses of EG and fomepizole treatment was initiated 1, 2, or 3 hours later (Study 2). Eight cats received a lethal dose of EG and were treated with fomepizole or EtOH (Study 3). Cats treated with fomepizole received 125 mg/kg IV initially, then 31.25 mg/kg at 12, 24, and 36 hours. Cats treated with EtOH received 5 mL of 20% EtOH/kg IV initially, then every 6 hours for 5 treatments, then every 8 hours for 4 treatments. Cats also received fluids and supportive therapy as needed.
Measurements and Main Results – Clinical signs were monitored and serial blood analyses performed. Cats receiving fomepizole experienced mild sedation but no biochemical evidence of toxicity. Cats receiving fomepizole for EG intoxication survived if therapy was initiated within 3 hours of EG ingestion. One of the 6 developed acute renal failure (ARF) but survived. Only 1 of the 3 cats treated with EtOH 3 hours following EG ingestion survived; 2 developed ARF and were euthanized. Cats treated 4 hours following EG ingestion developed ARF, whether treated with EtOH or fomepizole.
Conclusions – Fomepizole is safe when administered to cats in high doses, prevents EG-induced fatal ARF when therapy is instituted within 3 hours of EG ingestion, and is more effective than treatment with EtOH.