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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16528
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 15lb dog just got into our family dinner, while we were

Customer Question

My 15lb dog just got into our family dinner, while we were outside, and ate 2lbs of cooked ground beef with 1/2an onion in it. What should I do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that your pup has eaten 2 pounds of cooked ground beef with 1/2 of an onion mixed in it.
The ground beef is a concern because of a high fat content leading to pancreatitis, vomiting and diarrhea.
Onions and garlic can be toxic for dogs because they cannot digest them properly leading to nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and cramping, red blood cell damage, anemia and secondary organ damage.
Onion toxicity is dose dependent however. That means that a dog must eat a certain amount of onions per pound of body weight to see signs of toxicity. They must eat 0.5% of their body weight of onions in order to see toxic effects. In a 15 pound dog that is 0.045 pounds (15lbs X 0.005 = 0.075 pounds) or 1.2 ounces (16 ounces X 0.075 = 1.2 ounces) of onions.
For reference a medium onion is about 6 ounces, so 1/2 of an onion is 3 ounces, and at her size she would only need to eat roughly 1/5th of medium sized onion to see toxicity. She ate more than that, so we need to get her to vomit as soon as possible.
But if she just ate the onions it is best to induce vomiting.
Give her 1 &1/2 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide soaked with some bread chunks or mixed with some ice cream.
The take her outside and run her around.
If no vomiting in 10 minutes repeat the peroxide dose.
If she vomits the onions she should be fine.
If you don't have peroxide then an emergency clinic visit to induce vomiting is best.
If it has been more than a couple hours it is too late for us to do much for her at home.
Activated charcoal will bind drug or chemical toxins, but it must be given within a period of time in order to work. She will need 1 GRAM per pound of body weight or 15 GRAMS (not milligrams). I recommend that she go to an emergency clinic to have that administered.
Once clinical signs develop, supportive care including intravenous fluids (to keep her hydrated) and oxygen therapy are the main forms of treatment. Some dogs may require a blood transfusion if their red blood cells are damaged enough.
The outlook for onion toxicity is good with early treatment but “guarded” in severe cases or in dogs that are not treated by a veterinarian.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hi Zach,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Maggie. How is everything going?

Dr. Kara

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