Dogs are always hungry, but did you know that pet owner who feeds their dog’s whole cloves of raw garlic every day can help reduce canine lip licking?
The procedure states, “Four dogs were given 1.25 ml/kg (5 g) intragastrically once a day for seven days.” For example, an average-sized 40-pound dog would have been administered 20 clove ingestion – not too shabby, right?!
What is garlic poisoning in dogs?
Garlic poisoning is a condition in which the dog exhibits symptoms after eating food containing garlic. Garlic can be found in many human foods, including but not limited to soup mixes, salad dressing, bread, and desserts. Ingesting these ingredients may cause your pet, depending on how much they consumed and what other substances were present in their meal. Symptoms of this condition include vomiting, diarrhea, and panting with an elevated heart rate or respiratory distress. It is important to note that garlic poisoning has not been known to cause any permanent damage in dogs; however, it can be highly toxic depending on the amount ingested.
Symptoms of garlic poisoning in dogs
Vomiting, diarrhea, and/or abdominal pain are the typical symptoms of garlic poisoning. The closer you feed your dog to large amounts of garlic, the more likely vomiting is going to occur within a few hours after ingestion. Moderate cases cause less severe gastrointestinal signs such as nausea and stomach upset that can continue for three days. Severe cases may result in symptoms that can last up to three days, while some dogs suffer from more severe signs like anemia and damage of red blood cells.
“Garlic poisoning is not common,” says Dr. Justine Lee, DVM at the Animal Emergency Clinic further down Oakland Blvd., “However there are times where I see mild toxicosis due to accidental ingestion.”
If you suspect your dog has ingested garlic or other poisonous foods (like chocolate), it’s essential to act quickly! Go immediately to a veterinarian for treatment options if they show any symptoms listed above.
Treatment for dogs who have been poisoned by garlic
- If you see your dog eat garlic, stay calm. Although the effects are usually temporary, it is essential to take action immediately if they begin vomiting or have diarrhea.
- Treatment is focused on making your pet vomit and remove all of the toxins from their body. This can be done by administering hydrogen peroxide orally or using syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting. If you cannot reach a veterinarian right away, they may ask that you give them an activated charcoal mixture as well before they arrive so that it will absorb any toxins still in the stomach and intestines.
- You should also try to track how much garlic was consumed so that treatment can be appropriately given during veterinary care. The vet might suggest inducing vomiting with hydrogen peroxide mixed with water if possible. Still, often this isn’t enough after such a large amount has been eaten, which is why most experts recommend taking your pet in for professional care as soon as possible.
- To make a homemade hydrogen peroxide mixture, give your pet one teaspoon of three percent solution per ten pounds of body weight. Suppose you cannot reach a veterinarian right away. In that case, they may ask that you also administer activated charcoal, which absorbs toxins within the stomach and intestines before it is too late.
Side effects of watching out for if your pet has been poisoned by raw or cooked garlic:
- Hyperthermia: elevated body temperature is a common symptom of garlic poisoning. Treatment should include fluids and cooling measures such as cold compresses or showers to help reduce the dog’s core temperature. If heat stroke has occurred, additional treatments will be required (ref).
- Gastrointestinal upset like vomiting and diarrhea.
- Central Nervous System depression. This includes ataxia (a loss of coordination), lethargy, weakness, and twitching or seizures. Treatment may include IV fluids for hydration and other supportive care to treat the symptoms as they develop.
The poison in garlic is called Allicin. It’s a type of sulfur that can cause gas and bloating, upset stomachs, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and liver damage in dogs who have ingested raw or cooked garlic. If you think your pet has been poisoned by overeating garlic from either foods or supplements, then watch them closely for these symptoms. If they continue to show signs after trying the above treatments at home, it would be best to take them to an emergency vet clinic right away to get life-saving treatment while there’s still time left.
Be sure not to give any more treats while waiting on the results of their lab work because if this was caused by something like onion poisoning, then giving them more could make the situation even worse. If your pet has been poisoned by onion, then you will need to take them to a vet right away where they can get treatment for their symptoms and try to work out what type of poisoning it is so that proper treatments may be given in a time before it’s too late. When taking them outside, you should also watch for signs like vomiting or diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, weakness, and breathing problems. This would indicate blood pressure is being affected, which often happens when pets have been exposed to toxins from onions or garlic cloves.