Onion Toxicity in Your Dog

Onion Toxicity in Your Dog

Did you know that onions are a dangerous toxin for dogs? You probably have some form of onion in your kitchen right now! Learn more about onion toxicity in dogs below as your Marshall, TX vet fills you in on the basics.

Why Are Onions Poisonous, Exactly?

Onions contain a substance known as thiosulfate. It’s this chemical that can lead to life-threatening hemolytic anemia, which involves damage to a dog’s red blood cells with the possibility of the cells bursting as they circulate through the pet’s bloodstream. If a dog ingests too much of a substance containing thiosulfates, they can experience organ failure and even death if treatment isn’t administered promptly.

How Much Onion Causes Poisoning?

A pet can experience poisoning if they eat more than 0.5 percent of their body weight in onions. In other words, only a small amount of an onion can cause serious problems! The smaller the dog, the more danger there is.

What are the Symptoms?

The initial symptoms of onion poisoning in dogs include loss of appetite, breathlessness, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. As the poisoning progresses and anemia starts to occur, symptoms will include hyper-salivation, pale gums, and loss of muscle coordination.

Are All Onions Dangerous?

Yes, all types of onions contain thiosulfates and can prove dangerous. Raw onions don’t lose their toxicity when they’re cooked, so both raw and cooked onions are toxic to dogs. Beware of red onions, green onions, powdered onions, and any other type. Additionally, foods related to onions, like garlic, shallots, chives, leeks, and scallions, also contain thiosulfates and can prove harmful as well.

What Do I Do If My Dog Eats an Onion?

If you see or suspect that your dog has eaten an onion or a food that contains onions, rush them to the nearest veterinary emergency room for treatment. Vomiting may need to be induced to rid the system of the toxin, or activated charcoal may be given to slow the poison’s absorption. For more severe cases, blood transfusions and lengthy hospital stays may be required.

To prevent onion poisoning in the first place, restrict your dog’s access to any and all onions and related foods. Rather than leaving onions on countertops or tables, store them in containers or cabinets where a pet won’t be able to reach. For even more tips on keeping your dog safe from toxic foods, call your Marshall, TX animal hospital.

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