Onion and Garlic Toxicity in Dogs and Cats
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

S-methylcysteine sulfoxide, n-propyl disulfide, methyl disulfide, allyl disulfide

Onion or garlic (Allium spp.) including those that are fresh as well as those dried for use as spices.

General Information
Garlic and onion are used as flavor enhancers in food. Some human baby foods have onion in them, and it is not recommended to feed them to pets. In dogs and cats, garlic and onion can cause Heinz body anemia, resulting in a breakdown of the red blood cells and anemia. The very small amounts of garlic that are present in some commercial pet foods have not been shown to cause any problems.

The bulbs, bulbets, flowers, and stems of the garlic and onion are all poisonous.

Toxic Dose
Unknown. Cats appear to be more sensitive than dogs.

Vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, discolored urine, weakness, liver damage, allergic reactions, asthmatic attacks, and in case of skin exposure, contact dermatitis.

Immediate Action
Induce vomiting and seek veterinary attention. If dermal (skin) exposure, bathe thoroughly and contact a veterinarian.

Veterinary Care
General treatment: The induction of vomiting may be continued, gastric lavage is performed, and activated charcoal administered, if ingested. If dermal exposure has occurred, the animal will be bathed and dried thoroughly.

Supportive treatment: IV fluids are administered to maintain hydration. The animal will be monitored and treated for liver damage. Repeated blood tests will be performed to monitor for anemia; blood transfusions will be administered if necessary.

Specific treatment: Unavailable.


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If you think your pet has been poisoned...

Contact your veterinarian or one of the Animal Poison Hotlines (listed below) if you think your pet may have accidentally received or been given an overdose of the medication.

**ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center

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