Q) My Cat Ate Onion Broth - Is It Toxic?


On today's episode of Twin Trees Vet Talk, we welcome our special guest and dear friend Dr. Katie Buss. Dr. Buss is a small animal veterinarian and winner of the "My Vet’s the Best,"  a nationwide contest that honours veterinarians for their outstanding service.  Dr. Buss helps answer the question: 

Q) Hi my cat took 4 teaspoons of home made chicken broth which had cooked onions in it. She only took the watery part with no solid onions. Is she in danger?

An overview of onion toxicity from Pet Poison Helpline

"Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks are part of the Allium family and are poisonous to both dogs and cats. Garlic is considered to be about 5-times as potent as onion. Certain breeds and species are more sensitive, including cats and Japanese breeds of dogs (e.g., Akita, Shiba Inu). Toxic doses of onion and garlic can cause oxidative damage to the red blood cells (making the red blood cells more likely to rupture) and gastroenteritis (e.g., nausea, oral irritation, drooling, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea). Other clinical signs of anemia can also occur and include lethargy, pale gums, increased heart rate, increased respiratory rate, weakness, exercise intolerance, and collapse. Onion and garlic poisoning may have a delayed onset and clinical signs may not be apparent for several days."

There are many foods that can be toxic- even fatal- to pets if ingested.

Toxic foods rank #3 on the annual list of the Top 10 Toxins to Pets that the ASPCA Animal Poison Control publishes every year.

Learn about other toxins in your household and dangers to avoid:

WELCOME TO TWIN TREES VET TALK! Join us LIVE every Sunday 5:30-6pm PST. An informal chat with Dr. Lopez (Emergency Veterinarian) and friends to share our perspective on pet predicaments, being a veterinarian, our shared love for animals and more! Have a quick question? Want to run something by us? Or just need our two cents? This is your chance! Each week we select a handful of questions to answer. 

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control: 1 (888) 426-4435 https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control
  • The Official Top 10 Pet Toxins of 2020 https://www.aspca.org/news/official-top-10-pet-toxins-2020
  • People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/people-foods-avoid-feeding-your-pets
  • Onions: https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/onion/

3 BEST PIECES OF ADVICE FROM THE EMERGENCY VET THAT COULD SAVE YOUR PET'S LIFE

1) DON'T WAIT TOO LONG TO GET HELP! If you wait too long, it could be too late. This is especially true for concerns such as laboured breathing, pale gums and weakness. You know your pet best, so if you are worried or concerned, "when in doubt, check it out!"

2) PREVENT THE PREVENTABLE. Learn as much as possible about dangers that face your pet, such as household poisons, seemingly harmless objects (like toys, clothing, garbage and rocks), other animals, and vehicles. Pets are like toddlers and they need a responsible adult/babysitter to protect them from danger. Puppies and kittens need to start their vaccines at ~8 WEEKS (and they need boosters too!) to protect them from deadly diseases.

3) BE PREPARED FOR THE WORST CASE SCENARIO. Have a plan in place, know your nearest emergency clinic, have the ASPCA phone number on speed dial. Know basic first aid training and CPR. But MOST IMPORTANTLY, BE FINANCIALLY PREPARED. The cost of medical treatment in an emergency, and the owners' ability to pay for it, is probably the most important factor that determines whether a pet will receive the medical care it needs. The best way to protect yourself is to have good medical insurance for your pet. Do your research.

**REMEMBER**: WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM, with the best interest of the patient as everyone's first priority. Let your vet do what he/she does best, and don't try to grab the steering wheel and obstruct your vet from doing his/her job. We are all in the same car, we are all headed to the same place, but only one of us has the driver's license (meaning, only the vet has the medical training and background to "drive the car"). 

DISCLAIMER

The medical information on this site is provided as an educational resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information does not create any veterinarian-client-patient relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

Please consult your pet's health care provider before making any health care decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Twin Trees Vet expressly disclaims responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.