Food Guidelines

My Dog Ate Onion – What Now?

onionsThere are many kinds of food that humans eat which are unsafe for dogs. Onions are not an exception. Feeding your pooch onions can make him seriously ill, whether they are raw, cooked, or in powdered form.

What you Need to Know

Onions are toxic to canines because of the substance they contain known as thiosulfate. Since dogs do not have the enzyme used to digest this substance, onions become a harmful food for them. Although rarely any observable side effects can be seen if your pooch consumes just a minimal amount of onions. For example, he sneaks a piece of pizza off the counter or steals a bite of your burger, most likely he will be just fine. Too frequent feeding of onions, however, can affect your pet’s health and vitality. Additionally, onions contain a compound called organosulfur that results in toxicosi, a condition brought about by poisoning which can be easily absorbed by the dog’s digestive tract.

Onion ingestion commonly leads to liver damage, asthmatic attacks, allergic reactions, weakness, diarrhea, discolored urine, anemia, vomiting, and even dermatitis.

Onions and Heinz Body Anemia

One of the most critical problems that arises from onion toxicity is canine Heinz Body Anemia, also referred to as Hemolytic anemia. It is a condition that is brought about by the destruction of the dog’s red blood cells that leads to a decrease in red blood cell count; thus, causing anemia.

Symptoms vary depending on the amount of onions the dog has consumed, his size, and the time period for which they have been ingested. It is notable that consuming a large amount of onion in a single sitting is less dangerous that consuming a very small amount over a length of time. Remember this if you’re someone that feeds your dog from the table. Many of the foods we eat contain at least a small amount of onion or onion powder. Read your labels carefully and avoid feeding these foods to your dog.

Common warning signs for Heinz Body Anemia include pale mucous membranes like the gums, brownish or reddish urine color, rapid heart and/or respiratory rate, weakness, and depression. Vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite may also be observed.

What to Do when Your Dog Ingests Onions

It is important that you immediately consult your vet if symptoms occur as a result of onion ingestion. Treatment normally involves inducement of vomiting, carrying out gastric lavage or flushing out the stomach, and making use of activated charcoal to treat not just poisoning but allergic reactions as well. Bathing and drying your dog may also be necessary in cases of skin infection.

Other treatment options include maintaining the dog’s hydration by providing fluid in his bloodstream, applying therapy for liver damage, and calling for blood transfusions if necessary.

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