If a dog eats garlic, is it a canine emergency situation? That’s a question that’s been asked and heavily debated for years. Some pet owners feel that garlic is as healthy for their four-legged babies as it is for their two-legged ones. Others worry that the herb’s naturally occurring, chemical compounds makes it toxic to dogs and cats. So, what is the real truth about garlic? Let’s look at the scientific evidence:

Over the years, several studies and clinical trials have examined what happens to domestic animals when they consume garlic. Examples include results published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research, Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing VeterinarianFood and Chemical Toxicology and the Journal of Veterinarian Medical Science.They’ve consistently shown that when consumed in certain amounts, garlic can cause dogs to develop hemolytic anemia but why? What is it about hemolytic anemia that prompts canine emergency situations?

When a dog ingests garlic, it kicks off a series of events that may take hours or days to complete. First, naturally occurring chemicals in the garlic attack and kill the body’s red blood cells. The reduction in cells causes blood oxygen loss as well as an increase in hemoglobin and bile to occur. That combination of events eventually causes the dog’s kidneys and other internal organs to fail, leading to premature death. Symptoms commonly associated with the canine emergency’s progression include a rapid pulse rate, heavy panting, muscle weakness, fatigue, discolored urine, jaundice and a lack of appetite.

The good news is receiving immediate medical treatment may stop and reverse the damage caused by hemolytic anemia. However, success rates and recovery times vary. To learn more about garlic consumption and other canine emergency situations, please contact us at Urgent Pet Care Omaha. We treat dogs diagnosed with hemolytic anemia and accept a variety of reimbursement methods, including interest-free payment plans.