Onion Toxicity Average Cost

From 288 quotes ranging from $500 - 4,000

Average Cost

$2,000

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What is Onion Toxicity?

Onion toxicity results in hemolysis, or the breakdown of red blood cells. As the cells break down, the feline has less cell circulating in the body, creating signs of weakness and panting due to the fact that these cells carry oxygen. Onion toxicity can be fatal in cats if immediate veterinary care is not sought.

Onion toxicity in cats is a hypersensitive reaction of the feline’s red blood cells to the oxidant present in fresh or dried onions. An onion can become toxic to a feline if more than 1 gram per 5 pounds of body weight is ingested. Onion powder has a high toxicity rate and is potentially more potent than a fresh onion. The toxic agent present in onions is caused by the oxidant n-propyl disulfide. 

Symptoms of Onion Toxicity in Cats

The symptoms associated with onion toxicity in cats are paired with those found in an allergic reaction caused by an ingested agent. Common clinical signs noted after a feline has ingested onion includes: 

  • Panting 
  • Elevated heart rate 
  • Weakness 
  • Hematuria (blood in the urine) 
  • Hemolytic anemia (breakdown of red blood cells)
  • Heinz body anemia (breakdown of red blood cells)
  • Vomiting 
  • Gastrointestinal upset 
  • Asthmatic attacks 
  • Allergic reaction 
  • Liver damage 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Lethargy 
  • Contact dermatitis (skin exposure) 
  • Fainting 

Causes of Onion Toxicity in Cats

An onion can become toxic to a feline if more than 1 gram per 5 pounds of body weight is ingested. Onion powder has a high toxicity rate and is potentially more potent than a fresh onion. 

Onion toxicity in cats is caused by the oxidant present in onions, n-propyl disulfide. Cats have a high sensitivity for red blood cell oxidation, due to the larger surface area for oxidizing agents to attach to the cell. When the oxidant, n-propyl disulfide is digested and enters the bloodstream, the body interprets this irregular oxidant as a foreign invader. As the oxidant has already attached to the red blood cell and cannot readily be removed, the body destroys the cells in an attempt to remove the harmful substance. The end result is hemolysis, or the breakdown of red blood cells. 

Diagnosis of Onion Toxicity in Cats

The veterinarian will begins the diagnostic process with a physical examination and a review of your cat’s medical history. He or she will ask you cat’s current diet, including table scraps or ingredients in her raw food diet. 

Onion toxicity in cats is commonly diagnosed through the examination of a cat’s red blood cells. As hemolytic anemia is a common clinical sign of onion toxicity, the present of Heinz bodies on the edge of a red blood cell, seen microscopically, will indicate oxidative injury. The diagnostic tool to reveal this clinical sign is called a blood smear, requiring only a small sample of blood from the feline. 

Hemolytic anemia is also a clinical sign of several other common feline diseases, so your veterinarian will likely request a biochemistry profile or radiographs to complete the differential diagnosis.

Treatment of Onion Toxicity in Cats

No specific antidote is available for onion toxicity and the condition is mainly treated with supportive care. The feline may be hospitalized and administered intravenous fluid therapy. The fluid therapy is used to flush the body of the toxin and give the body time to stop hemolyzing its red blood cells. In most cases, once the ingestion of the toxin has ceased, the cat’s bone marrow will begin creating new, healthy red blood cells to replace the previously destroyed cells. In severe blood loss cases, the feline may require a blood transfusion to replenish the body’s blood supply.

Recovery of Onion Toxicity in Cats

Improvement following treatment of onion toxicity will be seen within hours to a day, depending on the cat’s toxic state. Once the feline is stable, the veterinarian may choose to run additional lab work including examination of the blood and urine to ensure the body’s organs are functioning at full capacity. Follow-up appointments are not necessarily required, but the veterinarian may choose to have your cat reevaluated if a blood transfusion was required in the treatment process. 

To avoid onion toxicity in cats, pet owners should avoid feeding table scraps and baby food to the feline. Cats do not usually eat onion by itself, but mixed into a food, it can easily be ingested. Always keep fresh onions, onion powders, onion salts and other products containing onion out of your cat’s reach.

