Garlic might be a great way to keep Dracula at bay,but if you aren’t careful it could mean a trip to the vet for your pet!
Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks are in the Allium family, and are poisonous to both dogs and cats if the dose is right. Garlic is considered to be about five times as toxic as onions for cats and dogs. Certain breeds and species seem to be more sensitive: Japanese breeds of dogs (e.g., Akita, Shiba Inu) and cats. Onion and garlic poisoning results in oxidative damage to the red blood cells (making the red blood cells more likely to rupture) and gastroenteritis (e.g., nausea, oral irritation, drooling, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea). Other clinical signs of anemia may be seen, and include lethargy, pale gums, an elevated heart rate, an increased respiratory rate, weakness, exercise intolerance, and collapse. Onion and garlic poisoning may have a delayed onset, and clinical signs may not be apparent for several days. While minute amounts of these foods in some pets, especially dogs, may be safe, large ingestions can be very toxic.
Onions can cause a form of hemolytic anemia called Heinz body anemia, a condition that causes the destruction of red blood cells. Kidney damage may follow.
Toxicity may occur from similar foods such as garlic and chives.
It is not clear what quantity of onions is poisonous, but the effects can be cumulative. Poisoning can result from raw, cooked and dehydrated forms. Avoid feeding table scraps and any foods cooked with onions (including some baby foods). Check your ingredients!
Signs occur secondary to anemia and include pale gums, rapid heart rate, weakness, and lethargy. Other signs such as vomiting, diarreah, and bloody urine may be seen.
Treatment may consist of blood transfusions and/or oxygen administration followed by specific fluid therapy.
‘But,but…..I saw a garlic food item at the pet store just the other day!’…I hear you say,and don’t worry,there IS some benefits to Garlic if you do it right,read on:
fresh garlic in small amounts is ok for dogs:
One study in particular helped create garlic’s reputation as a food that can harm your dog. This study by K W Lee et al fed 5 grams of garlic per kilo per day to the dogs.
That’s an excessive amount. It means you’d need to feed about four full heads of garlic (or 60 cloves) to a 75 lb Golden Retriever, or 23 grams of garlic (6 to 8 cloves) to a 10 lb dog, before they’d experience any adverse effects.
Definitely don’t feed this much!
Garlic contains thiosulphate, the chemical responsible for causing Heinz body hemolytic anemia as was mentioned before with onions. This type of anemia causes oxidative damage to red blood cells that shortens their life. Red blood cells oxygenate tissues. Hemolytic anemia causes a decrease in these cells, which can lead to sickness and even death. Symptoms of hemolytic anemia include diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, pale gums, rapid breathing and dark urine.
Want to avoid hemoytic anemia? Feed the right kind of garlic (that means fresh not dried or processed) and the correct dosage.
Proper dosages of raw garlic don’t contain high levels of thiosulphate. Bone marrow continually produces red blood cells. This means your dog would have to receive an excessive dose over a long period of time – or an extremely large dose – to cause death.