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RICHARD7000 November 8th, 2007 09:31 PM

Dog ate onions - Answered by Dr. Van Lienden
HELP!! My 1.5 year old Bichon was given some meatballs the other day which were cooked with quite a bit of onions (she is 9.5 pounds). The very next day while heading out for a walk with my girlfriend she started losing her balance, collapsed and urinated on herself. She was out of it for about a minute according to my girlfriend who initially believed it was a seizure. We took her to the vet immediately and explained the collapse as a seizure to vet. We thought nothing of the onions since no one ever asked us and we were unaware it was toxic. The next day she seemed to be getting better but after a walk to the mail box she ran around excited and collapsed again, this time for only a few seconds, but i witnessed it and after seeing over 15 you tube videos of dogs having seizures my girlfriend and I decided that wasnt what she had. By this time the tests came back in and they noticed she was anemic and her bile acids test came back very high and the vet believed she has a liver shunt. She didnt have ammonia issues either. The next day i was on the internet and found all of this new about onions and read about how toxicification of onions mimics a liver shunt and brought it to the vets attention explaining how we gave her over twice the toxic amount for her weight and now didnt believe that she ever had a seizure. The vet kinda "yeah yeah'd" me, but after 1000.00 in fees can someone please give me some advice? I understand it could be one or both but i dont believe they tested her blood for heinz embodies because when i asked them if they did they started getting a little defensive. I started giving her supplement vitamins and feeding her small amounts at a time to go easy on her liver and she is improving a lot. What type of tests should we have done to distinguish whether Onions were the culprit or a liver shunt??

Frenchy November 8th, 2007 09:39 PM

I'm sorry I can't help you with this but I'm sure someone will soon. How long ago did she ate the onions ?

RICHARD7000 November 8th, 2007 09:44 PM

thanks, she has been eating small amounts with her food since she was little, but this time she had a lot! it was about 4 days ago. She seem like she is getting a lot better im just worried her liver wont be able to heal itself.

Frenchy November 8th, 2007 09:51 PM

[QUOTE=RICHARD7000;499726] im just worried her liver wont be able to heal itself.[/QUOTE]

I'm hoping with time , it will. :fingerscr

breeze November 8th, 2007 09:51 PM

Richard if you knew that oinons were toxic then why were you giving her small amounts of oinions in her food since she was small. i would think that any amount of oinions would be dangerious no????

Frenchy November 8th, 2007 09:53 PM

I don't think he knew :shrug:

RICHARD7000 November 8th, 2007 10:02 PM

i didnt find out until after i she collapsed the second time. I was on the internet searching for hours before finding out about it. I think the vet should have asked about what she ate that day, im actually a little dissapointed about their lack of discovery. Also i read that to some dogs they may be more toxic than to others. I wont let her near them anymore.

breeze November 8th, 2007 10:06 PM

I agree the vet should of asked but now what is important is that you help her get better....
Have you thought about calling another vet?? maybe they can shed some light on the situation for you??

are you feeding her raw?? or regular kibble??

RICHARD7000 November 8th, 2007 10:11 PM

she usually eats regular kibble and sometimes when my girlfriend cooks she gets chicken or beef. As of her episode i have been feeding her boiled chicken breast since its easier to feed her in small increments throughout the day and have her actually eat it.

Jim Hall November 9th, 2007 08:56 AM

you spent 1 k and the vet didnt find a reason? Its new vet time i woyuld think.

rainbow November 9th, 2007 12:25 PM

I'm sorry to hear what you and your little one have gone through. I also question your vet and think I would be looking for a new one also.

Milk Thistle and Sam-E supplements are both very beneficial to the liver. There's lots of info out there if you want to check it out. Good luck and keep us posted. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

ancientgirl November 9th, 2007 02:14 PM

Just a suggestion, you should print out a list of foods dogs can and can't eat. I know that there's a thread here that gives you a list as well as some links. You didn't know about the onions, so that should tell you that there are probably other things you might be giving her that she shouldn't eat.

I hope she starts to feel better and you can get her back on track.

mummummum November 9th, 2007 06:51 PM

You might find this helpful regarding toxics: [url][/url]

sways_bodyguard November 12th, 2007 05:32 PM

sorry to be the bearer of potential bad news but please make sure you keep her bloodwork consistently checked...
eating onions is one of the (many) things that can trigger a nasty blood disease called AIHA/IMHA - auto immune hemolytic anemia.
reason i know this is because my dog has it and has been battling it for almost 6 months now.
i dont know specifically what triggered our case, but i know (through research) that giving onions or garlic are one of the initial triggers.
i wish you guys the best:pray:

petdr November 19th, 2007 08:54 AM

Onions can cause Heinz body formation (denatured hemoglobin within the red blood cell) and anemia. Unfortunately, the only treatment is a blood transfusion or time to allow formation of new red blood cells. Since your little dog is still alive, seems that time will solve this problem.

A liver shunt is a totally different beast. Typical blood results will show low bilirubin, low albumin, high ammonia levels. X-ray films will show a small liver silhouette. Ultrasound may demonstrate abnormal blood flow. Radio-opaque dye is used on some occasions to show abnormal flow, and can be done with MRI, x-ray films and fluoroscopy. Bile acid assays are frequently used to demonstrate liver shunts. Other exotic blood tests are also used, but beyond the scope of this answer. Once a liver is diagnosed, then a surgical repair is the best solution, even though medical treatment may be a viable alternative.

Bottom line answer: if this is onion toxicity, then time will solve your problem over the next 10 to 14 days. If this is a liver shunt, then expect more symptoms and strange episodes as you have described.

Dr. Van Lienden

Dr. Raymond Van Lienden DVM
The Animal Clinic of Clifton
12702 Chapel Road, Clifton
Virginia, U.S.A. 20124

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