Onion Toxicity Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Jax
Orange & White
3 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none

My cat broke into a small plastic bag that was filled with cooked chopped bacon and raw scallions. When I went downstairs, the bag was ripped open on the floor and a couple of the chopped scallions were about a foot away from it. Should I be concerned? He's acting like his usual self at the moment - I'm not sure if he actually ate any of them (I think he was going for the bacon).

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1955 Recommendations
You should try to induce vomiting and give activated charcoal to bring up any scallions which may have been consumed, only a small amount is required for a toxic event to occur; if it has been over two hours you should visit your Veterinarian to be on the safe side as we do not know how much, if any, was consumed. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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leonidas
Dlh
2 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

None yet

I mixed chicken broth in with my cats food and then realized the broth was made with onion (no chunks in the broth)now i'm worried i poisoned my little man man. he is not having any symptoms, but i read it could take days to show. just wondering if i should take him in

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
467 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. That small amount of onion that Leonidas would have eaten should not cause any problems long term - onion toxicities and effects on the bone marrow tend to build up over time with repeated dosages or one very large dose of onion. If he shows any signs of GI upset - vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy and decreased appetite, he should be seen by your veterinarian. I hope that he does well!

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Rosemary
Tortoiseshell (American Shorthair)
1 Year
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

None yet

Hi, My cat RoseMary has just recently (As in, just a few minutes ago) licked a slice of flavored bread flavored with both garlic and onion. No actual garlic and onion were on the crust, and it can be inferred that Onion and Garlic Powder were used, and it has come to my attention that both of these powders are more potent. Should I be concerned, granted that there are no symptoms yet and she had only a lick? She IS an obese cat, so should the extra mass prevent anything from getting too bad? Should I Seek Veteranary Care ?

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
467 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Onions and garlic are both toxic over time, so the small, one time exposure that Rosemary has had should not cause any toxic signs in her bone marrow. She may have some GI upset, and if she starts vomiting, having diarrhea, or not eating or lethargic, she should be seen by your veterinarian. I hope that she does well.

My cat (Angel) was around onions all day. We had to make somthing that used 10kg of onions. She was around it wost of the time. Her eyes got all small.

We were cooking at home so we needed 10kg of onions. Angel (my cat) was near onions most of the time. Her eyes got all shrinky. is this ok for a 4 month old kitten?

My senior Cat just ate a half dollar sized piece of cooked onion. Is this cause for great concern?

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Street Cats of Jerusalem
All types
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Possible Onion poisoning

Hi,

Can a cat eat chicken that was cooked with onions, if I am careful to remove all the onion before giving it to the cat?

Also, would your answer change if it is to give to street cats? Perhaps better they have something to eat that I maybe wouldn't give my pet cat?

Thank you very much for answering my question. It is very helpful and appreciated. I work in a school and many of the school lunches go to waste. I try to give them to the street cats and today's lunch had onions with the chicken.

Thank you!

Leah Tabak

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
467 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. It is very nice of you to want to help these cats. Eating even small amounts of onions over time will cause bone marrow problems, so it wouldn't be a good idea to feed them the chicken with traces of onions. If you wash the chicken so that all traces of spice are gone, the chicken should be fine for them, as an occasional meal when there is excess food that is going to waste. I'm sure they will love it!

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Nayah
Domestic Long/Medium Hair
4 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Lethargy
Vomiting

Woke up to find my kitten having diarrhea and vomiting white foam. She is not very active and is sleeping. I believe it is because she ate raw green onions growing in my backyard. I gave her water to drink and will make her go on a 24 hour fast. I am also going to give her some mint tea. Is it serious enough to take her to the vet? What should I do?

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
467 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. It would honestly probably be a good idea to take your kitten to your veterinarian for an exam, yes. If she is vomiting white foam, not eating, and is lethargic, there may be more going on than the onions, although that may have caused GI upset that needs treatment, as well. Your vet will be able to examine her, treat he if necessary, and make her feel better soon.

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Dusty
Tuxedo cat
12 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

none

Medication Used

Lasix

I thought I was doing a good thing by giving my self-fasting cat (she is holding her own but not eating; we do not know if it is cancer or congestive heart disease) a few little syringe amounts of "Kitchen Accomplice" Organic chicken bone broth concentrate until I realized there is ONION Stock in it. It is the 5th item on the ingredient list; the serving size is 1 1/3 TBL. Amount I gave my Dusty today probably totaled between 1/4- less than 1/2 tsp (mixed with water) throughout the day. Do I need to worry?

