Did your pup just eat the chives in your garden, or did it somehow reach the package of chives in your kitchen?
While they may seem harmless, chives are part of the Allium family, and just like onions, garlic and leeks can be toxic to dogs.
So, the short answer to the question, can dogs eat chives is – no!
This is why you should keep your furbaby safely away from any chives in your home or outdoors.
Please keep reading to find out how chives can hurt your dog, the symptoms of chive poisoning in canines, and how it is diagnosed and treated.
Are Chives Poisonous To Dogs?
Chives, like the other members of the Allium family, including leeks, garlic, and onions, contain toxins that can lead to mild or severe poisoning in dogs. Some breeds like the Japanese Shiba Inu and Akita are especially susceptible to this type of poisoning.
This toxicity is due to the thiosulfates found in chives, which, when ingested and absorbed by the pup’s digestive system, can cause oxidative damage and kill the red blood cells in its blood. In severe cases, this can lead to anemia and even death.
But, if your pup is healthy and average-sized or large and has eaten only a small bit of chives, chances are there will be no severe repercussions for it.
The Common Symptoms Of Chives Poisoning In Canines
Suppose you suspect or know that your furry companion has gobbled up some chives. In that case, it is recommended that you call your veterinarian or an animal poison control hotline as soon as possible.
You will be asked for the dog’s age, weight, the number of chives ingested, and other issues it has. Make sure to tell the experts about any poisoning symptoms your pet may be displaying.
The most common symptoms that your furbaby may be suffering from chives toxicity include:
- Irritation of the mouth
- Abdominal discomfort and pain
- Elevated breathing and heart rates
- Pale gums
Remember that the symptoms of anemia resulting from chives poisoning can appear a day or two after the dog has eaten the plants.
The smaller the dog, the greater the chances of adverse reactions to the toxins found in the chives.
What Makes Chives Toxic To Dogs?
The chemical compound known as thiosulfate, naturally found in onions, leeks, chives, and garlic, is toxic to canines.
It can damage and destroy the red blood cells causing the so-called Heinz anemia in large quantities.
The toxic compounds are not eliminated by cooking the chives, so fresh and cooked chives can poison pups.
How Is Chives Toxicity Diagnosed In Dogs?
Your veterinarian will ask you about your pet’s age, weight, and the estimated amount of chives it has consumed.
Then they will physically examine your dog for any adverse effects and symptoms of poisoning. Some blood tests can be run to help estimate the damage to the pup’s blood and organs.
Some of the telltale signs of chives poisoning are pale gums and an increased heart rate.
Heinz anemia, caused by the toxins in chives, can be diagnosed via biochemistry tests and microscopic examinations of a blood sample. The damaged red blood cells will have a specific form known as Heinz bodies.
How Is Chives Poisoning In Dogs Treated?
Acting as quickly impossible can save your dog’s life if it happens to eat a poisonous amount of chives – leaves or bulbs.
So, call the vet or take your furbaby to the clinic as soon as possible for a timely diagnosis and successful treatment.
If the incident with the ingested chives occurred just an hour or so ago, then the veterinarian will likely induce vomiting.
They will also administer activated charcoal to help stop the absorption of the toxins and flush them out of the dog’s body as quickly as possible.
Suppose your pup is already displaying symptoms of chives poisoning. In that case, it may need further treatment, including IV infusions and medications to help resolve them and protect the animal from more serious health issues.
If your furry companion already has anemia, the veterinarian may need to perform blood transfusions or apply oxygen therapy.
The good news is that when timely treatment is undertaken, the chances of complete recovery of your dog are excellent.
So, as with all other types of poisoning in canines – the faster you seek veterinary advice and treatment – the better the prognosis for your four-legged companion.
How Can Chives Harm My Dog?
Eating chives can lead to poisoning in dogs and, in severe cases, to Heinz anemia which can be life-threatening.
The amount of chives that can be toxic for your furbaby depends on the dog’s weight, age, and overall health.
Experts and toxicologists estimate that about 15 to 30 grams of chives, onions, garlic, or leeks per every kilogram of the dog’s body weight can be toxic. This is good news for larger pups that would need to eat very large quantities of chives to suffer from poisoning.
But smaller dogs are at greater risk, and so are some Japanese dog breeds like the Akita and Shiba Inu, which are susceptible to this type of poisoning from smaller quantities.
Also, if your pup has eaten only a few plant leaves, the risk of poisoning is much smaller than if it has gobbled up the bulbs.
In any case, contact your veterinarian or an animal or pet poison control hotline for advice.
When Is It Time To Take My Dog To The Vet?
Chives are not one of the most common causes of poisoning in dogs, but still, they carry the risk of poisoning, which in severe cases, can lead to anemia in canines.
Call your veterinarian for advice if it has ingested chives. If it displays symptoms of poisoning, you should take your pet to the vet immediately.
Keep in mind that in severe cases of anemia, the symptoms of chives poisoning can appear 24 to 48 hours after ingestion.
The sooner treatment is started – the better the prognosis for full recovery of your pet.