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HEINZ BODY HEMOLYTIC ANEMIA AFTER INGESTION OF GARLIC

Many owners believe that garlic is effective against worms, ticks, flies and other organisms, and even if it does not work it at least does no harm. But garlic and the garlic-related plant Chinese chive can cause severe problems in dogs, even if they ingest them as tablescrapes, as this very interesting case report illustrates.


A 4-year-old, intact male miniature schnauzer was presented with anorexia.

The dog had ingested some Chinese steamed dumplings 2 days before, which contained Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum).

Hematological examinations revealed severe Heinz body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis and an increased concentration of methemoglobin, which was thought to result from oxidative damage to erythrocytes by constituents in these Allium plants.

In this case, eccentrocytosis was a hallmark finding and could be detected easily, suggesting that this hematological abnormality is useful in diagnosing Allium plant-induced hemolysis.

Source: Osamu Yamato, et al (2005): Heinz Body Hemolytic Anemia With Eccentrocytosis From Ingestion of Chinese Chive (Allium tuberosum) and Garlic (Allium sativum) in a Dog. In: Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
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