Onions are Harmful and/or Deadly To Dogs... and to Cats.

12/23/2016 11:08

by Richard Brooker, SAR K-9 handler


Slicing an onion to put onto a hamburger brought on disaster when I dropped the slice. A black blur (black lab) flashed by and caught the slice before it hit the floor. (Mildly concerned, I looked up onions and canines on the internet to discover warning that onions contain an enzyme which canines can’t digest, which in turn can cause the red blood cells to burst).

I contacted the vet and went in on emergency.  Vet ran blood chemistry tests but didn’t want to induce vomiting because that can bring on serious issues, and my description of the amount of onion consumed didn’t seem significant (at the time).

Two days later retests showed damage had begun. Red blood cell (and white cell) counts were down, reds down substantially. Food was passing through the digestive system mostly unabsorbed. Weight loss started (within a few days her weight went down six pounds from 51 pounds origional).
The dog was prescribed a special diet including probiotics. The passing of food slowed but the weight continued to drop (now down eleven pounds). New tests indicated red and white cell count was still very low but also “juvenile” red blood cells were present in significant amounts (indicating reds were being replaced).

Six weeks (and $700) into the problem her weight continued to drop so the prescription food intake was doubled from two cups to four cups twice daily and probiotics continued. After three weeks on this diet modification her weight has increased ½ pound. New tests indicate blood chemistry nearly normal with red blood cell count restored but whites still low. Ribs and other bones are visually  protruding and her appearance looks awful-this on a long hair English Lab. She is likely to remain on probiotics and special diet indefinitely. When the probiotics were stopped her amount of food discharged increased within a couple days, went back to “normal” when probiotics were resumed.

Throughout this ordeal her energy seemed normal with high play (and especially food drive). I don’t know what is to come but I think it’s time to let others know about this danger. I no longer have onion in my house BTW.

There has been a toll taken on my dog that I can't express. I can sense it, I just know it has happened. Prayers for my K-9 gratefully accepted.

The K-9 is mine, the ordeal described is genuine and still ongoing. I wanted to warn other K-9 owners of the danger.