Onion rings are a tasty treat, but can be fatal for your canine friend. Despite his best puppy eyes, never give your dog onion rings. If he does steal a few from your plate, know the signs of onion poisoning and pancreatitis and call your vet quickly.
Onions are Toxic
Onions are extremely toxic for dogs. Onions contain a chemical called thiosulphate, which destroys your pup's red blood cells and can cause severe anemia. Your canine friend only needs to eat 0.5 percent of his body weight in onions to create a potentially life-threatening toxic level. So if your dog weighs 50 pounds (800 ounces), eating 4 ounces of onions can be dangerous. Even just a few onion rings could endanger your dog's life.
Symptoms of Onion Poisoning
If your pooch does steal your onion rings, keep an eye on him for signs of onion poisoning. Dogs who eat toxic levels of onions will become lethargic and lose their appetite. They may vomit or be weak. As the thiosulphate begins to destroy the red blood cells, the dig's gums will become pale and his breathing and heart rate will increase, as the heart has to work harder to get enough oxygen throughout the body.
Treatment for Onion Poisoning
Onion poisoning should be treated quickly. Give your veterinarian a call immediately. If your vet is not available, call the ASPCA poison hotline at (888) 426-4435 for advice. A vet will induce vomiting in a dog who has eaten onions and likely give him activated charcoal to try to absorb the toxins. Most veterinarians will want to monitor red blood cell levels for several days to make sure anemia doesn't develop. Onion poisoning is not something you should try to treat at home, since it is such a potentially life-threatening condition.
Fried Foods are Bad for Dogs, Too
Dogs need fat to be healthy, but not the kind of fat that comes with onion rings. While dogs don't have problems with cholesterol the way humans do, too much fat can cause other serious problems, including pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can cause mild vomiting, stomach pains and lethargy and can lead to very serious conditions like diabetes and brain damage. For a small dog, just a few fried onion rings could cause pancreatitis.
Treatment for Pancreatitis
Like onion poisoning, pancreatitis should be treated by a veterinarian. The primary way to treat pancreatitis is to slow down the pancreas, which often means no food or water for up to three days for a sick dog. To prevent dehydration, most dogs need IV fluids or even transfusions, which is why veterinary care is so important.