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1955 Recommendations
When I check the Kitchen Accomplice website onion is listed as the tenth ingredient on the list; We do not know how much onion specifically there is in a tsp of stock; I would recommend you call Kitchen Accomplice to see if they can give you any specific answer and have Dusty checked over by your Veterinarian to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.kitchenaccomplice.com/chicken-broth-concentrate www.kitchenaccomplice.com/contactus

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Leo
American Shorthair
5 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

My cat Leo ate about a tablespoon of finely diced cooked onions. Does cooking lessen the toxicity? Will I still need to take him to the vet?

Read more at: https://wagwalking.com/cat/condition/onion-toxicity

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1955 Recommendations
When onion is cooked, it does lessen the severity of toxicity but we cannot be complacent; you should keep an eye on Leo and regularly check his gum colour to ensure it stays a healthy pink red colour; ideally you should visit your Veterinarian but if his gums turn white you should visit your Veterinarian immediately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Juno
Dark Tortoiseshell
5 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

None yet

My cat licked a piece of onion about 45 minutes ago when I pulled it off a slice of pizza. She began grooming shortly afterwards and I googled if they were toxic or not. When I learned they were I got her to drink some water (within about 10 minutes of ingestion) and she behaved normally afterwards. She was playful and active, and after about 15 minutes I fed her at her normal dinner time, 5pm. She ate normally and is behaving normally now, at 5:20pm. When should I bring her to the vet? When will I be able to tell if she was affected by the onion? She really didn’t seem to ingest hardly any at all, it was literally a single small lick. But I want a professional opinion on whether or not I should take her to the vet, and how soon it needs to be. I could take her to her usual vet that I trust in the morning, but if she needs a vet tonight I’ll take her anywhere I can.

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1955 Recommendations
A lick of an onion (not actually consuming any pieces) shouldn’t cause any trouble, the problem comes when a cat (or dog) consumed some onion as the Allium in the onion is toxic for their red blood cells and causes anaemia; I would keep an eye on things for the time being and if she starts being lethargic, has pale gums or any other symptom (may take a few days) listed on this page you should visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Harley
American Shorthair
7 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Cat may have stolen a tiny piece of fried onion off my plate. I couldn't say for sure as I didn't see her take it but she was chewing when I looked at her. She is not showing any of the above visible symptoms but am monitoring her. Still has a healthy appetite. Should I be worried? How do I know she's in the clear? She is about 6 lbs

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1955 Recommendations
A tiny piece of onion may not cause any symptoms, but generally the serious symptoms of onion poisoning takes a few days to present with anaemia so you would notice the gums going pale. Keep a close eye on Harley and visit your Veterinarian if you have any concerns. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

My cat Leo ate about a tablespoon of finely diced cooked onions. Does cooking lessen the toxicity? Will I still need to take him to the vet?

It will not allow me to submit a question for advice.

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Toby
DOMESTIC
10 Weeks
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Nothing yet except a lot of licking

My kitty stepped in my egg salad that had onions! He got some of the Mayo onion on his paw and tail. Can this be toxic? I immediately wiped down his foot and tail with cat wipes

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1955 Recommendations
If there was no ingestion of the egg salad, Toby should be fine; onion poisoning doesn’t go through the skin, not that efficiently anyway. Just make sure that the egg salad is thoroughly cleaned off and if any was consumed induce vomiting with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Beau
American Shorthair
13 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Medication Used

prednisone

Beau ate 2 tablespoons of a sour cream based caramelized onion dip does he need to go to the vet?

He is behaving normally, does not clear to be nausious.

He has ibd/lymphoma and is on prednisone, probiotics, cerenia as needed

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1955 Recommendations
Symptoms of onion poisoning isn’t immediate but may cause some gastrointestinal symptoms as well as haemolytic anaemia in some cases; inducing vomiting is best but may not be wise with his current treatment. Also, other ingredients in the dip may be dangerous for dogs too so check that out; if in doubt visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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