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Why Pets and Onions Make a Lethal Combination?

Onions, even if consumed in quantities as small as 5g/kg and 15-30 g/kg respectively by cats and dogs, can cause onion toxicity or onion toxicosis in pets. The problem may lead to pet’s hospitalization and blood transfusion followed by up to 2 weeks of recovery through pet medications.

How Do Pets Ingest Onions?

If the pet parent is unaware of onion toxicity in pets, he or she may feed onion to his or her pet in any form:

  • Raw, fried or cooked
  • Onion powder (used in a lot many preparations),/
  • Foods with sautéed onions
  • Commercial dog foods with onions as an ingredient and so on

However, even the well-informed pet parents may fail to control onion ingestion in pets. For example, the pets may feed on the table scraps containing onion in one form or the other.

How Does Onion Toxicity Happen?

Onions contain a toxic compound called N-propyl disulphide which causes oxidation of the RBCs in dogs. It further causes destruction of the cells and also blocks the supply of oxygen. As a result, the pet suffers from hemolytic anemia.

However, the effects of onion ingestion may depend on the size and breed of the pet and quantity consumed. The common symptoms include weakness, pale gums, lethargy, decreased stamina, reddish-brown urine, increased heart and respiration rates and so on.

What If Your Pet Ingests Onion?

In case the pet shows the above-mentioned symptoms, immediately seek the vet help. Don't administer a pet medication on your own, as only Rx pet meds must be given in such situations. Once you take the pet to the vet, he or she would follow the treatment options like inducing vomiting and flushing out the abdomen to clear the toxins, administering IV fluids to keep the pet hydrated, therapies to reverse liver damage and blood transfusion. The vet may also prescribe dog medications and cat medications for complete recovery.

If you have Rx petmeds from a licensed vet, you can conveniently purchase medications from an online pet pharmacy.