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This is Pierre Warren! Pierre is a good dog (and always nattily attired.) But sometimes even a good dog does a naughty. Last week, Pierre found a Bronco’s hamburger with double onions. Pierre just couldn’t help himself. Pierre ate that entire yummy hamburger, pickles and onions and all. Pierre was quite pleased with himself. Pierre’s mom and dad were not so pleased. Onions are NOT good for good dogs, or naughty dogs, or cats. In fact, onions can be very, very bad. Pierre’s mom and dad called us, and Dr. Rock-Paul said “OH NO Pierre!” Pierre had to come and see our medical team, who gave him something that was not so delicious as a hamburger, and pretty soon … well, Pierre lost his lunch. Pierre has learned the error of his ways (and he’s doing just fine now) but he wanted us to share his story so that others would learn the perils of onions. (Garlic too – which is actually about 5 times as potent as onions in toxicity.)

Onions and garlic can cause oxidative damage to red blood cells, resulting in signs of anemia: lethargy, pale gums, elevated heart rate, increased respiratory rate, weakness, and collapse. These foods can also cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and drooling. Certain dog breeds appear to be more sensitive to the poisonous effects, including the Akita and Shiba Inu; cats are also more sensitive than most dogs. If you think your dog or cat may have eaten onions, garlic, chives, or leeks, please contact us asap for treatment recommendations. If your pet sneaks a naughty snack after business hours, please call VCA Midwest Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center or the Pet Poison Helpline for advice. Our thanks to sweet Pierre and the Warren family for helping us to spread the word!!

For more information about foods that can be dangerous for your pets, check out our blog post from last autumn about holiday foods to keep away from cats and dogs.

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