Allium Spp. And Your Pets

Allium Spp. And Your Pets

You may already know that onions can be toxic to your pet, but did you know that garlic, chives, leeks, and possibly other vegetables in the Allium genus can cause similar toxic effects?

These plants contain sulphur compounds which can be toxic to dogs and cats if ingested. Poisoning may occur from the ingestion of raw, cooked, boiled or dehydrated plant material. Dogs and cats that are fed left over human food or kitchen scraps containing these plants can therefore be poisoned. Concentrated products, such as garlic and onion powders, can result in significant poisoning from relatively small ingestions.

Pets that ingest these plants can become unwell due to the destruction of red blood cells, otherwise known as haemolytic anaemia. Initial signs of ingestion may be limited to inappetence, vomiting and diarrhea. More concerning signs may take days to appear as red blood cell changes occur. Delayed signs may include lethargy, weakness, panting at rest and pale gums.

The risk of poisoning depends on the size of your pet and the amount ingested. Cats are particularly susceptible; however, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Japanese dog breeds, such as the Japanese Spitz and Akita, are also more sensitive to the toxic effects of these plants.

☎ If your pet has ingested onion, garlic, chives, leeks or shallots, you can call the Animal Poisons Helpline on 1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ) for advice.

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