TVM UK has launched new guidelines for veterinary surgeons about how to deal with Allium toxins which are often found in Christmas cooking.

The Allium species includes onions, garlic, and their relatives. All members of the Allium family are poisonous to cats and dogs and even minimal amounts can be dangerous. For example, a 5kg cat would only need to ingest 1-2 garlic cloves to show clinical signs. Poisoning causes haemolytic anaemia with treatment being supportive, as there is no antidote. In severe cases blood transfusions may be required.

Powdered versions of these plants are more concentrated and are often used in gravy and stuffing in the traditional Christmas dinner, so toxicity can occur much more easily.

Will Peel, Product Manager at TVM UK said: "Alliums are toxic to animals and as there is no antidote it’s important that veterinary staff are fully prepared and are able to react quickly and provide the best care possible.

"Our focus is on helping veterinary staff prepare for all eventualities so we hope that these new guidelines will prove beneficial."

The guidelines can be downloaded for free from

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