There may be a number of factors that go into how your dog will be affected by onions - like dog size or the amount of onion digested, but if you suspect that your dog has ingested onions, its best to take your pup to the dog-tor immediately!
Signs Your Dog Ate Oniony Food
So what does this mean, can you keep onions in your house if you own a dog? How can you tell if your dog has eaten an onion? And what do you do if they have?
First off, look for signs of lack of enthusiasm. If your normally energetic pup is a lot more lethargic than usual, that's your first sign something is may not be right. Additionally, your pup might exhibit symptoms like panting, diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, fainting, and even discolored urine.
Remember that damage that your dog’s red blood cells has taken from the consumption of onions will generally appear after 3-5 days from digestion.
If you think your dog's gotten a hold of onions, make sure you're watching out for some of these body language cues from your pup:
- Raspy panting
- Tail tucking
- Pale gums
- Reddish urine
- No appetite
- Severe hyperactivity
- Irregular heartbeat
- Muscle rigidity
The Science Behind Onions Being Toxic for Dogs
So why are onions so bad for our canines? Onions contain an ingredient called thiosulphate, which is highly toxic for your dog. The ingestion of thiosulphate causes a condition known as hemolytic anemia. Hemolytic anemia is a scientific way to say that onions cause damage to your dog's red blood cells.
In fact, onion toxicity can cause all of the red cells in your dog's body to become damaged or destroyed, resulting in a painful death. When blood cells die, the body’s bone marrow makes more blood cells to replace them. However, in hemolytic anemia, the bone marrow can’t make red blood cells fast enough, or at all.
We use red blood cells to carry and remove oxygen from our bodies. When our bodies don’t have enough red blood cells, some of the common symptoms are pain, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, an enlarged heart, or eventually heart failure.
To make onions even worse, they contain a compound called organosulfur that results in toxicosis. Toxicosis is a condition brought on by poisoning, which can be easily absorbed by the dog’s digestive tract. Onion ingestion can also lead to liver damage, asthmatic attacks, allergic reactions, weakness, diarrhea, discolored urine, anemia, vomiting, and even dermatitis. It's safe to say that your pooch should stay as far away from onions as possible.
What to Do if Your Dog Eats Onions
If your pooch comes into contact with onions (whether it be power, sliced, etc.) it is extremely important that you consult your veterinarian immediately. If symptoms occur as a result of onion ingestion, you should take your pup to the vet ASAP.
Treatment normally involves inducement of vomiting, flushing out the tummy, and using activated charcoal to treat not just poisoning but any potential allergic reactions as well. Other treatment plans may include maintaining your pup's hydration by providing fluid in his bloodstream, medication for liver damage, and calling for blood transfusions in more serious cases.
Remember that you should think and act quickly, because onions, believe it or not, can be a matter of life and death. The sooner you act and get your pup professional care it needs, the less potential there is for serious health damage and serious health treatment.
You should not attempt to treat a case of onion toxicity by yourself if you’re not a professional and are not certified to do so. The only course of treatment you should follow is one that is specified by your veterinarian.
How to React if Your Dog Eats Onions:
Take your pup to the veterinarian immediately.
Do not feed scraps to your pup that contain onions.
Store onions out of your dog's reach.
Think about the food you are giving your pooch before you hand it over.