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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16268
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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3 month old bulldog ate a clove of garlic. Local vet said I

Customer Question

Hi, 3 month old bulldog ate a clove of garlic. Local vet said I need to take him in to induce vomiting? I don't think I should do that.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Why do you not want to induce vomiting when Bo has eaten something toxic?
How much does he weigh?
Was it a large or small clove?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was a small clove. I didn't think it was toxic for him.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He weighs 26 lbs
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think inducing vomiting would cause more harm since he is a bulldog.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is it bad for him and should I take him in?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
Fair enough. Still, if you are not keen to induce vomiting because you are concerned with the risk of aspiration of vomit, you do still need to address this for him. Therefore, either he needs to be taken into the vet for decontamination +/- IV fluids. Or you can administering activated charcoal at this stage. This is available over the counter from the pharmacy (ask for the high strength version, not the one for gas) or your vets and works by binding any remaining material in the stomach. For activated charcoal, we tend to give 1-4 grams per pound every 8 hrs. This can be mixed with food to be fed or with water to syringe feed (do note that it stains, so keep it away from white carpets/clothes). This will just limit how much is absorbed and reduce the intoxication risk here.
Now the reason why your vet suggested inducing vomiting is because garlic is very dangerous for dogs. It is five times more potent then onions for dogs. And while this sounds to a small dose, it is not always possible to ensure a dog won't suffer ill effects (especially young dogs). To understand why your vet is so concerned, not only does garlic cause GI upset (vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss), but the toxin can also cause red blood cells to rupture. This leads to anemia where the dog develops pale mucous membranes, weakness, wobbliness, and changes to their heart/breathing rates. When this happens, then sometimes need blood transfusions to recover.
Therefore, if he has had garlic, we need to tread with care and act fast. If you aren't keen to induce vomiting at home, you can have your vet do it. Otherwise either of you can start him on activated charcoal to bind the toxin. Afterwards, if you did take him in, the vet could put him on IV fluids to flush this out as quickly as possible and reduce any risk of it causing damage to his red blood cells and these risky adverse signs.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok I took him to the vet. And they are giving him a shot to induce vomiting. I just didn't think I small amount was going to cause him trouble. Thank you for responding so quickly.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome my dear.
It is just one of those very toxic substances that even a small amount can cause trouble (it is just the same with grapes/raisins/xylitol containing foods). So, since we cannot predict how sensitive his red blood cells will be to this toxin, it is always better to err on the side of caution to avoid a potential anemia/blood transfusion situations if we can.
Please take care,
Dr. B.
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