May 1999


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Susan Shott <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Farm Collie Breed Conservancy and Restoration <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 15 May 1999 22:41:25 EDT
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The hemolytic anemia described in the article was caused by Heinz bodies,
which is characteristic of poisoning by onions, although other chemicals are
possible causes (copper, zinc, vitamin K)

No one is claiming that low-dose garlic (or low-dose onions, for that matter)
cause problems. But moderate doses might very well cause non-lethal problems.
We really need some labwork (CBC's) done on dogs that are routinely given
moderate doses garlic.

Garlic toxicity is considerably more logical than the watermelon-malaria
connection, since garlic and onions are closely related members of the same
plant family.

Has the vet who recommends 9 cloves of garlic done labwork on dogs given this
amount of garlic to see if there are any ill effects? No drug company could
get away with marketing a drug they had never carefully tested on numerous
dogs--testing that included extensive and frequent labwork. Herbal medicines
are drugs--with purity, dosage, and side effects frequently unknown and

I doubt that a small daily dose of garlic is harmful to dogs. But the "more
is better" philosophy might be harmful when it comes to garlic. As we all
know, just because something is "natural" doesn't mean it can't hurt you.
Consider AIDS, smallpox, distemper, plague--all natural.

I don't discount the benefits of the natural/alternative stuff. My dogs get a
natural diet, and they have benefited greatly from acupuncture and
chiropractic (performed by a veterinarian who is certified in both and who
also practices traditional veterinary medicine). I just think science is
needed to evaluate natural/alternative approaches as well as traditional ones.

On another subject: Does anyone still have the Schutzhund collie website
address? I lost it in an AOL crash. Thanks.