Maness Veterinary Services

522 SW 27th Place
Newcastle, OK 73065



onionsOnions are members of the genus Allium (Other members of this genus include garlic, leek, shallot, and chive). Pieces of onion, onion powder, or even cooked onion, can cause damage to red blood cells which could result in anemia in both dogs and cats. The primary toxic component is n-propyl disulfide, which is thought to cause oxidative damage to erythrocytes, resulting in hemolysis.4 Toxicoses from fresh, dried, or, powdered plant material have been reported in dogs and cats. In one study, dogs developed hemolytic anemia after being fed 30 g/kg of onions once daily for 3 days.5 Feeding commercial baby food containing onion powder has also been reported to cause toxicity in cats. 6 Clinical signs associated with onion poisoning include hemolytic anemia, hemoglobinuria, vomiting, weakness, and pallor.

onionsTreatment consists of decontamination procedures such as inducing emesis and administering activated charcoal, which should be considered with recent ingestions. Afterwards, the animal should be monitored for the development of hemolysis, azotemia, and/or decreased PCV. Whole-blood transfusions or administration of oxygenated hemoglobin should be considered with critical patients. Fluid diuresis is recommended in patients with hemoglobinuria. In addition, supportive care should be administered until patient recovery.