View Full Version : Onions Bad For Pets.....

11-30-2000, 06:59 PM
I received this in an e-mail tonight and wanted to share it with our Forum. I always knew that chocolate was bad for our friends, but now it seems that onions are too.

Onions are the most common cause in the dog of a particular type of red blood destruction (Haemolysis) that can result in anemia and collapse. This poisonous effect in dogs (and cats) has been recognized for over 50 years and appears to be equally great, whether the onion is raw, cooked - even in onion soup - or dehydrated.
A small amount of onion as a flavoring is not likely to cause any problems, but some dogs become addicted to the taste. Following consumption of a significant amount of onion, there occurs, within 24 hours, a change in the red pigment (Hemoglobin) in the red blood cells which are responsible for carrying oxygen. Some of the pigment collects into tiny round or oval structures named Heinz bodies at the surface of the red blood cells. Their presence reduces the flexibility of the cell membrane and affected red blood cells may rupture and/or be removed by the white blood cells.
The loss of a large number of red blood cells in this manner can result in anemia four or five days after eating the onions. Also some blood pigment, liberated from the damaged cells, may appear in the urine, giving it a pink color. Because of the lengthy time interval before these clinical signs appear, they may not be correlated with the previous ingestion of onions. The condition is reversible and recovery will occur, provided the anemia is not too severe, and this presupposes that the consumption of appreciable amounts of onion does not continue.

11-30-2000, 07:52 PM
I also heard something like that. But don't the dogs or cats have to eat a large amount?

4 feline house
11-30-2000, 10:43 PM
I shudder to think that years ago, as vet clinic employees, my colleagues and I used to give out a recipe for homemade dog biscuits that contained onion and garlic powder.

12-01-2000, 06:08 AM
I don't think that a small amount of onion in a recipe would be a problem. I think the article is talking about eating quite a bit of onion at one time. As I was reading this article, I thought of a dog that my mother-in-law used to have. She was a miniature pinscher and would sit at my mother-in-law's feet as she would be preparing dinner, peeling potatoes, etc. If anything would accidentally fall on the floor it would be eaten so quickly that I doubt that she even knew what she was eating. I have an image in my mind now of what would have happened if an onion had ever fallen on the floor. I can only imagine that she would have taken care of it in mid air!! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif Glad that never happened!

12-01-2000, 10:42 AM
I read of a situation where a lady gave her dog the leftover liver and onions from a eat out meal and how sick the dog became. Can't remember if the dog survived or not, but I had not known of the onion thing before either.