Onion powder poisons daring dog
Pet Poison Helpline raises awareness of this popular summertime season in its latest Toxin Tails installment
In Sharron Champagne’s home in Hooksett, New Hampshire, a “Costco-size” onion powder container was left on the kitchen counter. Both her dogs, Tsuk and Scotty, were left unattended with the spice and Tsuk decided to jump on the opportunity.
"Tsuk is notorious for stealing things off the counter," expressed Champagne, in an organizational release.1 "She's extremely focused on food and is always hungry. I swear she can hear a piece of lettuce drop from across the house. Apparently, Tsuk pulled the onion powder container off the counter and ripped it open. The container was about three-quarters full, and what she didn't eat she left on her mat.”
Champagne added that originally, the family wasn’t worried because they didn’t know the dangers onions pose to pets. However, after several days, Tsuk grew lethargic, lost her appetite, and started drinking excess water and had dark urine. “She also started vomiting. That is when we realized something was seriously wrong."
This is when the Champagnes called the toxicology experts at Pet Poison Helpline, who recommended they take Tsuk to the veterinary hospital.
Renee Schmid, DVM, DABVT, DABT, a senior veterinary toxicologist at Pet Poison Helpline, shared, "The amount of onion powder potentially ingested by Tsuk posed a risk for red blood cell damage, anemia and GI irritation,” she continued. "Main clinical signs are often seen within three to five days after ingestion, so the timing of her clinical signs was consistent with onion exposure."
At VCA Capital Area Veterinary Emergency and Specialty, Tsuk was treated and their medical team followed up with Pet Poison Helpline for treatment suggestions. Once a case is opened by a pet parent or a veterinary professional, all follow-up consultations are included.
According to the release,1 the medical team was instructed to perform bloodwork, which confirmed Tsuk's red blood cell count was very low and Tsuk needed a life-saving blood transfusion. Substantial anemia can be damaging because oxygen transport to tissues and organs throughout the body is compromised, possbily resulting in life-threatening damage.
Additionally, veterinary blood transfusions require intense monitoring and care to ensure harmful reactions don't occur. Plus, they placed Tsuk on IV fluids and offered her more supportive care including monitoring her oxygen levels and administering antioxidants.
"After three days in emergency care, and thousands of dollars in veterinary bills to save her life, Tsuk is now doing great. We are so happy we made the decision to treat her," added Champagne. "
“We now have a very small bottle of onion powder, and when the garlic powder runs out, we're downsizing that bottle too." Garlic powder has the same toxin and signs as onion powder but has a narrower margin of safety.
Onion powder poisons probing pooch. News release. Pet Poison Helpline. July 20, 2022. Accessed July 21, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/onion-powder-poisons-probing-pooch-301589715.html